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> SlimVirgin socking (Part 3)
MaliceAforethought
post Wed 27th July 2011, 1:55pm
Post #1


u Mad?
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From: Wonderland
Member No.: 57,801



From: (jayjg)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 17:37:58 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 8/24/07, Matthew Brown wrote:
>
> As I recall, these oversights in question were among the first uses of
> the tool (let me know if I'm mistaken)

Correct.

> and possibly set the precedent
> for other oversighters to believe removing IP edits was appropriate in
> practice.

I don't think that's the case. It was done before by developers; it
was they who set the precedent, and who also wanted an easier way of
doing it that removed the burden from them.
----------

From: (jayjg)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 17:39:10 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 8/24/07, Matthew Brown wrote:
> On 8/24/07, Jimmy Wales wrote:
> > In the current case, he has evidence, evidence which looks to me
> > reasonably compelling. Certainly, let me put it this way: people are
> > indef blocked daily at Wikipedia on evidence slimmer than this.
>
> Generally speaking, an editor would be given a short block and a
> warning in such a case, unless they already had a history of trouble.
> Some gung-ho admins might block for longer, but IMO they should not
> and such blocks tend to be reversed.
>
> No blocks would be issued on 3 year old sockpuppetry in such a limited fashion.
>
> I would suspect that some would call for de-adminship in such a case.
> However, I'm not sure it would be successful considering the age and
> apparent non-recurrence of the conduct, as well as the fact that the
> double-voting didn't appear to have changed anything.
>
> I do think that the edits that were oversighted in this case should be
> restored. There is no longer a case for secrecy, and there is much
> case for openness.

What message would the restoring send, and to what audiences? I think
we should think carefully about that.
----------

From: charles.r.matthews
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 22:44:32 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

Just when it was going quieter. Has everyone on this list seen this mail from SlimVirgin? I thought I'd ask before discussing the content.

Charles
----------

From: (Matthew Brown)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 14:56:42 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 8/24/07, jayjg wrote:
> On 8/24/07, Matthew Brown wrote:
> > and possibly set the precedent
> > for other oversighters to believe removing IP edits was appropriate in
> > practice.
>
> I don't think that's the case. It was done before by developers; it
> was they who set the precedent, and who also wanted an easier way of
> doing it that removed the burden from them.

Thanks for the clarification. Therefore, it was part of the
unofficial policy-in-practice from before the availability of
Oversight.

I still feel that it needs to be clarified what exactly we will or
won't do in terms of hiding IP addresses. It's certainly not
explicitly in the policy, although it could arguably be inferred from
it.

-Matt
----------

From: (Theresa Knott)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 22:57:10 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On 8/24/07, charles.r.matthews wrote:
> Just when it was going quieter. Has everyone on this list seen this mail from SlimVirgin? I thought I'd ask before discussing the content.

I've seen it.

Theresa
-----------

From: (Timothy Titcomb)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 17:57:20 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On Aug 24, 2007, at 5:44 PM, <charles.r.matthews> wrote:

> Just when it was going quieter. Has everyone on this list seen this
> mail from SlimVirgin? I thought I'd ask before discussing the content.

I've read it.

P
-----------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 22:57:39 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 24/08/07, Matthew Brown wrote:
> On 8/24/07, David Gerard wrote:
> > Mind you, I'm tempted to edit the anon edit message to be clearly and
> > visibly different ...
>
> We need to ensure that getting inadvertently logged out and causing an
> IP-revealing edit to be made is a lot harder than it is. If we made
> it hard to do, we wouldn't get nearly as many oversight requests
> wishing for it. It is frankly a big grey area in our oversight policy
> - a little outside the wording, but arguably within the spirit, and
> fervently desired by many users who make that mistake. We should (a)
> make it hard to do, and (b) clarify oversight policy about that
> situation - either explicitly forbid it or add it to the allowed
> reasons.

Thinking about the future, what about a (*very* carefully used) tool
to merge user accounts and their contributions, and IP's
contributions, too? This would keep the transparency whilst also
removing the source of many of the OS requests. Note that this is a
reasonably-core functionality for SUL, so shouldn't be beyond
reasonability (though may take some time). Security would be along the
same level as the import functionality, given the ease of screwing up
attribution (our main piece of meta-data, and vitally important to
avoid poisoning the well), but that's just asking for very big red
text with flashing lights saying "Are you sure?". :-)

> As I recall, these oversights in question were among the first uses of
> the tool (let me know if I'm mistaken) and possibly set the precedent
> for other oversighters to believe removing IP edits was appropriate in
> practice.

Yes. IHTS that I've never been comfortable with helping people who
fail to notice significant changes in their edit token status (FFS, it
removes the "minor edit" box - if you don't notice that, you're likely
posting without fully thinking through your edits).

Yrs,
--
James D. Forrester
----------

From: (Matthew Brown)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 15:02:17 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> Yes. IHTS that I've never been comfortable with helping people who
> fail to notice significant changes in their edit token status (FFS, it
> removes the "minor edit" box - if you don't notice that, you're likely
> posting without fully thinking through your edits).

Not in the case where the edit page was loaded logged-in but the user
is logged out between then and submitting the edit, which I believe
can happen - since that's hard to simulate, I'm not absolutely sure.

I'd imagine that most editors would only notice the lack of the
'minor edit' checkbox if they were going to use it; I'm pretty sure
90% of the time I wouldn't notice. I double-check my words, not the
presentation of the edit web page.

-Matt
-----------

From: (Matthew Brown)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 15:02:54 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On 8/24/07, charles.r.matthews wrote:
> Just when it was going quieter. Has everyone on this list seen this mail from SlimVirgin? I thought I'd ask before discussing the content.

The post to this list?

-Matt
------------

From: (Kirill Lokshin)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 18:03:07 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On 8/24/07, Timothy Titcomb wrote:
>
> On Aug 24, 2007, at 5:44 PM, <charles.r.matthews> wrote:
>
> > Just when it was going quieter. Has everyone on this list seen this
> > mail from SlimVirgin? I thought I'd ask before discussing the content.
>
> I've read it.
>
> Paul August

Same here.

Kirill
------------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 23:04:53 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 24/08/07, Matthew Brown wrote:
> On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> > Yes. IHTS that I've never been comfortable with helping people who
> > fail to notice significant changes in their edit token status (FFS, it
> > removes the "minor edit" box - if you don't notice that, you're likely
> > posting without fully thinking through your edits).
>
> Not in the case where the edit page was loaded logged-in but the user
> is logged out between then and submitting the edit, which I believe
> can happen - since that's hard to simulate, I'm not absolutely sure.
>
> I'd imagine that most editors would only notice the lack of the
> 'minor edit' checkbox if they were going to use it; I'm pretty sure
> 90% of the time I wouldn't notice. I double-check my words, not the
> presentation of the edit web page.

Not so. It presents a page saying "Your edit-token has expired" (given
that I'm based in the UK, so my edits go through the second-class
servers in Europe, I get this relatively often). Though perhaps this
functionality is new?

Yours,
--
James D. Forrester
-----------

From: (Kirill Lokshin)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 18:05:22 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On 8/24/07, Matthew Brown wrote:
> On 8/24/07, charles.r.matthews wrote:
> > Just when it was going quieter. Has everyone on this list seen this mail from SlimVirgin? I thought I'd ask before discussing the content.
>
> The post to this list?

No, the offlist one we were (all?) cc-d on.

Kirill
----------

From: (jayjg)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 18:05:48 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> On 24/08/07, Matthew Brown wrote:
> > On 8/24/07, David Gerard wrote:
> > > Mind you, I'm tempted to edit the anon edit message to be clearly and
> > > visibly different ...
> >
> > We need to ensure that getting inadvertently logged out and causing an
> > IP-revealing edit to be made is a lot harder than it is. If we made
> > it hard to do, we wouldn't get nearly as many oversight requests
> > wishing for it. It is frankly a big grey area in our oversight policy
> > - a little outside the wording, but arguably within the spirit, and
> > fervently desired by many users who make that mistake. We should (a)
> > make it hard to do, and (b) clarify oversight policy about that
> > situation - either explicitly forbid it or add it to the allowed
> > reasons.
>
> Thinking about the future, what about a (*very* carefully used) tool
> to merge user accounts and their contributions, and IP's
> contributions, too? This would keep the transparency whilst also
> removing the source of many of the OS requests.

If I understand what you're saying, before Oversight was created
developers sometimes also replaced IP edits with the Userid of the
editor. This was actually often preferred by the editors in question,
but wasn't a feature of Oversight. I'm not sure how it would impact
people who download the database and obsessively comb through it
looking to expose oversights; would it make their job harder, or would
it actually clearly identify for them people's IP addresses?
WordBomb/Judd Bagley seems to be the first person to have done this in
any systematic way, but I doubt he will be the last.
----------

From: (Matthew Brown)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 15:06:11 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> Not so. It presents a page saying "Your edit-token has expired" (given
> that I'm based in the UK, so my edits go through the second-class
> servers in Europe, I get this relatively often). Though perhaps this
> functionality is new?

It may be; I used to have this happen to me, but it hasn't happened
for a couple of years.

-Matt
-----------

From: (Matthew Brown)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 15:06:54 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On 8/24/07, Kirill Lokshin wrote:
> No, the offlist one we were (all?) cc-d on.

Ah - yes, I have now received it.

-Matt
-----------

From: (jayjg)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 18:07:04 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> On 24/08/07, Matthew Brown wrote:
> > On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> > > Yes. IHTS that I've never been comfortable with helping people who
> > > fail to notice significant changes in their edit token status (FFS, it
> > > removes the "minor edit" box - if you don't notice that, you're likely
> > > posting without fully thinking through your edits).
> >
> > Not in the case where the edit page was loaded logged-in but the user
> > is logged out between then and submitting the edit, which I believe
> > can happen - since that's hard to simulate, I'm not absolutely sure.
> >
> > I'd imagine that most editors would only notice the lack of the
> > 'minor edit' checkbox if they were going to use it; I'm pretty sure
> > 90% of the time I wouldn't notice. I double-check my words, not the
> > presentation of the edit web page.
>
> Not so. It presents a page saying "Your edit-token has expired" (given
> that I'm based in the UK, so my edits go through the second-class
> servers in Europe, I get this relatively often). Though perhaps this
> functionality is new?

I've certainly never seen that "edit-token" message, and I've been
logged out by Wikipedia many times in the past, though very rarely
more recently.
-----------

From: (jayjg)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 18:07:47 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On 8/24/07, Matthew Brown wrote:
> On 8/24/07, Kirill Lokshin wrote:
> > No, the offlist one we were (all?) cc-d on.
>
> Ah - yes, I have now received it.
>
> -Matt

I have received it as well.
------------

From: (Dmcdevit)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 15:09:54 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's
abusive sockpuppetry]

James Forrester wrote:
>
> Thinking about the future, what about a (*very* carefully used) tool
> to merge user accounts and their contributions, and IP's
> contributions, too? This would keep the transparency whilst also
> removing the source of many of the OS requests. Note that this is a
> reasonably-core functionality for SUL, so shouldn't be beyond
> reasonability (though may take some time). Security would be along the
> same level as the import functionality, given the ease of screwing up
> attribution (our main piece of meta-data, and vitally important to
> avoid poisoning the well), but that's just asking for very big red
> text with flashing lights saying "Are you sure?". :-)
This has been a desired function for as long as I can remember, but I
think the devs have been refusing to do it for grounds other than just
technical. The only surefire way to ensure that a particular account
made a particular edit is to require them to log in and edit from the
account. Even if it was only done on specific requests of users that
identified anon edits as their own, it will be difficult if not
impossible to match the anon edits with the account even if you are
matching IPs. And misattributing edits presumably has significant
copyright implications.

Dominic
------------

From: (Matthew Brown)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 15:10:47 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 8/24/07, jayjg wrote:
> What message would the restoring send, and to what audiences? I think
> we should think carefully about that.

Several different messages.

It would, unfortunately, say "Yes, you were right" to the stalkers and
creeps. However, they have much more power if they can imply things
were worse than they really are.

It would, however, increase transparency to Wikipedia's contributors.
The incredibly minor nature of the actual events behind all the drama
would, I hope, help to defuse the issue among the non-insane.

-Matt
------------

From: (Timothy Titcomb)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 18:10:57 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On Aug 24, 2007, at 6:02 PM, Matthew Brown wrote:

> On 8/24/07, charles.r.matthews wrote:
>> Just when it was going quieter. Has everyone on this list seen
>> this mail from SlimVirgin? I thought I'd ask before discussing the
>> content.
>
> The post to this list?
>
> -Matt

No it wasn't to this list, but it was copied to many members of this
list, including you.

Paul August
------------

From: charles.r.matthews
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 23:12:10 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" -
SlimVirgin speaks out

>
> From: "Kirill Lokshin"
> Date: 2007/08/24 Fri PM 11:05:22 BST
> To: "Arbitration Committee mailing list" <arbcom-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
> Subject: Re: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
> speaks out
Matthew Brown <morven at gmail.com> wrote

> > The post to this list?
>
> No, the offlist one we were (all?) cc-d on.
>
> Kirill

Matthew, yes, you were amongst the 37 addressees. Well, it's going to be a full-inbox time while the "I agrees" get circulated.

Charles
-----------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 23:12:26 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 24/08/07, jayjg wrote:
> On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> > On 24/08/07, Matthew Brown wrote:
> > > On 8/24/07, David Gerard wrote:
> > > > Mind you, I'm tempted to edit the anon edit message to be clearly and
> > > > visibly different ...
> > >
> > > We need to ensure that getting inadvertently logged out and causing an
> > > IP-revealing edit to be made is a lot harder than it is. If we made
> > > it hard to do, we wouldn't get nearly as many oversight requests
> > > wishing for it. It is frankly a big grey area in our oversight policy
> > > - a little outside the wording, but arguably within the spirit, and
> > > fervently desired by many users who make that mistake. We should (a)
> > > make it hard to do, and (b) clarify oversight policy about that
> > > situation - either explicitly forbid it or add it to the allowed
> > > reasons.
> >
> > Thinking about the future, what about a (*very* carefully used) tool
> > to merge user accounts and their contributions, and IP's
> > contributions, too? This would keep the transparency whilst also
> > removing the source of many of the OS requests.
>
> If I understand what you're saying, before Oversight was created
> developers sometimes also replaced IP edits with the Userid of the
> editor. This was actually often preferred by the editors in question,
> but wasn't a feature of Oversight.

Yes, I recall how we used to do things before OS came along (indeed,
before *you* came along ;-)). That is eactly what I mean, yes.

> I'm not sure how it would impact
> people who download the database and obsessively comb through it
> looking to expose oversights; would it make their job harder, or would
> it actually clearly identify for them people's IP addresses?

OS is and always has been meaningless and counter-productive for
concealing any privacy issues, such as the ones discussed here, which
pre-date the most recent dump. This tool would be the same. Note that
we've not had a successful dump for many many months, so right now
this issue isn't as live as it was when the tool was new, but it *was*
mentioned as part of the roll-out, IIRC. Certainly, I recall
discussing it as the tool went live.

> WordBomb/Judd Bagley seems to be the first person to have done this in
> any systematic way, but I doubt he will be the last.

Indeed.

Yours,
--
James D. Forrester
-----------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 23:18:59 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 24/08/07, Dmcdevit wrote:
> James Forrester wrote:
> >
> > Thinking about the future, what about a (*very* carefully used) tool
> > to merge user accounts and their contributions, and IP's
> > contributions, too? This would keep the transparency whilst also
> > removing the source of many of the OS requests. Note that this is a
> > reasonably-core functionality for SUL, so shouldn't be beyond
> > reasonability (though may take some time). Security would be along the
> > same level as the import functionality, given the ease of screwing up
> > attribution (our main piece of meta-data, and vitally important to
> > avoid poisoning the well), but that's just asking for very big red
> > text with flashing lights saying "Are you sure?". :-)
> This has been a desired function for as long as I can remember, but I
> think the devs have been refusing to do it for grounds other than just
> technical.

The devs used to do such actions on request.

> The only surefire way to ensure that a particular account
> made a particular edit is to require them to log in and edit from the
> account.

Yes, well, this isn't a truly difficult request. Anyway, my point was
that account merging is coming with SUL, so we might be able to hop on
this bandwagon.

> Even if it was only done on specific requests of users that
> identified anon edits as their own, it will be difficult if not
> impossible to match the anon edits with the account even if you are
> matching IPs.

A CU check to confirm isn't too hard a requirement for the executing
EditMunger (or whatever term is given).

> And misattributing edits presumably has significant
> copyright implications.

Certainly, but OS for content (rather than reverted vandalism) has
exactly the same problem.

Yrs,
--
James D. Forrester
----------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 23:21:09 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On 24/08/07, charles.r.matthews wrote:
>
> >
> > From: "Kirill Lokshin"
> > Date: 2007/08/24 Fri PM 11:05:22 BST
> > To: "Arbitration Committee mailing list" <arbcom-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
> > Subject: Re: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
> > speaks out
> Matthew Brown <morven at gmail.com> wrote
>
> > > The post to this list?
> >
> > No, the offlist one we were (all?) cc-d on.
>
> Matthew, yes, you were amongst the 37 addressees. Well, it's going
> to be a full-inbox time while the "I agrees" get circulated.

I seemingly didn't get sent the missive (unless she sent it to an old
address, or it was spam-killed by GMail...). Might I request a copy?

--
James D. Forrester
----------

From: (Kirill Lokshin)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 18:24:56 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> I seemingly didn't get sent the missive (unless she sent it to an old
> address, or it was spam-killed by GMail...). Might I request a copy?

It doesn't seem like you were included; I'm not sure how the list of
recipients was compiled here. In any case:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Slim Virgin
Date: Aug 24, 2007 5:27 PM
Subject: Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking
To: Jimmy Wales , ElinorD , Will Beback , Mongo Montana,
"Samir C. Grover", Jay, Mantan Moreland, Katefan0, Iron Duke,
Phil Sandifer, Rebecca, Fred Bauder, highinbc, crum375, samiharris800,
Phaedriel, Durova, Dakota Kahn
Cc: florencedevouard, Anthere, Angela, Kat Walsh, FloNight,
David Gerard, Josh Gordon, Blnguyen, Dmcdevit,
Guy Chapman, Mark Pellegrini, charles matthews, Theresa Knott,
Steve Dunlop, Charles Fulton, Matt Brown, Paul August/Timothy Titcomb,
kirill.lokshin, Cary Bass, Michael Waddell


Jimbo wrote to me and the ArbCom recently in response to yet another
an allegation from WordBomb, a banned editor who in real life is Judd
Bagley, the Vice-President of Social Media for Overstock.com.

Bagley is a known cyberstalker. His latest allegation is that, when I
first started at Wikipedia, I had a sockpuppet account. This follows
allegations from Daniel Brandt that I work for MI5 and am being paid
to edit Wikipedia. I don't know how these allegations tie together,
but I've no doubt the synthesis is imaginative. WordBomb has told
Jimbo he is about to have something about it published, implying
mainstream media (he's already published it on his website). He's been
threatening this kind of thing for over a year.

I'm sending my response to the sockpuppet allegations in another
e-mail, which I'll copy to everyone on this list. I've already told
Jimbo that the MI5 allegation is pure fantasy.

The reason I'm writing this is that I'm becoming increasingly
concerned about the way Wikipedia responds when its editors and
administrators are under attack. This issue has been raised many
times, mostly by the people who've been cyberstalked, but the
discussions don't lead anywhere. Here, again, we have a situation
where a regular editor is being investigated (it appears) by the
Arbitration Committee as a result of abuse from a banned editor, and
is expected to spend time wading through nonsense on various attacks
sites in order to defend herself. The bottom line is that it sometimes
feel as if AGF and BLP apply to everyone except Wikipedians who are
being attacked by banned editors.

I therefore want to open up a discussion about this between the
Foundation, the ArbCom, people who've expressed concern about
cyberstalking, and the victims of it, most of whom are administrators
who were targeted for doing their jobs. The consequences of the
stalking have been very serious for us as individuals, but because we
all live in our little bubbles and don't talk about it much, the
seriousness of the situation has perhaps not struck home forcefully
enough.

The editors on this list include someone who has had to move house
because of cyberstalking; someone who had to pretend that her mother
had died in order to stop the harassment of her family; two people
accused of being paid to edit Wikipedia by intelligence agencies;
various people who've had their names, addresses, and photographs
published; at least two people who've been named and accused of
pedophilia; one person whose disabled father was threatened with
violence; one person who had to stop editing because the stalkers were
going to contact her employer with various allegations; one person who
was investigated by the police after a stalker told his university
that he might have murdered someone; a lawyer named for alleged
inappropriate behavior; people named as having various sexual
preferences that their friends or families don't know about; and
people whose employment possibilities have been undermined, perhaps
for the rest of their lives, because of the seriousness of the
allegations against them.

At least seven of us are women. Whether that makes any difference to
the intensity of the stalking, I don't know. I feel it does, but I
know others disagree. In my own case, my appearance has been discussed
in detail, what kind of bra I wear, whether I've slept with people to
get jobs in real life, whether I'm a whore, whether I enjoy having sex
with young boys, and whether I'm worried about being raped.

Most of the time, the police can't or won't help, because it involves
the Web, and the laws governing cyberspace are complex and differ
around the world. Libel lawyers are expensive, and the stalkers often
don't have assets worth suing for anyway. So it's difficult to know
how or whether to respond.

Everyone accepts that there's a limit to how much the Foundation can
help, primarily because of limited funds. But the lack of help seems
to go beyond money issues. I'm not aware of anyone who has received
even the most rudimentary legal advice, although maybe there has been
help that I don't know about. I do know that a few people under attack
have written expressing concern and received no response. Perhaps the
issue is that the Foundation's legal position is that it's not a
publisher, and therefore it can't be seen to involve itself in these
situations. The problem with that position is that it leaves those
under attack swinging in the wind.

What's worse than that, though, is that editors who are attacked
sometimes find themselves being accused again via the mailing list or
the ArbCom. And the admins who help those editors end up in more
trouble from the stalkers, then from the ArbCom again.

In my own case, I've been attacked a lot because, as an administrator,
I went to the assistance of editors who were being outed. I helped
Iron Duke who was being outed by a banned user, who turned on me, and
ended up posting a great deal of nonsense about me to Wikipedia Review
(I won't name him because he and I have reached a rapprochement). The
attacks on me from WordBomb stem from my helping Mantanmoreland, who
was being outed by WordBomb. There are many other examples where the
attacker switched his attention to the admin who blocked him for the
original offence, and that admin became the main enemy.

ElinorD and Quadell have been criticized for helping me. Jayjg has
been threatened with losing oversight because he deleted some early
edits of mine that I feared would identify me. This was after I
received threats of violence from an obvious lunatic on Wikipedia
Review who lives in the same country as me, yet the admin I turned to
for help is now facing sanctions. MONGO ended up being desyopped
because his response to being attacked was seen as inappropriate.

Admins who deal with these situations need strong and consistent
support from the Foundation and the ArbCom, and if they're not
reacting as well as they might, they need constructive advice, not
more criticism. Instead, we find ourselves being investigated, months
or even years after the fact, when the details are long forgotten, and
all that's remembered is the banned editors' increasingly ludicrous
allegations. It seems to me that, if you say something loudly enough
and often enough, someone from the Foundation or ArbCom will end up
believing it. I'm sorry to say this, and I know it doesn't apply to
the vast majority of you. But it only takes one or two.

After my recent experience of being slashdotted based on the MI5
allegation, I received more e-mails of support from Wikipedians than
I've had time to reply to. They included people I know and like,
people I barely know, people I don't know, and people I've been in
serious content disputes with, who offered their unconditional
support. The response was very moving, and it taught me that the
overwhelming majority of this community is decent and honorable, and
has no time for this nonsense. But it's the very, very small number of
people who extend good faith to the troublemakers -- but not to the
Wikpedian under attack -- who become the squeakiest wheels.

Something has to change about this situation. It's only a matter of
time before someone ends up being physically attacked, or even turns
on themselves in distress. The stalking is *incredibly* upsetting, and
the lack of support from the Foundation or ArbCom feels like the last
straw. It's impossible to explain to people who've never experienced
it how disorienting the situation can be. In my own case, when it
first started, I'd find myself bursting into tears for no reason,
losing sleep, not eating properly, worrying all the time, with a
constant feeling of nausea in the pit of my stomach. In the end, I
stopped reading the websites publishing it, and that helped a lot. Now
I have to read it all again to defend myself to the ArbCom.

I was going to include some background on WordBomb/Judd Bagley for
those of you not familiar with him, but this e-mail is getting long,
so I'll send it separately. The important point is that he is a
*professional* spin doctor, who has been outed by the mainstream media
for cyberstalking, so he has zero credibility. Yet for some reason his
threats are being taken seriously by Wikipedia.

I hope this e-mail stimulates a debate that leads to a change of
mindset about defending Wikipedians. It's only going to get worse the
more popular WP becomes, so we need a strategy. Any one of us might
block the wrong person at the wrong time, and find ourselves in the
middle of this nonsense, so please don't think: "There's no smoke
without fire, and it could never happen to me." Not true.

Sarah
Malice's note: Ach, we've found the genesis of the secret "Cyberstalking" list.
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From: (jayjg)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 18:32:38 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On 8/24/07, Kirill Lokshin wrote:
> On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> > I seemingly didn't get sent the missive (unless she sent it to an old
> > address, or it was spam-killed by GMail...). Might I request a copy?
>
> It doesn't seem like you were included; I'm not sure how the list of
> recipients was compiled here.

It appears that the people on the "To:" list are Wikipedians who have
been cyberstalked as a result of their Wikipedia activities, and the
"Cc:" lists consists of most of the people on the ArbCom maillist and
Foundation. Perhaps she didn't have the e-mail addresses of the other
people on the ArbCom maillist or other Foundation members.
----------

From: (Dmcdevit)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 15:32:35 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's
abusive sockpuppetry]

James Forrester wrote:
>
> A CU check to confirm isn't too hard a requirement for the executing
> EditMunger (or whatever term is given).
>
To be more specific, I spoke to (I think it was) Tim about this more
than a year ago, and this was his answer. Merging accounts is
uncontroversial, just a pain to code and not high on the priority list
(SUL may change things with that). However, there are any number of
reasons an IP may match while the IP's users do not, from as simple as
"two people can use the same computer" to more technical reasons, and
any number of reasons that the same person's IPs might not match. Could
anyone on a reasonably dynamic range ever prove they were someone else?
Merging will be potentially dangerous, and not likely to have a high
applicability to most users, anyway, since most will find it impossible
to prove their identity. Keep in mind SUL draws on email addresses and
matching passwords to identify matching accounts as well, but IPs don't
have those.
>> And misattributing edits presumably has significant
>> copyright implications.
>>
>
> Certainly, but OS for content (rather than reverted vandalism) has
> exactly the same problem.
Yes, but if we are not concerned about misattribution, then there is no
reason to develop the tool; we already have OS, if misattribution is
fine. This tool would likely see more use for merging edits by people
without privacy concerns, in any case; in which case, the danger of
misattribution is without any more than an aesthetic purpose.

Dominic
----------

From: (jayjg)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 18:37:21 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 8/24/07, Dmcdevit wrote:
> James Forrester wrote:
> >
> > A CU check to confirm isn't too hard a requirement for the executing
> > EditMunger (or whatever term is given).
> >
> To be more specific, I spoke to (I think it was) Tim about this more
> than a year ago, and this was his answer. Merging accounts is
> uncontroversial, just a pain to code and not high on the priority list
> (SUL may change things with that). However, there are any number of
> reasons an IP may match while the IP's users do not, from as simple as
> "two people can use the same computer" to more technical reasons, and
> any number of reasons that the same person's IPs might not match. Could
> anyone on a reasonably dynamic range ever prove they were someone else?
> Merging will be potentially dangerous, and not likely to have a high
> applicability to most users, anyway, since most will find it impossible
> to prove their identity. Keep in mind SUL draws on email addresses and
> matching passwords to identify matching accounts as well, but IPs don't
> have those.

I think many, many editors have either fixed IPs, or extremely stable
IPs. This is quite often true for people with high-speed access,
particularly cable. It would certainly be helpful in those cases.
----------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 23:38:12 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On 24/08/07, Kirill Lokshin wrote:
> On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> > I seemingly didn't get sent the missive (unless she sent it to an old
> > address, or it was spam-killed by GMail...). Might I request a copy?
>
> It doesn't seem like you were included; I'm not sure how the list of
> recipients was compiled here.

Thinking about it, given that she didn't cc arbcom-l, I'd imagine that
this was deliberate. I hope that she would not be too upset by its
release to me and the other non-cc'ed members of the list.

> In any case:

[Snip usual comments on this area]

I don't see anything new in this e-mail.

I also am surprised by the apparent confusion on SV's part of the
Foundation and the community.

I note the normal emotional references. Sad as it may seem, it is
expressly our job not to ensure that people don't "end up in tears",
even though it is very sad that that happens, but instead to protect
the project from damage. Distasteful, yes, depressing, certainly, but
no-one sane ever said this job was easy.

Yrs,
--
James D. Forrester
----------

From: (Timothy Titcomb)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 18:47:23 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On Aug 24, 2007, at 6:38 PM, James Forrester wrote:

> but no-one sane ever said this job was easy.

Anyone insane say it either?

Paul August
----------

From: (jayjg)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 18:51:17 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> On 24/08/07, Kirill Lokshin wrote:
> > On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> > > I seemingly didn't get sent the missive (unless she sent it to an old
> > > address, or it was spam-killed by GMail...). Might I request a copy?
> >
> > It doesn't seem like you were included; I'm not sure how the list of
> > recipients was compiled here.
>
> Thinking about it, given that she didn't cc arbcom-l, I'd imagine that
> this was deliberate. I hope that she would not be too upset by its
> release to me and the other non-cc'ed members of the list.
>
> > In any case:
>
> [Snip usual comments on this area]
>
> I don't see anything new in this e-mail.
>
> I also am surprised by the apparent confusion on SV's part of the
> Foundation and the community.
>
> I note the normal emotional references. Sad as it may seem, it is
> expressly our job not to ensure that people don't "end up in tears",
> even though it is very sad that that happens, but instead to protect
> the project from damage. Distasteful, yes, depressing, certainly, but
> no-one sane ever said this job was easy.

That seems a minor part of the e-mail, which in the main is dealing
with much more serious issues and concerns. Are editors part of "the
project"? Do they need to be "protected from damage" as well? Or are
they simply disposable tools (of which there is never-ending supply)
with which we build the encyclopedia? Or is it simply a cost-benefit
analysis; "thanks for your help, but you're a bit more trouble than
you're worth right now, so we're sending you off on the ice flow to
starve. Nothing personal, mind, we like you and all, but we've got a
project to protect here".
----------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 23:55:22 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 24/08/07, Dmcdevit wrote:
> James Forrester wrote:
> >
> > A CU check to confirm isn't too hard a requirement for the executing
> > EditMunger (or whatever term is given).
> >
> To be more specific, I spoke to (I think it was) Tim about this more
> than a year ago, and this was his answer. Merging accounts is
> uncontroversial, just a pain to code and not high on the priority list
> (SUL may change things with that). However, there are any number of
> reasons an IP may match while the IP's users do not, from as simple as
> "two people can use the same computer" to more technical reasons, and
> any number of reasons that the same person's IPs might not match. Could
> anyone on a reasonably dynamic range ever prove they were someone else?
> Merging will be potentially dangerous, and not likely to have a high
> applicability to most users, anyway, since most will find it impossible
> to prove their identity. Keep in mind SUL draws on email addresses and
> matching passwords to identify matching accounts as well, but IPs don't
> have those.

The concept was that account merging would be different from the
anon-edit-merging. The former would be absolute (do all edits at
once), the latter would be for single edits. Two separate (but
related) tools to achieve a more suitable replacement for the current
(ab?)use of OS for this task. Right now we're OS anon edits based
entirely on someone's say-so that it was them and they want their
carelessness/etc. hushed up.

> > > And misattributing edits presumably has significant
> > > copyright implications.
> >
> > Certainly, but OS for content (rather than reverted vandalism) has
> > exactly the same problem.
>
> Yes, but if we are not concerned about misattribution, then there is no
> reason to develop the tool; we already have OS, if misattribution is
> fine. This tool would likely see more use for merging edits by people
> without privacy concerns, in any case; in which case, the danger of
> misattribution is without any more than an aesthetic purpose.

Sorry! To expand my point so as to remove confusion, I meant:

| Yes, certainly, faulty use of such a tool (that is, mis-attributing edits
| from one editor to another) would be a potential problem, but right now
| this use of OS to do this function, when done perfectly correctly,
| *always* creates this legal problem.

I hope this makes my point more clearly.

BTW, there was a thread about, amongst other items, Jay's OS actions
on SV's old edits back in June 2006 - the thread was called "Wikitruth
not living up to its name", for those who still have it in their
archives.

Yours,
--
James D. Forrester
----------

From: (Steve Dunlop)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 16:04:56 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

The difference is that the 1000 people to whom deleted revisions remain
available is a large enough group that there is no significant concern
about transparency. Indeed, there are Wikipedians who spend much of
their time looking for deleted material that they believe should not
have been deleted.

Steve

> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
> sockpuppetry]
> From: jayjg
> Date: Fri, August 24, 2007 2:35 pm
> To: "Arbitration Committee mailing list" <arbcom-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
>
> On 8/24/07, charles.r.matthews wrote:
> > Steve's issue with Oversight is worth more discussion, though. Clearly Oversight is
----------

From: (Steve Dunlop)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 16:08:04 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

I could be mistaken but I believe that the developers quit reattributing
IP edits long before oversight became available. Reattribution was seen
as a service to those users who had not created an account when they
joined but who later wanted one and wanted their editing history to show
their early participation.

If I recall correctly, the last reattributions were fulfilled in early
2004, though there may be a few isolated later cases.

Tim Starling and Brion Vibber did most of the "oversight-like" work
prior to the tool being available so we could ask them if we really want
to gauge the extent of such work. I think it was quite rare.

Steve
----------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 00:11:43 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] "Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking" - SlimVirgin
speaks out

On 24/08/07, jayjg wrote:
> Are editors part of "the project"? Do they need to be "protected
> from damage" as well? Or are they simply disposable tools (of
> which there is never-ending supply) with which we build the
> encyclopedia?

To an extent, we should try to keep long-term and especially
high-value users (like many people with whom we are accused of being
"unfairly lenient") on the site, if for no other reason than that we
(collectively) have expended a great deal of effort in enculturation
etc. and it is a waste to discard that investment. This is why Giano
is worth a thousand of me, for example - I can't research an article
for toffee. :-) However, there is a point where the evaluation turns,
and we have to do something. Names that come to mind include Wik and
172. We should not throw good social capital after bad.

This is the founding principle of Arbitration - that we're here not
for the individuals, but the project at large. It may sound very cold
and that's because it is.

> Or is it simply a cost-benefit analysis; "thanks for your help, but
> you're a bit more trouble than you're worth right now, so we're
> sending you off on the ice flow to starve. Nothing personal, mind,
> we like you and all, but we've got a project to protect here".

That is the exactly correct interpretation of my words, yes. I dislike
the unhelpful use of emotional rhetoric to derail me from agreeing,
though (ice flow, indeed!).

In a century or two we'll all be gone, but our duty is to ensure that
Wikipedia isn't. That's why what we do is important - and it's why I,
at least, have kept on doing this thankless task. :-) Our job is to be
dispassionate and careful, to avoid even the appearance of conflicts
of interest at all times, and never to bring the project into
disrepute.

Yours,
--
James D. Forrester
----------

From: (Steve Dunlop)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 16:14:01 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] Confidentiality of arbcom-l discussions

It would appear that someone on this list has been leaking a portion of
the discussion to SV.

This is inappropriate.

I would hope that arbcom-l will remain a confidential space where we may
have open and frank discussions.

Steve
----------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 00:16:48 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] Confidentiality of arbcom-l discussions

On 25/08/07, Steve Dunlop wrote:
> It would appear that someone on this list has been leaking a portion of
> the discussion to SV.
>
> This is inappropriate.
>
> I would hope that arbcom-l will remain a confidential space where we may
> have open and frank discussions.

Information security is not something which some members of our
community really seem to understand, no. I am disappointed that this
has reached this venue, however.

Yours,
--
James D. Forrester
----------

From: (Kirill Lokshin)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 19:21:27 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] Confidentiality of arbcom-l discussions

On 8/24/07, James Forrester wrote:
> On 25/08/07, Steve Dunlop wrote:
> > It would appear that someone on this list has been leaking a portion of
> > the discussion to SV.
> >
> > This is inappropriate.
> >
> > I would hope that arbcom-l will remain a confidential space where we may
> > have open and frank discussions.
>
> Information security is not something which some members of our
> community really seem to understand, no. I am disappointed that this
> has reached this venue, however.

It's possible that SV has merely made a reasonable assumption based on
the fact that we were copied in on Jimbo's original mails, I suppose.
I don't see anything that necessarily indicates any subsequent
material has actually reached her.

For the benefit of James (and anyone else not copied in), SV appears
to be of the opinion that we cannot discuss the matter without her
participation:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Slim Virgin
Date: Aug 24, 2007 7:06 PM
Subject: Re: Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking
To: Florence Devouard
Cc:<everyone from before>

On 8/24/07, Florence Devouard wrote:
>
>
> Thanks Sarah for this long email.

And thank you for your response, Ant.
>
> It is a bit difficult for me to fully estimate the extent of what you
> are talking about, because I do not know about most of the stories, and
> I do not know the stalker you are mentionning. Half of the people
> included in this list, I never talked with. As much as I would like to
> feel empathy, it is difficult when you do not know the people and do not
> know the stories.

Yes, I can see that. This goes to the heart of the problem. People who
are threatened, or accused of terrible things -- whether true, partly
true, or completely false -- often go to ground out of fear or
embarrassment. They'll tell a few close wikifriends, then they
disappear, change user names, or try to ignore it and put it behind
them. The result is the Foundation is left not knowing the full extent
of what has happened to them and the effect it's had on their lives.

There's also an attitude that we shouldn't let the troublemakers know
how much they affect us, and that's a sensible attitude up to a point,
but again, the result is that we're each of us left to deal with the
situation privately, and keep inside the hurt and distress, which are
considerable.
>
> Still... over the years, I followed by bits the stories of some of the
> people included in your email. I was told or they told me, of what they
> had to go through. And though you do not know this, there are also some
> similar stories on the other wikipedias.
>
> A lot of the concerns you have are to be addressed to the arbcom.
> However, you also raise the point the Foundation has failed to help you
> till now. I am not entirely sure how many people asked us help and did
> not get it.
>
> My question will be: how can we help you ?
>
> You mention "legal advice" and comment it was probably not given due to
> financial limitations. No, I do not think so. The issue was not so much
> financial than the fact we had no in-house legal counsel for several
> months. Those helping were "external" lawyers, most not in the USA, and
> I guess none specialized in cyberstalking. I would not have asked advice
> to any of them to help you guys.
>
> Now, we have one in-house lawyer, he is american and he has worked on
> internet issues in the past. Not sure he helped on such issues though,
> and not fully sure what his ability to deal with such topics would be.
> But we can ask. If we do, he will need some background, to tell us if
> something can be done at the legal level.
>
> Intuitively, I can not see how helping editors in trouble would increase
> our liability risk. But I am not a lawyer.
>
> How else can we help you ?
>
> ant

The way the Foundation can help is to create a culture of strong
support for Wikipedians who are under attack in these ways.

I'll give you one example from my own case where legal advice would
have been helpful. In trying to defend myself on the mailing list and
on Wikipedia, I found myself unable to do so adequately without
repeating the allegations, which in some cases were actionable libels.
I was bearing in mind that one day I might have to take legal action,
and I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize that.

I recalled that you can weaken your case legally if you contribute in
any way to the spread of the allegations. Therefore, I felt I had both
arms tied behind my back, because I couldn't easily say what was
false, or why it was false. I had to stay fairly tight-lipped, which
can end up looking suspicious. In fact, someone from the Foundation
once pointedly asked me on the mailing list why I wasn't taking legal
action, and of course I couldn't reply in any detail, and was left
feeling embarrassed and undermined.

Two things would have been incredibly helpful. First, to know that I
could have written to Brad or whoever the lawyer at the time was, for
just some basic advice: "Don't do X, don't do Y, but Z should be okay.
And here's a list of appropriate libel lawyers if you need to take it
further." I got the very strong impression the Foundation had no
interest in helping, and so I didn't even bother asking. Perhaps that
was *my* mistake, and nothing to do with the Foundation.

Secondly, it would have been helpful if board members, people who work
for the Foundation, and people on the ArbCom who are appointed by the
Foundation, understand that they mustn't do or say anything to make
things worse for the person being stalked. Don't ask them awkward
questions in public. Don't wonder out loud why they're not taking
legal action. Don't discuss the issues about them without them knowing
what's being said. Don't start discussions about them on IRC.

I'm currently being investigated (it seems) by the ArbCom, but I don't
know who's saying what. I don't see the e-mails. I don't even know if
my e-mails defending myself ever arrive. All I get is a response
telling me that my e-mail awaits the moderator, because the ArbCom
list is a private one. So I know that libellous material about me is
possibly being talked about and distributed (there are 28 people on
the ArbCom mailing list). But I'm unable to defend myself, and I'm not
allowed to say "Please bear in that what you're distributing may be
defamatory," in case I'm accused of making legal threats and banned.

I have to go along with the process, because I want to be able to
continue editing and helping to administer this site. But in
cooperating with it, I feel like a bit like a dog being made to carry
my own leash.

I think the Foundation could do a lot to create a culture in which
this kind of thing is absolutely unacceptable. If someone gets stalked
or harassed because they've volunteered as an editor or admin to
protect Wikipedia, good faith needs to be extended to that person
automatically, and they need strong public support, and no gossiping
about the allegations behind closed doors that they have no access to.

Sarah
----------

From: (Kirill Lokshin)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 21:42:44 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Adm...ckpuppet.28s.29

A number of editors are, as expected, expressing concern over the use
of oversight in this case.

I think that we ought to make some public statement at this point,
even if only to the effect of "we're aware of this and are looking
into it".

Kirill
----------

From: (Dmcdevit)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 20:28:43 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

Kirill Lokshin wrote:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Adm...ckpuppet.28s.29
>
> A number of editors are, as expected, expressing concern over the use
> of oversight in this case.
>
> I think that we ought to make some public statement at this point,
> even if only to the effect of "we're aware of this and are looking
> into it".
>
> Kirill
>
I admit that I didn't (don't) like what came to light, but now it looks
like some Wikipedians are just being idiots and turning this into
another Essjay-esque internal public lynching, just for the hell of it.
The drama-mongers have found something sensational to latch onto,
encyclopedia or the real people behind these usernames be damned. And
how is this
<http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Log&type=block&page=User:Sweet_Blue_Water>
anything but vindictive?

Dominic
----------

From: (Matthew Brown)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 20:32:20 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

On 8/24/07, Dmcdevit wrote:
> And how is this
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Log&type=block&page=User:Sweet_Blue_Water>
> anything but vindictive?

Well, yeah - although at least not harmful. Given that the account
hasn't edited for two years.

-Matt
-----------

From: (Josh Gordon)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 20:52:10 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

Is Cyde, like, 12 or something?
----------

From: (Kirill Lokshin)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 23:55:40 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

On 8/24/07, Josh Gordon wrote:
> Is Cyde, like, 12 or something?

No, he's rather older. Based on his message to SV
(http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:SlimVirgin&diff=prev&oldid=153453125),
I'm guessing there's been some bad blood between them -- although I
can't recall anything of that sort offhand -- and that likely caused
him to be needlessly vindictive here.

Kirill
----------

From: (Timothy Titcomb)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 03:27:38 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] Fwd: Wikipedia e-mail from Judd Bagley

Begin forwarded message:

> From: The So-Called Blogger
> Date: August 25, 2007 7:19:42 AM EDT
> To: Paul August
> Subject: Wikipedia e-mail
>
> I'm the so-called blogger whose writing about SlimVirgin and Jayjg
> has caused such a stir.
>
> Much has been said about me ("WordBomb") on Wikipedia, pretty much
> all of it bad, almost none of it accurate. That's because my
> detractors have a voice here while I do not. Nor do those who might
> be inclined to defend me, for they tend to be labeled as "me" and
> stripped of their voices, as well.
>
> Why was I banned from Wikipedia about 20 minutes into my career as
> an editor here? Because I tried to raise awareness of some rather
> shocking corruption which happened to involve the friend of a
> powerful administrator.
>
> I've since been branded a stalker, a vandal and worse. Not once,
> but hundreds of times.
>
> When denied the ability to defend myself here, I started blogging
> about what I had seen and was learning. While every last item I
> published is 100% defensible, my blog was none-the-less pronounced
> an "attack site" and mention of it became a blockable offense.
>
> But as recent events demonstrate, I have information that needs to
> be examined, because its implications are great. And so, I'm
> formally asking for the opportunity to participate in whatever
> proceedings examining the claims against SlimVirgin and Jayjg may
> take place.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Judd Bagley
-------

From: (Fred Bauder)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 09:00:42 +0000
Subject: [Arbcom-l] Wikipedia e-mail (Judd Bagley)

Judd,

We are investigating the information you provided and taking it seriously. You may submit additional material directly to

arbcom-l at lists.wikimedia.org

It would be helpful if you set forth your goals with respect to how you wish to interact with Wikipedia and what your complaints are regarding our coverage of information at issue.

Fred
-----------

From: (David Gerard)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 10:21:27 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] Wikipedia e-mail (Judd Bagley)

On 25/08/07, Fred Bauder wrote:

> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: The So-Called Blogger
> >Sent: Saturday, August 25, 2007 01:17 AM
> >To: 'Fred Bauder'
> >Subject: Wikipedia e-mail


Anyone *not* get this?


- d.
-----------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 11:12:16 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

On 25/08/07, Kirill Lokshin wrote:
> On 8/24/07, Josh Gordon wrote:
> > Is Cyde, like, 12 or something?
>
> No, he's rather older. Based on his message to SV
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:SlimVirgin&diff=prev&oldid=153453125),
> I'm guessing there's been some bad blood between them -- although I
> can't recall anything of that sort offhand -- and that likely caused
> him to be needlessly vindictive here.

It's yet another facet of the Slim/Kelly war that's been going on for
years. Cyde is a friend of Kelly's, and Kelly thinks Slim's actions
aren't always in the best interests of the project, and has said so.
Note that Jay, Bish, Tony Sidaway, etc. are considered other
participants in this on-going war. Neither side gives a very good
account of itself, and it would be better if they all grew up, but
there you go.

Yrs,
--
James D. Forrester
-----------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 11:20:14 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

On 25/08/07, Kirill Lokshin wrote:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Adm...ckpuppet.28s.29
>
> A number of editors are, as expected, expressing concern over the use
> of oversight in this case.
>
> I think that we ought to make some public statement at this point,
> even if only to the effect of "we're aware of this and are looking
> into it".

How about this:

"Official Statement:

The Arbitration Committee is aware of these allegations and has been
investigating them in great detail. The Committee is convinced that
SlimVirgin did not deliberately attempt to abusively use sock-puppets,
and that they are merely artefacts of a new user deciding which
account she should use.

Despite the provenance of these claims, it is always a matter of grave
concern when suggestions of abuse of high-level privileges, and so the
Committee will continue to investigate further and update the
community when it has something to report. Please be patient, however,
as it is more important for us to get the correct answer then issue a
response immediately.

By and for the Committee.

~~~~"

The main intent of this is to (a) calm people down, (b) get Slim off
point for the rabid attackers - it seems laughable to me that she
might have been "abusively" socking when there's only one example,
easily explained as a mistake, and © inform them that just because
what they're mainly focussing on is not worth considering, that
doesn't mean nothing will come of this.

Yours,
--
James D. Forrester
-----------

From: (Slim Virgin)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 04:32:31 -0500
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

Jimbo, I've now had a chance to look at the diffs regarding the Sweet Blue
Water account. Apologies to anyone who has seen this already. I've
sent it out to several people in response to the AN/I thread that Cyde
started, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:AN/I#SlimV...ckpuppet.28s.29
but I'm sending it again as part of this thread too to make sure no
one misses it.

Sweet Blue Water
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contr...weet_Blue_Water
was an early account I created a few weeks after I started
editing. I created it because I wasn't sure I wanted to carry on
editing with the SlimVirgin user name. I'd created Slim before I
realized how addictive WP was, and before I knew that I'd continue as
an editor.

When I realized I wanted to continue, I wondered about the
appropriateness of calling myself SlimVirgin (why I chose it in the
first place is a long story), so I thought maybe I should switch to
another user name.

I chose Sweet Blue Water and started editing with it to see how I felt
about it. I didn't try to hide that it was me, although I also didn't
announce it. I wasn't thinking in terms of sockpuppetry at all.

If you look at the diffs, there were no 3RR violations, no content
disputes, nothing that I gained any advantage in. The account made 27
edits in total, over a period of about a week in 2004/5. 16 of the
edits were to articles, 1 to article talk, and one to an FAC
discussion. I also made a couple of edits with the account to its user
and talk page in July and September 2005.

The only inappropriate diff is when I voted twice for 9/11 to become a
featured article. This was an error. I voted in support at 10:50 Jan 3
(UTC) as Sweet Blue Water. This was in the middle of the night my
time. I then went to bed and slept. When I woke up the next day, I
forgot that I'd voted for it with Sweet Blue Water, and I supported it
again with SlimVirgin 13 hours later at 23:23 Jan 3 (UTC).

I first noticed that I'd done this two days later. My intention was to
e-mail Raul654 if there was any chance of the article getting FA
status, and tell him Sweet Blue was me. But there were too many
legitimate objections, so it was pretty obvious it would fail and that
my double support had made no difference. It did, in fact, fail a few
days later, on Jan 10, 2005.

Because of that mistake, I decided I needed to make up my mind and
choose between Sweet Blue and Slim, which I did on Jan 5. I chose Slim
because I'd already started to identify with that account, whereas
Sweet Blue felt like a stranger. So SweetB got retired on Jan 5, 2005,
except for a few more posts on her user or talk page, but no more
article or article-talk edits.

I believe WordBomb's allegation is that oversight was abused to hide
this sockpuppetry, because an IP address that he says was mine made an
edit logged out, replying to a question that was asked of Sweet Blue.
And then that edit got oversighted. Therefore, there was a cover-up.

There's no truth in the claim that oversight was used to hide this.
When Wikipedia Review first started seriously trying to out me in or
around June 2006, I asked Jayjg to oversight some early edits of mine
that I felt might identify me, including some edits I'd made while
inadvertently logged out. I did this because some of the posts to
Wikipedia Review scared me, and at least one of them seemed to
threaten physical violence, so I was frightened.

I gave Jayjg the IP address, and he oversighted its edit(s). He
wouldn't have looked to see whether it looked like a SlimVirgin or a
Sweet Blue edit, because he didn't know about Sweet Blue. I didn't
even think to mention it, because I didn't realize I'd edited logged
out as that account. Or else I didn't recall that I had. I honestly
don't remember whether I realized at the time that I'd made that
logged-out edit, but my belief is that I didn't realize.

Jay is innocent of any wrong-doing in this. He was only trying to help
because I was worried about some of the people who were posting to
Wikipedia Review. If anyone is to be penalized for that, it should be
me, because I'm the one who made the request, although I also believe
this was a legitimate use of oversight. My fear of being identifed was
very real, and I had reason to be worried because of the nature of the
interest in me.

As for the 9/11 FA, I can only give my word that the double vote was a
simple mistake. I was a new editor, not as careful as I am now, not as
conscious of the policies, not as mindful of the implications of using
two accounts at once. But there was no intention to deceive.

The reason I don't want to post in public about this in response to
the AN/I thread is that I don't want to confirm the IP address was
mine. No matter
what WordBomb thinks he knows, I've never publicly confirmed or denied
any of Wikipedia Review's claims about my identity or location, and I
don't want to start now. I also don't want to give him the
satisfaction of seeing me having to post a long explanation about
something I did over two-and-a-half years ago. Anything I say in
public, he's likely to find a way to distort anyway.

That's it. If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

Sarah
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From: (Theresa Knott)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 12:31:55 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

In that discussion, some people have expressed concern over the lack
of oversight for the use of oversight. I think that is a valid point.
As far as I know, no one has ever checked any of the oversights I have
ever done., and I certainly have never checked any of the oversights
anyone else has done. If we were routinely checking each other's
decisions, then oversight errors would be far less likely. OTOH
reqeusts for oversight are getting far more frequent than I ever
thought likely. I don't want to check all oversights and so don't
want to check ones that have already been checked. We could set up
some sort of system on the oversight list. Request by, done by,
checked by.
----------

From: (Matthew Brown)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 04:32:53 -0700
Subject: [Arbcom-l] Wikipedia e-mail (Judd Bagley)

On 8/25/07, David Gerard wrote:
> Anyone *not* get this?

Not so far, though it may be in my spam folder.

-Matt
----------

From: (Theresa Knott)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 12:34:52 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

I've recieved an email from Judd Bagley. Has everyome else got one or
did he single me out?

Theresa
-----------

From: charles.r.matthews
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 13:19:17 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

"James Forrester" wrote

> How about this:
>
> "Official Statement:
>
> The Arbitration Committee is aware of these allegations and has been
> investigating them in great detail.

I was quite interested, in SlimVirgin's roundrobin mail, that she referred to Jayjg's oversighter status as 'threatened'. Exactly where did that come from? What allegations are considered on this list is of course a confidential matter, for very good reasons, and any breach of that confidentiality is going to affect, first, the person against whom allegations are made.

>The Committee is convinced that
> SlimVirgin did not deliberately attempt to abusively use sock-puppets,
> and that they are merely artefacts of a new user deciding which
> account she should use.

But are we convinced of that? We have looked at Jay's side of this, plenty. I thought we were waiting for SV to reply to Jimbo's request, before plunging into that side of it.

> Despite the provenance of these claims, it is always a matter of grave
> concern when suggestions of abuse of high-level privileges, and so the
> Committee will continue to investigate further and update the
> community when it has something to report. Please be patient, however,
> as it is more important for us to get the correct answer then issue a
> response immediately.
>
> By and for the Committee.
>
> ~~~~"
>
> The main intent of this is to (a) calm people down, (b) get Slim off
> point for the rabid attackers - it seems laughable to me that she
> might have been "abusively" socking when there's only one example,
> easily explained as a mistake, and © inform them that just because
> what they're mainly focussing on is not worth considering, that
> doesn't mean nothing will come of this.

I would replace the second bit. I've spun out various forms of words already. The points I would want to see emphasized are (i) nothing of continuing relevance to our Arbitration function, and (ii) no intentional concealment of anything that was manifestly outside Oversight policy. But (ii) might not be enough for Steve and Kirill.

Charles
----------

From: charles.r.matthews
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 13:25:42 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

"Theresa Knott" wrote

> In that discussion, some people have expressed concern over the lack
> of oversight for the use of oversight. I think that is a valid point.

Steve has said something on this. I mentioned the option of a Steward performing a specific inquiry into use of Oversight. Perhaps Steve's point could be accommodated by some wider brief? Anyway, while we are discussing measures that might reassure those outside the loop, announcing an inquiry sounds a propos.

Charles
----------

From: charles.r.matthews
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 13:51:59 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

I wrote

> >The Committee is convinced that
> > SlimVirgin did not deliberately attempt to abusively use sock-puppets,
> > and that they are merely artefacts of a new user deciding which
> > account she should use.

> But are we convinced of that? We have looked at Jay's side of this, plenty. I thought we were waiting for SV to reply to Jimbo's request, before plunging into that side of it.

I should modify that, having found the two mails SV wrote to us on the specific topic, amid the welter of email coming in overnight. It might be reasonable to say something along those lines. People on the list in other time zones may need time to get up to speed with it, too. Can I ask that the various other points I have raised be considered, also?

Charles
-----------

From: (Theresa Knott)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 13:57:06 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

On 8/25/07, charles.r.matthews wrote:
> I wrote
>
> > >The Committee is convinced that
> > > SlimVirgin did not deliberately attempt to abusively use sock-puppets,
> > > and that they are merely artefacts of a new user deciding which
> > > account she should use.
>
> > But are we convinced of that?

I suggest using the word "satisfied" rather than "convinced".
Convinced --> without a shadow of doubt, whereas satisfied indicates
weaker conviction.

Theresa
-----------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 14:36:51 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's abusive
sockpuppetry]

On 25/08/07, Theresa Knott wrote:
> I've recieved an email from Judd Bagley. Has everyome else got one or
> did he single me out?

See the other thread (yes, we all got it).

Yours,
--
James D. Forrester
-----------

From: (Kirill Lokshin)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 10:17:06 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

On 8/25/07, charles.r.matthews wrote:
> "James Forrester" wrote
>
> > How about this:
> >
> > "Official Statement:
> >
> > The Arbitration Committee is aware of these allegations and has been
> > investigating them in great detail.
>
> I was quite interested, in SlimVirgin's roundrobin mail, that she referred to Jayjg's oversighter status as 'threatened'. Exactly where did that come from? What allegations are considered on this list is of course a confidential matter, for very good reasons, and any breach of that confidentiality is going to affect, first, the person against whom allegations are made.
>
> >The Committee is convinced that
> > SlimVirgin did not deliberately attempt to abusively use sock-puppets,
> > and that they are merely artefacts of a new user deciding which
> > account she should use.
>
> But are we convinced of that? We have looked at Jay's side of this, plenty. I thought we were waiting for SV to reply to Jimbo's request, before plunging into that side of it.
>
> > Despite the provenance of these claims, it is always a matter of grave
> > concern when suggestions of abuse of high-level privileges, and so the
> > Committee will continue to investigate further and update the
> > community when it has something to report. Please be patient, however,
> > as it is more important for us to get the correct answer then issue a
> > response immediately.
> >
> > By and for the Committee.
> >
> > ~~~~"
> >
> > The main intent of this is to (a) calm people down, (b) get Slim off
> > point for the rabid attackers - it seems laughable to me that she
> > might have been "abusively" socking when there's only one example,
> > easily explained as a mistake, and © inform them that just because
> > what they're mainly focussing on is not worth considering, that
> > doesn't mean nothing will come of this.
>
> I would replace the second bit. I've spun out various forms of words already. The points I would want to see emphasized are (i) nothing of continuing relevance to our Arbitration function, and (ii) no intentional concealment of anything that was manifestly outside Oversight policy. But (ii) might not be enough for Steve and Kirill.

I have no problems with considering the concealment unintentional and
simply stating that neither Jay, nor anyone else who examined the
oversighted edits at that time, examined them deeply enough to realize
that there was anything problematic there. The question of intent is
really a minor one, in my view;.

What I would like to see us do here would be to admit that the
oversights did occur, that -- in hindsight -- there is some question
as to whether that was the best approach, and, if possible, to restore
SV's early editing history (which Brandt & Co. will doubtlessly
publish anyways) so that the community may examine it and make up its
own mind.

(But I realize that this last point may be too much for those of us
who think the oversight was a good idea to begin with.)

Kirill
----------

From: (FloNight)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 11:30:49 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

>
> > > How about this:
> > >
> > > "Official Statement:
> > >
> > > The Arbitration Committee is aware of these allegations and has been
> > > investigating them in great detail.
> >
>
> > >The Committee is convinced that
> > > SlimVirgin did not deliberately attempt to abusively use sock-puppets,
> > > and that they are merely artefacts of a new user deciding which
> > > account she should use.
> >
> > > Despite the provenance of these claims, it is always a matter of grave
> > > concern when suggestions of abuse of high-level privileges, and so the
> > > Committee will continue to investigate further and update the
> > > community when it has something to report. Please be patient, however,
> > > as it is more important for us to get the correct answer then issue a
> > > response immediately.
> > >
> > > By and for the Committee.
> > >
> > > ~~~~"
> > >
> > > The main intent of this is to (a) calm people down, (b) get Slim off
> > > point for the rabid attackers - it seems laughable to me that she
> > > might have been "abusively" socking when there's only one example,
> > > easily explained as a mistake, and © inform them that just because
> > > what they're mainly focussing on is not worth considering, that
> > > doesn't mean nothing will come of this.
> >
> > I would replace the second bit. I've spun out various forms of words
> already. The points I would want to see emphasized are (i) nothing of
> continuing relevance to our Arbitration function, and (ii) no intentional
> concealment of anything that was manifestly outside Oversight policy. But
> (ii) might not be enough for Steve and Kirill.
>
> I have no problems with considering the concealment unintentional and
> simply stating that neither Jay, nor anyone else who examined the
> oversighted edits at that time, examined them deeply enough to realize
> that there was anything problematic there. The question of intent is
> really a minor one, in my view;.
>
> What I would like to see us do here would be to admit that the
> oversights did occur, that -- in hindsight -- there is some question
> as to whether that was the best approach, and, if possible, to restore
> SV's early editing history (which Brandt & Co. will doubtlessly
> publish anyways) so that the community may examine it and make up its
> own mind.
>
> (But I realize that this last point may be too much for those of us
> who think the oversight was a good idea to begin with.)
>
> Kirill


Good statement with the change of the word to "satisfied".

I know quite a bit about this incident being that I was the person that made
the determination that Wordbomb/Bagley and sockpuppets should be indef
blocked. And that his complaints about other users sockpuppeting should not
be dealt with with indef blocks. He appealed the decision to Fred and later
to Jimbo. At that time we all agreed that Wordbom/Bagley was not a
reasonable person. That his methods of dealing with us was not appropriate.
That serious stalking and harassment was occurring on and off site.

For that reason I have concerns about undoing the oversight. We need to be
careful not to legitimize the claims of Bagley, Brandt, and the folks at
Wikiapedia Review. Part of the problem here is that these people want
attention for their Cause. They want to bring their outside fights on to
Wikipedia. That is the reason the Bagley is so upset with Sarah. She would
not let him pursue his grudge against Gary Weiss at Wikipedia. He was
determined to make her pay for this. So here we are,.. After 15 months of
research, he presents this Damning Evidence against SV and Jay. And spins it
in a way that makes it look like there has been horrific abuse.

Unless we make it a regular practice to go back and look at past oversights
and undo them, I feel that doing it in this case will add to the drama. Make
this incident seem more important than it really is.

I'm interested in listening to other opinions about this matter.

Take care,
Sydney
-----------

From: (James Forrester)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 16:35:20 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

On 25/08/07, Kirill Lokshin wrote:
> I have no problems with considering the concealment unintentional and
> simply stating that neither Jay, nor anyone else who examined the
> oversighted edits at that time, examined them deeply enough to realize
> that there was anything problematic there. The question of intent is
> really a minor one, in my view.

Agreed, absolutely.

> What I would like to see us do here would be to admit that the
> oversights did occur, that -- in hindsight -- there is some question
> as to whether that was the best approach, and, if possible, to restore
> SV's early editing history (which Brandt & Co. will doubtlessly
> publish anyways) so that the community may examine it and make up its
> own mind.
>
> (But I realize that this last point may be too much for those of us
> who think the oversight was a good idea to begin with.)

Regardless of whether anyone considers it "too much", I cannot see any
rational course of action that does not involve restoring all of these
edits. To fail so to do will not protect anyone's privacy at all, and
will only cause greater problems not only for the Committee and our
relationship with the community, but for Slim herself.

Yours,
--
James D. Forrester
----------

From: (Timothy Titcomb)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 11:40:18 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

On Aug 25, 2007, at 8:51 AM, <charles.r.matthews> wrote:

> I wrote
>
>>> The Committee is convinced that
>>> SlimVirgin did not deliberately attempt to abusively use sock-
>>> puppets,
>>> and that they are merely artefacts of a new user deciding which
>>> account she should use.
>
>> But are we convinced of that? We have looked at Jay's side of
>> this, plenty. I thought we were waiting for SV to reply to Jimbo's
>> request, before plunging into that side of it.
>
> I should modify that, having found the two mails SV wrote to us on
> the specific topic, amid the welter of email coming in overnight.
> It might be reasonable to say something along those lines. People
> on the list in other time zones may need time to get up to speed
> with it, too. Can I ask that the various other points I have raised
> be considered, also?

Not even close to being "up to speed" yet, but I want to interject
something somewhere. This seems as good a place as any (any port in a
storm). We have Slim's explanation of the sockpupetry -- which I
accept. But before we dismiss that part of this, I think we have to
ask, and have answered: Has she used any other accounts?

Paul August
----------

From: (Timothy Titcomb)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 11:40:44 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] SlimVirgin sockpuppetry discussion on AN/I

Yes

On Aug 25, 2007, at 8:57 AM, Theresa Knott wrote:

> On 8/25/07, charles.r.matthews wrote:
>> I wrote
>>
>>>> The Committee is convinced that
>>>> SlimVirgin did not deliberately attempt to abusively use sock-
>>>> puppets,
>>>> and that they are merely artefacts of a new user deciding which
>>>> account she should use.
>>
>>> But are we convinced of that?
>
> I suggest using the word "satisfied" rather than "convinced".
> Convinced --> without a shadow of doubt, whereas satisfied indicates
> weaker conviction.
>
> Theresa
----------

From: (FloNight)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 11:50:54 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] Confidentiality of arbcom-l discussions

On 8/24/07, Steve Dunlop wrote:
>
> It would appear that someone on this list has been leaking a portion of
> the discussion to SV.
>
> This is inappropriate.
>
> I would hope that arbcom-l will remain a confidential space where we may
> have open and frank discussions.
>
> Steve


Curious about what makes you think so.
Sydney aka FloNight
-----------

From: (Fred Bauder)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 17:03:48 +0000
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: The Skinny on SlimVirgin's
abusive sockpuppetry]

There are infractions of policy and appropriate action should be taken. The time they occurred affects what is appropriate. Which in the case of SlimVirgin would have been a stern warning and in the case of Jayjg, probably removal of the oversight tool.

I don't think we should endorse the partially successful campaign to out SlimVirgin.

However, it would be much better if people with something to hide chose not to assume critical administrative positions. It is an invitation to trouble. The eventual discovery provides a much better story than the hidden information ever could.

Fred
----------

From: (sannse)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 20:00:18 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] Wikipedia e-mail (Judd Bagley)

Even I got it, inactive as I am. Dunno if that's as retired arbcom or
he also sent it to various admins...

(Hi again all by the way)

-- sannse
-----------

From: (Jimmy Wales)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 20:01:48 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] Confidentiality of arbcom-l discussions

Steve Dunlop wrote:
> It would appear that someone on this list has been leaking a portion of
> the discussion to SV.
>
> This is inappropriate.
>
> I would hope that arbcom-l will remain a confidential space where we may
> have open and frank discussions.

I agree. But notice that she has been cc'd on parts of this from the
start...
----------

From: (David Gerard)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 23:00:11 +0100
Subject: [Arbcom-l] Confidentiality of arbcom-l discussions

On 25/08/07, Jimmy Wales wrote:
> Steve Dunlop wrote:

> > It would appear that someone on this list has been leaking a portion of
> > the discussion to SV.
> > This is inappropriate.
> > I would hope that arbcom-l will remain a confidential space where we may
> > have open and frank discussions.

> I agree. But notice that she has been cc'd on parts of this from the
> start...


Also, Jay's on this list ... are you going to say "you're not allowed
to say to other people that the AC is discussing you"? I can't see
that being workable. If a discussion is going to affect someone
directly and they know about it, you can hardly tell them they must
keep that secret.


- d.
----------

From: (Jimmy Wales)
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 18:16:10 -0400
Subject: [Arbcom-l] [Fwd: Re: Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking]

Sending to arbcom-l in case anyone is not on this giant cc list. smile.gif

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Wikipedia's response to cyberstalking
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 02:46:36 -0500
From: Slim Virgin
To: <everyone from before>

I've now had a chance to look at the diffs regarding the Sweet Blue
Water account, which WordBomb has accused me of sockpuppeting with in
2004/5, and which I believe the ArbCom is looking into. My apologies
for the delay in sending this, but I've had a lot of e-mails to
respond to today.

Sweet Blue Water
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contr...weet_Blue_Water
was an early account that I created a few weeks after I started
editing. I created it because I wasn't sure I wanted to carry on
editing with the SlimVirgin user name. I'd created Slim before I
realized how addictive WP was, and before I knew that I'd continue as
an editor.

When I realized I wanted to continue, I wondered about the
appropriateness of calling myself SlimVirgin (why I chose it in the
first place is a long story), so I thought maybe I should switch to
another user name.

I chose Sweet Blue Water and started editing with it to see how I felt
about it. I didn't try to hide that it was me, although I also didn't
announce it. I wasn't thinking in terms of sockpuppetry at all.

If you look at the diffs, there were no 3RR violations, no content
disputes, nothing that I gained any advantage in. The account made 27
edits in total, over a period of about a week in 2004/5. 16 of the
edits were to articles, 1 to article talk, and one to an FAC
discussion. I also made a couple of edits with the account to its user
and talk page in July and September 2005.

The only inappropriate diff is when I voted twice for 9/11 to become a
featured article. This was an error. I voted in support at 10:50 Jan 3
(UTC) as Sweet Blue Water. This was in the middle of the night my
time. I then went to bed and slept. When I woke up the next day, I
forgot that I'd voted for it with Sweet Blue Water, and I supported it
again with SlimVirgin 13 hours later at 23:23 Jan 3 (UTC).

I first noticed that I'd done this two days later. My intention was to
e-mail Raul654 if there was any chance of the article getting FA
status, and tell him Sweet Blue was me. But there were too many
legitimate objections, so it was pretty obvious it would fail and that
my double support had made no difference. It did, in fact, fail a few
days later, on Jan 10, 2005.

Because of that mistake, I decided I needed to make up my mind and
choose between Sweet Blue and Slim, which I did on Jan 5. I chose Slim
because I'd already started to identify with that account, whereas
Sweet Blue felt like a stranger. So SweetB got retired on Jan 5, 2005,
except for a few more posts on her user or talk page, but no more
article or article-talk edits.

I believe WordBomb's allegation is that oversight was abused to hide
this sockpuppetry, because an IP address that he says was mine made an
edit logged out, replying to a question that was asked of Sweet Blue.
And then that edit got oversighted. Therefore, there was a cover-up.

There's no truth in the claim that oversight was used to hide this.
When Wikipedia Review first started seriously trying to out me in or
around June 2006, I asked Jayjg to oversight some early edits of mine
that I felt might identify me, including some edits I'd made while
inadvertently logged out. I did this because some of the posts to
Wikipedia Review scared me, and at least one of them seemed to
threaten physical violence, so I was frightened.

I gave Jayjg the IP address, and he oversighted its edit(s). He
wouldn't have looked to see whether it looked like a SlimVirgin or a
Sweet Blue edit, because he didn't know about Sweet Blue. I didn't
even think to mention it, because I didn't realize I'd edited logged
out as that account. Or else I didn't recall that I had. I honestly
don't remember whether I realized at the time that I'd made that
logged-out edit, but my belief is that I didn't realize.

Jay is innocent of any wrong-doing in this. He was only trying to help
because I was worried about some of the people who were posting to
Wikipedia Review. If anyone is to be penalized for that, it should be
me, because I'm the one who made the request, although I also believe
this was a legitimate use of oversight. My fear of being identifed was
very real, and I had reason to be worried because of the nature of the
interest in me.

As for the 9/11 FA, I can only give my word that the double vote was a
simple mistake. I was a new editor, not as careful as I am now, not as
conscious of the policies, not as mindful of the implications of using
two accounts at once. But there was no intention to deceive.

The reason I don't want to post in public about this in response to
the AN/I thread about it
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:AN/I#SlimV...ckpuppet.28s.29
is that I don't want to confirm the IP address was mine. No matter
what WordBomb thinks he knows, I've never publicly confirmed or denied
any of Wikipedia Review's claims about my identity or location, and I
don't want to start now. I also don't want to give him the
satisfaction of seeing me having to post a long explanation about
something I did over two-and-a-half years ago. Anything I say in
public, he's likely to find a way to distort anyway.

That's it. If any of you have questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

Sarah


On 8/24/07, Mantan Moreland wrote:
> Florence, you ask what can be done. For starters, I think it is important
> that Wikipedia and the Foundation, at the highest levels, recognize the
> seriousness of the problem and take a strong and proactive stance against
> the kind of concerted stalking campaign to which Slim has been subjected.
>
> In the case of Judd Bagley ("WordBomb" and sockpuppets) you have a corporate
> official, working for a small company that dislikes the editing of its
> article on Wikipedia, harassing editors and administrators. The head of that
> company has personally attacked Slim on message boards. That is the kind of
> company you are dealing with.
>
> Note I say "company." This is not the pajamadeen. This is a company on the
> warpath against Wikipedia.
>
> As if that was not enough, Overstock is actually a competitor of Wikipedia.
> I don't believe Slim mentioned that Overstock has a wiki called Omuse, which
> Bagley was hired to run.I believe the url is omuse.overstock.com.
>
> Some of what he has done is legally questionable (the spyware, the anonymous
> cyberstalking) and may be against the law.
>
> I think this needs to be dealt with at a high level, and that both Bagley
> and Overstock.com need to be warned to desist harassing Wikipedia and its
> editors.
>
> Bagley and Overstock have already paid a high price for behavior of this
> kind. It has received significant negative publicity in the media. But that
> is clearly not enough and has not stopped Bagley from continuing his
> activities, on behalf of this would-be competitor of Wikipedia, to undermine
> and disrupt Wikipedia..
>
> And now you have this AN/I. First he threatened Slim and now he is carrying
> out that threat, by the antisocialmedia.net item, and now an administrator
> has lamentably done Bagley's bidding by making an issue of it.
>
> Note the website to which the AN/I links. Somebody hates SlimVirgin so much
> that he set up another web page, so that people would not have to link to an
> "attack site."
>
> On 8/24/07, Florence Devouard wrote:
> > Slim Virgin wrote:
> > > Jimbo wrote to me and the ArbCom recently in response to yet another
> > > an allegation from WordBomb, a banned editor who in real life is Judd
> > > Bagley, the Vice-President of Social Media for Overstock.com.
> > >
> > > Bagley is a known cyberstalker. His latest allegation is that, when I
> > > first started at Wikipedia, I had a sockpuppet account. This follows
> > > allegations from Daniel Brandt that I work for MI5 and am being paid
> > > to edit Wikipedia. I don't know how these allegations tie together,
> > > but I've no doubt the synthesis is imaginative. WordBomb has told
> > > Jimbo he is about to have something about it published, implying
> > > mainstream media (he's already published it on his website). He's been
> > > threatening this kind of thing for over a year.
> > >
> > > I'm sending my response to the sockpuppet allegations in another
> > > e-mail, which I'll copy to everyone on this list. I've already told
> > > Jimbo that the MI5 allegation is pure fantasy.
> > >
> > > The reason I'm writing this is that I'm becoming increasingly
> > > concerned about the way Wikipedia responds when its editors and
> > > administrators are under attack. This issue has been raised many
> > > times, mostly by the people who've been cyberstalked, but the
> > > discussions don't lead anywhere. Here, again, we have a situation
> > > where a regular editor is being investigated (it appears) by the
> > > Arbitration Committee as a result of abuse from a banned editor, and
> > > is expected to spend time wading through nonsense on various attacks
> > > sites in order to defend herself. The bottom line is that it sometimes
> > > feel as if AGF and BLP apply to everyone except Wikipedians who are
> > > being attacked by banned editors.
> > >
> > > I therefore want to open up a discussion about this between the
> > > Foundation, the ArbCom, people who've expressed concern about
> > > cyberstalking, and the victims of it, most of whom are administrators
> > > who were targeted for doing their jobs. The consequences of the
> > > stalking have been very serious for us as individuals, but because we
> > > all live in our little bubbles and don't talk about it much, the
> > > seriousness of the situation has perhaps not struck home forcefully
> > > enough.
> > >
> > > The editors on this list include someone who has had to move house
> > > because of cyberstalking; someone who had to pretend that her mother
> > > had died in order to stop the harassment of her family; two people
> > > accused of being paid to edit Wikipedia by intelligence agencies;
> > > various people who've had their names, addresses, and photographs
> > > published; at least two people who've been named and accused of
> > > pedophilia; one person whose disabled father was threatened with
> > > violence; one person who had to stop editing because the stalkers were
> > > going to contact her employer with various allegations; one person who
> > > was investigated by the police after a stalker told his university
> > > that he might have murdered someone; a lawyer named for alleged
> > > inappropriate behavior; people named as having various sexual
> > > preferences that their friends or families don't know about; and
> > > people whose employment possibilities have been undermined, perhaps
> > > for the rest of their lives, because of the seriousness of the
> > > allegations against them.
> > >
> > > At least seven of us are women. Whether that makes any difference to
> > > the intensity of the stalking, I don't know. I feel it does, but I
> > > know others disagree. In my own case, my appearance has been discussed
> > > in detail, what kind of bra I wear, whether I've slept with people to
> > > get jobs in real life, whether I'm a whore, whether I enjoy having sex
> > > with young boys, and whether I'm worried about being raped.
> > >
> > > Most of the time, the police can't or won't help, because it involves
> > > the Web, and the laws governing cyberspace are complex and differ
> > > around the world. Libel lawyers are expensive, and the stalkers often
> > > don't have assets worth suing for anyway. So it's difficult to know
> > > how or whether to respond.
> > >
> > > Everyone accepts that there's a limit to how much the Foundation can
> > > help, primarily because of limited funds. But the lack of help seems
> > > to go beyond money issues. I'm not aware of anyone who has received
> > > even the most rudimentary legal advice, although maybe there has been
> > > help that I don't know about. I do know that a few people under attack
> > > have written expressing concern and received no response. Perhaps the
> > > issue is that the Foundation's legal position is that it's not a
> > > publisher, and therefore it can't be seen to involve itself in these
> > > situations. The problem with that position is that it leaves those
> > > under attack swinging in the wind.
> > >
> > > What's worse than that, though, is that editors who are attacked
> > > sometimes find themselves being accused again via the mailing list or
> > > the ArbCom. And the admins who help those editors end up in more
> > > trouble from the stalkers, then from the ArbCom again.
> > >
> > > In my own case, I've been attacked a lot because, as an administrator,
> > > I went to the assistance of editors who were being outed. I helped
> > > Iron Duke who was being outed by a banned user, who turned on me, and
> > > ended up posting a great deal of nonsense about me to Wikipedia Review
> > > (I won't name him because he and I have reached a rapprochement). The
> > > attacks on me from WordBomb stem from my helping Mantanmoreland, who
> > > was being outed by WordBomb. There are many other examples where the
> > > attacker switched his attention to the admin who blocked him for the
> > > original offence, and that admin became the main enemy.
> > >
> > > ElinorD and Quadell have been criticized for helping me. Jayjg has
> > > been threatened with losing oversight because he deleted some early
> > > edits of mine that I feared would identify me. This was after I
> > > received threats of violence from an obvious lunatic on Wikipedia
> > > Review who lives in the same country as me, yet the admin I turned to
> > > for help is now facing sanctions. MONGO ended up being desyopped
> > > because his response to being attacked was seen as inappropriate.
> > >
> > > Admins who deal with these situations need strong and consistent
> > > support from the Foundation and the ArbCom, and if they're not
> > > reacting as well as they might, they need constructive advice, not
> > > more criticism. Instead, we find ourselves being investigated, months
> > > or even years after the fact, when the details are long forgotten, and
> > > all that's remembered is the banned editors' increasingly ludicrous
> > > allegations. It seems to me that, if you say something loudly enough
> > > and often enough, someone from the Foundation or ArbCom will end up
> > > believing it. I'm sorry to say this, and I know it doesn't apply to
> > > the vast majority of you. But it only takes one or two.
> > >
> > > After my recent experience of being slashdotted based on the MI5
> > > allegation, I received more e-mails of support from Wikipedians than
> > > I've had time to reply to. They included people I know and like,
> > > people I barely know, people I don't know, and people I've been in
> > > serious content disputes with, who offered their unconditional
> > > support. The response was very moving, and it taught me that the
> > > overwhelming majority of this community is decent and honorable, and
> > > has no time for this nonsense. But it's the very, very small number of
> > > people who extend good faith to the troublemakers -- but not to the
> > > Wikpedian under attack -- who become the squeakiest wheels.
> > >
> > > Something has to change about this situation. It's only a matter of
> > > time before someone ends up being physically attacked, or even turns
> > > on themselves in distress. The stalking is *incredibly* upsetting, and
> > > the lack of support from the Foundation or ArbCom feels like the last
> > > straw. It's impossible to explain to people who've never experienced
> > > it how disorienting the situation can be. In my own case, when it
> > > first started, I'd find myself bursting into tears for no reason,
> > > losing sleep, not eating properly, worrying all the time, with a
> > > constant feeling of nausea in the pit of my stomach. In the end, I
> > > stopped reading the websites publishing it, and that helped a lot. Now
> > > I have to read it all again to defend myself to the ArbCom.
> > >
> > > I was going to include some background on WordBomb/Judd Bagley for
> > > those of you not familiar with him, but this e-mail is getting long,
> > > so I'll send it separately. The important point is that he is a
> > > *professional* spin doctor, who has been outed by the mainstream media
> > > for cyberstalking, so he has zero credibility. Yet for some reason his
> > > threats are being taken seriously by Wikipedia.
> > >
> > > I hope this e-mail stimulates a debate that leads to a change of
> > > mindset about defending Wikipedians. It's only going to get worse the
> > > more popular WP becomes, so we need a strategy. Any one of us might
> > > block the wrong person at the wrong time, and find ourselves in the
> > > middle of this nonsense, so please don't think: "There's no smoke
> > > without fire, and it could never happen to me." Not true.
> > >
> > > Sarah
> >
> >
> > Thanks Sarah for this long email.
> >
> > It is a bit difficult for me to fully estimate the extent of what you
> > are talking about, because I do not know about most of the stories, and
> > I do not know the stalker you are mentionning. Half of the people
> > included in this list, I never talked with. As much as I would like to
> > feel empathy, it is difficult when you do not know the people and do not
> > know the stories.
> >
> > Still... over the years, I followed by bits the stories of some of the
> > people included in your email. I was told or they told me, of what they
> > had to go through. And though you do not know this, there are also some
> > similar stories on the other wikipedias.
> >
> > A lot of the concerns you have are to be addressed to the arbcom.
> > However, you also raise the point the Foundation has failed to help you
> > till now. I am not entirely sure how many people asked us help and did
> > not get it.
> >
> > My question will be: how can we help you ?
> >
> > You mention "legal advice" and comment it was probably not given due to
> > financial limitations. No, I do not think so. The issue was not so much
> > financial than the fact we had no in-house legal counsel for several
> > months. Those helping were "external" lawyers, most not in the USA, and
> > I guess none specialized in cyberstalking. I would not have asked advice
> > to any of them to help you guys.
> > Now, we have one in-house lawyer, he is american and he has worked on
> > internet issues in the past. Not sure he helped on such issues though,
> > and not fully sure what his ability to deal with such topics would be.
> > But we can ask. If we do, he will need some background, to tell us if
> > something can be done at the legal level.
> >
> > Intuitively, I can not see how helping editors in trouble would increase
> > our liability risk. But I am not a lawyer.
> >
> > How else can we help you ?
> >
> > ant
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Milton Roe
post Wed 27th July 2011, 3:33pm
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Now a letter transmitted by SlimVirgin from "Mantanmoreland". Which claims Bagley and Overstock are (gasp) actually competing with Wikipedia, via a Wiki called Omuse (nevermind that they are product description ad articles of the type WP wouldn't permit anyway). And is harassing editors! None of which would work quite so well if the readers knew Mantanmoreland would be banned for socking in a year. And that he (as Gary Weiss) was at the time blogging about the badness of Bagley and Overstock as hard as he could: http://garyweiss.blogspot.com/2007/09/over...s-on-omuse.html. And WP was letting Mantan get away with it, because he'd been on WP longer. And knew SlimVirgin....

If you read Weiss link above, where in he has savaged Bagley and Overstock in his blog, just the week before this letter was written, it becomes a little harder not to laugh when, as Mantanmoreland, he complains about Bagley's "attack sites" to Arbcom-l. smile.gif

QUOTE(Mantanmoreland (Weiss))

On 8/24/07, Mantan Moreland wrote:
> Florence, you ask what can be done. For starters, I think it is important
> that Wikipedia and the Foundation, at the highest levels, recognize the
> seriousness of the problem and take a strong and proactive stance against
> the kind of concerted stalking campaign to which Slim has been subjected.
>
> In the case of Judd Bagley ("WordBomb" and sockpuppets) you have a corporate
> official, working for a small company that dislikes the editing of its
> article on Wikipedia, harassing editors and administrators. The head of that
> company has personally attacked Slim on message boards. That is the kind of
> company you are dealing with.
>
> Note I say "company." This is not the pajamadeen. This is a company on the
> warpath against Wikipedia.
>
> As if that was not enough, Overstock is actually a competitor of Wikipedia.
> I don't believe Slim mentioned that Overstock has a wiki called Omuse, which
> Bagley was hired to run.I believe the url is omuse.overstock.com.
>
> Some of what he has done is legally questionable (the spyware, the anonymous
> cyberstalking) and may be against the law.
>
> I think this needs to be dealt with at a high level, and that both Bagley
> and Overstock.com need to be warned to desist harassing Wikipedia and its
> editors.
>
> Bagley and Overstock have already paid a high price for behavior of this
> kind. It has received significant negative publicity in the media. But that
> is clearly not enough and has not stopped Bagley from continuing his
> activities, on behalf of this would-be competitor of Wikipedia, to undermine
> and disrupt Wikipedia..
>
> And now you have this AN/I. First he threatened Slim and now he is carrying
> out that threat, by the antisocialmedia.net item, and now an administrator
> has lamentably done Bagley's bidding by making an issue of it.
>
> Note the website to which the AN/I links. Somebody hates SlimVirgin so much
> that he set up another web page, so that people would not have to link to an
> "attack site."


Pot, kettle, black. Except that Mantanmoreland is ahead on WP at this point, having learned the rules first and made connections first.

And now, my favorite letter from Flo Devourd, who has clearly reached care-giver burnout, after one more round of Slim-whinging:

QUOTE(Flo Devouard 8/27/07)

Slim Virgin wrote:
> Jimbo wrote to me and the ArbCom recently in response to yet another
> an allegation from WordBomb, a banned editor who in real life is Judd
> Bagley, the Vice-President of Social Media for Overstock.com.
>
> Bagley is a known cyberstalker. His latest allegation is that, when I
> first started at Wikipedia, I had a sockpuppet account. This follows
> allegations from Daniel Brandt that I work for MI5 and am being paid
> to edit Wikipedia. I don't know how these allegations tie together,
> but I've no doubt the synthesis is imaginative. WordBomb has told
> Jimbo he is about to have something about it published, implying
> mainstream media (he's already published it on his website). He's been
> threatening this kind of thing for over a year.
>
> I'm sending my response to the sockpuppet allegations in another
> e-mail, which I'll copy to everyone on this list. I've already told
> Jimbo that the MI5 allegation is pure fantasy.
>
> The reason I'm writing this is that I'm becoming increasingly
> concerned about the way Wikipedia responds when its editors and
> administrators are under attack. This issue has been raised many
> times, mostly by the people who've been cyberstalked, but the
> discussions don't lead anywhere. Here, again, we have a situation
> where a regular editor is being investigated (it appears) by the
> Arbitration Committee as a result of abuse from a banned editor, and
> is expected to spend time wading through nonsense on various attacks
> sites in order to defend herself. The bottom line is that it sometimes
> feel as if AGF and BLP apply to everyone except Wikipedians who are
> being attacked by banned editors.
>
> I therefore want to open up a discussion about this between the
> Foundation, the ArbCom, people who've expressed concern about
> cyberstalking, and the victims of it, most of whom are administrators
> who were targeted for doing their jobs. The consequences of the
> stalking have been very serious for us as individuals, but because we
> all live in our little bubbles and don't talk about it much, the
> seriousness of the situation has perhaps not struck home forcefully
> enough.
>
> The editors on this list include someone who has had to move house
> because of cyberstalking; someone who had to pretend that her mother
> had died in order to stop the harassment of her family; two people
> accused of being paid to edit Wikipedia by intelligence agencies;
> various people who've had their names, addresses, and photographs
> published; at least two people who've been named and accused of
> pedophilia; one person whose disabled father was threatened with
> violence; one person who had to stop editing because the stalkers were
> going to contact her employer with various allegations; one person who
> was investigated by the police after a stalker told his university
> that he might have murdered someone; a lawyer named for alleged
> inappropriate behavior; people named as having various sexual
> preferences that their friends or families don't know about; and
> people whose employment possibilities have been undermined, perhaps
> for the rest of their lives, because of the seriousness of the
> allegations against them.
>
> At least seven of us are women. Whether that makes any difference to
> the intensity of the stalking, I don't know. I feel it does, but I
> know others disagree. In my own case, my appearance has been discussed
> in detail, what kind of bra I wear, whether I've slept with people to
> get jobs in real life, whether I'm a whore, whether I enjoy having sex
> with young boys, and whether I'm worried about being raped.
>
> Most of the time, the police can't or won't help, because it involves
> the Web, and the laws governing cyberspace are complex and differ
> around the world. Libel lawyers are expensive, and the stalkers often
> don't have assets worth suing for anyway. So it's difficult to know
> how or whether to respond.
>
> Everyone accepts that there's a limit to how much the Foundation can
> help, primarily because of limited funds. But the lack of help seems
> to go beyond money issues. I'm not aware of anyone who has received
> even the most rudimentary legal advice, although maybe there has been
> help that I don't know about. I do know that a few people under attack
> have written expressing concern and received no response. Perhaps the
> issue is that the Foundation's legal position is that it's not a
> publisher, and therefore it can't be seen to involve itself in these
> situations. The problem with that position is that it leaves those
> under attack swinging in the wind.
>
> What's worse than that, though, is that editors who are attacked
> sometimes find themselves being accused again via the mailing list or
> the ArbCom. And the admins who help those editors end up in more
> trouble from the stalkers, then from the ArbCom again.
>
> In my own case, I've been attacked a lot because, as an administrator,
> I went to the assistance of editors who were being outed. I helped
> Iron Duke who was being outed by a banned user, who turned on me, and
> ended up posting a great deal of nonsense about me to Wikipedia Review
> (I won't name him because he and I have reached a rapprochement). The
> attacks on me from WordBomb stem from my helping Mantanmoreland, who
> was being outed by WordBomb. There are many other examples where the
> attacker switched his attention to the admin who blocked him for the
> original offence, and that admin became the main enemy.
>
> ElinorD and Quadell have been criticized for helping me. Jayjg has
> been threatened with losing oversight because he deleted some early
> edits of mine that I feared would identify me. This was after I
> received threats of violence from an obvious lunatic on Wikipedia
> Review who lives in the same country as me, yet the admin I turned to
> for help is now facing sanctions. MONGO ended up being desyopped
> because his response to being attacked was seen as inappropriate.
>
> Admins who deal with these situations need strong and consistent
> support from the Foundation and the ArbCom, and if they're not
> reacting as well as they might, they need constructive advice, not
> more criticism. Instead, we find ourselves being investigated, months
> or even years after the fact, when the details are long forgotten, and
> all that's remembered is the banned editors' increasingly ludicrous
> allegations. It seems to me that, if you say something loudly enough
> and often enough, someone from the Foundation or ArbCom will end up
> believing it. I'm sorry to say this, and I know it doesn't apply to
> the vast majority of you. But it only takes one or two.
>
> After my recent experience of being slashdotted based on the MI5
> allegation, I received more e-mails of support from Wikipedians than
> I've had time to reply to. They included people I know and like,
> people I barely know, people I don't know, and people I've been in
> serious content disputes with, who offered their unconditional
> support. The response was very moving, and it taught me that the
> overwhelming majority of this community is decent and honorable, and
> has no time for this nonsense. But it's the very, very small number of
> people who extend good faith to the troublemakers -- but not to the
> Wikpedian under attack -- who become the squeakiest wheels.
>
> Something has to change about this situation. It's only a matter of
> time before someone ends up being physically attacked, or even turns
> on themselves in distress. The stalking is *incredibly* upsetting, and
> the lack of support from the Foundation or ArbCom feels like the last
> straw. It's impossible to explain to people who've never experienced
> it how disorienting the situation can be. In my own case, when it
> first started, I'd find myself bursting into tears for no reason,
> losing sleep, not eating properly, worrying all the time, with a
> constant feeling of nausea in the pit of my stomach. In the end, I
> stopped reading the websites publishing it, and that helped a lot. Now
> I have to read it all again to defend myself to the ArbCom.
>
> I was going to include some background on WordBomb/Judd Bagley for
> those of you not familiar with him, but this e-mail is getting long,
> so I'll send it separately. The important point is that he is a
> *professional* spin doctor, who has been outed by the mainstream media
> for cyberstalking, so he has zero credibility. Yet for some reason his
> threats are being taken seriously by Wikipedia.
>
> I hope this e-mail stimulates a debate that leads to a change of
> mindset about defending Wikipedians. It's only going to get worse the
> more popular WP becomes, so we need a strategy. Any one of us might
> block the wrong person at the wrong time, and find ourselves in the
> middle of this nonsense, so please don't think: "There's no smoke
> without fire, and it could never happen to me." Not true.
>
> Sarah

Thanks Sarah for this long email.

It is a bit difficult for me to fully estimate the extent of what you
are talking about, because I do not know about most of the stories, and
I do not know the stalker you are mentionning. Half of the people
included in this list, I never talked with. As much as I would like to
feel empathy, it is difficult when you do not know the people and do not
know the stories.

Still... over the years, I followed by bits the stories of some of the
people included in your email. I was told or they told me, of what they
had to go through. And though you do not know this, there are also some
similar stories on the other wikipedias.

A lot of the concerns you have are to be addressed to the arbcom.
However, you also raise the point the Foundation has failed to help you
till now. I am not entirely sure how many people asked us help and did
not get it.

My question will be: how can we help you ?

You mention "legal advice" and comment it was probably not given due to
financial limitations. No, I do not think so. The issue was not so much
financial than the fact we had no in-house legal counsel for several
months. Those helping were "external" lawyers, most not in the USA, and
I guess none specialized in cyberstalking. I would not have asked advice
to any of them to help you guys.
Now, we have one in-house lawyer, he is american and he has worked on
internet issues in the past. Not sure he helped on such issues though,
and not fully sure what his ability to deal with such topics would be.
But we can ask. If we do, he will need some background, to tell us if
something can be done at the legal level.

Intuitively, I can not see how helping editors in trouble would increase
our liability risk. But I am not a lawyer.

How else can we help you ?
ant

biggrin.gif Ermm.... would you like a pill, maybe?
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Vigilant
post Wed 27th July 2011, 3:57pm
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Hilarious hysteria...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_hysteria

The parallels in her defense of Jeff Merkey's bizarre tenure on WP as so, so funny.
The Cherohonkee even gets a few sideways mentions in the last two SV dumps. It's interesting to note that even in 2007 that the AC knew he was a nutter/zealot, yet he was allowed to return multiple times after that.
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Herschelkrustofsky
post Wed 27th July 2011, 9:13pm
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QUOTE

Thus spake SlimVirgin:

The stalking is *incredibly* upsetting, and the lack of support from the Foundation or ArbCom feels like the last straw. It's impossible to explain to people who've never experienced it how disorienting the situation can be. In my own case, when it first started, I'd find myself bursting into tears for no reason, losing sleep, not eating properly, worrying all the time, with a constant feeling of nausea in the pit of my stomach.


I love the smell of napalm hypocrisy in the morning. SV is the queen of cyberstalking/Wikihounding. She was a pioneer of the technique at Wikipedia. Here are a few artifacts of her tireless, monomaniacal pursuit of me from back in 2005:
  1. User:SlimVirgin/Sock (T-H-L-K-D)
  2. User:SlimVirgin/Krusty (T-H-L-K-D)
  3. Wikipedia:Long-term abuse/Herschelkrustofsky (T-H-L-K-D)

Mind you, this is not the good stuff. The good stuff was on the User/ pages that she admin-deleted when she wasn't working on them. I recall that a few people here at the Review captured some of them. She has also muttered ominously, in this thread here at the Review, that she knows my RealLife ID.

From this I conclude that the only difference between Slim and her supposed demonic tormentors, Daniel Brandt and Judd Bagley, is that Brandt and Bagley did quality investigative work, whereas Slim's sleuthery with respect to myself produced a combination of amateurish speculation, innuendo and falsehood.
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It's the blimp, Frank
post Thu 28th July 2011, 6:40pm
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QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Wed 27th July 2011, 9:13pm) *

The good stuff was on the User/ pages that she admin-deleted when she wasn't working on them.

What is "admin-deleted"? Can admins see the deleted material? How is this different from oversighting?

This post has been edited by It's the blimp, Frank: Thu 28th July 2011, 6:41pm
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-DS-
post Thu 28th July 2011, 6:47pm
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QUOTE(It's the blimp, Frank @ Thu 28th July 2011, 8:40pm) *

QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Wed 27th July 2011, 9:13pm) *

The good stuff was on the User/ pages that she admin-deleted when she wasn't working on them.

What is "admin-deleted"? Can admins see the deleted material? How is this different from oversighting?


"Admin-deleted" = regular deletion.
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thekohser
post Thu 28th July 2011, 8:27pm
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QUOTE(It's the blimp, Frank @ Thu 28th July 2011, 2:40pm) *

What is "admin-deleted"? Can admins see the deleted material? How is this different from oversighting?


I think that material deleted by an admin can be retrieved by any admin.

Material that is oversighted can be retrieved only by oversighters and above.
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No one of consequence
post Thu 28th July 2011, 8:49pm
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QUOTE(It's the blimp, Frank @ Thu 28th July 2011, 6:40pm) *

QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Wed 27th July 2011, 9:13pm) *

The good stuff was on the User/ pages that she admin-deleted when she wasn't working on them.

What is "admin-deleted"? Can admins see the deleted material? How is this different from oversighting?

The concept here is that an admin can assemble an "evidence" page but keep it hidden from view by continually deleting it. That way you can keep your evidence "live" on Wikipedia, so all the formatting and links work, but keep the details hidden from view most of the time. You undelete it, work on it for a while, then delete it again when you're done for the day.

I used to make evidence pages, and I sometimes deleted them when I was done with them, but I kept them in view while they were active. I also never made evidence pages unless an actual proceeding (arbitration or RFC) was in the near future. The problem is when an admin keeps "evidence" in perpetuity, never intending to formally act on it. In that case, it is really more of a private grudge page. Keeping grudge pages by regular editors is discouraged, so admins keeping grudge pages via the delete button is a little questionable.
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Herschelkrustofsky
post Thu 28th July 2011, 9:55pm
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Of course, Daniel Brandt and Judd Bagley do not have recourse to these on-Wiki resources. Which is why they are sociopathic stalkers and trolls, whereas SlimVirgin is a stalwart defender of the Wiki against Disruptive Users, when she is not being a damsel in distress.

QUOTE(No one of consequence @ Thu 28th July 2011, 1:49pm) *

The concept here is that an admin can assemble an "evidence" page but keep it hidden from view by continually deleting it. That way you can keep your evidence "live" on Wikipedia, so all the formatting and links work, but keep the details hidden from view most of the time. You undelete it, work on it for a while, then delete it again when you're done for the day.

I used to make evidence pages, and I sometimes deleted them when I was done with them, but I kept them in view while they were active. I also never made evidence pages unless an actual proceeding (arbitration or RFC) was in the near future. The problem is when an admin keeps "evidence" in perpetuity, never intending to formally act on it. In that case, it is really more of a private grudge page. Keeping grudge pages by regular editors is discouraged, so admins keeping grudge pages via the delete button is a little questionable.

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post Thu 28th July 2011, 11:08pm
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I think I need someone to talk some sense into me.

My father always taught me not to make decisions while angry.

Well, even this long after a fight in which I clearly emerged the better of the combatants (keeping in mind, as my dad also taught me, the best revenge is to live well), reading how I was abused on this list, I can't help but feel angry and moved to post here for your enjoyment several of the email threads from SV's cyberstalking email list, which were leaked to me a year or two ago and which will be deeply embarrassing to many of those who contributed to it.

This is probably not the group to counsel me soberly on the pros and cons of acting one way or the other; however I'm wide open to being talked out of it. In fact, I'm begging someone to talk me out of it.

Meanwhile, I'm going to go on a jog to try to deal with some of this anger.
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Zoloft
post Thu 28th July 2011, 11:29pm
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QUOTE(WordBomb @ Thu 28th July 2011, 4:08pm) *

I think I need someone to talk some sense into me.

My father always taught me not to make decisions while angry.

Well, even this long after a fight in which I clearly emerged the better of the combatants (keeping in mind, as my dad also taught me, the best revenge is to live well), reading how I was abused on this list, I can't help but feel angry and moved to post here for your enjoyment several of the email threads from SV's cyberstalking email list, which were leaked to me a year or two ago and which will be deeply embarrassing to many of those who contributed to it.

This is probably not the group to counsel me soberly on the pros and cons of acting one way or the other; however I'm wide open to being talked out of it. In fact, I'm begging someone to talk me out of it.

Meanwhile, I'm going to go on a jog to try to deal with some of this anger.

Act not from anger, but from a desire to make things better.

If that still includes posting the emails from the cyberstalking list, do so, but redact any information that would hurt its victims.
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EricBarbour
post Fri 29th July 2011, 12:20am
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QUOTE(Zoloft @ Thu 28th July 2011, 4:29pm) *
Act not from anger, but from a desire to make things better.

If that still includes posting the emails from the cyberstalking list, do so, but redact any information that would hurt its victims.

Seconded. Things will not be better on that crazy project, until light is directed into its dark orifices. wink.gif
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It's the blimp, Frank
post Fri 29th July 2011, 1:07am
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QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Fri 29th July 2011, 12:20am) *

its dark orifices.

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post Fri 29th July 2011, 1:33am
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QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Thu 28th July 2011, 5:20pm) *

QUOTE(Zoloft @ Thu 28th July 2011, 4:29pm) *
Act not from anger, but from a desire to make things better.

If that still includes posting the emails from the cyberstalking list, do so, but redact any information that would hurt its victims.

Seconded. Things will not be better on that crazy project, until light is directed into its dark orifices. wink.gif

Well, Slim is awfully concerned about that back-door hacker. blink.gif ermm.gif
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Sololol
post Fri 29th July 2011, 3:16am
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QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Wed 27th July 2011, 5:13pm) *

From this I conclude that the only difference between Slim and her supposed demonic tormentors, Daniel Brandt and Judd Bagley, is that Brandt and Bagley did quality investigative work, whereas Slim's sleuthery with respect to myself produced a combination of amateurish speculation, innuendo and falsehood.

It's amusing that the Brandt/Bagley critics condemning them as obsessive demonizers spend so much time doing the same thing in back channels. "Bagley is a known cyberstalker. " No, Amorrow is a known cyberstalker and nutjob. That guy is dangerous. Whether you agree with Brandt or Bagley's methods is different.
QUOTE

At least seven of us are women. Whether that makes any difference to
the intensity of the stalking, I don't know. I feel it does, but I
know others disagree. In my own case, my appearance has been discussed
in detail, what kind of bra I wear, whether I've slept with people to
get jobs in real life, whether I'm a whore, whether I enjoy having sex
with young boys, and whether I'm worried about being raped

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that these things were not said by Judd Bagley despite the implication that they were. Those things are despicable. But if you were attempting to avoid punishment by tarnishing your accuser you've engaged in something equally foul.

This post has been edited by Sololol: Fri 29th July 2011, 3:19am
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It's the blimp, Frank
post Fri 29th July 2011, 4:14am
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SlimVirgin has always been very big on implication.
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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 29th July 2011, 5:20am
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None of her tricks work on adults …

Which is why she'll ride forever on the Wiki-P.D.A. …



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gomi
post Fri 29th July 2011, 5:22am
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Hah! If only she'd "never return, no never return, and [her] fate is still unlearned (poor ol' SlimV)".
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