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> Professional journalist is an anonymous admin
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Daniel Brandt
post Thu 25th May 2006, 8:11pm
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I just put this on Katefan0's Talk page:

QUOTE
I request that you identify yourself on your user page as (name redacted), employed as a reporter by Congressional Quarterly and accredited through them by the Senate Press Gallery. I also request that you provide a current photo on your user page. I believe that your failure to identify yourself violates the spirit of journalistic ethics. Administrators should not be anonymous on Wikipedia in light of their power to shape content. --Daniel Brandt

Half an hour later: My comment is gone, no trace in history, page is protected. Golly, if I can't send her a message this way, should I send it to her editor at Congressional Quarterly? What do you think I should do?
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Pat Kennys evil twin
post Thu 25th May 2006, 9:46pm
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Send away. smile.gif

I didn't know they could remove edits from history.
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Sgrayban
post Thu 25th May 2006, 9:51pm
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Daniel Brandt you never cease to amaze me. How you find out who these admin are is facinating.

QUOTE(Pat Kennys evil twin @ Thu 25th May 2006, 2:46pm) *

Send away. smile.gif

I didn't know they could remove edits from history.


Yup -- they can delete the page and restore just the edits they want.
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Daniel Brandt
post Thu 25th May 2006, 10:31pm
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This one could get interesting. If her bosses at Congressional Quarterly think Wikipedia is God's gift to humankind (very unlikely in an election year when objectivity and accountability should be important to the media), then perhaps the Standing Committee of the Senate Press Gallery might have a different opinion. If the Committee even slightly leans in the direction of frowning on Wikipedia, it becomes an embarrassment to CQ and a news story all by itself. I don't think CQ can afford to ask the Committee to let their reporter, who also has a secret double life as a Wikipedia admin who edits articles about Congress on Wikipedia, keep her gallery press pass. I sent her an email at her cq.com address repeating what got deleted from her Talk page. If she doesn't either disappear from the list of admins at Wikipedia, or identify herself on her user page, then I'll write her boss. If that doesn't work, I'll contact the Standing Committee.

QUOTE
Accreditation for Daily Newspapers to cover both House and Senate is handled through the Senate Press Gallery.

All reporters seeking admission to the press galleries must submit a completed application form along with an $8 check made out to the Standing Committee of Correspondents.

Please hand-deliver all completed forms to the Senate Press Gallery, Room S-316, U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC 20510. Attention: Michael Cavaiola, Accreditation, Senate Press Gallery. DO NOT MAIL THE FORM as security procedures will delay the receipt of your application by up to a month.

Mr. Cavaiola will present all new applications to the members of the Standing Committee of Correspondents for their review. Three members of the committee must approve each application according to the standing rules and procedures.

I think she should probably do this: a ) resign her adminship, b ) identify herself and her employer on her User page, with a current photo, and c ) announce on her User page that she will not edit any articles having to do with Congress or Congressional politics.
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Sgrayban
post Thu 25th May 2006, 10:36pm
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And lets not forget that this shows a direct tie between the Senate Press Corp and wikipedia. That could a very interesting link the media in general could enjoy.
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Daniel Brandt
post Thu 25th May 2006, 10:58pm
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Looks like she's already folded up her Wikipedia tent.
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Sgrayban
post Thu 25th May 2006, 11:03pm
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What strikes me as odd is this..........

If someone gets found out that they are part of a congressional press agency and they think there is nothing wrong with it why leave? It just shows that they knew it was wrong and a conflict of interest and most likely broke some ethic's rule they are required to abide by.

She also deleted her userpage and protected it.

22:02, 25 May 2006 Katefan0 deleted "User:Katefan0" (Well, that's it for me folks. It's been great getting to know you all.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...User%3AKatefan0

21:41, 25 May 2006 Katefan0 protected User:Katefan0 ([edit=autoconfirmed:move=autoconfirmed])
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...User%3AKatefan0

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Skyring
post Thu 25th May 2006, 11:21pm
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QUOTE(sgrayban @ Fri 26th May 2006, 9:03am) *
What strikes me as odd is this..........

If someone gets found out that they are part of a congressional press agency and they think there is nothing wrong with it why leave? It just shows that they knew it was wrong and a conflict of interest and most likely broke some ethic's rule they are required to abide by.


On the face of it, you may well be right. If the accusation is garbage, then why have such a sudden and extreme reaction?

Possibly she was somebody else entirely and didn't want her identity revealed, but that would just be the same thing by a different name.

My guess is that the accusation is correct, she was outed and decided to cover her tracks. Nevertheless, her contributions remain and are available for anyone with an interest in text analysis to compare the content and style of the two identities.
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Sgrayban
post Fri 26th May 2006, 12:13am
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That's what I was thinking....... If there wasn't any issues all she had to do was admit who she was instead of deleting her tracks or at least trying to.

Might be worth something if Daniel did file a ethic's violation on her though. A outed journalist does make the news very often especially one that used her position as a means to push her POV on wikipedia.

Oh ya... I am pretty damn sure her admin friends knew who she was. Especially "Musical Linguist."
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Donny
post Fri 26th May 2006, 12:28am
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QUOTE(sgrayban @ Fri 26th May 2006, 6:51am) *
Yup -- they can delete the page and restore just the edits they want.

It's a little harder than that, they have to actually mess around with the database itself using scripts in order to remove an edit from the history. An ordinary admin can't do it.
QUOTE
SlimVirgin: Unbelievable that this has happened. You are one of the best contributors we have, and I very much hope you will reconsider. It's terrible how much damage that one individual has done.

I agree that Daniel Brandt is doing a lot of damage to the unaccountable, abusive admins on Wikipedia. Good job, Daniel! Keep it up.
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Sgrayban
post Fri 26th May 2006, 12:28am
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QUOTE(Donny @ Thu 25th May 2006, 5:25pm) *
It's a little harder than that, they have to actually mess around with the database itself using scripts in order to remove an edit from the history. An ordinary admin can't do it.


So they got a developer to remove it. Even more interesting.

BTW -- We see you Mr. Fat boy Phil AKA Snowspinner....... Having fun being a trolling little hobbit there?
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Sgrayban
post Fri 26th May 2006, 12:57am
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QUOTE(Hushthis @ Thu 25th May 2006, 5:52pm) *

QUOTE(Daniel Brandt @ Thu 25th May 2006, 8:11pm) *

Half an hour later: My comment is gone, no trace in history, page is protected. Golly, if I can't send her a message this way, should I send it to her editor at Congressional Quarterly? What do you think I should do?


It is something her editors need to know. Working journalists have long used psuedonyms for out-of-school publications, but their editors have a right know.

Especially in light of the State Department's endorsement of Wikipedia yesterday, government involvement in shaping Wikipedia content and in shaping the general atmosphere at Wikipedia is increasingly a matter of public interest.


I believe I said something to that effect here.
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Sgrayban
post Fri 26th May 2006, 1:08am
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That's why I believe she broke/violated some ethic's ruling she was suppose to abide by and that's why she left.

As fast as she left it certainly does seem to be the case though. No mention of being found out or anything. Nothing about personal info being posted. Nothing. She deleted and blanked and left.
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Daniel Brandt
post Fri 26th May 2006, 1:31am
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This is a very serious situation for a Washington DC journalist. This person graduated from U.Texas at Austin journalism school in 2001, where she was a senior reporter and deputy news editor at the student newspaper, The Daily Texan. Then she interned for the Houston Chronicle for a year. After that she had minor job in Washington DC, and for the last two years or so has been at the Congressional Quarterly. She is on her way up. For journalists, the "big city" is Washington DC, and that's where she wants to be.

Her job is the Congressional beat. Congress wants to know that the reporters who have the easiest access are of professional caliber. To assure Congress that this is the case, a system was set up whereby selected journalists from a cross-section of major media form a standing committee. This committee decides who gets gallery press passes. She has a gallery press pass.

One thing that a professional journalist must always do is properly and completely identify themselves to those they interview, before the interview starts. I think it is safe to assume that her employer does not know that she became an anonymous administrator on Wikipedia last September. It's also safe to assume that she did not inform the standing committee that her gallery press pass application needed to be modified when she became active on Wikipedia.

On Wikipedia, she was making edits on articles about Congresspeople, and about Congressional politics and political issues. Wikipedia is arguably much more influential than the Congressional Quarterly, even though CQ has a good reputation. Anonymous administrators at Wikipedia have tremendous power to shape the content of articles.

It is clear to me that she should have identified herself as an administrator at Wikipedia to everyone in Washington DC that she came in contact with professionally. Her position at Wikipedia was an obvious conflict of interest to the extent that it was not disclosed.

I don't plan to pursue this at this particular time. I'm not a professional journalist, and while I understand their concerns, I'm not particularly incensed. But some journalists, fearing that ethics scandals like this need to be dealt with speedily in order to preserve what access they currently enjoy in the halls of Congress, may feel differently.

What incenses me are the reactions from Wikipedians over this. You have a high-school student, Jaranda, saying that he was "harassed and blackmailed by that idiot Brandt a few weeks ago," a FeloniosMonk implying that I'm a "professional victim" with a "goon squad," and someone named Cool_Cat who doesn't understand why "Katefan0" decided to quit Wikipedia, and why she allows me to "intimidate" her.

What a tiny, tiny world they live in at Wikipedia. They really don't understand that there's a big world out there, and they cannot get away with playing the same kind of games in that big world, that they get away with on Wikipedia.
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Lir
post Fri 26th May 2006, 2:02am
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QUOTE(Daniel Brandt @ Thu 25th May 2006, 8:31pm) *

Her position at Wikipedia was an obvious conflict of interest to the extent that it was not disclosed.

I agree, journalists should be honest about who they are reporting to, and this was apparently not what was occurring.

QUOTE(Daniel Brandt @ Thu 25th May 2006, 8:31pm) *

What incenses me are the reactions from Wikipedians over this. You have a high-school student, Jaranda, saying that he was "harassed and blackmailed by that idiot Brandt a few weeks ago," a FeloniosMonk implying that I'm a "professional victim" with a "goon squad," and someone named Cool_Cat who doesn't understand why "Katefan0" decided to quit Wikipedia, and why she allows me to "intimidate" her.

You know, of course, it is libel against you; if you ever want to sue, Id be more than happy to testify under oath that Wikipedia's comments against you have caused me to lose respect for you, and even question your sanity -- Wikipedia makes you seem like a complete crazed cook, and only a self-conducted investigation by myself has reversed those initial impressions, which are still nevertheless regularly assaulted by Wikipedia's campaign against you. As I am a historian, with an interest in the very issues discussed at your NameSpace site, Wikipedia's slander is thus clearly affecting your professional repute.
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Alkivar
post Fri 26th May 2006, 3:19am
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She didnt exactly hide the fact she was a journalist...

From her now deleted userpage:

"During the daytime (and often into the night), I am a political reporter in Washington, D.C. So far I have been able to tamp down my desire to add myself to a List of newspaper writers. However, my will to resist such things is notoriously weak, so someone else might want to monitor this page."

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Daniel Brandt
post Fri 26th May 2006, 4:02am
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2005-02-28: Identifies herself by name on aqlogic.com (a wiki, talk page of a User:Grouse)

2005-03-23: Identifies herself as a reporter in Washington DC

2003-11-05: In post 1416, identifies herself as a Congressional reporter

2006-05-25: A search for her last name on the Congressional gallery list reveals that she uses "Kathryn" and not "Kathy," and works for CQ. This is a breakthrough, because there is another political reporter by the same name in the Washington area who writes for the LaRouche organization. But that one has been doing it since at least the mid-1990s. From Katefan0's user page, it is clear that she graduated from journalism school in 2001 in Texas, so she's not the LaRouche reporter.

2006-05-25: Searching back for "Daily Texan" and her full name in quotes it's clear that Kathryn is her full first name.

2006-05-25: The Congressional Quarterly staff page shows that she is still there as a reporter.

2006-05-26: From her latest sign-off: "But this latest attempt to compromise my privacy, combined with a threat to try to somehow have my livelihood taken from me, caps off a long two months of reevaluating whether volunteering here is worth it."

Excuse me, I wasn't the one who compromised your privacy. You were, by leaving a trail of cookie crumbs all across the web. And that was after you stuck your hand in the cookie jar, which you shouldn't have done in the first place as a professional journalist. I merely pointed out what every journalist already knows, and spent a couple of hours surfing the web.

Isn't that what journalism is about -- connecting the dots that others don't have the time or energy to connect?
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everyking
post Fri 26th May 2006, 5:08am
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I find this worrying. Was Katefan a controversial or bullying admin? Or was she just working constructively to build the encyclopedia? From reading this thread I can't see anything that she did wrong, and I find it distressing that she's been treated this way--of course, I am a firm believer in the importance, even necessity, of editor anonymity, quite unlike Brandt, so perhaps it is just a philosophical difference based on that alone. But anyone, I think, can see the concern inherent in one person's philosophical position, like Brandt's, causing serious problems for people in this way, and by extension affecting the encyclopedia as a whole.
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Sgrayban
post Fri 26th May 2006, 5:25am
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QUOTE(everyking @ Thu 25th May 2006, 10:08pm) *

I find this worrying. Was Katefan a controversial or bullying admin? Or was she just working constructively to build the encyclopedia? From reading this thread I can't see anything that she did wrong, and I find it distressing that she's been treated this way--of course, I am a firm believer in the importance, even necessity, of editor anonymity, quite unlike Brandt, so perhaps it is just a philosophical difference based on that alone. But anyone, I think, can see the concern inherent in one person's philosophical position, like Brandt's, causing serious problems for people in this way, and by extension affecting the encyclopedia as a whole.


First off she broke federal guildelines when she edited on WP since she has a Senate Gallery Pass which gives her full access to all proceedings or at least the majority of them.

She made edits on political figures currently in office most likely based on the information she had gotten. BTW I do believe that in order to get a Gallery Pass you have to pass a Background check by the FBI and CIA.

When she edited she most likely broke the ethic rules on passing information from the Senate floor to WP and the congressional members articles on WP. If she added or edited anything that was ruled confidential she could be in serious trouble with the US Gov. or at the very least the congressional members.

There are way to many possibilities here on what actions she has taken on WP as a admin and editor on political figures. But I know for a fact she was suppose to identify herself as a Senate Gallery Journalist. Because that position does, and is manditory, that a she pass a full background check plus many other security related policies.

Overall it showed "Bad Faith" on her status as a journalist and who she worked for when she did not disclose that.
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Skyring
post Fri 26th May 2006, 5:33am
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QUOTE(everyking @ Fri 26th May 2006, 3:08pm) *
I find this worrying. Was Katefan a controversial or bullying admin? Or was she just working constructively to build the encyclopedia? From reading this thread I can't see anything that she did wrong, and I find it distressing that she's been treated this way--of course, I am a firm believer in the importance, even necessity, of editor anonymity, quite unlike Brandt, so perhaps it is just a philosophical difference based on that alone. But anyone, I think, can see the concern inherent in one person's philosophical position, like Brandt's, causing serious problems for people in this way, and by extension affecting the encyclopedia as a whole.
I echo Everyking's sentiments. Just browsing back through her contributions, it seems as if she's been a valuable contributor and a diligent admin. Unless there's some history I should know about, of course. She mentions having an aged relative to support and cannot run the risk of losing her job. It looks to me as if Daniel's research has been good and has drawn blood, but I must question the aim and the target.

This post has been edited by Skyring: Fri 26th May 2006, 5:37am
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