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> "Wikipedia Freedom Fighter" emailing inactive admins, "Currently expanding portfolio of administrator accounts"
Mike R
post Mon 11th May 2009, 3:42pm
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Caught this on WikiEn-l today:

Someone with the account Wp freedom fighter (T-C-L-K-R-D) has been emailing inactive admins with the following message:
QUOTE

Dear X,

We notice you haven't edited Wikipedia for some time. Perhaps you grew disillusioned with the project after seeing the corruption and bureaucracy at every level? If so, why not help us to help you. We are currently expanding our portfolio of administrator accounts, and as yours remains dormant perhaps you could consider donating it to us - to do so will take you only two minutes: change the password (if desired) and then reply to this email with your login details. We'll do the rest!

Thank you for your time and consideration, and naturally do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,

The Wikipedia Freedom Fighters

The account has been blocked from sending emails, but they can easily register another account and resume.
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emesee
post Mon 11th May 2009, 3:53pm
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This does not seem like the best way to facilitate change.

There are other projects like Encyc and... others, that are trying to affect change, or at least do something positive, in other ways.
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UseOnceAndDestroy
post Mon 11th May 2009, 4:33pm
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Maybe another variation on "make your own cabal".

See also (some tangentially):
http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showtopic=12667
http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showtopic=15117
http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showtopic=15690
http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showtopic=15910
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GlassBeadGame
post Mon 11th May 2009, 4:51pm
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If nothing else it should give a pause to WMF decision to refuse to have any sort of ToS agreement. Normally such attempts to compromise accounts would boarder on "computer intrusion" and might even have off site IRL consequences. Maybe I am missing something here but it seems to me that any user who participates in such account exchange is merely "violating rules" establish pursuant to a subset of user generated content. To my knowledge it would not violate any terms established by the site owners, WMF.

Hell, given this refusal eBay ought to allow open auctions of WP accounts.

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cyofee
post Mon 11th May 2009, 6:18pm
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I'd gladly donate my admin account to them, if I knew how to contact them.
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JayT
post Mon 11th May 2009, 6:27pm
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QUOTE(cyofee @ Mon 11th May 2009, 12:18pm) *

I'd gladly donate my admin account to them, if I knew how to contact them.
Well, the account's blocked from sending emails; not, I think, from receiving them. I doubt they'll have much luck, though, even if they do manage to get their hands on a few accounts - any admins who suddenly return after a long period of inactivity are now going to be suspect, especially those who dive right into the drama-pits or otherwise change their previous typical behavior. The only ones that will even have a chance are the ones who have been inactive since the last time they purged checkuser data. And I seem to remember hearing that they're keeping that more or less indefinitely now? 'Technical reasons' or something?

This post has been edited by JayT: Mon 11th May 2009, 6:28pm
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Grep
post Mon 11th May 2009, 8:29pm
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This is a rather nice example of what I'll call para-vandalism, in which an atmosphere of paranoia is created in which the power structure damages itself in response to a perception of threat. The object would be to have half the admins block the other half (then half of them block the other half and so on). The threat has to be credible, of course: I'm not sure that this one is quite good enough.

Of course measures such as term limits for all admins, or a desysop for inactive accounts, are unthinkable ...
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LaraLove
post Mon 11th May 2009, 10:27pm
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If an account has email blocked, they cannot send or receive. This is a good example of why inactive admin accounts should be desysopped.
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Danny
post Mon 11th May 2009, 10:44pm
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I just got an email from them. It said: "We notice you haven't edited Wikipedia for some time. Perhaps you grew disillusioned with the project after seeing the corruption and bureaucracy at every level?"

I wrote them back: "Do you have any idea who I am?"

QUOTE(Mike R @ Mon 11th May 2009, 3:42pm) *

Caught this on WikiEn-l today:

Someone with the account Wp freedom fighter (T-C-L-K-R-D) has been emailing inactive admins with the following message:
QUOTE

Dear X,

We notice you haven't edited Wikipedia for some time. Perhaps you grew disillusioned with the project after seeing the corruption and bureaucracy at every level? If so, why not help us to help you. We are currently expanding our portfolio of administrator accounts, and as yours remains dormant perhaps you could consider donating it to us - to do so will take you only two minutes: change the password (if desired) and then reply to this email with your login details. We'll do the rest!

Thank you for your time and consideration, and naturally do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,

The Wikipedia Freedom Fighters

The account has been blocked from sending emails, but they can easily register another account and resume.

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GlassBeadGame
post Mon 11th May 2009, 11:11pm
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QUOTE(Danny @ Mon 11th May 2009, 4:44pm) *

I wrote them back: "Do you have any idea who I am?"



The "Grants Administrator" who never wrote a grant?
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tarantino
post Mon 11th May 2009, 11:47pm
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QUOTE(emesee @ Mon 11th May 2009, 3:53pm) *

This does not seem like the best way to facilitate change.

There are other projects like Encyc and... others, that are trying to affect change, or at least do something positive, in other ways.


Depends what type of change one wants to effect.
They don't seem to be doing anything illegal or immoral, or violating agreed upon terms of service. Many would argue that eradicating WP would be a net positive, though one can only guess WFF's motives at present.
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Malleus
post Tue 12th May 2009, 12:07am
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QUOTE(Grep @ Mon 11th May 2009, 9:29pm) *
Of course measures such as term limits for all admins, or a desysop for inactive accounts, are unthinkable ...

Not by me they're not. Term limits are the only way to keep the buggers honest.

This post has been edited by Malleus: Tue 12th May 2009, 12:07am
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Somey
post Tue 12th May 2009, 2:34am
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Mon 11th May 2009, 6:11pm) *
The "Grants Administrator" who never wrote a grant?

He must have written at least two or three grant requests at some point or other, surely? unsure.gif

Anyway, I suppose it's possible that Mr. Zenwhat (who, if he isn't Grace Note (T-C-L-K-R-D) , could easily be mistaken for his twin brother) is behind these e-mails. But I'm afraid there are all sorts of people who despise both Wikipedia and Wikipedia Review, and the idea of obtaining WP administrator accounts through surreptitious means is hardly original, much less revolutionary.

Having said that, I'm sure Mr. Freedom Fighter will make good use of the accounts, no doubt ensuring that freedom will reign on Wikipedia for many years to come! smile.gif
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GlassBeadGame
post Tue 12th May 2009, 2:48am
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QUOTE(Somey @ Mon 11th May 2009, 8:34pm) *

QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Mon 11th May 2009, 6:11pm) *
The "Grants Administrator" who never wrote a grant?

He must have written at least two or three grant requests at some point or other, surely? unsure.gif


Not according to the then Board Chairperson of WMF.

QUOTE
On the not so positive side, we should be able to raise much more than
we are currently doing, in particular from big companies and big
charities. Afaik, no grants were seeked in the past months. And no
formal feedback was offered in regards to last fundraising.
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Somey
post Tue 12th May 2009, 3:07am
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Mon 11th May 2009, 9:48pm) *
Not according to the then Board Chairperson of WMF.

QUOTE
On the not so positive side, we should be able to raise much more than
we are currently doing, in particular from big companies and big
charities. Afaik, no grants were seeked in the past months. And no
formal feedback was offered in regards to last fundraising.

Hmm... Maybe, but then again, maybe it would be best if Danny could clarify this for us. Given that Florence's English isn't all that great, or at least not good enough for her to know about the word "sought," it's always possible that some grant requests may have been written up and/or prepared, but not signed-off on by Jimbo or whoever the Executive Director would have been at the time.

Then again, I'd probably like Mr. Wool more if I knew for a fact that he hadn't done much of anything to steer grant money into the WMF, and away from much more worthy efforts such as studies of penguin behavior in Antarctica or psychoemotional stability surveys involving drag queens.
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Somey
post Tue 12th May 2009, 7:20am
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QUOTE(cyofee @ Mon 11th May 2009, 1:18pm) *
I'd gladly donate my admin account to them, if I knew how to contact them.

I've been told their e-mail address is wikifreedomfighter {at} googlemail-dot-com, and I realize it's completely irresponsible for me to relay such information - OMG, he could get spammed! - but I seriously doubt anyone will turn over their account to this person.

Now, if the person used an identifiable e-mail address, then I'd be impressed. rolleyes.gif
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JohnA
post Tue 12th May 2009, 9:36am
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Someone should send that e-mail to Slimvirgin. Her blood pressure could stand going up a few notches laugh.gif
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Achromatic
post Tue 12th May 2009, 3:20pm
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Oh, be nice biggrin.gif

Regardless of what you think of Danny and/or his involvement in Wikipedia, I nearly sprayed coffee at the dry retort he sent back to the Freedom Fighters. smile.gif
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LessHorrid vanU
post Tue 12th May 2009, 8:05pm
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QUOTE(JohnA @ Tue 12th May 2009, 10:36am) *

Someone should send that e-mail to Slimvirgin. Her blood pressure could stand going up a few notches laugh.gif


Yes, that would be sensible...

"Hi, we noticed that you have not done any admin actions for a while - we don't know why, but you otherwise seem to be editing Wikipedia - and wonder if you would transfer it to us... Oh, we just checked why you haven't been using the flags; it's okay, we will wait..."

That is Hell Freezes Over, not Brain Death From Being Out in the Cold For a While.
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thunderboltz
post Mon 29th March 2010, 5:06pm
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I got one of these emails from the account WikiFFyta (which I've now blocked).

Could this Facebook group be related in some way? http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8928508945
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