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Daniel Brandt's Wikipedia Watch Victim of Hoax?  (View post)

Daniel Brandt [PersonRank 3]

Wednesday, December 14, 2005
18 years ago

Mea culpa. But I don't understand why this deserves any raised eyebrows. My mistake is to use Wikipedia's methods to collect information on anonymous Wikipedia administrators and editors. In some cases the tips I get are unverifiable, and bad information can stay posted until further information becomes available. As soon as I was aware that this was a hoax, which was a matter of hours, I deleted the bad information.

Another part of the problem is that sometimes I have strong circumstantial information. In the case of SlimVirgin, I've had two independent pieces that pointed to one person, and I had these two months ago. The third piece came in two days ago. That was the trip point for me, even though she denied that she was this person two months ago. I could be wrong, but with that third piece of independent circumstantial evidence I can no longer accept her denial. If someone shows me that I'm wrong, I'll withdraw my identification of her.

I have stopped accepting tips from Gmail accounts, unless the tipster has a history of providing verifiable information. My big sin was to take anyone who uses Gmail seriously before checking them out. Gmail, as every geeky teenager with his cap on backwards knows, does not show the originating IP address in its headers. Earthlink, Yahoo mail, and Hotlink do show this address. From now on I will disregard anything from a Gmail account that contains unverifiable information.

What this trickster did to a user named "Splash" is similar to what Seigenthaler's perpetrator did, except that the current trickster confessed after a few hours instead of waiting seven months until he was cornered. Also, the trickster's false information probably struck "Splash" as more amusing than actionable.

All the trickster is proving is that Wikipedia's methods, which I am guilty of duplicating for the purpose of this one page, are deeply flawed. At least I learned my lesson. Wikipedia has yet to admit that there is anything wrong with its methods.

Gamaliel [PersonRank 1]

18 years ago #

Wikipedia's methods? Hardly, you're employing the methods of the National Enquirer, soliciting "tips" via email and throwing them up without the least bit of cursory research. When something like this happens on Wikipedia, it's a reason to shut the site down. When something like this happens to you, you are the hapless victim of some "geeky teenager" and can't possibly be blamed.

You got punked. Own up to it like a man.

Milly [PersonRank 10]

18 years ago #

Of course I'm just shooting one fish in a very fishy barrel, but Daniel's distinction between Gmail and other email providers with regard to IP addresses is specious.

Leaving aside anonymising proxies (which might reveal themselves as such upon investigation), it's trivially quick and easy to create an account with an ISP (here in the UK, and doubtless many other countries too) with near-perfect anonymity.

Thus the difference between a trickster sending an email via Gmail, and a trickster sending an email via an IP-disclosing email provider (perhaps even via an ISP using a matching – spoofed – account name) is about five minutes extra effort. Is insignificant.

If Daniel thinks it appropriate to disregard anything from an untrusted tipster using a Gmail account that contains unverifiable information, then logically he ought to disregard anything from an untrusted tipster using *any* email account that contains unverifiable information.

Daniel Brandt [PersonRank 3]

18 years ago #

I'm happy to see that you disapprove, Gamaliel.

I guess this means that I can soon expect an email from you with verifiable information on your real name, so that I can fill it in on my page.

I use this method because there's no other way to do it. Wikipedia doesn't have to use this method, and shouldn't.

I didn't start this silliness, Wikipedia did. I'm trying to finish it.

Gamaliel [PersonRank 1]

18 years ago #

I disagree with you, so I have to do exactly what you want? Interesting troll logic there.

Paul Newman said one of his greatest accomplishments was getting on Nixon's enemies list. I'm in good company on your hit list, but I don't feel any particular need to help you stalk me.

It's funny, after reading about your history of activism over the last few decades, I became an admirer of yours. I looked up New York Times articles which mentioned your activism (articles you brought to our attention on Wikipedia) and added a couple of minor things to the article. Then I ended up on your hitlist because I "added true but objectionable facts from many years ago, which is a violation of Florida's invasion-of-privacy statute." So basically, you've leveled a legal threat at me for mentioning something you did in front of national news cameras and a reporter for the New York Times. Some invasion of privacy!

Like Nixon's enemies list, your hit list is a sad testament to your ego. This "silliness" started when you objected to the mere existence of an article about you and its inclusion of (gasp!) criticism of you, namely a Salon article and the website This has nothing to do with privacy and everything to do with your wish to silence your critics, and your use of the Seigenthaler controversy as a vehicle for self-promotion is further testament to that. Unlike Seigenthaler, who had a legitimate grievance and has every right to be upset, you are objecting to an article that includes true facts and legitimate references.

Mark [PersonRank 0]

18 years ago #

I thought Daniel Brandt was meant to be a privacy-defending zealot. Now he has a page listing the personal details of all these Wikipedians. What happened?

yoyo [PersonRank 0]

18 years ago #

wikipedia was meant to be an universal free encyclopedia for everybody. Now it is a collection of gossips and crap ran by a hive of lonely teenagers and billionaires righwingers with a nice leftist mask. What happened?

Bratsche [PersonRank 2]

18 years ago #

Yoyo: Acutally, it's not a collection of crap. Please check out the Wikipedia Featured Articles, where you can find many excellent articles on a variety of subjects. Saying it is run by a group of lonely, left-leaning teenagers is also incorrect: the ages, locations, and political beliefs differ greatly.

Daniel Brandt: Could you please stop violating the privacy of Wikipedia contributers? If you don't want your picture posted, why should any of us deserve anything less?

Robert Sieger [PersonRank 1]

18 years ago #

The tragic thing that is going on with Wikipedia is that Catholic censors and apologists (mostly Irish, of course) have gotten adminiships and have taken over, deleting anything they don't like, without even any explanation or justification. They have already gotten away with removing any reference to Adolf Hitler's Roman Catholicism, but bringing out the tired old bromides about how he wasn't "really" a Catholic. He was never excommunicated, so I venture a guess that he was a Catholic, as was his wife, Eva Braun. The Third Reich was the most Catholic government in German history. Needless to say that can no longer be mentioned. Most Wikipedian have no idea
what is going on, but many are to be blamed because they mindlessly follow directives from the abusers without question or even reviewing what they are reverting or deleting or censoring or blocking. They respond with Pavlovian instincts to any perceived breach of any wikietiquette without even reviewing what they are helping to censor.

A caveat – I am a banned user from Wikipedia, because of injudicious, shall we say, language towards fellow editors. I admit that, but the entire thing was cooked up by one person – an editor who calls himself "Demiurge" (it has a religious meaning, but I don't care). He requested a RfC (Request for Comment) against me (which has no teeth), and later a RfA (Request for Arbitration), which does have teeth. Several members of the Arbitration Committee are Catholics, and should have recused themselves. One, Sean Barrett, has an anti-Protestant (anti-Presbyterian to be exact) doggerel on his homepage (at least the last time I checked), and he is a high-ranking Wiki bureaucrat!!!

Even when they block me, almost always abusively, a few hours later, I am good to go, but even I have to admit that I usually can't get my way without the "kindness of strangers" (i.e. the help of third party Wikipedians, most of whom have no idea of the Catholic coup d'etat).

The Catholic censors/apologists/revisionists include:

1) Musical Linguist (aka Ann H.) , an extremely abusive Irish administrator, whose homepage is a shrine to Catholic apologetics, and in case you aren't aware, she lets you know that she is a Catholic wikipedian, a Roman Catholic wikipedian, and an Irish wikipedian, amongst other things. She deleted a quote from an 80 plus year old native of Traunstein, Bavaria, Elizabeth Lohner, who disputed the Ratzinger brothers' claims that they had no choice but to follow the Nazi regime. The quote was from the Times of London, and her explanation/justification – nada.

2) Demiurge – Irishman – the one who got me banned to silence me forever, although, of course, that is not the case, as I still edit, but am forced to do so without signing in. He is not an administrator yet, to my knowledge, but it may happen soon. I forced my will regarding some wikipages that he tried to take over, with the help of good third party Wikipedians who have no idea what is happening. I don't want to mention the specific pages lest they be revisited. I'm tired of being Sisyphus. Tends to delete anything he thinks I wrote using boilerplate nonsense excuses like "POV" or "sockpuppet" or "banned user" as justification.

3) Jtdirl, another abusive Irish administrator, who is the one pushing the Hitler line re Catholicism, although, of course, he can provide not a scintilla of cited or sourced backup for his POV. Claims on his homepage that he is "a lapsed Roman Catholic".

4) Ali-oops – native of Ireland, living in Cork, now I believe, but claims not to be a Catholic. Always throws his lot in with the above-mentioned (and others), and tries to pretend it is b/c I am not willing to discuss things with other editors. Tends to delete anything he thinks I wrote using boilerplate nonsense like "POV" or "sockpuppet" as justification. Even when he claims I am not all wrong he deleted the entire edit, rather than just whatever he found objectionable, knowing that I would have to resubmit and then be censored or revised by one of his buddies. Not an administrator – yet.

5) Camillus – Camillus Patrick McElhinney, one of the few (besides myself) Wikipedians to use his real name. You can Google it if you want. NOt all bad, but insisted on creating a sectarian, divisive site called "Irish-Scots", but fudges the real reasons for sectarianism in Scotland, and sanitizes the history and even the list of names of prominent "Irish-Scots". Abbetted, mindlessly, by his non-Catholic lackeys (Graeme L., an administrator, and Angus McLellan, another person to, apparently, use his real name).

It is very, very sad.


Robert Sieger [PersonRank 1]

18 years ago #


5) Camillus – Camillus Patrick McElhinney, one of the few (besides myself) Wikipedians to use his real name. Glasgow-area computer scientist. Claims he is not a "theologist" and does "not attend church". You can Google his name it if you want.

NOT ALL BAD, but insisted on creating a sectarian, divisive site called "Irish-Scots", but fudges the real reasons for sectarianism in Scotland, and sanitizes the history and even the list of names of prominent "Irish-Scots". Abbetted, mindlessly, by his non-Catholic lackeys (Graeme L., an administrator, and Angus McLellan, another person to, apparently, use his real name).


6) Sceptre – no idea of nationality. Real name may be "Will". 15-year old administrator who talks tough on his website about how he supports "the one-revert rule" (blocking anyone who tries to revert anything after one try), as opposed to the three-revert rule now, technically, in place. However, on one occasion (of many), Demiurge and I engaged in a long revert battle, much longer than most, way beyond three reverts. Of course, only I was blocked in the end by young Will. 15-years old!!! (Look up the movie "Wild in the Streets".)

the joker [PersonRank 0]

17 years ago #

Hi daniel

Your chase looks wild, but is closer to reality than most people think.
Wikepedia often is a very unreliable source.
I'm screening the www daily and observe that a lot of info is disappearing or being deeply hided.

I enjoy many of Scroogle's cartoons, use various of them on my websites.

Living in a fundamentally protestant nation like the US is far from easy.
Especially if also Catholic circles act fundamental.

Finally that results in US government acting like a fundamentally Roman Christian dinosaur, with a agressive baby the state of Israel.
Bigger dinosaurs were terribly strong, but if they fell down are not able to get up.
Or in ministers of foreign affairs playing a piano piece called 'peace', while merrily letting the state Israel bomb innocent civilians

Anyway for dinosaurs messing up history with tool like Wikipedia and Google is an immense job, expected to fail.

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