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CrowsNest
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Post by CrowsNest » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:21 pm

So, Tarantino recently posted a thread on the forum which purports to expose a Wikipedia editor of eight years and 3.7k edits, as a sock of an ArbCom banned editor. He posted it in the open forum, because "it shouldn't be hidden from interested non-members." He claims "a little bird" tipped him off. The good people of Wikipediocracy are now doing what was asked of them, investigating the allegation in public.

There's a few things about this which gets to the heart of what Wikipediocracy is.

First, there's the fact nobody has questioned Tarantino's motives, particularly his decision to perform this investigation in public. Understandable, he gives off the air of someone you do not want as an enemy. It's highly questionable, as the nature of the case is that anyone who is wrongly accused, could find themselves in a world of shit, seriously fast. It is already clear there is much to question about the veracity of the allegation, it is still very much at the stage where keeping it out of public view while experts familiar with the case and the general tactics of Wikipedia sock-puppetry and other dark arts, have looked it over, satisfying themselves it is likely true.

Second, is how the membership just got right down to his requested task, including forum Administrator Jake. It has often been suggested Wikipediocracy is nothing short of a meeting place for dumpster divers, eager for news of anything and everything they can stick their snouts in, and that rather proves it. Not that we don't like a bit of that ourselves here, but we have a clear rule, it has to be in the public interest. It must be an urgent task for them to risk being seen to be doing this sort of thing, which is more like what they used to do as the hate site, before attempting to shed that reputation, at the height of the season when Wikipedians come to read. And yet on the face of it, it cannot be urgent. It could end up being quite the distraction, at the very time of year scrutiny of Wikipedia is needed.

That brings up the third issue. In whose interest is this investigation taking place? I guess we could assume this "little bird" is a fiction to cover the fact this is a personal mission of Tarantino's. Undercutting that thought, is that he is the sort of person who doesn't really hide when he is purposely being a shit for his own ends. He is, however, exactly the sort of person who does the bidding of anonymous agents. Some of his throwaway email accounts were revealed just recently. He's a guy who does an awful lot of untraceable backchannel communications.

Indeed, it is speculated Tarantino is a proper Wikipedia insider, and this may be further confirmation. Perhaps this is not a personal mission, his little bird may well be his boss, or a colleague. We know the WMF cares more about enforcing banned means banned than even ArbCom, and way more than the general editor community, many of whom are of course retreads, and even retreats of retreads. Revealing this particular case would hardly be news on that score.

Fourth neatly leads us to possible motives. If the little bird is real, then it strikes me that contrary to Tarantino's claims that nobody on Wikipedia ever knew of these suspicions, it is more likely they did, but didn't care. Just one of many examples of insiders looking the other way, in this case presumably just because they cannot be arsed. The controversy over the original case is long gone, as far as negative publicity for Wikipedia goes. Yet someone on the inside is clearly now arsed. And they don't want anyone else to know who they are, much less have their investigation conducted officially, in house.

The obvious conclusion then, if not an WMF off book action, is that the banned editor has strayed into areas that is pissing a volunteer insider off, and they needed to contract out the work to eliminate them. There is reason to believe the suspect is messing in topic areas which are rife with Wikipedia's permanent issue of underhand tactics. Wikipediocracy has long had the reputation as the place battle loving Wikipedians go to to to run an off the book operation against an opponent, for entirely selfish motives. We are perhaps seeing it in action here.

Fifth is the existence of an alternative or perhaps supplementary motive. The suspect has in the past, interfered with Wikipediocracy's own Wikipedia insider's ability to manipulate Wikipedia's article on Wikipediocracy. In their desperation to be seen as credible critics, they have tried every trick in the book to ensure that article was skewed into making them look like serious investigators. It failed, obviously, nobody treats them as such anymore, if they ever did, and while the suspect didn't really achieve much if anything in stopping them, you can see how they would be pissed he even tried. It has also long been said Wikipiediocracy is merely a slime pit hosting people whose sole motivation is revenge. Again, here we seem to have a great example confirming it.

I'm nothing if not fair. I'll reconsider this assessment if he does a single one of any of the following things - move the thread into the private forum, reveal who the little bird is (or admit that they don't exist), or properly present the case that this really is in the public interest, certainly such that it could not wait or be handled properly. Because as we serious critics know, what is in the public interest and what is in the interest of seeing the wiki-justice done, is not necessarily the same thing.

Oh, and obviously, buy your own fucking beer you alchy!

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