Philip Cross

Editors, Admins and Bureaucrats Oh my!

Philip Cross

Postby CrowsNest » Sat May 12, 2018 12:41 pm

You don't see his every day. George Galloway, a reasonably famous fringe politician (left wing) over here in the UK, has just offered a £1,000 reward on Twitter to anyone who can positively identify Wikipedia user Philip Cross, who is deemed to be guilty of a campaign of biased editing across a wide range of articles. ... 8807041024

Related..... ... =811812988 ... 0235101184 ... 8899093504 ... 4092239880 ... 0561144832 ... pelganger/

Jimmy Wales has told them he thinks they're all talking crap. He hasn't told them that even if he believed them, there's fuck all he could do about it. ... 2062885895

It doesn't look like the ordinary Wikipediots seem in any way inclined to investigate. Parties have mentioned the COI and NPOV noticeboards, but obviously complaints from non-Wikipedia's are doomed to fail. Everybody in the Twitter convos certainly seems to have already figured out Wikipedia is a rigged system, where justice and even dignity is only available to insiders, which they are not. There seems to be some confusion over Cross' status - he is categorically not an Admin, but with 130,000+ edits over 14 years, he's as savvy as they get.

The Wikipedia Foundation obviously won't get involved unless they are given incontrovertible proof Cross is guilty of a Terms of Use violation, and only then will they consider offering up his details so a summons can be issued. This is where mention of his off-Wikipedia conduct may be relevant in establishing a pattern.

Wikipediocracy are chit chatting about it. Not in any useful way, just inside baseball stuff, and debating the general politics of it all, of course. If they didn't have it on the website, you really might forget they're meant to be Wikipedia experts. I suppose I could tell them they're missing an opportunity to capitalise on a very rare case of them actually being noticed by the outside world. Nah!
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Re: Philip Cross

Postby AndrewForson » Sat May 12, 2018 11:00 pm

Perhaps someone should report Galloway to the WMF safety people. Clearly offering money to "out" a Wikipedian is one of the great crimes in their book, and a WMF ban for Galloway should follow shortly.
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Re: Philip Cross

Postby Graaf Statler » Sun May 13, 2018 12:32 am

AndrewForson wrote:Perhaps someone should report Galloway to the WMF safety people. Clearly offering money to "out" a Wikipedian is one of the great crimes in their book, and a WMF ban for Galloway should follow shortly.

I think it will be better if they see it as a warning, people should behave themself always right on the Wikipedia, and not feel themself safe behind a nick or Wikipedia rules. It's getting really crazy, Wikipedians with a price on there head. And now it's 1K, but what if the money is rising? Because, friends doesn't exist om Wikipedia, that's clear to me, someones best wiki friend can be tomorrow someones greatest enemy. And they always make the same mistake there are no people with deep pockets who doesn't care about 1K, 10 K or 100K. For them it's just the price of a cup of coffee......

The huge problem is the WMF safety people can't give any safety outside the Wikipedia surrounding. Yes, they can try to block someone from the WMF projects, but that is where the jurisdiction ends. But they can and will never, never help you if you did one single thing wrong. They will always say in that matter you broke our Terms of Use, what protects them. Don't forget they are only hosting Wikipedia and that is where there responsibility ends.

Of course I don't know what mister Philip Cross did wrong or not, but don't believe if he is not total clean WMF does anything to help him! In that case WMF stays out of the matter, and they are right, because otherwise they end up in the middle of the snake pit themself. I said it before, WMF is giving a (legal) umbrella if the sun is shining, but wants it back if it starts to rain.
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Re: Philip Cross

Postby CrowsNest » Sun May 13, 2018 10:46 am

The WMF globally banning Galloway would most likely make the evening news over here. Which makes me uncertain whether or not they would or would not do it. It would be an Internet Watch Foundation moment, for sure.
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Re: Philip Cross

Postby CrowsNest » Tue May 15, 2018 4:47 am

:lol: ... dia-troll/

I don't recall crossing paths with Philip Cross, but if RT and Russia Today have it in for him then I'll assume he's a solid editor until proven otherwise. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:17, 15 May 2018 (UTC)

I always assume that everyone is a good editor until proven otherwise.

He started editing in 2004, has made 133,612 edits on 30,874 pages. During this time he has been blocked ZERO times.

Of course if he has enemies -- and if there is anything to find -- they could find the bad edits and post diffs to them. Yeah. Like that is going to happen. I figure that if they had any real dirt they would have posted it already instead of calling out the RT attack dogs. --Guy Macon (talk) 04:28, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
These people personify the attitude of the Wikipediots. You literally have to forcefeed them evidence that one of their own cult members could possibly be a bad actor. A high profile British political figure offering a bounty to identify one so they can be sued, isn't even enough to spur them into a proactive effort to clean house, or prove to the world their house is spotless.

These arrogant cocksuckers really should be careful, because it would be very easy for someone following this controversy who has a sizeable warchest with which they could destroy Wikipedia, to assume this isn't just laziness, but active disinformation, an attempt to defend the indefensible. Which, in this context, is certainly ironic.

Because dear reader, I will now show how fucking easy it is to see there is something very wrong with this particular editor. Literally the very last article edit he made at time of writing, was this...... ... =841094669

.....and even the laziest of observers will note the following:

-it was part of a series of edits removing material from the Wikipedia biography of the exact sort of person his critics claim are his preferred targets for negatively biased editting

-it involves the complete blanking of a section where alternative approaches were available to ensure valuable information wasn't lost from Wikipedia, as his critics have suggested is one of his tactics

-the given reason for the edit, "ce", appears to be an attempt at deliberate deception of his fellow editors, since there is no definition of copyediting that includes this sort of destructive hack.

-the rest of the edits were also simply just removals of information that his critics say is exactly the sort of information he likes to remove from his target's Wikipedia pages. In every single case, the stated reasons for the edit were not clear cut examples of a Wikipedia rule breach he was enforcing for the good of the public, but are actually his own personal interpretations of some of Wikipedia's most subjective rules, the sort of thing that looks suspiciously like biased editting when the outcome of these subjective decisions only ever seems to result in the exact outcome his critics claim is his motive. ... =840492960

That is the sort of "evidence" that was easily available to these fuckwits at the very time they made these comments, a couple of mouse-clicks away. Yet they still made them.

Both of these people are seasoned Wikipedians, so they should have no trouble spotting what sort of editing even this small series speaks to - the mysterious Philip Cross is taking advantage of the idea anyone can do anything on Wikipedia, and essentially as long as your edits are not totally unacceptable, as long as there is some small sliver of justification that the most generous of people could find in them, and crucially, as long as the evident bias on display matches the mainstream view of the sort of people he is targetting, then the perpetrator stands a good chance of having their edits stick simply through not being noticed at all, or wearing objectors down and tying them up in wiki red tape.

Our mystery man is taking advantage of the fact Wikipedia historically hasn't been willing to call a spade a spade when it comes to identifying the most plausible explanation as to what is driving someone to make this sort of pattern of edits, day after day, year after year, and declare it to be plainly incompatible with being a Wikipedia editor.

There is some confusion on the part of his critcs. Wikipedia doesn't expect editors to be unbiased in their thoughts or views, indeed such a thing is impossible. It does, however, require them to be so diligent in how they make their edits, so mindful of the website's core principle of neutrality and the ways and means it achieves it, that over long periods, it really shouldn't be possible to identify the evident bias/agenda of specific editors. If you can, then there is a problem, and that is the case even if the editor themselves honestly believes they are either unbiased, which they invariably claim is the case, or they admit their bias but they just hide behind the idea the magic Wikipedia sauce will somehow factor it out.

It shouldn't be possible for anyone in the media to be able to write an article which claims editor X has agenda Y and for it to be this obviously true, because the media can barely even figure out how to track an editor's edits, let alone assess them for compliance. If they can spot it, it usually means it is so screamingly obvious it fails the smell test.

It is particularly hilarious to see Guy Macon saying these things. He is one of the biggest haters of the Daily Mail on Wikipedia. And yet what does one find after just a short stroll through the mysterious Mr Cross' most recent edits? An attempt to use the Mail as a source in one of his critic's biographies, using the obviously false argument that it's words being repeated in another paper make it reliable.... ... =840267771

That happened on 8 May (and by that I am not saying all intervening edits are fine, there's plenty of issues evident there too, this is just for Guy), and all things being equal, such an edit is usually enough evidence on its own for Macon to be apoplectic with rage that such an editor is still allowed on his precious Wikipedia.

So there you go Wikipediots, the above are "diffs" which normal people would interpret as indicators that there is a problem here, that this mysterious user does need investigating further, because the external criticism he is receiving for his Wikipedia activities certainly seems to be grounded in fact.

Now do what you do best Wikipediots, and PRETEND LIKE YOU DON'T SEE THEM.
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Re: Philip Cross

Postby CrowsNest » Mon May 21, 2018 6:01 am

Cross is active again.

One reason why that may be, is the serious water carrying the Wikipedia machine is doing for him.....

On 18 May, a well explained and meticulously referenced complaint registered by an established Wikipedian (3,000+ edits since June 2017) at the Conflict of Interest Noticeboard was aggressively shut down by one of Wikipedia's most notorious insiders, Guy Chapman..... ... ilip_Cross

This seems to be a reaction to Jimmy Wales positively doubling down on his refusal to admit there is anything to any of this, calling it "completely ludicrous". ... 9537192961

No real point to going into hiding when you have this kind of protection. These are basically official permission slips to Cross to carry on doing what he is doing.


Latest evidence backing the idea he is a role account, is this revelation from an update to the above blog, picked up by Murray.....
We pulled in the dates from his user contributions page and found that Cross had not had a single day off from editing the site in almost 5 years! (Consecutive edit dates between 29 August 2013 and 14 May 2018.)
If this turns out to be true, all I can do is repeat that yes, Wikipedia really is that addictive, to the point you really should not be surprised someone with an agenda like Cross would quite easily rack up five straight years without a day's break. Wikipedia is attractive as a pastime to precisely those people who lack the employment or other distractions in their lives which might drag them away from the site for at least a day, even Christmas Day. It absolutely does not imply it is a group account or that he is being paid. Quite the reverse.

And it's worth noting that certainly some of those days will involve a tiny number or even just a single edit, the Wikipedia equivalent of just checking your mail. They may even occur just past or before midnight, meaning what follows is a genuine edit free day, even if it statistically was not. Cross may have even been maintaining this 'edits every day' streak deliberately, knowing his critics might read too much into it. There is certainly a streak of gamesmanship about him.

There also seems to be some confusion over the timecard shows. It is important to note this is just an average of daily/hourly activity. In Cross' case, all it shows is that there isn't really any time during the week where his work/life routinely prevents him from fiddling with Wikipedia, except the time you would except a UK based person to be sleeping. Again, it is not so much proof he is a role/paid account, as it is proof that he is exactly what the extreme end of Wikipedia addiction/obsession looks like.
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Re: Philip Cross

Postby CrowsNest » Mon May 21, 2018 6:28 am

Actually, scratch part of the above, this is getting at least some attention from inside the cult with a view to doing something, and interestingly at the request of Guy Chapman......although he is careful to signal his belief there is nothing needing doing, or if there is, it only extends to using the powers of the Wiki-state to definitely clear his name, via the always transparent and totally competent investigatory body that is ArbCom. ... ilip_Cross

Unsurprisingly though, the community are incredibly reluctant to concede Cross is doing anything wrong, even direct quotes of the almighty WP:BLP are not having as much impact as they usually do. There are the usual repetitive calls for evidence in the form of diffs, as if they had not already been seen multiple times. And they are of course making sure even if something has to be seen to be done about his clear and obvious problematic editing, if only to quell the growing disquiet out in the real world, they're making sure everyone who is trying to bring more light to this issue on Wikipedia, is suitably punished for bringing the real world into it.

Tellingly, at no point has anyone said, let's do something proactive to absolutely prove Cross is a real person who has no ulterior motive, and his edits are not violations of all applicable policy, and therefore this entire thing really is a "nothingburger", an evil plot by the Russians.
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Re: Philip Cross

Postby sashi » Mon May 21, 2018 11:30 am

:twisted: "Foils" (Weird Al)

  1. jazzy guy sez nope to a thread at COIN
  2. jazzy guy sez NOPE to a thread at ANI because forum-shopping (see 1).
  3. jazzy guy gets to boasting about his kid hobnobbing with Harry Wales at military school in the ban-Jimbo-from-moving-Royals thread started by the yappy one.

:twisted: "Royals" (Puddles / PM Jukebox)
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Re: Philip Cross

Postby CrowsNest » Tue May 22, 2018 1:16 pm

Now this is bizarre.... ... anti-left/

Cross, meanwhile, continues to be strangely proud of all the attention he is receiving, continues to make cryptic edits to his user pages, while never actually giving straight answers to straight questions.

Again, none of this what you would expect to see if he was a role account of a paid operative. It does however fit the idea he is an obsessed loser, who has recently been promoted from little known internet pest taking advantage of Wikipedia's dysfunction to wage war on his perceived enemies, to the centre of a grand conspiracy.

I don't know why this person thought this was a helpful comment......
Many years ago I dealt with material concerning Oliver Kamm at OTRS. He most definately is not Philip Cross. Spartaz Humbug! 22:12, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
I am assuming "Spartaz" doesn't intended to provide this material to people who want concrete proof Cross is not Kamm, except the usual trusted insiders.
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Re: Philip Cross

Postby Abd » Tue May 22, 2018 2:50 pm

CrowsNest wrote:The Wikipedia Foundation obviously won't get involved unless they are given incontrovertible proof Cross is guilty of a Terms of Use violation, and only then will they consider offering up his details so a summons can be issued. This is where mention of his off-Wikipedia conduct may be relevant in establishing a pattern.

This is a bit backwards. Rather, it is not necessary to know who Cross is to file a lawsuit. It is not necessary to have "incontrovertible proof," it is not actually necessary to have proof at all to file. I'm not so familiar with UK law, though I'm getting a bit involved in it for, ah, "other matters." In the U.S., though you can file merely on belief that you have been harmed.

Whether or not Cross's behavior was actionable would rest on a detailed study of his editing. Truth is a defense in a libel claim, but if an allegation is defamatory, the burden of proof may be on the defendant to show truth. Obvious opinion is not generally libel.

The Foundation tends to operate on the assumption that the TOS protects them. Not necessarily. A subpoena may be issued for records and documents in the possession of the Foundation. That would include access records. They can be put on notice that these records are required, and if they go ahead and delete them, or refuse to provide them, they can become liable. There are TOS provisions that appear to protect the WMF from liability.

They will not apply to third parties who are not bound by the TOS, and the application to actual users is not completely clear. Precedents are not clear, and law is shifting in this area. And IANAL, but I know some.
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