False accusations of Sock Puppetry by Ambi, David Gerard etc

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False accusations of Sock Puppetry by Ambi, David Gerard etc

Darren Ray
Dear Wikipedians,

Yesterday, I was blocked from using Wikipedia on the grounds that I am a
sockpuppet master of two accounts, 2006BC and AChan.

There is a big problem with this. They are two living, breathing people who
had previously already identified themselves on their user page and
elswehere.

They have both already complained about this separately although Ambi, her
friend David Gerard and others are sticking to their guns despite the
absurdity of their position being pointed out. Ambi is a former member of
the Arbitration Committee, and her friend David Gerard seems enjoy a similar
high position. Has anyone else had experience of dealing with these people?

I don't know what to do other than to request to be unblocked but it seems
that there is little likelihood of justice being done.

Ambi had previously filed a Request for Arbitration against me and I was
going to respond with one relating to her abusive conduct and POV editing.

I would appreciate any ideas people had about what to do. My knowledge of
Wikipedia policies is pretty good in theory but has clearly come up short in
practice as I have been completely banned for no good reason.

Thank you

Darren Ray
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Re: False accusations of Sock Puppetry by Ambi, David Gerard etc

Steve Bennett-4
Hi Darren,
  I'd sort of wondered when you'd show up on this list. Welcome!


> Yesterday, I was blocked from using Wikipedia on the grounds that I am a
> sockpuppet master of two accounts, 2006BC and AChan.
>
> There is a big problem with this. They are two living, breathing people who
> had previously already identified themselves on their user page and
> elswehere.

I note that in DG's block report, he actually says "Darren Ray is
User:DarrenRay and User:AChan. He and Benjamin Cass are indeed
different people, although they appear to have edited from each
others' houses, both using their own accounts and their socks'
accounts. Ben Cass (User:2006BC) has a string of his own socks."

So, what's your point?

> They have both already complained about this separately although Ambi, her
> friend David Gerard and others are sticking to their guns despite the
> absurdity of their position being pointed out. Ambi is a former member of
> the Arbitration Committee, and her friend David Gerard seems enjoy a similar
> high position. Has anyone else had experience of dealing with these people?

Yes, David Gerard is a nice, extremely fair and respected senior admin.

> I don't know what to do other than to request to be unblocked but it seems
> that there is little likelihood of justice being done.

Well, let's see. You've been editing a range of Wikipedia articles for
a long time to attempt to discredit an auditor, clean your name,
remove references to the name of the property deal you signed, and
make allegations of conflicts of interest against returning officers
at the Melbourne University Student Union. Not only that, you've been
editing under a number of different accounts, feigning consensus with
two close friends and accusing everyone who tries to work on the same
articles of hiding behind a "pseudonymous/anonymous" cloak, defaming
you, or being politically motivated. And now, after a huge number of
warnings, you've been blocked. If there is an injustice here, you'll
have to point it out to me.

> Ambi had previously filed a Request for Arbitration against me and I was
> going to respond with one relating to her abusive conduct and POV editing.

That's not like you to hold back. Not unwelcome, but not like you either.

> I would appreciate any ideas people had about what to do. My knowledge of
> Wikipedia policies is pretty good in theory but has clearly come up short in
> practice as I have been completely banned for no good reason.

In your "pretty good" knowledge of Wikipedia policies, you obviously
missed this one (from [[WP:NOT]]:

Wikipedia is not a soapbox, or a vehicle for propaganda and
advertising. Therefore, Wikipedia articles are not:

   1. Propaganda or advocacy of any kind. Of course, an article can
report objectively about such things, as long as an attempt is made to
approach a neutral point of view. You might wish to go to Usenet or
start a blog if you want to convince people of the merits of your
favorite views. You can also use Wikinfo which promotes a "sympathetic
point of view" for every article.
   2. Self-promotion. The arbitration committee ruled on February 17,
2006 that: "Editors should avoid contributing to articles about
themselves or subjects in which they are personally involved, as it is
difficult to maintain NPOV while doing so." [1] Creating overly
abundant links and references to autobiographical articles, or to
articles in which you have a personal stake, is similarly
unacceptable. See Wikipedia:Autobiography and Wikipedia:Notability.

You could probably also brush up on [[WP:CIVIL]], and even
[[Wikipedia:Talk pages]]. Remember:

Actively erasing personal messages without replying (if a reply would
be appropriate or polite) will probably be interpreted as hostile. In
the past, this kind of behavior has been viewed as uncivil, and this
can become an issue in arbitration or other formal proceedings.
Redirecting your user talk page to another page (whether meant as a
joke or intended to be offensive or to send a "go away" message),
except in the case of redirecting from one account to another when
both are yours, can also be considered a hostile act. However,
reverting such removals or redirects is not proper and may result in a
block for edit warring. If someone removes your comments without
answering consider moving on or dispute resolution. This is especially
true for vandalism warnings.

...

Furthermore WP:VAND states: Removing warnings, whether for vandalism
or other forms of prohibited/discouraged behavior, from one's talk
page is also considered vandalism. It is generally acceptable to
remove misplaced vandalism tags, as long as the reasoning is solid.


There are plenty of people here who will be more than happy to point
out more policies or guidelines that may be relevant.

Steve
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Re: False accusations of Sock Puppetry by Ambi, David Gerard etc

Darren Ray
On 3/25/06, Steve Bennett <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hi Darren,
> I'd sort of wondered when you'd show up on this list. Welcome!
>
>
> > Yesterday, I was blocked from using Wikipedia on the grounds that I am a
> > sockpuppet master of two accounts, 2006BC and AChan.
> >
> > There is a big problem with this. They are two living, breathing people
> who
> > had previously already identified themselves on their user page and
> > elswehere.
>
> I note that in DG's block report, he actually says "Darren Ray is
> User:DarrenRay and User:AChan. He and Benjamin Cass are indeed
> different people, although they appear to have edited from each
> others' houses, both using their own accounts and their socks'
> accounts. Ben Cass (User:2006BC) has a string of his own socks."
>
> So, what's your point?


My point is that I am not Benjamin Cass and I am not Alexander Chan. After
on and off editing anonymously, I have edited as DarrenRay and as no one
else. That's the point.

> They have both already complained about this separately although Ambi, her
> > friend David Gerard and others are sticking to their guns despite the
> > absurdity of their position being pointed out. Ambi is a former member
> of
> > the Arbitration Committee, and her friend David Gerard seems enjoy a
> similar
> > high position. Has anyone else had experience of dealing with these
> people?
>
> Yes, David Gerard is a nice, extremely fair and respected senior admin.


I won't comment on David Gerard other than to see there is an issue with his
impartiality.

> I don't know what to do other than to request to be unblocked but it seems
> > that there is little likelihood of justice being done.
>
> Well, let's see. You've been editing a range of Wikipedia articles for
> a long time to attempt to discredit an auditor, clean your name,
> remove references to the name of the property deal you signed, and
> make allegations of conflicts of interest against returning officers
> at the Melbourne University Student Union. Not only that, you've been
> editing under a number of different accounts, feigning consensus with
> two close friends and accusing everyone who tries to work on the same
> articles of hiding behind a "pseudonymous/anonymous" cloak, defaming
> you, or being politically motivated. And now, after a huge number of
> warnings, you've been blocked. If there is an injustice here, you'll
> have to point it out to me.



Discredit an auditor? 1) Dean McVeigh isn't an auditor, 2) I encourage
people to read the McVeigh article, it is a sourced and valid article.

Clean my name? My name is perfectly clean, I merely wanted some balance and
integrity in the article discussing controversial issues.

The property deal I signed is not really the point. The point is how the
encyclopedia article should deal with it, considering the fact that it
actually cost the union nothing as it did not proceed.

The issue with returning officers is no more than the appointment of
supposedly politically aligned returning officers is meant to be a big deal
in one case but ought not be mentioned in another. Forgive me for pointing
out this inconsistency.

I repeat, since registering as DarrenRay I have not edited as anyone else,
have had no sockpuppets etc. Prior to that, like you I edited anonymously.



> Ambi had previously filed a Request for Arbitration against me and I was
> > going to respond with one relating to her abusive conduct and POV
> editing.
>
> That's not like you to hold back. Not unwelcome, but not like you either.
>
> > I would appreciate any ideas people had about what to do. My knowledge
> of
> > Wikipedia policies is pretty good in theory but has clearly come up
> short in
> > practice as I have been completely banned for no good reason.
>
> In your "pretty good" knowledge of Wikipedia policies, you obviously
> missed this one (from [[WP:NOT]]:
>
> Wikipedia is not a soapbox, or a vehicle for propaganda and
> advertising. Therefore, Wikipedia articles are not:



Your POV pushing is not propaganda of course. In the Melbourne University
related articles, I think we had largely reached a compromise anyway. You
are clearly involved in the Student Union in some way, and are editing
articles about it. That's an issue for you to think about.

  1. Propaganda or advocacy of any kind. Of course, an article can
> report objectively about such things, as long as an attempt is made to
> approach a neutral point of view. You might wish to go to Usenet or
> start a blog if you want to convince people of the merits of your
> favorite views. You can also use Wikinfo which promotes a "sympathetic
> point of view" for every article.


All I want is truth and balance. Perfectly consistent with Wikipedia's
rules.


  2. Self-promotion. The arbitration committee ruled on February 17,
> 2006 that: "Editors should avoid contributing to articles about
> themselves or subjects in which they are personally involved, as it is
> difficult to maintain NPOV while doing so." [1] Creating overly
> abundant links and references to autobiographical articles, or to
> articles in which you have a personal stake, is similarly
> unacceptable. See Wikipedia:Autobiography and Wikipedia:Notability.



So when the guy is accused of killing President Kennedy falsely, they should
not edit it out. I think that's a real issue to be considered here.

You could probably also brush up on [[WP:CIVIL]], and even

> [[Wikipedia:Talk pages]]. Remember:
>
> Actively erasing personal messages without replying (if a reply would
> be appropriate or polite) will probably be interpreted as hostile. In
> the past, this kind of behavior has been viewed as uncivil, and this
> can become an issue in arbitration or other formal proceedings.
> Redirecting your user talk page to another page (whether meant as a
> joke or intended to be offensive or to send a "go away" message),
> except in the case of redirecting from one account to another when
> both are yours, can also be considered a hostile act. However,
> reverting such removals or redirects is not proper and may result in a
> block for edit warring. If someone removes your comments without
> answering consider moving on or dispute resolution. This is especially
> true for vandalism warnings.



I have been personally courteous to all I have dealt with, even in the face
of personal abuse from users like Ambi, Garglebutt etc.

...

>
> Furthermore WP:VAND states: Removing warnings, whether for vandalism
> or other forms of prohibited/discouraged behavior, from one's talk
> page is also considered vandalism. It is generally acceptable to
> remove misplaced vandalism tags, as long as the reasoning is solid.
>
>
> There are plenty of people here who will be more than happy to point
> out more policies or guidelines that may be relevant.
>
> Steve
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l


I appreciate a thoughtful response and thank you for it but you have not
identified a single breach of Wikipedia policy. I have disagreed with some
strong POV pushers, including yourself in wanting balance on controversial
subjects.

I have disagreed with Ambi on some political articles.

Those reading this should ponder whether that is sufficient basis for being
blocked from Wikipedia.

Darren Ray
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Re: False accusations of Sock Puppetry by Ambi, David Gerard etc

Steve Bennett-4
Hi Darren,

On 3/26/06, Darren Ray <[hidden email]> wrote:
> My point is that I am not Benjamin Cass and I am not Alexander Chan. After
> on and off editing anonymously, I have edited as DarrenRay and as no one
> else. That's the point.

No one has accused you of being Ben Cass or Alexander Chan. However, I
must note that you have used the term "anonymously" to mean "editing
under a logged-in user account", so I have to disregard your comment
about "on and off editing anonymously" unless you clarify. But that's
really a matter for the arbitration case, not this list.

> I won't comment on David Gerard other than to see there is an issue with his
> impartiality.

You won't comment, other than to make vague, unsubstantiated
allegations of bias? How very generous! :)

> Discredit an auditor? 1) Dean McVeigh isn't an auditor, 2) I encourage
> people to read the McVeigh article, it is a sourced and valid article.

Sorry, I must have been drunk, tired, or both when I wrote that. I
meant liquidator.

I've also read www.makemcveighpay.blogspot.com, which is far more
entertaining [for the others on this list, a blog by Ben Cass]. I'm
not exactly sure what you mean by "sourced and valid". Is it balanced?
Is it NPOV? Is it impartial? Has it been subjected to a peer review?
Have the parts written by yourself or Ben Cass been substantially
changed by uninterested third parties?

> Clean my name? My name is perfectly clean, I merely wanted some balance and
> integrity in the article discussing controversial issues.

That explains why you removed the phrase "Optima property deal" from
the paragraph describing the deal you signed which served as the
trigger for the liquidation of the union. Ok.

> The property deal I signed is not really the point. The point is how the
> encyclopedia article should deal with it, considering the fact that it
> actually cost the union nothing as it did not proceed.

Well, to be quite frank, the only person I've ever heard express that
particular view point is you. Various newspaper articles see things
slightly differently. Sort of brings us back to [[WP:V]], doesn't it.

> The issue with returning officers is no more than the appointment of
> supposedly politically aligned returning officers is meant to be a big deal
> in one case but ought not be mentioned in another. Forgive me for pointing
> out this inconsistency.

That particular example is fairly weak. There are two fairly major differences:
- In one case, a company run by a recent previous president was chosen
as returning officer, a fact which was controversial and the subject
of some publicity.
- In the other, someone simply with political affiliations was
allegedly chosen, and all I've heard about it has come from you.

> I repeat, since registering as DarrenRay I have not edited as anyone else,
> have had no sockpuppets etc. Prior to that, like you I edited anonymously.

You've only had an account for the last 30 days. When you say that I
edit(ed?) anonymously, what do you mean? I edit almost exclusively
under my user name, and certainly don't use anonymity to make
controversial changes to articles. You seem to be using the term
"anonymously" to mean the opposite of what most Wikipedians do.

> Your POV pushing is not propaganda of course. In the Melbourne University

If you're accusing me pushing a point of view, then you should be able
to identify what point of view that is. But I'm not sure why we're
talking about me.

> related articles, I think we had largely reached a compromise anyway. You

For the benefit of the audience, I strongly reject any suggestion that
any "compromise" has been reached. I stopped work on that article due
to three things:
- sustained edit warring between several parties
- inability to reach agreement on basic points
- the request for arbitration

It seemed best to wait for the outcome of those things before
continuing any work. A "compromise" (or "consensus", as 2006BC put it)
is far from the truth.

> are clearly involved in the Student Union in some way, and are editing
> articles about it. That's an issue for you to think about.

What makes you think I'm involved in MUSU? I will, however, think
about it, if you like.

> All I want is truth and balance. Perfectly consistent with Wikipedia's
> rules.

Wikipedia wants people to contribute civilly to build an encyclopaedia
to spread accurate, unbiased knowledge to people who otherwise would
not have access to a high quality encyclopaedia. The notion of "truth"
is explicitly disclaimed by [[WP:V]].

Your pattern of editing leads me to suggest that your primary goals in
editing Wikipedia are not to help build an encyclopaedia. Which isn't
to say that your contributions could not be valuable, but I don't
believe your primary motivation is particularly philanthropic.

> So when the guy is accused of killing President Kennedy falsely, they should
> not edit it out. I think that's a real issue to be considered here.

Read [[WP:AUTO]]. There have been many discussions about editing
articles about yourself. Feel free to start one. The short answer is,
no, it's best not to edit the material yourself, but rather, to
contact the Wikimedia Foundation and ask them to edit it for you.

> I have been personally courteous to all I have dealt with, even in the face
> of personal abuse from users like Ambi, Garglebutt etc.

There is far more to WP:CIVIL than courtesy. As you probably know.

Steve
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Re: False accusations of Sock Puppetry by Ambi, David Gerard etc

Stephen Bain
In reply to this post by Darren Ray
For the benefit of others, this discussion is about a current Arbitration:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/DarrenRay_and_2006BC
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