Talk:Vandalism reports/Archives/Users/Beleiutz

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Moved from the content page[edit]

  • This report had been archived because it was originally filed by Psychonaut, 15:49, 31 January 2014 (UTC), and there had been no response. Psychonaut, this page is not widely watched, it's not necessarily a great place to gather support, as your report shows. Pulling this from archive, I'd suggest, the original signature should have remained in place, with a *new message* below it. Your edit summary was clear.
  • There is very little that can be done to prevent users from doing what Beleiutz is reportedly doing, so sensible efforts focus on reducing damage. From the above, it looks like damage is confined mostly to en.wikipedia and ro.wikipedia, so any effort to detect and revert problematic editing should take place there, among recent changes patrollers. Checkusers may be able to determine IP ranges to block without causing major damage, but often this is impossible, as a user learns to use open proxies and other techniques.
  • Some users are highly encouraged by efforts to stop them, so w:WP:RBI should be understood. These are trolls, and their goal is that you get upset, so be careful not to give them what they want! On the other hand, sometimes a long-term abuser is motivated by some sense of injustice, perhaps related to their original block or ban. As long as the injustice is live in their minds, they may continue. Long-term, we need to understand how to avoid unnecessary creation of this kind of anger against the projects and the community, or we will keep spinning our wheels, we do not build a project by blocking and banning, those are necessary evils. In English, I say, "send them to en.wikiversity." We can sometimes find ways to integrate these people, get them to do something useful, and keep them occupied where no damage is being done. There is, as yet, no ro.wikiversity. There is Beta, which has pages in category RO.
  • Because the undisciplined creation of educational resources on a Wikiversity can cause some concern, there should be a local "sponsor" or "mentor." I'm happy to do that on en.wikiversity, and I can help out at Beta, a little. We don't allow "spam," but we may be much more open in certain ways. If the fellow wants to write about celebrities, and it doesn't create libel issues, we may well be able to find a way to make it work. His own little "learning project." --Abd (talk) 16:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
    • Thanks for your comments. The purpose of this report isn't so much to "gather support" as it is to document Beleiutz's history and modus operandi so that vandal fighters and administrators can quickly identify and deal with his sockpuppets. That is, it fulfills exactly the same purpose as the reports on the English Wikipedia's en:Wikipedia:Long-term abuse board, but it is posted here on Meta because the disruption spans multiple wikis (not only the English and Romanian Wikipedias, but also many other languages and particularly Wikimedia Commons), and it is helpful to have a single centralized report to link to, rather than a dozen different ones. —Psychonaut (talk) 18:12, 15 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, Psychonaut. However, this page is not suitable for developing and maintaining that information. I would suggest, if you want a community page for it, creating one, say Vandalism reports/Beleiutz. This is sometimes done in user space; in that case, management of the page is up to the user. A dedicated page can occasionally be mentioned on this page when there is activity, but there will be far more flexibility in setting it up. Discussion format is lousy for creating organized information!
It is not clear that Beleiutz is a "vandal." The user is definitely LTA, but this tends to become reflexive: i.e., user is blocked or banned and then the main disruption is editing while blocked or banned (as can be seen from the reports). LTA is tricker than vandalism, everyone agrees that vandalism is disruptive and should be stopped. Few vandals are LTA, the motives of ordinary vandals fade and do not persist. From what little I've looked at above, this is mostly, as I wrote, en.wikipedia and ro.wikipedia, and Commons is used to hold images intended for use there. I will create the page and re-archive this, leaving a note. The above material does not show what is current and what is old, one problem. And we really don't care what offenses Beleiutz has committed, what awful thing someone whom we think is him did on this or that wiki. It's all a distraction from our shared task here, facilitating the community's creation and maintenance of the wikis. --Abd (talk) 18:54, 15 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
It is absolutely, 100% crystal clear that Beleiutz is a vandal as defined by our policies and guidelines. To convince yourself of this, please consult the definitions of vandalism from the various local wikis Beleiutz is active on. Both repeated contribution of copyright-infringing material after being warned not to and spamming promotional links are specifically categorized as vandalism on both the English and Romanian Wikipedias. The Commons vandalism policy is considerably more wide-ranging, refering to any sort of "malicious change", which would cover his persistent and willful falsification of source, authorship, and copyright information of images he uploads there. Much of the other behaviour characteristic of Beleiutz (promotional editing, impersonating celebrity agents and WMF officials, etc.) is not strictly vandalism but is still highly disruptive and in contravention of various policies, so I see no need to separate them from this report.
Before offering further speculation on Beleiutz's motivations and how to engage with him, you may want to review the considerable body of such work already linked to in this report. You will find that over the years many users have already tried to discuss issues with him, both in English and in his native Romanian, though no one has so far been able to convince him to comply with our policies. It seems he now understands them well enough to circumvent them (for example, via Commons:Commons:License laundering) but is unwilling to actually abide by them. —Psychonaut (talk) 07:39, 16 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I offer engagement to users who seem to have some possibility of furthering site goals. It frequently doesn't work, but sometimes it does, and this includes users who have been classified as "vandals." One of the problems with vandalism is that Wikipedians use it with definitions that stray far from common usage. It can come to mean "any edit I don't like, or we don't like." Especially if a pattern can be discerned. "Malicious" requires motive to harm. That's speculation on motive. Human beings are far more complex than many Wikipedians think; there is a strong tendency to classify editors as good and bad, so that we can know how to act with little thought.
Beleiutz is not banned. You have the opinion, perhaps, that he should be, but you have not shown evidence for a ban, yet you are treated him as banned (reverting good edits can be done with banned editors, not with those merely accused of being a sock).
You are a very long-term Wikipedian. your enwiki user page shows quite a collection. When someone manages that kind of collection, and is proud of it, it is not a good sign that this user knows how to build a functional community. Yes, over years, doing good and even essential work, you can collect incidents where someone doesn't like you and expresses themselves with whatever comes to mind. However, 22,000 edits in ten years.... not much, actually. to have that high an overall conflict level, with pride, not good. Contrary to claims in a source you cite, you were never an administrator as far as I can see. By the way, the easiest way to link to a blacklisted site is just to show the link without the http://. Pasted in a browser bar, most browsers will supply it.
Has it occurred to you that the report sitting in Vandalism reports for so long with no response might be telling you something? I'd seen it. I was completely uninterested, so I didn't click on the links. Had I clicked on them, I have seen they were broken. I assumed it was all good when I moved it, I was creating the subpage to assist you. But then, organizing the material, I saw the weaknesses of the report. It was misleading, in an important way: currency. Suppose that you are right, that Adi is Beleiutz. So what? Why all this attention? How does this benefit the project? w:WP:RBI would suggest, as you are not an administrator, that you revert problem edits, and ignore the matter otherwise. I look at all those noticeboard postings. That was almost all you, Psychonaut, creating a fuss. It looks like it took you a minute to revert Adi's edits. It took you substantially longer to write the SSP report. It will take more time from others. If Beleiutz is a vandal, and if score was kept by how much time is invested by the vandal vs. the community, you are making the vandal win, encouraging more vandalism.
And, I suggest, you appear to be playing a game where you win if someone else is blocked. And you apparently don't care about collateral damage, including time wasted by others, not only checkusers but now stewards, high-level users whose time is precious. --Abd (talk) 12:34, 16 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  • You cited enwiki policy on vandalism. In the lede of that page, we have:
Even if misguided, willfully against consensus, or disruptive, any good-faith effort to improve the encyclopedia is not vandalism. Edit warring over content is not vandalism. Careful consideration may be required to differentiate between edits that are beneficial, detrimental but well-intentioned, and vandalizing. Mislabelling good-faith edits as vandalism can be considered harmful.
  • I would suggest that the recent edits by Adi appear to be good-faith efforts to improve. Have you considered why it "can be considered harmful" to label "good-faith edits as vandalism"? Is it possible that you are violating this policy? --Abd (talk) 12:41, 16 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Comments (moved from Talk)[edit]

  • I suggest not creating noticeboard incidents for an LTA, though circumstances may vary. From the report above, simply identifying the user as an LTA is enough to stop the behavior under that account. On en.wikiversity, we have largely stopped bothering to block single-edit spammers, and we don't create talk page warnings for them, we simply delete the spam with "spam" in the delete reason, and they almost never come back. This keeps Recent Changes more clear than if we added a Talk page warning or notice of block. (Speaking personally, I check for cross-wiki spam and if I see it, I report it on SRG and the account will be quickly locked.) There are other practices than can make it easier to detect spam or vandalism or other new account disruption in Recent Changes, and this is worth discussing on each wiki. --Abd (talk) 19:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  • And now, having creating this page, I find that the incident reports linked above, at least some of them, don't exist as written. I then looked at User talk:Psychonaut. If Psychonaut is not an LTA himself, there is a matter unhandled on that Talk page. However, the SUL Psychonaut appears to be a trusted user. Still investigating. --Abd (talk) 19:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

September 2014[edit]

en:Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Beleiutz, reported by Psychonaut, 15 September, 2014.

The reported account is

It may come as a shock, but Beleiutz is not banned. See en:User talk:Beleiutz, this user was never warned before being blocked, and I have seen no ban discussion. A block is not a ban, blocks are not community-based, they are ad hoc decisions by administrators. The edits of a banned editor may generally be reverted on sight, without consideration of content. That is not true for an alleged sock of a blocked editor.

It used to be that one could not get a checkuser to look at the edits of a user who was not being disruptive. That has changed, somewhat, but the principle was sound. Adi Vancica does not appear to have been disruptive, and the evidence alleged by Psychonaut is thin.

"Informations" is a common English grammatical error among non-English speakers. It's "data," i.e., multiple pieces of information.

However, this edit of Adi Vancica looks promotional, and could easily result in some concern, but it could also simply represent Adi Vancica being a fan of a woman who is, after all, a celebrity. The edit added a little peacock language, and took some out. Overall, it was probably an improvement, though I have not verified the material, except that, yes, Mihaela is a judge on that TV show. So Psychonaut has damaged content.

There has been no warning of the user that he is suspected of being a sock. There is no expression of concern or inquiry about possible conflict of interest. There is no attempt to deal with the actual problems, to warn the editor about errors in editing, something which never happened with Beleiutz.

Beleiutz is still not blocked on ro.wikipedia. See the ssp report on which the block of Beleiutz was based: [3].

Yet there is a renewed report here, with this sock investigation being the only recent activity.

This is what happens when we become obsessed about a problem user: we start to see the user under every edit to the user's favorite topics.

There was a clueless user, like many clueless users, and vigorous enforcement, as started in 2013 with Psychonaut, will often cause such a user to create sock puppets. The more vigorous the enforcement, the more sock puppets! And then, sometimes, an innocent user is caught in the crossfire, is unjustly blocked, and then may even, in turn, create more sock puppets.

Commons contributions for Adi Vancica shows one apparently legitimate upload. One upload was deleted, does not look like the Beleiutz pattern. contributions for Adi Vancica shows two edits. They added an image to two articles, the image that was deleted on Commons.

It has been suggested that Psychonaut take allegations of cross-wiki disruption to SRG. This kind of report would see no success at SRG.

We end up with enforcement for enforcement's sake, the goal of building and maintaining the projects can get lost in the shuffle.

However, this page can be used to document alleged Beleiutz editing. I intend to warn the user, and offer support in avoiding problems. --Abd (talk) 23:47, 15 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

  • Adi Vancica was globally locked September 17, 2014. By this time there was checkuser confirmation that Adi Vancica was Beleiutz, and demonstrated Beleiutz socks have been locked on report for some time. --Abd (talk) 15:10, 17 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

edits to content page[edit]

I have reverted changes to the content page; a necessary section header was removed, breaking a crucial link to the page, to recent activity, which will be important for any actions against the user. As I have time, I will later review those changes, some may be acceptable. --Abd (talk) 12:46, 16 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I restored some of Psychonaut's changes. However, Psychonaut removed date information, which allows rapid assessment of the report; he also removed the very brief descriptions of the noticeboard and other discussions. This page could be dangerous if not maintained to avoid personal attack. The purpose of this page is to allow identification of Beleiutz socks, where that is relevant. Beleiutz is not banned anywhere, and is not blocked on ro.wikipedia, only on en.wikipedia and commons. Beleiutz was first blocked on Commons, for making improper uploads and repeating the behavior without discussion. It's a very common pattern among clueless users. So what is important here:
  • The page is relatively neutral.
  • That almost all complaint about Beleiutz is from Psychonaut should remain visible, see below.
  • That the page provides brief summary of evidence, which is otherwise useless except as "illusory proof" that the user is abusive, after all, look at all the reports! Except that, for over a year, all these reports are coming from one user.
  • That the section titled "Recent activity" is maintained, because any current action regarding Beleiutz will need to refer to this section. Wikis, generally, don't go back and block users for ancient history. The full page will provide any necessary background.

I used the word "dicta" in one section, the list of suspected sock puppets of Beleiutz. That designation merely means that a user has been accused of being a sock puppet, it is not proof, it may be of interest or not. The smaller category of asserted sock puppets (in this case) will usually be based on checkuser or other clearer evidence.

As to Psychonaut, this is a high-ethnic-conflict user, though he's never been blocked for it. (See his User page.) That does not mean that he's wrong. It means that caution should be exercised.

The target of his complaints is apparently Romainian, the "cross-wiki" problems are and plus Commons for images. I do not know Psychonaut's ethnicity, but he's been accused of being Serbian.

These matters are best, at this point, handled on,, and Commons. Beleiutz is not blocked on, and so Psychonauts' confident assertion that Adi Vancica will soon be blocked there is naive or a bluff. (However, I have not investigated the status of other Beleiutz socks.)

Toolserver is apparently down, so it's difficult to work on some of the page. I would intend to show the activities of each of the socks alleged.

This page actually allows what Psychonaut claimed to want, a place to accumulate information, long-term. Vandalism reports is not designed for that. The page, however, should be careful about accusations made against users. I have allowed Psychonaut's introduction, though it's not confirmed information. That's why I attributed it to him in a new section header. He's responsible for it.

However, Psychonaut is hostile to interference in his agenda, he also requested I not post to his talk page (which is his privilege and which will be respected unless necessity appears).[4]

Psychonaut is now pointing, on SRG to the Commons block of Adi Vancica today in his request for a global lock of Adi Vancica.[5] I appealed that block on Commons, it appeared to be based entirely on the claim of Psychonaut. Trinjnstel confirmed the identification with Beleiutz, though without explaining details. (Beleiutz data would no longer be available through the checkuser interface, it's normally dumped after a period, about three months.) I'm taking this as adequate confirmation to list the sock on the content page.

Psychonaut has pointed to my enwiki community ban, as if it were proof of something. It's completely irrelevant on that page, most stewards know that I'm en-wiki banned. The real reason for that ban, if one looks at the history of many commenting, is that I confronted abuse, it's not a popular thing to do. I filed two major Requests for Arbitration; in the first, an admin was reprimanded, in the second, another was desysopped. I abandoned en.Wikipedia, and have not requested unban or unblock, precisely because there are so many users like Psychonaut there. Hostile, vengeful, punitive, and completely certain that they are right. To repeat, his enwiki user page says it all. And that is tolerated. And there goes the wiki. --Abd (talk) 15:29, 16 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

How this report is being used[edit]

I've been reviewing the sock data, on Vandalism reports/Beleiutz/Accounts. The behavioral pattern is relatively clear. However, it is also clear from the data on the tracking page that there is a crusade against Beleiutz by Psychonaut. Is that helpful or harmful? That's a question, not a claim. What I can see, though, is that Psychonaut is attempting to avoid scrutiny. In the global lock request, which he withdrew, Psychonaut struck his original link,[6] which pointed to a pointer to this content page, and replaced it with a permanent link to the version without the editing and clarifications. Why?

This page is easier to use and follow than the original report. It will be even easier when I'm done with it.

I have not responded there to Psychonaut's continued editing there because it simply creates useless traffic for stewards to look at. He withdrew the request, so what is the point?

Psychonaut apparently wants to run this "anti-vandalism" project. The report on Vandalism Reports was to a noticeboard, not suitable for maintaining long-term data, more than a few months at most, as others have seen in the past. Further, in creating this page, I also began reviewing the situation.

Psychonaut was likely correct, the latest sock claim is probably in this family of socks; however, the evidence he presented was thin, and it is looking like checkuser data may be held on the checkuser wiki or elsewhere.

The question to me is whether or not it is worth the effort to use noticeboards to attack Beleiutz, or just RBI. (and for a non-admin, just RI). If Psychonaut's claim that Beleiutz just abandons an account when it's discovered is true, then quick blocking, as distinct from reverting problem edits, simply complicates the record. It's much easier to watch for bad edits if one knows the account to watch for!

What Psychonaut did on en.wikipedia was restore obsolete, incorrect information.... If Beleiutz is actually working for the subjects of the articles (as he may have claimed), then he probably knows more current information, and it was checkable. But once we get the idea that we *must* prevent so-and-so from editing, then we can lose sight of the goal: the project. --Abd (talk) 23:23, 16 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

What I'm finding[edit]

In 2013, a user commented on the SSP report:[7]:

I think the evidence is pretty convincing that the three accounts belong to the same person. However, it seems to me that creating a new account after having the old one(s) blocked is part of the general lack of WP:COMPETENCE regarding Wikipedia rules (of this editor), rather than something obviously malicious. Neither of his old accounts have received any sort of explanation for the block(s) on their talk pages.

This comment was correct. The users blocked, en:User:Beleiutz and en:User:Mateescu, see contributions, were blocked with no explanation, by an arbitrator/checkuser. The blocks, 0 February 2013, were for abusing multiple accounts, but did not explain what accounts. There was no sock puppet investigation until the case linked above, 18 July 2013. Given the sparse history at that point, there was almost certainly off-wiki communication on this, or an arbitrator was concerning himself with very small potatoes. It is quite predictable at this point that the user would start up new socks. I'm studying the specific timings to see if this matches the data.

The pattern on Commons shows almost no communication. I have seen this from users not comfortable in English. They often end up indeffed. And they create socks then.

At this point, it is impossible to tell if Beleiutz would have responded to guidance that told him how to do what he wanted to do. Some of it could have been legitimate.

The user is definitely naive, this is not a skilled SEO or promoter. He might as well wave a big red flag that says: I'M THE BANNED BELEIUTZ. Psychonaut has identified certain characteristics. Bad grammar in edit summaries is not a good characteristic, it's way too common. But edit summaries of a letter repeated three times, that's unusual. A single character is common. A skilled block evader would never do these things, unless he wanted to be recognized. --Abd (talk) 01:03, 17 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]