User:Abd/LTA/Anglo Pyramidologist

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It is being claimed on a Wikipedia user talk page that this study is "inaccurate" and a personal attack, by a user who lies about the content of this page, and who admits there to being covered by it, i.e., to being the LTA Anglo Pyramidologist (and who used an series of open proxies, to evade blocks, switching as soon as blocked, see IP reports below. and a possibility exists of a mail to the Support and Safety team. Please see Talk before acting on claims about this page. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 20:15, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

This is a draft for possible move to Vandalism reports, or possibly a Global ban request if disruption continues. The impersonation identified in this case is extremely serious, not to mention illegal. (Many accounts mentioned here have already been globally locked.) This page will be used for now to compile long-term abuse, including cross-wiki socking, vandalism, and other disruption. This user has created many identified socks, and it has occurred that other users have been, possibly incorrectly, identified with him.

Disclaimers

Inclusion of an account here is not a claim that identification is correct, only that it can be documented in some way. If a claim is included that is not documents, correction is invited. Any user (even an SPA) may selectively remove content if accomplanied by such a specific claim, but revert warring here will not be tolerated. One edit, or one specific mention on Talk is enough to engage my attention. I will not solicit sanctions for any user, even if thought to be the sock master or ally, who merely points, non-disruptively, to an alleged error. But if such a user repeats what is already addressed, sanctions may be sought. Keep it simple.

I have personally verified evidence of the real-life identity of this user. I will not be providing this evidence on-wiki; I will disclose it on request to any WMF user with administrative privileges, i.e., able to read hidden edits, thus trusted with private IP evidence. I am naming this puppet master by the name of the earliest known account, and I have a connecting link to the most recent identifications.

In the study, other users may be mentioned based on evidence. Such mention is not a claim of any improper activity by such users. Investigation notes may contain many errors, but they may be corrected. Errors are not uncommon in Wikipedia sock puppet investigations, easily seen in hindsight.

Before any formal pages are created out of this study, it will be cleaned up, and, hopefully, independently reviewed.

The recent activity has been through SPAs, which register and dive immediately into high conflict discussions, these are easily recognized. There are, however, users who have been identified as socks in the past whose contributions were not identifiable as disruptive, but who were tagged as a result of checkuser investigations, in some cases, or by the "duck test," sometimes naively applied.

The disruption has included filing of checkuser requests of other users. The most recently identified sock family filed a checkuser report on a relatively inactive user, blocked on Wikipedia, then, when action was not forthcoming, created a series of sock puppets claiming to be that user, and clearly disruptive and offensive. (One of the recent SPAs acknowledged doing this. This may be truth and it may be misdirection, i.e., someone may be imitating the impersonator,"turnabout is fair play," but it remains disruptive either way.) The comment is worth examining in detail, keeping in mind that it may be, itself, impersonation and deception.

You can delete this message if you like. Just to let you know I will not be further engaging you. It seems you live for this drama, I will not longer be involved. I will do my best behind the scenes via email to get admins to delete all your material.

This is internally contradictory. First of all, I did not know who AP was until a little more than a week ago, and I had no long-term activity that could match this recent work. Yes, I have worked intensively on this for that time. This is years of mess to disentangle, but massive damage was done, and if this user is telling the truth, it is continuing. He is claimed he will not be "engaging," or "be involved," but then threatens to attack "all your material" by email. I am a Tar Baby. I am not The_Fastest_Gun_Alive, a supremely dangerous occupation, but going after me has often led to the downfall of those who tried it. I am not vulnerable to threats, at least not so far. Before Wikipedia, I received bomb threats, nothing on WMF wikis has even remotely approached that. Threats arouse my interest, someone obviously has something at stake here. What is it? If they threaten me, they probably threaten others. Etc.

If you want to spend the rest of your life stalking someone that is up to you, but it is not healthy.

Of course not. However, there is such a thing as search notification, and this can become a hobby, given enough cause. The user here has obviously been obsessed for years, and to what end? He reveals some of his purpose. It is definitely an attack on Wikipedia neutrality, and segments of the community, and it became an attack on Wikiversity neutrality, far beyond the original excuse. (Wikiversity resources can cover fringe or extreme beliefs, it is neutral by inclusion rather than by exclusion, and AP went after a resource there that had been carefully designed to be neutral.)

I object to such a thing. I am done with this.

Excellent, but he just contradicted that with a threat of endless effort.

I would like to add though that AngloPyramidologist is innocent. If you want the debunker of parapsychology/or pseudoscience it is me.

This may or may not be true (though "innocent," unqualified, does not necessarily apply to anyone, much less AP, who was disruptive on Wikipedia in his own right, and who apparently continues that, outside of Wikipedia, and with recent socking.

The story that is developed on the web about this user is that w:User:Anglo Pyramidologist (I notice the lack of a space in his text, which is common for this user, and this kind of "typo" can impede search) is one of two brothers, I will call them O (AP) and D, see SPI:Anglo Pyramidologist April 2011 and then [ . D would be, in this story, say, User:Dan skeptic, who became User:Goblin Face. But D would also be User:Liveintheforest, the original claimed brother, when not editing as IP.

An IP address there is shown in the SPI to admit being the "brother" of AP, but there is a problem: The users also share certain interests. Alternatively, AP sometimes edits logged-out, thus creating apparent article overlap. Checkuser could have identified that they were using the same computer, or not. The response there was a brick wall from the checkuser. In fact, the IP was thoroughly outed as being AP IP at least sometimes. Leter, the distinction seems to be completely lost. Basically, it doesn't truly matter. There is massive disruption coming from one or two people (and maybe other family members, that comes up). Any legitimate user who happens to live in the "wrong place" can take precautions to avoid getting caught in the web spun by their housemate. They did not ask how to do this, which is a clue that the story may be a complete fabrication: one user with more than one interest, and the interests may shift over time. The character may not shift so rapidly, though it can. When I wrote that I can tie the recent sock master to AP, that does not exlude the possibility that they are two actual people. If we shoot at the police from our house, or otherwise resist authority, our family members may be imperiled. Famous case. (This is not an approval of either side, only pointing out the real-world danger, which cannot be completely avoided, unless the family members flee.)


I have debated Ben in the past, he knows who I am, I have talked to him on Wikipedia in 2014. I have nothing against Ben personally, unfortunately he uses Wikipedia to promote his fringe beliefs, he promised in 2014 not to come back but his mistake was coming back in 2017.

The user who was Blastikus has matured. Blastikus was never banned, he was indef blocked with talk page access cut off. My opinion is that Ben made a mistake by editing at all, but this is a mistake that countless young editors (and many older ones) make. Looking at the Blastikus SPI page, I see no investigations between 2014 and 2017. He didn't come back in the short term; first edits visible were in late 2016, as I recall. They were minor and non-disruptive, and they used a sophisticated editing technique, w:WP:BRD. Was Ben "promoting his fringe beliefs," or was he attempting to balance articles, providing reliably sourced information? I don't think AP understands the difference. AP is apparently allied with a faction that has attempted to promote "SPOV" for Wikipedia, i.e., "scientific point of view." But science is not a point of view, it is a method and approach. The kind of skepticism that AP appears to adhere to has a set of beliefs that it considers "true," and in this case, that belief outweighs all considerations of balance and fairness, and he is willing to lie and deceive to promote it.

That is something I object to, and of course the admins were too slow in banning his psychicbias and myerslover account. So you see I had to get him banned.

This is an admission of motive to impersonate, creating a huge, cross-wiki mess, all to attack Ben Steigmann for a handful of harmless edits. This is not about creating reliably-sourced encyclopedic content, it is about personal vendetta. What is remarkable here is that he claims that his work is approved by admins, "they love us." It might be true, but who is "us"? There are those who believe that Wikipedia is dominated by a pseudoskeptical faction. Sometimes it seems so, to me, but it's not really my business. People who confront that faction, however, get attacked, and the attackers are sometimes mysteriously dedicated and ruthless. (and AP socks come up on off-wiki discussions about this). So AP may have helped to damage the reputation of Wikipedia for neutrality and fairness. This is astonishing if true:

Take care. Btw I do object to the 'troll' allegations. I have written over 250 articles on Wikipedia. As to this very day 30/9/2017 I have four Wikipedia accounts and 12 others I occasionally use, the admins are only interested in banning vandals.
Most of the provocative posts this user made were trolling, poking, attempting to find some vulernability that could be exploited. On Wikipedia, this user, perhaps hiding his true mission, would poke and provoke until a naive user explodes ... and then he can get the person blocked for incivility. There is a trail of wreckage, if one were to look back.
If you are atheist, pro-skeptic like me and debunking fringe beliefs the admins love us.

If admins love this, they have lost the core of Wikipedia, NPOV, in favor of something they like personally. I could think of a couple who might, but most would recoil in horror, and the SPOV faction has lost every time the issue comes to serious community attention.

I can't go wrong. I was even offered paid work from the owner of a skeptic group.

There are possible connections between AP, the faction mentioned, and a well-known "skeptic group," but others are working on that aspect of this. I'm not, at this point. That is, I think this may be true, and I may know who that "owner" is. However, I also know that it is possible that some enemy of those people is pretending to be their friend, here.

I still create articles perhaps 12 or so a week. I have serious knowledge and I have improved the Wikipedia in skeptical related articles in relation to fringe beliefs.

I have found some recent activity, but I have not begun systematic study. Now, if this is true, why would he tell me? Indications are that this person is mid-twenties, and is obviously arrogant. He is likely unaware of all the ways that activity can be studied, that socks can be identified. He may imagine that certain defenses are impregnable. Truth, however, tends to out. If he stops attempting to disrupt Wikiversity, and to attack me, maybe I'll never get to it. He's been quiet for a day now. I've been warned that these people never give up, so we'll see.

Your statement we are all vandals or doing illegal activity is false.

First of all, there may only be one of him. Secondly, impersonation with intention to defame is a crime almost everywhere. This is common in his arguments, they misrepreset what has been said.

'Take care and Good bye. My advise for you would be to give up. You are fighting a war you cannot win.

I've already won, thanks to reality. Survival is a game that we always lose, eventually, if that's the game we play and the war we fight. However, at my age, every day that I'm still alive is a victory, and the mystery is how many more I have left to win.

You will never work out who I am or get rid of me from Wikipedia. Leon. From a tower (talk) 01:24, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Relying on sources I consider reasonably reliable, I have some developed opinions as to personal identity, I've mentioned that. This would be AP/D, probably. It doesn't matter. I'm unlikely to sue, because I have not been damaged. Some, however, might.

If Wikipedia is infested with him, that's their problem, not mine. No critical interest of mine depends on Wikipedia at all. There are sincere people there, working for the goal of a user-created encyclopedia based on neutral presentation of what is in reliable sources, and that goal is damaged by those who work to selectively exclude some point of view or position, rather than channelling these into collaborative work. Wikiversity, not having limited space for specific topics, is not normally afflicted by factional wars, AP/D attempted to take such conflict there. He failed, because I recognized what had happened and addressed it. It's taking time, but it's happening. I have legitimate access to Wikipedia administrative structure, I never lost it.

back to the history

These impersonating sock puppets were then, without checkuser identification, tagged as that original blocked user. And then a request was filed on Wikiversity (by a Wikipedia administrator with apparent good intentions) to delete the user's content and block him. That succeeded, until the oddity of the Wikipedia activity was noticed and a steward request filed. In recent behavior, Anglo Pyramidologist accuses others of disruptive behavior, wikistalking, and threatened Wikiversity with massive disruption if I was not stopped from documenting the behavior,[1] and did attempt to make good on the threat.[2].

The user attempts to engage other, non-related users in dispute, claiming they are being attacked. Case in point is w:User:Manul. As far as I have seen, Manul has done nothing improper. Manual may have supported the arguments of an AP sock, and did file two checkuser requests on Wikipedia, on a target of AP, and a ban request. That is simple fact and not any attack at all. Yet these accounts have been created as part of the disruption: [[v:User:

The alleged offensive material follows. from Wikiversity User:Abd/SPA disruption] intended as a general study of the participation in high conflict by certain kinds of SPAs, easily recognizable. It was more or less a diary of my research, notes. It's long and chatty. Most of this would be removed in a final filing. When it was attacked, it was linked from nowhere, it was merely a study in my user space, and only likely to be seen by someone who was, ironically, "wikistalking" me. The attacks called far more attention to it, and, as well, convinced me that the basic claims were on-target. If they were merely error, the LTA would not have so vigorously and obsessively attacked it. It would just be a stupid mistake in some obscure corner that nobody but the SPAs would look at -- until and unless it were linked. This is the first link I have made to this page, and the content is copied here. I want to leave the content there, undeleted, so that the history of this can be researched. The page was protected by Wikiversity staff due to vandalism, and has been blanked by me to support reducing Wikiversity disruption.

The original study

Draft

This page is a draft study and may contain many errors of various kinds. It is not published for community consideration, until and unless it is linked by me from non-user space or taken there. If any content here is considered to violate policies, I request that this be pointed out on the attached talk page, so that errors may be corrected. Edit warring here will not be tolerated, and if any user remains dissatisfied with my decisions about this page, alternatives include WV:RCA or WV:RFD. Administrators are requested to enforce my right to private study by preventing disruption. --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:22, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

The Study

This is created to study the issue of participation in Wikversity (and other wiki) decision-making process by Single Purpose Accounts (SPAs). The Wikipedia usage of SPA refers to accounts with demonstrated interest in editing only with regard to a specific topic. This is not offensive, in itself. However, here, SPA refers to a global account (all accounts are now global) with no other edits than intervention in a decision-making process, or very few such edits, and particularly no history in creating or improving Wikiversity content. This is similar to "non-Wikiversitans," which may be global users with high experience, even, who come to wikiversity for a decision-making process. That must be welcome, because Wikiversity can be and should be responsive to the concerns of users of other wikis, but ... non-Wikiversitans often do not understand the necessities of academic freedom, and how the needs of education can be very different from the needs of encyclopedia projects. Wikiversity is far more like a university library and compendium of materials compiled not only by educators, but also by students, and a basic part of the Wikiversity mission has been "learning by doing," from the beginning. For that kind of learning, freedom is essential. Basically, students, to learn deeply, must be able to make mistakes, and to explore ideas that might be "wrong."

To be sure, there are educators, including professionals, who do not understand that. However, students and professionals in education science do understand it, generally.

So this essay is about accounts that show up to participate in, or, even more disruptively, to create decision-process, while having few or no other edits. The engagement intrinsically reeks of sock puppetry. If the behavior is disruptive, there is less sanity in assuming good faith because, if such an account is blocked, there is little or no loss to the project, nor to an individual who might so edit. They have little or nothing to lose. Further, blocks based on SPA disruption should leave talk page access open, so that a user may request review, and only if review requests are disruptive should that be shut down. Genuine AGF pguidelines are consistent with that.

The immediate inspiration for this essay was the situation with apparent socks of Mikemikev who initiated a sock puppet investigation on Wikipedia, then created a series of impersonation socks in order to intensify response, and then when a Wikipedia administrator did not recognize that an SPA had initiated that process, and even though that SPA actually admitted that he had another account and was hiding it, he fell for the impersonations and came to Wikiversity to initiate process. Then no wikiversity user, at first, recognized the possibility of impersonation. I, myself, because I found out about the problem from the impersonated user himself, who only found out about what had happened weeks later, then reprimanded him for the disruptive editing. He was offended, naturally. He hadn't done that. In review, it was actually out of character, and it was an error for me to make the assumption it was him, as I saw fairly quickly reviewing the Wikipedia activity in detail. So I filed the checkuser request on meta. Bingo! Impersonation, but more than that. This connected with another Wikiversity user, apparently. And I just found more.

There was a prior attempt to attack Ben Steigmann by an SPA [3]. The Wikipedia administrator who filed the recent request was aware of that discussion, linking to it. But he did not notice the SPA issue. Jameskeptic was caught, on Wikipedia, as a sock of w:User:Goblin Face (whose name was familiar to me.)

Goblin Face's SPI was moved to [an SPI for Anglo Pyramidologist]That caught Goblin Face and Jameskeptic, with 54 socks. Checkuser evidence only covers a few months, so this puppet master was massively active with socking. w:User:Anglo Pyramidoligist, first edit February 2011.

List of socks from the SPI investigation for Anglo Pyramidologist (IP reports have not been included): from w:WP:Sockpuppet investigations/Anglo Pyramidologist/Archive

SPI investigation archive for Anglo Pyramidologist

roughly 190 socks

11 April 2011
15 June 2011

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Liveintheforests (self-acknowledged)

28 November 2011
13 December 2011
above confirmed mutual.
21 September 2011
2011 27 September 2011
confirmed mutual socks, but unrelated to BookWorm44. Meat puppetry suspected.
03 October 2011
03 October 2011, take 2

(IP only, blocked)

05 October 2011

IP check declined for privacy reasons.

02 November 2011
all confirmed. match to BookWorm44.
13 June 2012
claimed to be w:User:Earthisalive

Quack. Previously blocked as User:Earthisalive, now returning as User:The earth has a mind, First edit is to recreate European origin of modern humans as Out of Europe theory. Check user requested to check for sleepers. SummerPhD (talk) 23:35, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

29 September 2012
11 November 2012

IP only (blocked)

24 December 2014
10 June 2015
all confirmed

2016 17 January 2016

At this point investigations were moved to Anglo Pyramidologist

29 March 2016

all confirmed. Again, Anglo Pyramidologist asserted as master.

08 August 2016

all confirmed.

28 September 2016

Meta checkuser/lock reports

Filed 20 September 2017

Filed 24 September 2017

Locked 26 Sept 2017

26 accounts. New ones not listed above

Locked 27 Sept 2017

4 new accounts

Filed October 15, 2017

locked in this sequence (no explicit checkuser request or report, and not all socks will be seen, no active watch will be maintained, only accounts seen as actively disruptive by the duck test or inferred from logs)

Other locks

IP reports

Additional suspected socks, not yet handled globally

  • Rome Viharo WWHP (talk • contribs • block • x-wiki • CA • lwcheckuser) on information and belief, impersonation sock (Rome Viharo = Tumbleman. See SPI, the target is skeptical that this is actually Viharo, and the pattern fits the AP impersonation socks, attempting to stir up enmities. Bishonen saw no need for checkuser, but checkuser might have picked up the other socks active at that time.)) 10 June 2017 ((stale)
  • Jamenta (talk • contribs • block • x-wiki • CA • lwcheckuser) indef blocked on en.WP 2013, incorrectly tagged on WP as Blastikus, based on Jamenta 2, AP/D sock. (stale)

Detailed study comparing users

Because a probable AP sock has claimed to have multiple active en.wiki accounts, a study of the editing patterns of AP socks, as well as possible suspect users, is in order. On this subpage, links will facilitate study of contributions and data generated by user comparison tools. Being listed on this subpage is not an accusation of sock puppetry, because there are multiple possible causes of comparison positives. Correction of errors in data or analysis is invited. Please be careful about privacy policy, real-name identification is prohibited. Even if a user has admitted to real-name identification, it should be avoided. The subpage is /User data. --Abd (talk) 14:04, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

connection between Anglo Pyramidologist and the Michael skater sock family

(I have seen evidence connecting AP to Michael skater, to be supplied with any filing that depends on it. These users are all blocked on Wikipedia (except as noted above, i.e., possible innocent bystanders). Michael skater socks have generally been globally locked.) I do not assume that all identifications above are correct. After all, the Michael skater socks were identified and tagged as Blastikus in the Bastikus case archive. It only matters if a tagging is then used as evidence against a user cross wiki, as happened with Blastikus (Ben Steigmann), as socks were designed to implicate him, see cheesecloths ben steigmann above. Could an enemy of AP have run these socks to get him whacked? If so, it failed. However, there are known agendas, and, with some care, it can be seen that the false flag socks, which exist, are designed to interrupt and damage the impersonated user while, sometimes, pretending to share the user's point of view.

There are additional clues in the latest suspected socks that have not yet been checkuser connected, even though one admits to being Michael skater. Because the history is rife with possible impersonations and red herrings,I am not starting there.

Identifiable characteristics of Michael skater socks

Michael skater contributions

  • registered enwiki 22 June, 2017
  • filed SPI for Blastikus.[4]
  • claims to have been following Ben Steigmann on Wikiversity, claims Ben Steigmann (BS)is banned.
  • points to edits of Psychicbias and Myerslover (Steigmann) to w:Frederic W. H. Myers. Meyerslover (Steigmann) reverted by IP with same POV as skater, which also edits w:Bruce Lipton, fringe, epigenetics, "crank," "quacks." check geolocation.
  • BS allegedly pushing "psychic beliefs" on Wikiversity
  • reveals alleged BS IP
  • asked if he has another account, does not answer, but says he does not want to reveal his Wikiversity account for fear of being targeted by BS.[5]. This would necessarily be off-wiki drama, if there was anything like that. BS was non-disruptive on Wikiversity, and his WP socking was low-key and not characterized by personal attack or disruption (other than being block evasion, and that was not extensive).
  • pings Manul
  • Edits as IP (forgot password). check geolocation.

more analysis

The following material was rev-del'd for "personal information." [6] based on a complaint from one of the socks, now globally locked. There was a link to a critical wiki that gave the name of the real-life person allegedly behind AP. I have removed that link. If any other material here violates policy, please suggest changes on Talk. Any registered (not SPA) user may also remove specific allegedly offensive material here. Disruptive editing will be reported. However, this was the complaint that led to the rev-del:[7]

Doxxing and harassment from abd
Abd is personally stalking mikemikev, anglo-pyramidologist, manul and other Wikipedia editors and writing false claims about them [8], he has no technical evidence linking any of those accounts to Ben Steigmann but presents his speculations as factual. He also links to a real life name that is alleged to be of a Wikipedia account, taken from internet troll Rome Viharo's website. Can you remove the doxing and stalking? I fail to see why this is being put onto Wikiversity. Abd is a 72 year old man who seems to spend his time online now stalking people. This sort of behaviour and the doxing is unhealthy and breaking multiple laws. Antifa activist (discusscontribs) 21:08, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Remarkable -- and ironic: the user has given a link that will lead to much more independent information. that was not necessary. This is classic, and this is a long-term user, one might imagine that he would know to report alleged doxxing by email to an admin, not on a public page, because that will call attention to it. However, the real purpose was to irritate the administrator and lead to action to be seen -- by me -- as harassment. In fact, the admin properly offered to email me the rev-del'd content (completely proper) and I saw all this as evidence that some nerve had been touched.

The report to Dave lies: that page complained about, copied here, did not claim fact, but collected evidence and some preliminary opinion (some of which was incorrect). There is technical evidence for much of the linkage (i.e., checkuser reports) but the duck test can actually be stronger. This user attacked many other users as socks without "technical evidence" in his activity, specifically the sock activity reported in w:Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Blastikus/Archive#19 August 2017 which followed w:Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Blastikus/Archive#22 June 017 filing by the same user as behind the disruptive sock activity.

The page did not accuse w:User:Manul, mentioned in the study, of any wrong-doing, nor have I found evidence of that. Manul is not responsible for v:User:Friend of Manul nor v:Manuls brother.

w:User:Mikemikev, blocked on Wikipedia, may have been the target of impersonation, as have been others; this appears to be a developed behavior.

There are piles of false accusations, in many places, from AP, and he is essentially a troll, seeking to upset others. Yes, I've been spending a lot of time on this case over the last week or so, because AP had done extensive damage, harming others through impersonation, personal attack (often with outing) and damaging wiki content. It took a great deal of research, looking at maybe hundreds of pages, to put together what had happened, and that, then, led to steward requests, granted, and the basic conclusions were confirmed, and then the threatening and menacing response that followed demonstrated deeply the character of this person. He's obsessed, obviously. I spent a week, he has spent at least six years, with some indications of more than that.

Off-wiki activity will not be documented here unless permitted by wiki administration. But the user does, himself, provide some documentation, as can be seen above. Rome Viharo was a long-term target who decided to fight back.

Per w:WP:stalking, documenting the behavior of wiki users is not, per se, stalking. It is ordinary research, and, in fact, this SPA routinely violated privacy in filing Wikipedia sock puppet investigations and in recent editing.

Tracking one case back

This starts with an account on Wikiversity: v:User:Sci-fi- This led to w:User:Michael skater on Wikipedia. A host of accounts, including this one, were identified by a steward as likely related. That's a relatively strong finding. No checkuser finding is absolute proof, but checkusers are generally very cautious, and if there are questions about identifications, some will answer questions, but they are also obligated to respect privacy. That can lead to difficult choices. I've found checkuser errors. Nothing is absolutely reliable. However, we sanely look for patterns, and abusive socking will generally show certain consistent patterns if repeated.

(There is a strong possibility, I later see, that there is more than one person using the same IP address on occasion, being brothers or other family members. There is also another user, an independent person, who is allegedly a friend of AP/D, according to a comment perhaps by AP/O, and who may have, on occasion, shared access. Individual evidences may be misleading, this user lies and misdirects. On Sept 29/ I got three "multiple login failure" notices. I had no log-in failures. This user would very likely attempt to log in to my account and create disruption to be assigned to me. However, this would fail, because the IP would be radically different and checkuser could verify that easily. However, what if the user found an open proxy with IP that might create a "possible" for me?)

Those patterns may be misleading, because the "duck test" -- commonly used in lieu of "technical evidence" to identify, block and/or ban users -- can also, under some conditions, consider as "socks" what are actually different users with a similar point of view or purpose. But if that POV or purpose is intensely pursued by possible socks, and especially SPAs, wikiw administration does not actually care if they are different users or not, they will be considered [[w:WP:MEAT|meat puppets}}. Further, if a user says "I am so-and-so, blocked user" this user is, at least, disruptive, is either actually block-evading *or* is impersonating. The concluded action in either case is "block." What can be an error is tagging such a user as identified as a sock of the possible target of impersonation. This then creates possible misidentification that then propagates.

Nevertheless, again, we can see patterns.

Looking at the list of accounts Identified as Michael skater, I found two that had only edited Commons, one upload each. These were accounts that would be of high interest to Mikemikev, or at least possibly so.

(Interests of Mikemikev, at that time, would overlap those of AP/O. The link between Mikemikev and AP came from RationalWiki, as found by another here. There is more misdirection by an AP sock there. The puppet master here has done what he did on Wikipedia, on other wikis, creating impersonation accounts, creating misdirected responses. He has succeeded in getting targets blocked and banned elsewhere.)

I requested block of those accounts and deletion of the remaining image upload, and that was promptly done. The image of w:John Fuerst that was deleted led to a usage on RationalWiki, asserted there by a user immediately after upload, and that image went to a redlink when the Commons image was deleted, causing attention and re-upload on RationalWiki. This, then, led, through IP evidence, to recently active IP editing Wikipedia, working on an article that had been the work of w:User:HealthyGirl, blocked as a sock of w:User:Anglo Pyramidologist. John Fuerst himself would be a particular interest of AP/O, while HG's interests might match those of AP/D. This kind of cross-over seems common. The IP would, then, could be shared IP, linking the two users. The AP accounts have created an incredible mess.

This edit is astonishing. An identified sock of AP, [w:User:Evil Boglin] accuses another, w:User:Goblin Face, of being AP and w:User:HealthyGirl. In this edit, another AP sock, w:User:Late night jogger, see this diff, defends HG and is whacked by the admin. The arguments are similar to those made recently by AP/D, and AP/D is apparently real-life involved with one of the founders of Guerilla Skeptics, who might share some agenda on occasion. "Involved" must likely be real-life because of IP identification. GS users come from many locations, though, what has been amazing to me is how much this has *not* been the case. Fooling checkuser is not all that difficult, but AP doesn't seem to bother. I will not detail how it can be done!

Writing styles may be different. However, a person may also wear more than one hat. Real-life data has shown -- I am told by a source I deem reliable -- that there are, however, two brothers with the names asserted in various places on the web. So the "my brother did it" excuse, the subject of some level of ridicule on Wikipedia, may actually be somewhat true. But both brothers were disruptive and blocked in their own right. Birds of a feather may have literally been born together.

Again, looking for connections, I looked back at Wikiversity history for accounts with similar behavior, and found several, and one of those led me to Mikemikev as an identified puppet master, from Wikipedia checkuser that caught them. Since Single-unified login, Wikipedia logins are created, often, automatically for people who register on Wikiversity, so Wikipedia checkuser may pick up a consequence of Wikiversity activity. Listed as a Mikemikev sock was w:User:Goblin Face which then connects with even older accounts. I took this back to Anglo Pyramidologist. These various puppet master accounts had not been connected on Wikipedia.

The link to mikemikev was likely an error; rather the same interest would be relevant for AP, long-term. --Abd (talk) 19:24, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

The older Wikiversity SPA accounts possibly involved (listing here is not necessarily a claim of disruptive behavior):

However, because of the current and persistent activity of a disruptive SPA, I decided to look for the real name, having been given it some time ago by a user. I had not paid attention to that and had forgotten it, until the current SPA made a claim that my informant had lied, so I needed to check my original email. I did, and no, even if the claim of the SPA was true, there was no lie, rather simply an assumption I had made, very possibly based on the user's not understanding my question (which I know did happen with one question, his answer was wrong, but "silly wrong." Basically a misunderstanding. His answer was merely, under this idea, incomplete. That's not a lie if not intentionally deceptive, but fanatics commonly think that any possible error is a lie.

And fanatics are what is behind much abusive sock puppetry. This is not merely "POV-pushing." It is some much more deeply offensive, it's hatred and obsession, and there now appear to be hundreds of accounts connected. Googling the name with some associated terms, I found this page. The author is a real person of some reputation. Real people are, in my book, to be taken far more seriously than anonymous accounts, partly because they can be sued. I have had some correspondence with him. I do not take his conclusions as necessarily reliable, but, from his history, they will be at least plausible, possibly worthy of investigation if one needs to know.

Link to external web site removed as containing personal identifying information.

The site is a Wikipedia criticism site, started by someone who had experienced high disruption on Wikipedia. There are many such sites, his would be relatively sober. His site led me back to w:User:Dan skeptic, who created an "alternate account" before being blocked. That was w:User:Goblin Face, a name I was familiar with from years back, having seen the disruption well before Goblin Face was blocked. Sometimes Wikipedia continues with w:WP:AGF well beyond sanity, as long as vulnerable editors are being attacked, i.e., editors with some minority point of view. DS and GF were a sometimes-not-recognized kind of SPAs, i.e., a "skeptical" point of view -- and it is a point of view, as practiced by the abusers -- will appear as an interest in many different articles and someone may look at contributions and not see the connection. But a high level of attack on others, not Assuming Good Faith, should properly cause a suspension of that assumption with regard to them. This may actually happen if there is an Arbitration case, but, unfortunately, Wikipedia can be a bit like Lord of the Flies. The "community" -- meaning those who show up -- can be a vicious mob, not the intention of "consensus" enshrined in policy. A structural problem, and considered quite a difficult one.


In any case, the '''redacted''' page refers to brothers. In one of the old SPI discussions, one brother claimed that problem edits were by his brother. This is a common sock defense. However, there may actually be two brothers. As well, the user is aware of defense against checkuser. I have historically, found ways to penetrate the defense, but it is tedious and requires co-temporal editing, it is not useful for sequential socking. The user claims that Ben Steigmann used a defense, but there is no sign that Ben used any active method of avoiding detection. Rather, pot, kettle, black. Maybe. The user did not use defensive methods in the recent Attack of the Massive Inpersonating Socks -- possibly because he wanted them all to be identified as socks, but as socks of Steigmann! Howeeer, he also did not use defensive methods to protect *other accounts" which were then revealed. This is the realilty of using VPNS to avoid detection: it's a nuisance, and given that one can, with low cost, use new accounts as throwaways, an LTA may not bother. He will create accounts to toss mud, he will do it as quickly as possible, and maybe some will stick.

These are just pointers to tracks. There is at least one w:WP:LTA here in fact, though not in recognition on that page. Hundreds of socks. Maybe more than one LTA. This much is clear at this point. Ben Steigmann, the supposed target, is not an LTA. I just reviewed his Blastikus talk page. Very common story. Editor writes too much. Nobody was advising him, just warning him, and nobody telling him what the actual problem was. He did eventually figure it out, but did not know how to recover. When I was active on Wikipedia, I used to identify such users and advise them. If they listened, they often avoided being blocked. I saw only one serious process there: An [ ANI notice] in May, 2011. Common practice on this used to annoy the hell out of me, because when one comes along later, finding the notice is a PITA. However, I know how to do it. What can be tricky is finding the full discussion, not just how it looked when that notice was posted. Here it is. My, my, my. Very common problem. User is convinced an article is Wrong, and then argues at great length on the Talk page. It does matter if he is right or wrong, this will be very much disliked by the community. So when he is warned, he thinks the warning is aying that he is Wrong. About what he's been advocating. No, and then he's taken to ANI. And what does he do? He argues -- at great length, and with low skill -- that he is right. Sometimes users like this can be helped, but Wikipedia typically has no patience for them. Wikiversity does, basically, the Wikiversity structure allows almost endless expression, within reasonable limits, especially on a single page or a tight family of pages, not presented as "neutral." And if what he was claiming is considered truly offensive (such as it actually being "anti-Semitic," a point he was arguing endlessly about -- or it actually appearing so, because what counts in community decisions is appearance, not necessarily reality -- he'd be stopped. But when he eventually came to Wikiversity, he did not misbehave. And I've seen that again and again. Give a disruptive user something constructive to do, something of interest to them, many will become constructive. Blastikus was blocked, as was more or less predictable. Looking at his block log, my thought is "They shoot baby seals." It used to be that if a user was disruptive, there were graduated blocks, to get the user's attention. Here, the user was immediately indef blocked. I agree that a block was appropriate, but zero to indef in one action? However, some administrators have zero tolerance for what they don't understand -- or have a view of "disruptive users" that they cannot change. Users can change, it it is rare that it happens in one day. So Blastikus argued with the blocks with repeated unblock templates. Nobody told him this was a Bad Idea. If there are pages giving guidance for what to do if blocked, what works -- and what doesn't work -- I never saw them. Maybe I should have created one, but I pretty much know what would have happened. It would have been attacked as So, then, sock puppet investigations.


Joe Slovo blocked by duck test, which is heavily vulnerable to possible "POV ban," i.e, a user with an apparent POV similar to that of a blocked user is blocked as a sock "by the duck test." It happens fairly commonly.
Pottinger's Cats blocked, as possibly compromised account. Possible impersonation. A very suspicious "confession." I will check to see later if Steigmann acknowledged this account. [He did. --Abd (talk) 14:06, 1 October 2017 (UTC)]
Pile of IPs. Checkuser ID's as same IP user as topic banned [9]. No identification as Blastikus at this point. (ban was a discretionary sanction, meaning only one admin created it. ArbComm created that to make arbitration enforcement easier, then POV admins drove a truck through it. Which is not a claim that this particular action was incorrect, just that these things are not necessarily reliable.
The SPI was filed by vzaak. That seems familiar to me. User talk page was deleted, for personal attacks. User name gone. The page history was concealed by the one who copied content from another page. Well, I've been here before. Finding another talk page edit signed with "vzaak" the edit was at 23:40, 31 August 2013. Page history tells me vzaak was w:User:Manul. (the edit). I was unable to find the user rename log; there was a usurpation involved.
Ben Steigmann was almost certainly the real Ben Steigmann. Steigmann had registered a Wikiversity account and was using it. This autocreated a Wikipedia account, and it easily happens that the user goes to Wikipedia, is not blocked, and just edits, may not even realize that they are logged in, if they have been editing by IP. There was only one edit. It may be a continuation of edits by [10]. This was in a discussion with w:Goblin Face. Fully disentangling this mess would take more time than I'm willing to devote. Ben Steigmann was not blocked as a result of this report, but did not edit again, He was not blocked until

Pottinger's cats was accused above, blocked, and accused again. Evidence? supposed confession, easily spoofed. That's a pattern here, seen most egregiously in the later SPI, with a large pile of impersonating socks. There is no sign of Steigmann being a massively disruptive sock puppeteer, this entire Blastikus archive, up until the activity this year (2017) was quite weak compared to LTAs and compared to AP.

Manul also filed a request for ban for Blastikus. The request failed. My conclusion: Blastikus is not banned on Wikipedia. Any admin could unblock; properly they would want to see assurances of low risk of disruption. It would be easier to request this for Ben Steigmann, as a real-name account with no special history of disruption (other than a relatively low level of block evasion, not necessarily disruptive in itself. But an unblock request could avoid considering most of that, with mere disclosure of actual socking and then a commitment to using a single account and avoiding old behaviors. It's actually easy, unless some faction massively attacks -- which could happen in this case.

In recent discussions, it has commonly been said that Blastikus is banned on Wikipedia. No, apparently not. Neither has any unblock request been refused since 2011. However, my private information is that Steigmann (Blastikus) may not want to return. If he does, he might want a new account. Those are all issues for him and his future. For now, he's unblocked on Wikiversity and he may not care even about that.

(Steigmann was later unblocked on Wikiversity as a result of the checkuser investigations, and his resource was restored, and as soon as he started editing it, again, he was attacked again. To be sure, he had socked on Wikipedia, though relatively harmlessly. The attack on him was, this time, by an IP user massively complaining on Wikipedia, Contributions/117.20.41.10, which then also attacked him on Wikiversity and now has shown up here. That's an open proxy. This is the LTA, certainly, from some of the edits. Note added 02:28, 2 December 2017 (UTC))

What I care about is the massive disruption caused by long-term attack on Steigmann, and on alleged "pseudoscience" that is not clearly such -- and, even if it is pseudoscience, Wikiversity can cover alleged pseudoscience if it is done in a neutral fashion, and, unlike an encyclopedia, Wikiversity neutrality allows full presentation of alternate points of view (there is no notability policy, only neutrality), and attacks showed up on anyone who assisted Steigmann, such as me, now as in the past. I will also document this, it has been done almost entirely through SPAs, probably socks of the Sock Ring described recently. When Wikiversity users and their work is attacked by SPAs with nothing to lose, it is incumbent on the entire Wikiversity community to defend them and Wikiversity resources, and when this is lost, due to various excuses or just plain neglect, the entire Wikiversity project is at risk. The abusers will almost always go after those they perceive as vulnerable. If they succeed, they will be emboldened and they will then go after bigger targets.