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  • We exist to shine the light of scrutiny into the dark crevices of Wikipedia and its related projects; to examine the corruption there, along with its structural flaws; and to inoculate the unsuspecting public against the torrent of misinformation, defamation, and general nonsense that issues forth from one of the world’s most frequently visited websites, the “encyclopedia that anyone can edit.”
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What can we learn from the “Dangerous Panda” saga?

By Hersch

Yo ho, yo ho, an admin’s life for me!

At Wikipedia, the administrators or “admins” constitute a privileged caste, a nomenklatura (with 1382 members, at last count, although most are currently inactive) that is beyond the reach of Wikipedia’s normal summary justice. Savvy contestants at Wikipedia will often devote the first year or two of Wikipedia activity to thankless drone work, in hopes it will have the effect of racking up brownie points with “the community” — because if an editor can make enough friends and allies to become an admin, his or her ability to pursue an activist agenda will be dramatically enhanced.

To become an admin, the contestant must file a Request for Adminship. The relevant policy page says the following:

There are no official prerequisites for adminship, other than having an account and being trusted by other editors, but the likelihood of passing without being able to show significant contributions to the encyclopedia are low. The community looks for a variety of factors in candidates; discussion can be intense. For examples of what the community is looking for, one could review some successful and some unsuccessful RfAs.

If the contestant is successful in getting the nod from The Community, a whole new world of possibilities opens up. “Adminship” is a lifetime appointment; revocation of the title is as rare as a Liberty Head nickel. Violations of Wikipedia policy, or similar offenses which would get a normal editor banned in a heartbeat, are routinely overlooked when the perpetrator is an admin. Conversely, if an editor presents an obstacle to an admin’s activist agenda, the admin can ban that editor using the flimsiest of pretexts, or no pretext at all. One admin who has a great many such notches on his belt is Bwilkins, who at some

…continue reading What can we learn from the “Dangerous Panda” saga?

Another wiki-day, another wiki-dollar

File:USPS mailbox.jpgThis week we present an open letter from one of our forum members, Mason (known as “28bytes” on Wikipedia).

Jonathan E. Hochman is the founder of a marketing business specializing in search engine optimization. He is also a long-term Wikipedia participant (since 2005!) and an administrator on the site, where he contributes under the name of “Jehochman”. As he states on his personal Wikipedia profile page, Hochman does not “edit” on behalf of his clients. But truth, on Wikipedia, is in the eye of the beholder. Hochman may not create or contribute to articles about his customers on Wikipedia *now*, but as the following will show, he has done so on numerous occasions in the distant and not so distant past.

28bytes, as the reader may recall, was the most popular candidate in last year’s elections to Wikipedia’s supreme and far from uncontroversial decision-making body, the site’s “Arbitration Committee”. He resigned after having been criticized (especially by Jehochman) about also having an account here on Wikipediocracy, as well as having edited some articles he had a close connection with.

We’d also like to give a hat tip to Mila, who did a lot of research to bring this topic to light. You can see her forum post about Jehochman here.


Dear Mr. Hochman,

I am sure you recall leaving a message on my talk page six weeks ago asking that I resign from the arbitration committee for not disclosing to the Wikipedia community that I had (and have) an account here on Wikipediocracy. This was one of about two dozen messages you left on my talk page within a period of a few hours, many of which made the claim that not disclosing this fact was

…continue reading Another wiki-day, another wiki-dollar