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Wikipedia Review

MyWikiBiz, Author Your Legacy — Thursday February 21, 2019
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The Wikipedia Review is an Internet forum for the discussion of Wikimedia projects, particularly the English Wikipedia. As of July 2008 the forum contains over 100,000 posts.

Background

Wikipedia Review was originally founded in November 2005, by a person calling himself Igor Alexander (this was merely a screen name), on the forum hosting site ProBoards. It is now located at its own domain name, which was created by the user Blissyu2 with help from Igor Alexander, Blu Aardvark, Qwerty and Lir (all screen names) with Selina (not her real name, and widely believed to be male) as tech support, and, as tech support, was the first user and made the first post. After it was created, Selina, who was not an administrator of the site, hacked the site in order to ban the founder Igor Alexander based on Wikipedia administrator SlimVirgin's false claim that Igor Alexander was Amelekite who in turn was Alex Linder (in spite of evidence that the 3 were different people) [2] [3], which SlimVirgin claimed proved that Wikipedia Review was a front for anti-Semitic activity (in spite of zero posts criticising Jews). While Amalekite is a member of the Vanguard News Network (VNN), a site that Alex Linder owns, they are clearly different people, and Igor Alexander actively opposes Alex Linder. This vicious lie by one of Wikipedia Review's greatest enemies, SlimVirgin, was designed to destroy Wikipedia Review, and it ultimately succeeded, as in late 2006 two of the founding members, Blu Aardvark and Lir, hacked the site to remove Selina by force from the site, to give it back to Blissyu2, who unfortunately was away from the computer at the time and could not get it back. Following this, Selina hacked the site further, with the help of Somey, which eventually took permanent control of the site, later banning the owner Blissyu2 from his own site after he had opposed the outing of SlimVirgin's true identity. This outing in turn was used as the excuse for Blissyu2 to be permanently banned from Wikipedia, even though Daniel Brandt had been the one who had outed her, and Blissyu2 had opposed it. Under Somey and Selina's rule, the site was hacked again in 2008, though whoever hacked it never said who they were. Somey and Selina used this time as an excuse to change the mission statement (as quoted below), and to garner support for the people who had stolen the site from its original founders, all of whom were banned from their own site. After the original founders were all banned from their own site, the site stabilised somewhat, though it eventually ran into problems and virtually closed down, with the only reason it still exists on that domain name now being so that the original founders cannot take over the domain name. Bar the original founders, it has now largely been replaced by wikipediocracy, who have continued to ban all of the original founders from their site as well.

The forum is run by Invision Power Board (IPB) software. While originally anyone could use the site, Selina controversially decided to change it so that the site requires registration using a valid, non-webmail, e-mail address to post and claims to discourage the operation of multiple accounts by a single user.

The Aims of Wikipedia Review

The original aims of Wikipedia Review, as stated by Igor Alexander, was to stop the very nasty way that Wikipedia administrators ran their site, specifically with regards to the racist attitudes that they had towards people who spoke English as a second language, like Igor Alexander did (Igor said that he was Russian), and its original aim was to coordinate attacks against Wikipedia with that aim and to raise public awareness of that and the many other problems with Wikipedia so that the world would know how bad they were.

These aims never really varied from the outset, at least not by the original founding members, and they were always well known. Different posters had different ideas of what was wrong with Wikipedia. Some said that the problem was the lack of fact checking, some such as Daniel Brandt claimed that it was the anonymity of users, others claimed it was the way that they created a pseudo-legal handling of affairs which in turn was used to defame people's real life identities, and others claimed that it was all about Wikipedia's ability to control information by changing truth.

From its beginning, Wikipedia Review had members who opposed their aims, and prominent pro-Wikipedia people were always welcome to express their views. This included Wikipedia founder Larry Sanger, and, while Jimbo Wales didn't ever post, he was invited to.

In an effort to stop Wikipedia Review becoming a pro-Wikipedia place, there were always different levels of trust to the users, with people who were anti-Wikipedia having access to a trusted sub forum, at various times called "trusted users forum", "WR cabal" and "WR anti-cabal". This generally included administrators as well as anyone who was trusted enough to be an administrator but for various reasons didn't want that position (such as Daniel Brandt and Blissyu2). Selina was a member of that forum, as tech support, but was never supposed to be an administrator.

Following Selina and Somey taking control of Wikipedia Review, they used one of the attempts to take the site from them as an excuse to create their own Mission Statement, which was quoted by several people afterwards. While this generally agrees with the earlier aims, it was not the original aim of the site.

Here is the supposed Mission Statement, posted by Somey, one of the people who had illegally taken control of the site, which appeared only briefly, when the site was down for a few days after a hacking attempt to take control back from Somey and Selina, who had hacked it away from the original owners[1].

WR: NOT
Wikipedia Review is not a conspiracy, a team-building exercise, a role-playing game, or an experiment in collusion. It is not meant as a resource or training ground for those who would instill fear and misery in others. It does not exist to corrupt, but to expose corruption; it does not exist to tear down institutions, but to expose the ways in which institutions are torn down; it does not exist to hate, but is meant to expose hate in others. To expose these things is not evil. It is not a monolithic entity, nor the sum of its parts. Like-mindedness does not imply singularity of purpose; respect for the rights of one group does not imply disrespect for the rights of another. It is not intended to be predictable, consistent, or dull.

Imagine a world in which human beings are not user accounts, are not programmable, and are not mere words on a display screen. That's what we're doing...

Notes

  1. ^ [1]
  • [4] Evidence that Blissyu2, not Somey or Selina, was the legitimate owner of Wikipedia Review, and that it was hacked.
  • [5] List of emails proving ownership
  • [6] More emails
  • [7] Support request
  • [8] Somey admitting to the hacking via Robert Black's blog post about SlimVirgin
  • [9] How Somey with help from Kato, hacked Blissyu2 from his own site, Wikipedia Review