Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-02-25/Sockpuppeting administrator

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Sockpuppeting administrator desysopped, community-banned

By Ral315, 25 February, 2008

After concerns over an administrator's consistently poor blocking record, a checkuser was performed, the results of which showed extensive sockpuppeting. As a result, the administrator was summarily desysopped by the Arbitration Committee, and was community banned. Recent checkuser requests also show that the account was likely operated by a community-banned sockpuppeter.

Last week, we reported on the then-breaking story of the desysopping of Archtransit, after concerns about the user's administrative actions led to a checkuser, the results of which showed that Archtransit likely controlled many sockpuppets abusively. Archtransit, who became an administrator in January after a unanimous RfA, was criticized for a pattern of poor administrative actions, and was the subject of a request for comment, started on February 4. In the RFC, a series of blocks were criticized, including an arguably punitive 12-hour block against administrator Jehochman for a 1-minute block that Hochman made against Congolese fufu. Fufu has since been identified as a sockpuppet of Archtransit.

While some at the RFC argued for the removal or reconfirmation of Archtransit's adminship (John Reaves called Archtransit "unqualified for adminship", and Sarah said that she had "absolutely no trust or faith in Archtransit as a fellow administrator"), an arbitration case was not pursued, after Archtransit agreed to a mentoring agreement with administrators Ryan Postlethwaite and Riana.

During the course of the mentorship, Archtransit continued to make controversial blocks, despite being urged not to by mentors and other users. Meanwhile, checkusers privately reviewed evidence, concluding that Archtransit was the operator of numerous sockpuppets, many of which he had unblocked in prior disputes. The Arbitration Committee reviewed the information, and agreed to summarily desysop the account. Arbitrator FT2 made the announcement:

Since Archtransit became an administrator on January 10, 2008, a number of issues have been raised concerning his blocks, unblocks, and other administrator actions. His conduct has been the subject of a request for comment at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Archtransit, where the views of Archtransit's conduct have been generally negative and his responses generally deemed unsatisfactory. Substantial community time has been expended in commenting on the disputed actions and seeking to improve Archtransit's performance as an administrator, including on ANI, on the RfC, and on Archtransit's talkpage. An admin mentor has expressed further concerns on his approaches, and it has appeared that the situation may lead to an arbitration case being presented with a view to desysopping.

Separate from the above, the Arbitration Committee has also received checkuser findings and extensive analysis of editing histories, and has independently concluded by an overwhelming weight of many types of credible evidence, that User:Fairchoice, User:Whoaslow, User:Bqwe123 and User:Lethte, who were variously blocked, unblocked or in on-wiki debate with Archtransit, are in fact sockpuppets of Archtransit himself. Archtransit was asked to comment on this finding privately and his answer was felt to be quite evasive, focussing on why it was better that an accusation should not be made, rather than evidence which might help refute it. Archtransit stated essentially as his defense, that if puppetry had occurred it would still not be a problem since (he felt) no false consensus was created. We do not agree with this reasoning. We conclude that abusive and disruptive sockpuppetry has taken place, involving at times gross misuse of tools. Our conclusion parallels the apparent view of the community that even apart from this, there is insufficient communal confidence in Archtransit's abilities to appropriately use the tools recently granted by the community.

Accordingly, Archtransit is desysopped. He may not seek to regain administrator status without the approval of the Arbitration Committee. All of the sockpuppet accounts will be blocked. Additionally, Archtransit may only edit Wikipedia through one account and any change of account name shall be reported to the committee.

Over the next few days, a community ban was proposed and implemented, and scrutiny of his prior actions continued. A list of suspected sock puppets grew; these accounts included Congolese fufu and that account's sockpuppets. It also came to light that Archtransit was likely an account operated by Dereks1x, a prolific sockpuppeter who was community banned in April 2007.



Also this week:

Michael Snow interview — Controversial RFA — Sockpuppeting administrator — Print encyclopedias — WikiWorld — News and notes — In the news — WikiProject report — Dispatches — Features and admins — Technology report — Arbitration report


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