User talk:ScottyBerg

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A Barnstar[edit]

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The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
For participation in this discussion. Thanks for your input. Acps110 (talkcontribs) 18:20, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. It's greatly appreciated. ScottyBerg (talk) 16:52, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

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Re:User Box[edit]

Heck no, for me it is an honor. You know Scotty, to tell you the truth, even though at the beginning we got got off on the wrong foot, I too have come to appreciate your work and have learned to not jump the gun so quickly on issues. Thanks. Tony the Marine (talk) 16:31, 11 January 2012 (UTC)


Hi there. I'm blocking your account indefinitely as a sock of banned editor, User:Mantanmoreland. I've already discussed the matter and the evidence (including checkuser evidence) with the Arbitration Committee before blocking your account and I suggest you defer to them for unblock requests - Alison 18:06, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Does anyone know what's going on here? The Mantanmoreland case was before my time. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:38, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Scotty, can you e-mail me and tell me what's going on? Are you this Mantanmoreland? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:49, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I would like for you to e-mail me too about this. Acps110 (talkcontribs) 18:55, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
For everyone's benefit, here's a link to the evidence.[1] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:41, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Ha. The person who reported Scotty was also blocked as a sock.[2] Don't you love Wikipedia? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:46, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I just saw this. It's absolutely insane. What "contributions"? What "checkuser evidence"? If there is checkuser evidence, then it just proves that checkuser evidence can be wrong. ScottyBerg (talk) 20:48, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Wait, this report is from September of last year. Am I looking at the wrong one? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:52, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
There is nothing else to which I have been notified. Just what you see from Alison. "Contributions." "Checkuser." WTF???? ScottyBerg (talk) 20:54, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand what's going on. No one has even edited Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Mantanmoreland since 17:42, September 12, 2011.[3] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:05, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
The nexus of that SPI was that I had edited Gary Weiss (the alleged RL identity of Mantanmoreland) hence I must be Mantanmoreland. That was absurd, because I blundered into the Weiss article via Huggle, which is an automated tool. I recently edited the article again, which I see has resulted in chatter off-wiki[4]. Yes, I've watchlisted the article and yes, I edited it again. A user had wanted to add a section that was contrary to BLP. Those are the "contributions." I can't speak to the checkuser. ScottyBerg (talk) 21:11, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
HelloAnnoying closed it as a bad faith report.[5] This is all so weird. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:14, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Here's what makes it weirder: I'm in this mess because of an automated tool. They should check my contributions and my original involvement in Gary Weiss. I'll go back and find it myself. That's what it all boils down to, if you read Wikipedia Review, as obviously Alison does. ScottyBerg (talk) 21:19, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Here: my first edit to Gary Weiss was 17:14 12 May 2011. It was a Huggle edit. I had been on Huggle for the preceding 20 minutes, long before the vandal arrived in Weiss.[6]. That's how I became involved in that article. Those are the "contributions." So it's that, recent editing that raised the ire of people at Wikipedia Review, and, what, I am in the same ISP as Mantanmoreland? For that you ban an editor who has been here for two years and has 12,000 contributions?
Is Alison suggesting that I had clairvoyance that a vandal was arriving at Gary Weiss, began editing that article twenty minutes (or more) in advance, and then swooped in so that I could then watchlist it and do Mantanmoreland-like editing? And doing this approximately eighteen months after creating my account?ScottyBerg (talk) 21:30, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Relax, it might just be some crazy mistake. I'll start a discussion at ANI. I think Alison may have gone offline. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:43, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

I certainly hope so. Since I'm blocked, I can't contribute to the discussion. Perhaps I can be unblocked for that purpose. It doesn't seem fair to not be allowed to participate. ScottyBerg (talk) 21:49, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
OK, I started a discussion at ANI.[7] I'm hoping that this is all some crazy mixup. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:51, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Obviously, no one at AN/I can or will do anything in regards to a CheckUser block. The proper avenue is appeal to ArbCom. I suggest both of you stop complaining here and at AN/I, and ScottyBerg email ArbCom for appeal. Otherwise, you're just wasting your own time. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 21:53, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I have contacted Arbcom, of course. But Alison said this block was based on contributions as well as checkuser. It would have to be, because otherwise it would not make any sense at all, given that I have been here for two years and have made 12,000 edits. I've just explained how contributions couldn't possibly justify a block. Since that is the case, what difference would it make if I used the same ISP as a banned user? ScottyBerg (talk) 22:06, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
It looks like this is too scary for any of the brave people at ANI to touch William M. Connolley (talk) 22:10, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I can understand why they don't want to discuss checkuser findings, at least publicly, because of the privacy policy. But what about my contributions? How can anyone seriously suggest that my contributions are suggestive of sockpuppeting? If they are suggesting that there are multiple articles that suggest sockpuppeting, what are those articles? Were they also Huggle contributions? ScottyBerg (talk) 22:17, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
They're saying a CheckUser was performed and apparently it said you were this other person. They're also saying that your only recourse is to appeal to ArbCom. If the allegation is true, I suggest that the best way to move forward is to admit it. You've been editing Wikipedia for two years without any problems AFAIK, so I don't see a need to keep a block on a productive editor. Of course, that's just my opinion. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:26, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
But I'm not that other account, and (as far as I know) my first edit suggesting otherwise took place eighteen months after I started editing! ScottyBerg (talk) 22:57, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Scott, if you like, I can file an appeal on your behalf to ArbCom. If I were to do so, I would argue you've been editing productively under this account for 2 years, have 12,000+ edits, and you've been able to do so without any issues. There's no point in blocking productive editors who aren't causing any problems. Perhaps WMC might be willing to jointly file the appeal with me? Many editors have a lot of respect for Dr. Connolley so his endorsement might help a great deal. But here's the thing and I cannot stress this enough: If you really are a sock of this other user, it's best to just fess up and come clean. Lying will be held against you. Please think about that carefully before responding. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:03, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks and yes, I would appreciate it if you could appeal. I have an appeal myself pending with Arbcom, but I don't see how it can hurt. As for your final point, I don't have to think carefully because I am not a sock of anyone. One question: I can't find the wikistalk tool, so I can't compare my edits with Mantanmoreland. Does it still exist? My top edited pages and his bear no resemblancce. ScottyBerg (talk) 23:05, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Yet another example of how CUs are, a lot of the time, utterly useless. SilverserenC 23:20, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
wikistalk --SPhilbrick(Talk) 23:27, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, there are two ways we can appeal:
a) The sock puppet allegation is wrong.
b) It doesn't matter whether sock puppet allegation is correct or not. People who can productively edit Wikipedia for 2 years without any problems shouldn't be blocked.
The problem with a) is that I don't know anything about sock puppet investigations. I don't know how they're conducted. I don't know what sort of evidence is considered acceptable. I rarely, if ever, comment on them. IOW, I'm not qualified to make that argument. I'm willing to make argument b) but a) is not something I know much about. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:31, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Stalker report--SPhilbrick(Talk) 23:32, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
@Sphilbrick: Is that good or bad? For comparison, here's me with Mantanmoreland,[8] ScottyBerg, [9] Sphilbrick,[10] William M. Connolley,[11] and Silver seren.[12] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:44, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Quest, to answer your first question, what is galling to me is how I'm being blocked for an article that I found through Huggle. It's really that simple. I wouldn't be in this mess if I hadn't been Huggling. I have asked Arbcom to reinstate and I don't want to prejudice that, but I just don't think this is even remotely fair. ScottyBerg (talk) 23:47, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Amusingly if you compare Alison to Mantanmoreland (as a random related example) there seems to be more intersection than with yourself. Which doesn't give me a lot of faith in the tool ;) --Errant (chat!) 23:49, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
(Stop edit conflicting me, gosh darnit!) User:Edinburgh Wanderer reverted my comment for some reason, here's what I said.
"Oh no, look. I have 7 articles in common with A Quest For Knowledge, we must be the same person! Oh no, Phil, I must be you too!. I bet you didn't guess that I was Alison all along, did you?" SilverserenC 23:50, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Here's me with Alison[13] and Jimbo[14] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:52, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Silverseren, before you were reverted, you also said, "That's it? That's all there is? 6 actual articles in total. This is absolutely worthless." ScottyBerg (talk) 23:58, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm hardly an expert on the tool, have only used it a couple times, but I'll take mild issue with errant's "lack of faith". The tool isn't making any pronouncements, simply identifying overlap, which gives pointers to investigators. It might be useful to look up known sockpuppets, to get a sense of what a true positive looks like.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 23:59, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I apparently have a ton of overlap with Bongwarrior. It's kinda freaky. I can see why ED thinks we're the same person. SilverserenC 00:03, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
@SPhilbrick; oh, sure, I can see how it could be useful. Unfortunately it runs afoul of statistical fallacy - which means on such low numbers I wouldn't trust it to tell you much. I suspect you could get greater intersection with any number of regular editors on here (for example anyone on BLP watch will probably intersect heavily with me; i.e. Off2riorob and I share over 100 articles in common: --Errant (chat!) 00:05, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't want to be a broken record, but based on the previous report and the thread at Wikipedia Review that instigated this, the "contributions" element relates to one article. I implore all to please be aware of the circumstances in which I initially edited that article: randomly assigned to it by Huggle eighteen months after I began editing. ScottyBerg (talk) 00:13, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Just to clarify: in blocking me, Alison did not cite contributions. Her exact words were: "per behavioral evidence and per CU." So it's my "behavior," whatever that means. I suspect that must have something to do with my contributions. ScottyBerg (talk) 00:18, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
This sort of reasoning has been submitted before and I seem to remember, in previous times, the "evidence" didn't hold up to scrutiny. And what happened to the transparency pledge, anyways? SilverserenC 00:28, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I've had my differences with Scotty in the past and have come to respect his work and integrity in this project. I refuse to believe the "sockpuppet" allegations made against him. There has to be some mistake. He deserves to have his reputation restored by who ever accused him of such after this whole thing is cleared up. Tony the Marine (talk) 00:39, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

(edit conflict) This doesn't make sense. According to HelloAnnyong in the SPI linked above, Mantanmoreland and all his socks were Stale for checkuser purposes in September 2011. None of them have edited since (last edit by anyone in the confirmed socks cat was 22 February 2010), so where on earth has the checkuser evidence linking this account to Mantanmoreland come from? Copyedede, a suspected sock that isn't blocked, edited recently, but that wouldn't be grounds to either a) block ScottyBerg without blocking that account too (it hasn't been) or b) tag as confirmed if the link is to a suspected sock. It's be interesting to know what the behavioural evidence is; apart from the not unreasonably large overlap in articles edited I can't see a similarity. Anyone else think we've just lost a good editor for no real reason? Alzarian16 (talk) 00:44, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

I hope we haven't lost him, he's still commenting here after all. We'll get this fixed up, Scotty, don't worry.
Does anyone else feel like this is a repeat of the "saving old CU data" no-no that was revealed in the Arbcom email leaks? I don't see where the info could be coming from, other than someone saving the info on their computer. And we've already established that do that is a BIG problem. SilverserenC 00:52, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I hope you're right. One comment: This Copeyede also seems to have been swept into the "Gary Weiss dragnet." I see in his contributions one contribution to Gary Weiss and the rest to Press TV. I haven't done a thorough check, but I have never edited that article to the best of my knowledge, unless I was brought into it by Huggle too.
@Tony, your support is really appreciated. ScottyBerg (talk) 00:58, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Apparently, there's secret evidence. I don't know how you're supposed to respond to secret evidence. Does anyone have any experience in this sort of thing? I don't and I'm at a loss. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:38, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I guess we should wait 24 hours. If you don't get a reply by then, Scotty, we'll probably have to escalate this to ANI again, hopefully more successfully this time. SilverserenC 01:39, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, we don't want to escalate to ANI because apparently that's the wrong venue. We have to escalate to ArbCom. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:44, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Haven't we done that already? I thought they were the ones we were waiting for a reply from. SilverserenC 01:53, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
(ec) I just wanted to mention that not all of the evidence is secret. There is "behavioral evidence." Here's the behavioral evidence: I've been here two years, I have just under 13,000 edits, and I have edited over 4,000 articles. I fell under the Gary Weiss Dragnet after coming to that article through Huggle eighteen months after I started editing. ScottyBerg (talk) 01:57, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
(ec)@Silver seren: From what I understand, Scott's appeal to ArbCom isn't public. No one knows what's going on there. What I am proposing is a public appeal to ArbCom that the whole community can see and weigh in on. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:01, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
If that's going to happen I would like to be unblocked for the purpose of participating. ScottyBerg (talk) 02:17, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
What?! Arbcom be transparent??? Whoever heard of such a thing! I must say, you've completely lost your marbles. (Though if you make such an appeal, I will immediately go there and support it.) SilverserenC 02:40, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps the discussion could be limited to my contributions, horrific as they are. I see on AQFK's talk page what one editor sees is a smoking gun in my East Harlem contributions. He doesn't explain that, and no Mantanmoreland sock has edited East Harlem as far as I know. If we're going to examine my behavior, what about examining the fact that I have not edited any articles in the "locus of dispute" of the Mantanmoreland arbitration case except for the one that I was automatically referred to by Huggle? Yes, I would like to see my "behavior" publicly explained, this recurrent bullshit laid to rest and my name cleared. ScottyBerg (talk) 02:52, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

I got an email from ScottyBerg, saying "Hans, have you seen my talk page, and how I've been banned?" and nothing more. I vaguely remember interacting with ScottyBerg in one way or another a long time ago, but don't remember where or whether it was positive or negative interactions. However, recently my immediate associations with the user name (which I keep seeing in various contexts) were those of a mature, intelligent good-faith user whose opinions are worth considering, and this likely results from those interactions. The Mantanmoreland Arbcom case and banning happened around the first half year of my account, and I know very little about them other than that there seems to be an association to a real name that does com up occasionally. I have never paid much attention to these things, but I seem to associate that real name with 'elder banned editor' type comments.

There is no arguing with secret evidence, of course. I looked at the "extended evidence" in WP:Sockpuppet investigations/Mantanmoreland/Archive#Evidence, which is remarkably unconvincing. I use Wikistalk regularly when I suspect someone of sockpuppeting. The editing overlap in this case is so marginal that I would personally consider it exonerating evidence. (My own overlap with the two Mantanmoreland accounts is even less, although I have twice as many edits as ScottyBerg. But I have never used any automatic vandal fighting tools, and my number of unique pages edited is less than ScottyBerg's.) The regular use of "rply" in edit summaries is not very common, but is an extremely weak bit of evidence. My superficial examination of ScottyBerg's contributions history showed a natural progression from no edit summaries via longer abbreviations such as "rply" and "cmt" to a preference for extremely short abbrevations such as "r" and "c". The use of "--" in edit summaries also seems in no way remarkable to me. I don't know why it is so common among other groups, but among mathematicians it's a very widespread practice because it is the standard in TeX source code.

Based on all this, it is inconsistent with my good opinion of Alison that this 'evidence' factored into the decision in any meaningful way, and I guess that there is other behavioural evidence. There may be valid reasons not to disclose it. E.g., if the operator of the Mantanmoreland account has a history of unusually good dissimulation and the socks are genuinely problematic, then any signature traits that have been isolated should not be made public and other efforts should be made to minimise the danger of false positives.

I certainly support the Arbitration Committee giving ScottyBerg a fair hearing, but this seems so obvious that I doubt my opinion is needed here. As the real name of Mantanmoreland is known and ScottyBerg appears to be a real-name account, I guess that a driving license faxed to the Foundation could play an important role in resolving this matter. Hans Adler 08:50, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

I found some additional evidence that tends to exonerate you but might explain a false positive. I sent the details by email. Hans Adler 09:13, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Reading into the situation I believe the "secrecy" due to COI/Privacy is because the alleged Sockmaster account is linked to a RL name. Really the cat is out of the bag with that one, so it doesn't seem to matter all that much (it's even mentioned directly by an editor on AQFK's talk page). --Errant (chat!) 09:58, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
  • ScottyBerg, I suggest you forward any evidence to the Arbitration Committee (even if it was uncovered or written by Hans Adler or another user) so that we can consider it during your appeal. Thank you, AGK [•] 11:03, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
My evidence consists mainly of potential outing information about ScottyBerg. Before the mailing list leak I would simply have CCed it to Arbcom to expedite things. My theory is that ScottyBerg has a lot of things in common with Mantanmoreland that could explain false positives, but does not know him personally, or knows him personally but does not know he is Mantanmoreland. If my guess is correct, ScottyBerg may be able to clear things up simply by providing certain information about himself. But it is for him to decide who to trust. Hans Adler 12:34, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Hans I appreciate your suggestion but it is based on a surmise about my identity that's not correct. ScottyBerg (talk) 13:14, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I think it's obvious to you how I came to my conclusion. I'm sorry I couldn't help. Hans Adler 17:18, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Update on indefinite block of ScottyBerg[edit]

For the benefit of those members of the community who are monitoring Alison's indefinite block of this account: the Arbitration Committee has received, and is considering, an appeal by Scotty of his block. Due to the nature of the evidence for this block (that it was based in part on checkuser evidence), the ban appeal must be discussed in private. We will keep the community informed of the progress and result of the appeal on this talk page (or on our Noticeboard in the event the appeal is successful). As a personal comment, I would emphasise that, although behavioural evidence is sometimes as inconclusive as technical evidence, there is a substantive basis for this block (which is why Alison's prior consultation met with our approval). However, in addition to the behaviour evidence, there is also compounding technical evidence that makes this block more solid than might appear to editors without access to the checkuser tool. In anticipation of your patience and understanding, thank you. AGK [•] 11:11, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

AGK, you seem like a fair person so please put yourself in my position. Do you understand how textbook Kafkaesque this is? I was suddenly blocked for the vaguest of reasons ("behavioral evidence"), along with secret evidence of a "technical" nature. I can't face my accuser, who immediately vanished, and I have to surmise what the accusations are by trying to guess at what my behavior may have been that warranted a block, as I've tried to do. I have to "appeal" based on that surmise, and not on what actually is being claimed. You say that there is "substantial basis" but you still won't tell me, privately or publicly, what it is. That's just wrong.
Since you won't tell me, and since I can only guess what that "evidence" may be, I've had to comb through the Mantanmoreland case and associated dramas. I immediately saw that it involves articles that (with that one exception) I've never even remotely edited. I have no interest in business or theology, and never have. Mantanmoreland engaged in misconduct such as using multiple accounts simultaneously and tendentious editing pushing a POV on business and theological topics in a narrow range of articles. So far as I know, no one has made that claim against me, but I don't know for certain because nobody has told me why I was blocked except vaguely.
The RL person allegedly associated with that account has just written a book on Ayn Rand. That is another subject that I have never touched on, even tangentially, in my two years here.
When the SPI case was brought in September by an editor who was actually sockpuppeting and who was blocked, the discussion spilled over to Newyorkbrad's user page. I think Risker's comments here are apt: "I believe that even the SPI was excessive and has a potentially chilling effect. The articles that were related to the Mantanmoreland case continue to seem to attract far too much suspicion aimed at anyone who makes even positive edits (including removal of poorly sourced material from a BLP, or addition/improvement of reference sources), and this is unhealthy for the encyclopedia. Simply editing that article is insufficient reason to initiate an SPI, in my books; that the edits were entirely within keeping of all policies, were in response to the addition of poorly sourced material, were edits that would easily have been seen on routine recent changes patrol....these are all reasons to believe that ScottyBerg was editing the project in good faith."
I was blocked after carrying out this edit[15], reversing on UNDUE and BLP grounds a bad-faith edit by an editor who I since seen posts copiously against the RL subject of the article off-wiki. My edit was in good faith, as I have been watchlisting the article since I was brought to it automatically via Huggle six months ago. I watchlist many articles I find through vandal fighting. I think it's amazing I should be blocked after doing that. ScottyBerg (talk) 13:10, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I understand completely, but I don't want to make any judgement until we have heard from Alison and the arbitrators who have not yet opined on the block appeal. For that reason alone, I'm reluctant to comment on the validity of the evidence at this point, but we will look into this fairly, and consider all the evidence - and try to do so expeditiousness. Thank you for keeping a level head during this discussion; most such blockees would lose their temper, not making the matter any easier (and probably worse). Kind regards, AGK [•] 13:14, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
But how can you say you'll look at it fairly if I have no way of responding to accusations against me? There are also WP:BATTLE aspects to this, based on on- and off-wiki comments, that I find disturbing and which reflect on the integrity of the process. ScottyBerg (talk) 13:21, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Given the lack of problematic edits by ScottyBerg, I urge ArbCom to unblock ScottyBerg immediately, and then undertake an investigation into the allegations. That way, the committee can proceed without rushing. There is substantial evidence that allowing ScottyBerg to edit is not an immediate threat to the project, and the only reason to eventually block would be if the evidence finds conclusive evidence of sockpuppetry.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 13:33, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
@AGK: How can the community possibly review this block if you can't tell us what the secret evidence is? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 13:38, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
(ec) I agree, and thank you for that. Whatever is done should be transparent, and I should have the opportunity to respond, and not just guess at what people may or may not be saying privately. That's just not fair. The BATTLE aspects of this bother me. This edit from about an hour ago by Hans Adler[16] is almost identical to the edit that I carried out a few days ago, which was immediately leaped upon off-wiki by the editor perpetrated the edit and his associates, resulting in my block. I have been watchlisting that article because it was subject to this kind of BLP issue and tendentious editing. The article is indeed a toxic one as Risker pointed out. Ironically, disruptive editing such as what I corrected is supposed to be subject of Arbcom discretionary sanctions under the Mantanmoreland case. But the only sanctions seem to be taken against an editor (me) who corrects disruptive editing (i.e., adding a section on the article subject's weight). ScottyBerg (talk) 13:41, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I have to agree with everything said so far - at least some indication of the evidence being used, as well comment as to the areas that are off-limits due to privacy. I have always found Alison to have sound judgement. However the circumstantial evidence and the off-wiki incitement (Alison notes she is a Wikipedia Review regular) worries me. I'd suggest we simply get the community to overturn this block for the time being. --Errant (chat!) 13:54, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure of the correct approach to make the question formal, but I also emailed the committee. ScottyBerg, it occurs to me that the only potential reason for not unblocking pending a full investigation is the possibility that you might edit Gary Weiss or other related articles in the meantime. while that argument is exceedingly thin, as those edits would be easy to revert, if you were to voluntarily agree, pending the outcome of the investigation, to stay away from any articles edited by Mantanmoreland, it would remove the only rationale I can think of for not unblocking, pending the completion of the investigation. Perhaps that assurance would persuade the committee that they should unblock, and continue the investigation in non-emergency mode.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:02, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't object to that condition, as a voluntary step on my part. My only hesitancy is the implication that I've done something wrong, and I plainly have not. There has been problematic editing in that article, but not by me. Other than that, I don't object to not editing articles that I have never edited in the first place. ScottyBerg (talk) 14:06, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
In reviewing the relevant discussion at Wikipedia Review, I notice that Alison has been a regular participant in heated discussion about Gary Weiss dating back three years. Her name was very recently invoked there even though she hasn't been participating in that discussion lately. My block was instigated at Wikipedia Review by a banned editor, so my unease over this is greatly increased. The BATTLE aspect of the article is why I commenced watching that article, and seeing a drama played out off-wiki in this fashion and leading to my block I find deeply disturbing. ScottyBerg (talk) 14:36, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Not sure what sort of weight my opinion would have here, as I personally consider ScottyBerg to be a substantially-sized douchebag, but I find this block - and the subsequent actions by admins and ARBCOM - deeply troubling. From SB's account, he was blocked after making a single edit to an article once deeply worked by MM. No discussion, no completed checkuser and no endorsement by another admin (a practice that I think needs to be part of the indef blocking process). Then, the blocking admin vanishes like a fart in the wind. Unacceptable, Alison.
To make matters more troubling, AGK updates SB (who, to my complete surprise, doesn't act like a total choad at the accusation or block) that ARBCOM is aware of the problem but will be handling the matter privately. Say what? I cannot imagine what the need for privacy would be. MM's real life identity is, and has been made, exceptionally clear to even those (like myself) who don't have the time or inclination to read WR. The only reason the matter should be private in ARBCOM is if ScottyBerg was ambivalent or silent about the accusation, which he certainly is not. AGK needs to be far, far more specific as to the need for privacy here. Transparency is ALWAYS best. ALWAYS.
And I reject Hans Adler's suggestion that ScottyBerg should forward a copy of his real identity to ARBCOM; the user hasn't done anything to warrant proving anything to anyone. People are allowed to edit as douchebags in Wikipedia, so long as their behavior isn't destructive or inherently non-conducive to an encyclopedic environment. As much as I personally dislike ScottyBerg, I haven't see much of that behavior here. Unless their behavior is such that they have prompted a solid, verifiable need to prove their identity, they should be allowed to edit via a handle or even anonymously.
Lastly, I think SB should be unblocked, pending the conclusion of the secret ARBCOM discussion.- Jack Sebastian (talk) 15:44, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Just to be clear, there was a single edit that caused immediate consternation, as I had the audacity to remove a section on the subject's weight. That was followed by edit warring by the account that added the "weight" section and a few others edits that (gasp!) added information to the article. The block took place a week later, after a checkuser was requested off-wiki by a banned editor having a RL issue with the article subject and with anyone who enforces BLP in that article. ScottyBerg (talk) 15:50, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I made my suggestion under an incorrect assumption that I won't explain on-wiki. You are of course right about ScottyBerg not being under any obligation to self-out to any functionary – as a matter of principle. However, whether this also holds in practice depends on the non-public evidence. It's the same as in real life. You shouldn't have to prove that you didn't kill your neighbour, but if your gloves are found next to his body that's precisely what you will be expected to do, even if you are innocent. Hans Adler 17:31, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Then the editors who have been defacing that article, adding sections on the subject's weight for instance, need to be treated similarly: blocked without notice on flimsy grounds, and then made to provide personally identifying information. I'll agree to that kind of fair treatment. ScottyBerg (talk) 17:46, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
We can't leave anything out. They need to be first subjected to discussion outside of Wikipedia. Then a regular at that website has to come on to Wikipedia to do the bidding of a banned editor. After that, they need to "appeal" against accusations that haven't been disclosed to them. They then need to expend considerable amounts of time trying to guess what kind of accusations have been made. In the midst of this, someone from arbcom has to come on wiki and say that things are a lot fairer than they seem, because secret "technical" and "behaviorial" evidence is "substantial," but still won't say what it is. ScottyBerg (talk) 17:51, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
@ScottyBerg: Has Alison or anybody from ArbCom shown you the evidence yet? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:57, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
No. However, someone was kind enough to email me this link. So I'm sure that in due course I'll be reading through the "evidence" at Wikipedia Review. ScottyBerg (talk) 18:02, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

(sock removed)

Good question, which deserves an answer. Also, Scotty, instead of campaigning on this talk page, why didn't you just discreetly email a copy of your driver's license and a utility bill in your name to ArbCom to show that you aren't related to Mantanmoreland? Cla68 (talk) 22:29, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't speak for SB obviously. The ArbCom is an organization that judges people in secret closed hearings and convicts them based on evidence that is withheld from the accused, for reasons that they also refuse to disclose. And you expect SB to trust this lot with personally identifying information like a drivers' license and power bill? Really? Reyk YO! 22:55, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Aren't we all supposed to be aware that we risk our privacy simply by interacting with others on the Internet? Another question...Scotty, why did you add Weiss' new book to his article, using the publisher's promotional page as the source? Cla68 (talk) 23:01, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
There's a big sliding scale of privacy risks on the internet, with incidental risks from ordinary day-to-day activity at one end and giving your internet banking password to a "Nigerian prince" at the other. You want SB to email personally identifying info to an organization that has already, by its actions, demonstrated that it doesn't wish him well and can't be trusted to be open and transparent in its dealings with others. Where on that scale do you think that falls? Reyk YO! 23:11, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
If you want to talk about why we're in a position where we pretty much have to trust ArbCom on certain issues, and why we have to accept that if we want to participate fully in Wikipedia, then we can take up that discussion on your talk page. In the meantime, I hope Scotty will answer how he was emailed the WR link when he has his email disabled, why he has been remonstrating so vocally here instead of quietly taking up his case with ArbCom, and why he added promotional material to the Weiss article. Cla68 (talk) 23:16, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Just to clear up the speculation surrounding the first point: I was the one who sent the link, as part of a response to an email I received from Scotty via the Wikipedia email service shortly after my previous comment. Nothing wrong with that, I assume? Alzarian16 (talk) 19:19, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

What would be funny is if we ran a CU on every single editor. I wonder how many socks from respected editors would be uncovered. IIRC, last year (2010), someone ran for ArbCom and ending up getting banned after it was discovered they they had dozens of socks. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:18, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

(ec) Alison has materialized on her talk page to say that she understands I am "working with Arbcom." I am not. Apart from providing Arbcom a list of my top edited stories in comparison with Mantanmoreland, and a few other things last night, there is nothing more that I can say because I haven't been asked any questions or shown any "evidence." ScottyBerg (talk) 18:24, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
@Scotty: If you don't trust ArbCom, can you e-mail me a copy of your driver's license? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:23, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Quest, I'll think about it. I resent the whole issue, candidly, while I appreciate your offer. Cla68, if you look at the edits, I originally simply reverted Cookiehead's edit adding an entire section on Weiss' weight. He reverted me. Instead of taking it to the talk page or DR, as I should have done, I went to the source he quoted and broadened that section to include his other speaking engagements. In retrospect that wasn't very good judgment, as it didn't help the UNDUE issue much, while ameliorating the BLP concern. While at that site I saw something that needed to be added, which is that he has a friggin book coming out! That's a lot more important in the BLP of an author than his weight, don't you think. So I added it, using the publishers site as a source. I don't see anything wrong with using the publisher's site as a source for that kind of edit, and I stand by that edit. Right now the article is odd as there is a book in bibliography that isn't mentioned in the article. ScottyBerg (talk) 23:40, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I strongly suggest that no one send anyone their personal documents to anyone they don't know personally, at least in the meantime, because that may cause more issues than it solves. It is probably worth being patient a few days and waiting to see what ArbCom has to say first. In addition, ScottyBerg, please refrain from provoking Cla68 and just use your mental ignore filter. Bickering here will not help your case and may cause this page to be locked. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 23:46, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
OK. I just wanted to add that I haven't been asked for such identification, and I am up to "here" with volunteering this and that and getting radio silence from those people for over 24 hours now, except to acknowledge my complaint. I feel like I'm dealing with an auto warranty fulfillment center and not a website I've been volunteering at for two years and 13,000 edits. ScottyBerg (talk) 23:49, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

(sock removed)

  • As a further update, we think this will take some time to review in full, and it will be about a week until we complete the appeal (which is being expedited). Scotty, if you want to be unblocked pending the appeal then please ask the Committee directly, but I don't think my colleagues will consent. Jack, I'm not sure how much more explicit I could have been in my original post: we are reviewing this in private because the block was partly based on checkuser evidence. We cannot discuss checkuser evidence in public, per the Wikimedia Foundation's m:Privacy policy. On general principle, I would prefer we discuss the appeal in public, but compliance with this website's contractual and legal obligations is not optional. AGK [•] 23:58, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
    • FWIW that is not accurate. The privacy policy includes a number of very broad caveats that mean you could do things in public. The PP, as with many similar policies other sites employ, serves not as guidance over what to release so much as a get-out clause for releasing data. We hide behind it too much. Part of the get out is "With permission of the affected user," which it appears you have. :) --Errant (chat!) 00:04, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
      • The privacy policy would not apply to "behavioral evidence," and certainly would not apply to behavioral evidence being shared with me for response. So far that has not happened. I have written to Arbcom to ask for a provisional unblock. Someone asked why I haven't "pursued this quietly with Arbcom." But I haven't been engaged by arbcom, so I don't know how I'm supposed to do that. I'm trying, but I can only guess about what to address. ScottyBerg (talk) 18:48, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Is arbcom working off User:Vee8Njinn/SB...someone please track the IP that created that username...I haven't looked but is this a mirror of something posted at Wikipedia Review?--MONGO 00:05, 13 January 2012 (UTC) Nevermind...Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Vee8Njinn/ why does the page still exist?--MONGO 00:07, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

@Scotty: Just blank out all the personal information on your driver's license except your name. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:17, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Arbcom...have you looked at User:Cookiehead?--MONGO 03:23, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

I still don't understand how, with a userpage like that, he's allowed to continue editing. SilverserenC 03:33, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
And then there's the sock whose contributions to this page I've just deleted. ScottyBerg (talk) 03:35, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
One must ask Cla68 why he is still involved in this after he was once blocked by User:Durova for his activities in this matter. I suppose I should have been too, according to the experts at WR....[17]--MONGO 03:41, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Quest, thanks but I think it's best to follow Fetchcomm's advice for the time being. ScottyBerg (talk) 03:44, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

It's a conspiracy, Scotty, don't you see?! :O SilverserenC 03:48, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I should be indefinitely banned...I edited the article too!--MONGO 04:06, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Somebody posted above about promotional material being added to the article. Well, my first edit was to remove promotional material - a reference to a Weiss speaking topic, his weight loss, with a link to a speakers bureau website. That was inserted by the Cookiehead account.[18][19] I didn't add the reference to Weiss's book; that was first put in by Cookiehead.[20] ScottyBerg (talk) 04:36, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Just thought I would put in my two cents. One point of comparison between Scotty and Gary Weiss/Mantan can be seen with this blog post from Weiss. Scotty has made a lot of edits to articles on Harlem. Specifically, the account has made nearly all of the contributions to the Italian Harlem article since 2010, a subject specifically mentioned in the blog post. Another point of interest is that Mantan created the List of Fordham University people and one of the alum listed there is Adam Clayton Powell IV, a politician from Harlem, whose article has numerous contributions from Scotty as well. On an odd side note, there is a Gary Weiss at Fordham University, but apparently not the same as the journalist (maybe he Googled himself?). On top of the edits to the Gary Weiss article and the two week gap between the Scotty account being registered and a group of Mantan socks being blocked, it seems reasonable to conclude that Scotty is Weiss/Mantan.

However, I also think this matter with Cookiehead needs to be looked at. From looking at Wikipedia Review it seems the initial, rather comical edit, was fully intended as a trap with the editor going to WR to boast of his success. That raises the question of whether the editor was just obscenely lucky, or whether Cookie knew the Scotty account was online somehow. Maybe there was some unseen off-wiki coordination on this little trap that was sprung on Scotty. Shenanigans like that are not much help to Wikipedia either and should be looked at.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 07:44, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Sure I've edited the Harlem articles a lot. If you look at my edits you'll see they're mostly cleanup. If you look at my pre-Alison user page you can see that New York neighborhood articles are my major focus, along with public transportation[21]: "New York City neighborhood articles are a mess. The neighborhoods themselves re often hazily defined, based on single sources or sometimes none at all. The articles are sometimes edited by local politicians to promote themselves and attack their political opponents, and seem to be a dumping ground for self-aggrandizement by drive-by SPAs and even established editors." That was a reference to East Harlem, which was one of the worst and is still pretty bad. When I first found it it was used to make unverified, apparently false claims about a local politician who was a Wikipedia editor and spammed the project mercilessly. That explains my top contribution [22] and my contribution to the Powell article, mostly cleanup in all the articles. Powell was not the Wikipedia editor but was targeted, and had complained about it. My biggest focus is articles on Chinatown, again mostly cleanup, and my second biggest contribution is Doyers Street (Manhattan), which I essentially created. My top-edited articles are dominated by articles on neighborhoods in Manhattan (Koreatown, Bowery, etc.) and public transportation, especially old lines.
What Cookiehead indicates is how this block of me was instigated off-wiki and is a continuation of an off-wiki RL battle involving people with a RL grudge against Weiss and editors preventing vandalism to his Wiki entry. I've been targeted since I first encountered the Weiss article in May 2011.
As for the timing of my commencement of editing: My first edit to any articles involved in the Mantan arbitration was the Huggle edit (an automated tool) to Weiss fifteen months after I began editing.ScottyBerg (talk) 12:39, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
In reading through that blog, I found that Weiss's principal focus is not Harlem. He had one post on Harlem and thousands on, its CEO, naked shortselling and finance, and I haven't gone anywhere near those topics. He is writing a book about Ayn Rand, and I haven't ever edited anything on Rand, libertarianism or anything close. Mantanmoreland had multiple socks operating simultaneously, and the socks had other socks operating in support. I still haven't heard from Arbcom, but I assume that kind of behavior is not being claimed against me. No one, not even on Wikipedia Review, has accused me of that but I guess the day is young. ScottyBerg (talk) 13:30, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Cookiehead is a WR the least. I'm not surprised that the same people who supported Wordbomb and banned editors like Rootology being able to return are involved in this. Frankly, even if Scotty is a reincarnation of Mantanmoreland, I'm not seeing any editing by Scotty that appears to be problematic in terms of the rationale behind the ban of Mantanmoreland.MONGO 18:28, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Mongo, to be fair, as I've been involved in other SPIs (as a prosecutor, not a defendant), so I know that whether I'm a good guy or not probably doesn't count for much if I'm this Mantanmoreland. But your second point is relevant in that he abused multiple accounts, and that is why he was banned. That was his main behavioral trait. I have never socked, and nobody has ever accused me of socking. ScottyBerg (talk) 18:37, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Scotty, I was going to reply to Purgedclub before you deleted his post but I think the comment is worthwhile for anyone with similar doubts. As the "email this user" form warns; "The form below will send a single e-mail message to this user. Your e-mail address (as entered in your user preferences) will appear in the From header of the message so that the recipient will be able to reply directly to you." Although your own account has email notification disabled it is clear from your talkpage that you have emailed a number of users who now have your address without you having to publicly offer it. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 19:16, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I deleted it because he's an SPA, making a fuss over nothing. ScottyBerg (talk) 19:25, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Arbitrary break for scrolling ease[edit]

I am stunned that ScottyBerg's offer to stay away from Mantanmoreland articles while this is being sorted out was not immediately seen as reasonable. I say this, even with the possiblity that the evidence comes in against Scotty. Unless it is 100% certain, in which case, one week is not needed, what possible harm can come from letting ScottyBerg edit in the meantime?

I'm fully aware that I'm not privy to all relevant information. While I come down, in general, on the side of transparency, I've seen enough situations where in camera was warranted that I', not going to rail about the secrecy aspect. Nor am I going to complain about the possible one week to resolve. These are volunteers, this is potentially tricky, and I want it done right.

However, given that there is no evidence of an immediate threat, I don't understand the position.

I distinguish this from other cases where an editor is creating problems, and there is a block, and some question about whether the block should be lifted or not. I can understand, in those circumstances, why the default is to leave the block in place until the matter is settled. This case is different, and I have seen nothing from the Committee even hinting why the block should remain in place pending resolution.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 19:03, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Can someone please explain why Scotty Berg is any different than any other blocked editor?[edit]

I am largely unfamiliar with the background here, both of ScottyBerg and the Mantanmoreland case, but I think I get the gist of it. What I do not understand is why this particular block is any different than any other checkuser block. Checkuser evidence is generally not shared with the person being blocked and is definitely not shared in any detail. In that sense, all checkuser blocks are made using secret evidence. I do not see what makes ScottyBerg a special case. Nor do I understand why anyone would ask that Scotty Berg be allowed to continue editing while their block is reviewed by ArbCom. Yes, ScottyBerg has a large number of edits and some history here, but blocked users generally do not get "out" on "bail" pending appeal. Other blocked users make an unblock request or file an appeal to ArbCom and wait for the results. If it turns out that ScottyBerg has been incorrectly blocked, that is an unhappy situation, but it will be resolved and a few days without the ability to edit Wikipedia should not harm anyone. I should know better than to express my opinion in such a charged situation, but I do not see that ScottyBerg deserves any more or any less consideration than any other blocked user. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:34, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm not a regular at SPI, so I will happily accept correction is my surmises are incorrect: it is my belief, that when checkuser indicates at user:x may well be user:y, that it isn't hard to find a lot of behavior evidence to support the claim. Common phrasing, common editing times, and most importantly, strongly overlapping areas of interest.
When user:y has been blocked for contributing negatively to the encyclopedia, then it is natural to worry that unblocked user:x may also contribute negatively.
That doesn't appear to fit the facts here. Mantanmoreland was found to have a RL interest in certain articles, so the concern about COI and POV was overwhelming. That might mean that edits in other areas wouldn't be problematic, but, given the evidence,t he community chose to block Mantanmoreland. In contrast, no one has identified any substantive problems with ScottyBerg's edits in other areas, and those constitute a body of work far in excess of the median editor. Indeed, I haven't yet seen convincing evidence that the edits of articles of interest to Mantanmoreland have been problematic, the sole claim appears to be that ScottyBerg is editing them.
To summarize, in other cases, allowing the editor to continue to edit pending resolution ("bail" so to speak) had risks and few benefits. In this case, I see benefits and no risks.
That's what appears different to me.
Maybe someone with more SPI experience can correct me.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 19:52, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
You appear to making arguments based on your assumption of what the checkuser evidence consists of. That is just going to cloud the facts of case in people's minds. I'm more than passingly familiar with SPI cases, and I cannot recall a case in which someone was unblocked while the checkusers consulted. I can recall a case where an admin who likely had a larger number of edits than ScottyBerg was blocked when it was discovered that they were a blocked user. They were not unblocked pending appeal. As I said, ScottyBerg should be treated the same way as other blocked editors and other blocked editors should be treated the same way as ScottyBerg. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:04, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
(ec)Or to put it another way, blocks are supposed to be preventative, not punative. Nobody has been able to demonstrate any proof of imminent harm to Wikipedia in allowing SB to continue editing. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:06, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Can you explain this statement "your assumption of what the checkuser evidence consists of". I don't recall making any assumptions about what checkuser info looks like, because I do not know. (I have some guesses, but I won't share them, because they are not particularly educated guesses.) My comments about Common phrasing, and common editing times are not comments about checkuser evidence, as that isn't AFAIK, checkuser evidence.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 20:12, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Just to correct a couple of points: first, Mantanmoreland was blocked for abusing multiple accounts.[23]. I don't see anything about COI in the block record. As I pointed out previously, that was his modus operandi and I haven't been accused of that. Secondly, there's been no complaints about the substance of any of my edits, anywhere, leading up to this block. ScottyBerg (talk) 20:18, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I think that question could be asked of most blocks. Why are some users blocked for a day but other users blocked for a week? Is it because they need to be "prevented" from doing something for a longer period, or is it because despite the "blocks are not punitive" trope, they are, in part, punitive? But again, why is ScottyBerg any different? Or, to put it another way, what harm will come (to Wikipedia) from not allowing ScottyBerg to edit for a few days while this gets sorted out? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:19, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, I think the problem is that the anonymity gives people a certain level of immunity from scrutiny. There are real life interests that I mentioned, where Scotty does overlap in addition to the obvious one. I also find the speedy reaction of Scotty each time someone makes a change to the Gary Weiss article suspicious, no matter the reason. In fact, the first time Scotty goes on to the article is after involvement by User:Christofurio who is a known real-life associate of Gary Weiss.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:20, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, my first edit was within a couple of minutes. It was a Huggle edit! ScottyBerg (talk) 20:23, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
(ecx3)I've started looking through some SPI reports, so I would have a better handle on practices. I've reviewed roughly 90 claims. In most of them, the edit counts were under 100. A few were a few hundred. I ran across one with 7000 edits. Blocked, then unblocked 58 minutes later.
My review is obviously incomplete. Can someone with more experience in the area, point me to some SPI investigations involving a editor with 10K edits or more, so I can see how they were handled.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 20:20, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

It didn't take long for the discussion to devolve into a recitation of why ScottyBerg is not a sockpuppet of Mantanmoreland, which is really immaterial to my original question. I'll be going now. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:29, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

I think an editor with over 10K good edits deserves different treatment than an editor with 20 edits, even if the checkuser info is identical. I realize that some way feel differently, but that's how I feel. If someone points out multiple examples of blocked users with over 10K edits, which were left blocked for a week under similar circumstances, I will concede that we ought to treat this one the same due to precedent, but I will begin agitating to revisit the policy. However, it is time for basketball, see you all tomorrow.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 20:50, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
There were a few Mantan socks that got blocked despite having thousands of edits, though never quite this many. However, the over 10K count is misleading since the lion's share are edits done with automated tools like Twinkle and Huggle.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 21:15, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
SPhilbrick, you may be interested in this case in which an editor with over 50 000 edits was blocked with checkuser evidence. Although I mentioned an example earlier of an admin blocked for sockpuppetry, upon checking I find that the account had just over 5 000 edits. I'm sure there are other examples, if someone wants to search them out, but to what end? I'm quite sure that you will claim that this situation is somehow different from any example that can be offered. It is not. I'm gone again, I just wanted to answer your query. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:40, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
How is 36% "the lion's share?" Cardamon (talk) 01:26, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
It depends on who the lion is sharing with. Like if there's also a couple of really big animals like a woolly mammoth and a sabre tooth tiger they could take most of the food and the lion might not be left with much. Or something really fast like a puma could sneak in and run away with it. The lion probably wouldn't like that but it would teach him that things don't always go the way we want them to, which is an important lesson to learn. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:43, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
You don't need a saber tooth tiger. Even an ordinary tiger would be able to take most of the food, if the lion didn't have a death wish. Nil Einne (talk) 12:23, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

So, a week is when?[edit]

Is the response from Arbcom, which is to take about a week, counting from the time of the initial block, which would then be the 18th, or when it was stated it would be about a week, which would be about the 19th-20th? SilverserenC 02:24, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Won't matter on the 18th since we're blacked out in protest over SOPA.--MONGO 03:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, just saw the notice. So, we'll say the 20th at the latest then. SilverserenC 03:24, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, I believe that arbcom will NOT lift the block...Alison says the block was based on evidence that included both checkuser info and editing cues.--MONGO 03:31, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I mean, that they should have an update by the 20th. Not let this go away quietly. And all Scotty has to do in that situation is show them his real identity. Admittedly, he could have done that in the first place, though I understand people's reluctance to have people on the internet know who they are. SilverserenC 03:52, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Arbcom has not communicated with me, so I don't know if being satisfied as to my RL identity would affect their deliberations. They haven't even told me that full arbcom is considering the case. I had to read that on AGK's talk page several days after he said that. Obviously I am not going to provide confidential information to a mailing list that doesn't acknowledge what I send them and has a history of leaking sensitive information to a hostile website. I don't even know if they see what I email them. I get an automatic email saying "your email is being held for moderation." There may be a way around the RL issue, something like what Quest suggested, but at this point the question is moot as they are silent and not showing me any courtesy. My feeling is that they shouldn't have blocked me in the first place, and they already should have reversed my block based upon what they already know. ScottyBerg (talk) 12:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
No-one should believe arbcomm when they say anything will take a certain length of time (mind you, that tends to apply in RL too). OTOH "they shouldn't have blocked me in the first place" is wrong - they didn't (yes I know they in some unclear way consented, but that isn't the same). FWIW, I'd say you're better off talking to one of them rather than the list, if there are any you trust William M. Connolley (talk) 13:40, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
They were consulted. ScottyBerg (talk) 14:12, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Though it may be impossible to agree to never edit any aricles frequented by Mantanmoreland...but if you post such a compromise here, that might alleviate some fears that your intent here has any malice...even though there isn't much overlap in the article space anyway. This garbage is another Wikipedia Review coordinated witch hunt...the Mantanmoreland case is more than 3(!) Years old...User:Rootology was able to petition to return after his ban...and that was sooner than this situation.MONGO 15:14, 17 January 2012 (UTC).
If there was reason for suspicion, if I was hounding somebody, that might be reasonable. But I haven't done a thing to arouse suspicion. You are right that it is an externally coordinated witch hunt, a real disgrace to Wikipedia. You know, the thing that's most heartening about this, and surprising, is how an editor who I've had serious problems with has said several places that he considers this to be outrageous. ScottyBerg (talk) 15:27, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The good thing is that, if you are vindicated in the end (which I really, really hope happens), then we can start a community-wide discussion about reforming the atrocious oblique actions of Arbcom, which leads to division among members of the community and their lack of transparency causes conflict on all sides. At this point, i'm surprised anyone in the community trusts Arbcom to do anything right, as they clearly don't. SilverserenC 15:42, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

If Scotty's block isn't lifted by his appeal, what recourse does he have? Can he just wait 6 months and apply again? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Why would I bother? Really, there are limits, and this kind of thing doesn't make me thrilled about editing Wikipedia. ScottyBerg (talk) 18:06, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Because it's in your blood? :) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:07, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Not quite. Just a few weeks ago I was contemplating leaving WP forever over a particularly annoying dispute that I've forgotten about now. I've weighed your suggestion above and may do it, but I need to give it a think. It's nothing personal against arbcom, but I've seen how personal information is not safe there. Your idea has possibilities. ScottyBerg (talk) 21:29, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
  • One of the things that bother’s me about this block is that it reminds me of when I was blocked from editing along with four other editors some years ago because some wiseguy hacker hacked into our accounts. Even though I was innocent, it was assumed that I was guilty until proven innocent, such as is happening to Scotty which in itself is a frustrating experience. Arbcom should first study the work ethics of the person they intend to block before jumping to conclusions otherwise every decent editor in Wikipedia should worry that they too can be accused of wrong doing and be punished (Yes, a block is a form of punishment in my opinion) before they are given an opportunity to defend themselves. Tony the Marine (talk) 18:25, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
You're right, Tony, that one is adjudged guilty, and then made to feel like you have to prove your innocence, but in my case without being given accusations to respond to. It's straight out of Kafka. By the way, when I mentioned editors I've had difficulty with sticking up for me, I wasn't thinking of you because we've reconciled. I was thinking of a different chap who still hates my guts but is still appalled by this. ScottyBerg (talk) 21:26, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Scotty, we're still discussing the block. Mantanmoreland was a prolific socker with a history of hiding his activities well, so it is taking some time to examine the ostensible link. I would think this will take another 2-3 days. Also, please accept my apologies for not informing you that the whole committee was reviewing this block, and there was no referral to the BASC as in standard cases; I thought this was obvious, but it wasn't and I (or a colleague) should have let you know. Thanks for your patience, AGK [•] 01:10, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Hmmmm, wasn't the Mantanmoreland case about COI editing and use of sockpuppets in some articles about financial markets? Surely Scotty hasn't done anything disruptive on Wikipedia in this area? Perhaps we need to think about building in a degree of amnesia in Wikipedia, so that people 150 years from now won't be blocked by mistake for being sockpuppets of Scibaby, Mantanmoreland or some other editor from ancient history. Count Iblis (talk) 00:29, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Three days now, so where's the full explanation and response?[edit]

It's been three days since AGK's comment above saying that it would take 2-3 days, so where's this full explanation for this? Like I said before, i'm not going to just allow this to fade into the background. If you're going to block someone for being a sock, then do it properly, not secretly. I'll wait 24 hours for an Arbcom reply to this. If one is not forthcoming, then I will take this matter to other, more public, boards. SilverserenC 20:41, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

@Scotty: Have they shared their secret evidence with you? If you really are this Mantanmoreland person, they should have no problem with showing it to you. If they say that can't show it to you because of privacy concerns, that's tantamount to admitting that you're not Mantanmoreland. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:17, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
No. ScottyBerg (talk) 21:58, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Silver seren. I am understanding of the need to take proper time(which may be easy for me to say as I'm not the one blocked). I understand that the people involved are volunteers, and something that seems like it should take 2-3 days can take 4 or 5. That said, it is not hard to keep parties apprised. Today is the third day of a 2-3 day estimate. Not done? Fine, but on day three, today, there should be an update. It doesn't have to be "tomorrow, I promise" but it should be a new estimate. Someone from Arbcom today should post "We now anticipate an answer in x days".--SPhilbrick(Talk) 21:25, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
This guy gets it. AGK [•] 22:18, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Yup. I'm with you on this one, Silver. Reyk YO! 21:32, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm not entirely sure why Silver seren has presumed our intention is to sweep this under the carpet. I wonder if, in his mind, we decided on such an approach before or after stating we would post a public decision. Did the Bad Guize On ArbKom think it was sensible to renege on a promise to publish our decision, as well as suppress public discussion of Alison's block? And then it is demanded that we entertain such an obnoxiously-phased assumption of bad faith within a day? How astonishing. You would be well advised to consider, in future, whether comments of this nature are useful to the project in any way.

    Scotty, I think we've made a decision, but we're waiting on some arbitrators to vote on the public statement for the appeal. I can only reiterate that clichéd, perpetual apology that, as a bureaucratic body, we are slow to make decisions. AGK [•] 22:17, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Not true. You were very fast to decide on a block William M. Connolley (talk) 22:27, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I work for a company whose motto is "We may be expensive, but we're slow". Speeding up our decision makign process is not happening in my lifetime, but we are making a concerted effort to keep our customers informed. Being slow at making decisions does not preclude regular updates. FTR, my agreement wasn't with the concern that this might be swept under the rug, but with the observation that the "2-3 days" were just about up. I do thank-you for the update.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 22:35, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Appeal of block declined[edit]

On 11 January 2012, User:Alison blocked User:ScottyBerg as a sockpuppet of banned User:Mantanmoreland. The block was based on checkuser and behavioral evidence consistent with past accounts of Mantanmoreland, and an appeal was filed by ScottyBerg with the Arbitration Committee because the block involved checkuser evidence.

The Committee has undertaken an extensive review of the technical and behavioral evidence for this block, and notes that the appellant has maintained throughout the appeal that he is not Mantamoreland. Based on our review, the Arbitration Committee declines the appeal.

For the Arbitration Committee,
AGK [•] 22:42, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

All editors have the right to appeal a ban, even if it is entrenched. As a personal remark, my hope is that as a community we never come to think that an editor can't reform - or more broadly that people can't change. If we receive an appeal that is framed with an honest account of the situation, my colleagues and I will endeavour to consider it with an open mind. AGK [•] 22:42, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I would hope that any appeal not require ScottyBerg admitting guilt. ScottyBerg has consistently maintained his innocence and, for all I know, he's telling the truth. Reyk YO! 23:00, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
My comment was directed at the User Previously Known As Mantanmoreland. AGK [•] 23:02, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
So I'm forbidden to express an opinion? Reyk YO! 23:04, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
You've misunderstood me again. I meant that I was talking about a new appeal by Mantanmoreland, not ScottyBerg. AGK [•] 23:06, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
(The committee's view, of course, is that they are the same person, but I appreciate that some editors always find it hard to buy into blocks of long-term socks.) AGK [•] 23:09, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Can you please send ScottyBerg a copy of the secret evidence? This shouldn't be a problem because according to ArbCom, they are the same person, so no privacy issues are at stake. Can you please do this? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:16, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Why? so he can better avoid getting busted next time?--PumknPi (talk) 03:07, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
(ec x2)OK, sorry for the misunderstanding. I assumed that, since you're posting this on SB's talk page, you were talking about SB's options. Obviously since you think they're the same person there's no real difference in your view, but I don't, hence the misunderstanding. But I'm looking at this under the possibility you might be wrong, and that someone who is actually innocent should not have to admit guilt to get their appeal heard. Could you please clarify what avenues of appeal are open to ScottyBerg? Reyk YO! 23:17, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
So, if Scotty can get your personal information that confirms without a doubt that he is not Mantanmoreland, then what? SilverserenC 23:31, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • "what avenues of appeal are open to ScottyBerg?" The Committee has considered the appeal very carefully, and everyone who reviewed the evidence felt that it pointed toward ScottyBerg and Mantanmoreland being the same person - there were no dissenting opinions. We did consider that the ScottyBerg account had made positive contributions; however, the appropriate route to an unblock is for the blocked/banned user to appeal to the Arbitration Committee in an open and honest manner, explaining how they intend to address the concerns that led to their block/ban. Creating a new account while banned, and then ending up editing one of the articles they had been specifically directed not to edit, is not appropriate. After an appeal is declined, the Committee will generally consider another appeal after six months has elapsed, and that route is open to ScottyBerg/Mantanmoreland. I cannot speak for other Committee members, nor even for myself, in how we would respond to such an appeal; however, having been frustrated previously by other dissembling editors, I would be looking for complete and frank disclosure as a starting point toward building trust. SilkTork ✔Tea time 11:18, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
  • "personal information that confirms without a doubt..." ScottyBerg did communicate with the Committee by email, and we took into account the arguments put forward in those emails. No personal information was offered, nor was any requested, nor would be requested. SilkTork ✔Tea time 11:26, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Based on the evidence presented, can the Committee come to a conclusion on the name of the real person who is behind the Mantanmoreland sock campaign? Cla68 (talk) 12:49, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
It would be inappropriate and unhelpful to get into any discussion on that matter. SilkTork ✔Tea time 13:20, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Hum...feel like we just went back to 2007...aside from some possibly "promotional" edits to a certain bio, I still can't see any reason to support banning ScottyBerg! Whatever problematic editing that Mantanmoreland was "guilty" of, ScottyBerg has not been involved in those areas. I proved in the arbcom case Seven of Diamonds that one doesn't need checkuser evidence to demonstrate a sock...all one needs is behavioral stuff....nevertheless, Seven of Diamonds was even more problematic than his previous incarnation under this situation, that is simply not the case....I really don't think anything was necessary here than for ScottyBerg to proclaim that he intended to stay away from the supposedly problem areas Mantanmoreland frequented.MONGO 16:25, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Regardless of whether Scotty is or is not Mantanmoreland, his edits clearly showed that he was here to be an improvement to the encyclopedia. The actions taken here are rather shameful, in my opinion. And they have thoroughly driven Scotty from the project. The standard offer is pretty much useless if you drive someone away who was a benefit to Wikipedia. SilverserenC 17:09, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Your assessment is completely accurate.MONGO 17:19, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
As noted before, I bear no love for ScottyBerg, but I find this decision to be chilling in the extreme. So, now we block by using the Force (ie. behavioral similarities and gut feelings instead of actual evidence)? The only reason in the world why the arbs would choose to keep this process secret might be - as PumpkinPi obtusely put it - to prevent a BEANS-type situation. If such is the case, a better overview of the evidence is required, excluding operational details. This is intrinsic to the compact we make with each other as Wikipedians - to act transparently and honestly with one another. At this point it almost doesn't matter whether SB actually is MM; how Wikipedia handles these sorts of problems is what was on trial here. Wikipedia failed.
SB noted that this situation was Kafka-esque, and the ARBCOM decision has put me in the utterly loathsome position of agreeing with him. He's blocked for a simple edit that in itself wasn't all that interesting. He is given no right to appeal in a timely fashion or see the evidence supposedly arrayed against him - this despite 12k of (more or less) decent edits.
Now, forgive me if this sounds too dramatic, but this could happen to anyone, and we'd never, ever know. It would just be - 'oh, that guy is a sock of so-and-so, so we banned them'. ARBCOM is asking for a trust from the community that it doesn't appear willing to reciprocate.
Either put the information where we can all see it, or stop pretending that Wikipedia is without its secret little backrooms. I for one find how this was handled to be ugly and deeply, deeply malformed from accusation to execution. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 17:51, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Is there any form of posted decision we can link to? I for one want to know the Arbs who supposedly arrived at a unanimous conclusion. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 17:53, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Checkuser info as well as behavioral evidence isn't generally confidential...arbcom must be looking at data that might very well compromise Wikipedia.MONGO 19:12, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I find Arbcom's approach to this situation very disturbing. SB complained during the whole process that he was denied access to the evidence being assembled against him, depriving him of all means of defending himself. The reason given for withholding the evidence was "privacy concerns". But, as has been pointed out, that's pretty much meaningless if SB and Mantan are the same person- you can't "out" a person to himself. So what it boils down to is this: Arbcom won't disclose their secret evidence to the accused because they're afraid he might be innocent. That's completely perverse. The only other reason I can think of for denying the accused party the evidence is the one mentioned by PumknPi (and not by Arbcom AFAIK), namely, that the information might help the sockmaster sock more undetectably. But is this really a legitimate concern? For someone to sock undetectably for a long time, they have to be productive and inoffensive (sort of like ScottyBerg) and I don't think it's worth the risk of persecuting the innocent and breaching the trust of the community to go after someone who's not actually breaking anything.
SilkTork's reply to my question unfortunately confirms what I originally suspected. There is an avenue of appeal for SB if he's guilty, but not if he's innocent. Again, this is completely perverse. Finally, I share the concerns of Jack Sebastian. Anyone could be accused of being a sock of a banned user, and what then? No access to the secret evidence, no means of defense, no possibility of appeal. The accused could simply disappear.
My problem with the arbitration committee is not a disagreement over some arcane point of policy. It's a question of basic human decency and ArbCom's idea of that obviously differs greatly from mine. Therefore I am hesitant to extend them the uncritical trust and good-will they demand in lieu of openness and accountability. Reyk YO! 20:03, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Seconded. Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Arbitration Committee and the Orangemarlin secret trial should be required reading for new Arbs. We have a very similar situation here. Again, there is no clear indication of which Arbs participated - only that "everyone who reviewed the evidence felt that it pointed toward ScottyBerg and Mantanmoreland being the same person - there were no dissenting opinions". How many Arbs did look at the evidence? Two? Three? Fourteen? And what level of certainty is "felt the evidence pointed to"? 50%? 75%? Let's assume it's 90% - that means that on average for every 9 editors blocked using this "process", you will lock one out of the system (unless he/she is willing to lie to pretend guilt when there is none). That kind of ratio is not acceptable to Blackstone, much less to Benjamin Franklin (who found 100 to 1 to low) or Maimonides (who found 1000 to 1 insufficient). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:27, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
If Scotty hadn't added promotional material to the Gary Weiss article, I think he could very well have avoided the scrutiny that resulted in this block. Since I know he's reading this, I advise the person behind the accounts to avoid socking, stay active in other WMF projects, like Commons, and politely ask in six-months or so if they can return to editing WP. Cla68 (talk) 23:57, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I empathise with much of what has been said above. However, it is difficult to provide the sort of information that people would like as it encroaches on two areas: 1) Our Privacy policy and 2) Our ability to conduct investigations into abuse of accounts.

There is an elephant in the room, but we cannot point to the elephant as our rules forbid it. We cannot explain how we discovered it was the elephant as that would assist this and other elephants to evade future detection.

Eleven Committee members and two check users were involved in the review. Two of the Committee members provided background information but did not comment on the evidence. Nine Committee members and two check users looked at the evidence and independently felt that it was compelling enough to make a link between ScottyBerg and Mantanmoreland. Nobody needed to be talked into accepting the evidence - it was difficult not to make the conclusion that the accounts were run by the same person. Is it possible we made a mistake? Yes. Is it probable? No.

There are aspects of this case that personally sadden me. I would prefer that accounts on Wikipedia were all registered, so that we could avoid this sort of situation. However, Wikipedia was founded and is run on the principle that people can edit privately and anonymously, and I will support that principle as it has wide consensus. There are many legitimate reasons why people may wish to edit anonymously. Avoiding a ban is not one of them. When people abuse the privilege of anonymous editing, it makes running Wikipedia harder for everyone. It creates a hostile and suspicious atmosphere. When people are not honest, it makes running Wikipedia harder. It creates a hostile and suspicious atmosphere. The little drama that is unfolding on this page is the result of the elephant in the room abusing the privilege of anonymous editing and in not being honest in their dealings with all of us. There is a route open to ScottyBerg/Mantanmoreland, and that is to refrain from creating any more accounts that abuse the privilege of anonymous editing; wait six months, and then appeal to the Committee in a frank and honest manner.

Like others on this page I feel that the ScottyBerg account has made some positive contributions, and it is clear that the person behind the account enjoys editing on Wikipedia. I warm to that person. We have something important in common. I also enjoy editing on Wikipedia. I regret that it has come to this. The solution, however, may not be difficult: it may simply be waiting six months. SilkTork ✔Tea time 01:41, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

From what has been said above, after six months he has to use the Mantanmoreland account and "address the concerns". If he is innocent, he will be unable to do this, so this amounts to "six month ban if you're guilty and permanent ban if you're innocent". "Not difficult" indeed.
At this point if it turns out he really is a sockpuppet the correct conclusion is that Arbcom just got lucky, but the process is still completely messed up. You've banned a user, possibly permanently, based on unknown reasons and secret evidence which nobody is permitted to examine or rebut. (The whole process initiated by a blocked sockpuppet of another user, no less.) You won't reveal the evidence even to the accused user, quoting ridiculous privacy concerns that should not apply if he's really a sockpuppet. On top of that, you've only allowed him to appeal if he's guilty. This is never a good thing, and the process is broken in a way which ensures that any innocent person who does get caught in the web is left completely without recourse. Ken Arromdee (talk) 02:45, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
SilkTork or AGK: Can you tell us which Arbs participated in the appeal? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:12, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Clearly, this remains a problem for those of us who are simply well-intentioned editors trying to make sure that the absurd problems with how this matter (and, apparently, others as well) have been handled. How to address this seeming problem? Who arbitrates the arbitrators? Jack Sebastian (talk) 06:27, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
As far as I know, there was no real answer to who watches the Watchmen. Just that it took several nuclear-esque explosions and millions of lives to stop them (arguably). Hopefully that isn't so in this case. SilverserenC 07:44, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

Mongo's post pointed out something that I find deeply troubling, if indeed it is the case:

"Checkuser info as well as behavioral evidence isn't generally confidential...arbcom must be looking at data that might very well compromise Wikipedia."

I am not sure if that had the impact on anyone else that it did on me, but I found it a rather shocking admission. Am I to understand that some of the data compiled in this matter was contrary to Mikimedia Foundation regulations? Did Wikipedia engage in 'extralegal' methods to compile this data, which - as it has been pointed out out repeatedly without redress - remains secret?
If so, we have a major problem brewing. We all have to follow the rules, or we are no better than those we contend we are protecting the project from. I think this has moved beyond a (apparently) simple blocking of a long-term sock to a critical problem of how arbiters conduct their business. They are normal users, after all, prone to mistakes and errors in judgment. We must have a method to address perceived malformed procedures and techniques. THAT is what prevents Wikipedia from being compromised, not some sub rosa meeting held in secret. The argument that it was held thusly to protect someone's privacy is only viable is Scotty Berg is not Mantanmoreland. The secrecy cannot be used to shield anyone who gathered data through illegal (and I believe we follow Florida law to determine such, as WMF is located there) methods. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 15:50, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I think you're misinterpreting it. He means the information compromises Wikipedia's security, not that it compromises Wikipedia's principles. Ken Arromdee (talk) 16:57, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
If we (the community) don't see the evidence that is being withheld, how can we know if it doesn't compromise Wikipedia's principles? Acps110 (talkcontribs) 17:00, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Is Scotty blocked from editing this talk page. Its just he hasnt replied since appeal result.Edinburgh Wanderer 17:02, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I've been speaking with him through email since the appeal result. He has completely given up on Wikipedia and will never be involved in it again. SilverserenC 19:05, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

If the concern is that ScottyBerg was not allowed to review that evidence in order to rebut it, then what is the alternative? Is it the general sentiment here that users blocked for sockpuppetry have the right to review the evidence that led to their block? If so, what are the implications for other, perhaps less likeable sockmasters such as Scibaby or WordBomb? And what are the implications for the privacy policy if the accused does turn out to be a different individual? How are they to unlearn the data they have been given about the user account they were accused of being? It seems to me that the appropriate balancing check on the ability of a checkuser to examine evidence of sockpuppetry and block someone is the review of the evidence by an independent community-elected panel. Is that not what happened here? If the data can neither be made public nor released to the accused, then is there a system of independent review more likely to protect the accused innocent than what we have already seen here? alanyst 17:32, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I realize that it is an overtly American idea that one is innocent until proven guilty by a group of his peers, and I don't expect that to be applied here. What I think is reasonable is the reconciliation of apparent inconsistencies. It is being said that ScottyBerg is Mantanmoreland, a banned user who's real identity is apparently documented (PumkinPi's indelicate posting aside). If this is the case, what is the privacy issue at work here? Furthermore, if the elephant in the room is apparent to most, why keep the deliberation secret? Using the jury example above, deliberation is indeed conducted behind closed doors, but only after the evidence arrayed against the accused is presented in the light of day. Why is ARBCOM so afraid of this evidence?
I think that Acps110 mirrors my concern in that while it is being stated that the release of the information would (not 'might' but 'would') "compromise Wikipedia's security", we have little proof of that. Respectfully, we simply cannot take your word for it. That's like playing blackjack from another room; someone comes and tells you, 'um, no - you lost to the house. Trust us.' Since admins are always complaining that we don't allow them to be fallible, why are they suddenly complaining when they arrive at a secret decision and claim their decision is infallible? They cannot have it both ways. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 19:01, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
If the accused is a different individual, the question of how they are to unlearn the private information would be trivial compared to the question of how you've managed to use secret information to convict an innocent person. You're worrying about entirely the wrong part of this scenario.
Furthermore, if you really think there's any chance of this happening, then you're not really all that sure he's guilty in the first place. It's contradictory to say that the chance of him being innocent is small enough that we can trust the secret trial, while also saying that it's big enough that the evidence can't be released. You're trying to have it both ways; you're presuming guilt most of the time, but when presuming guilt would benefit him by requiring the release of evidence, you suddenly think the chance of his innocence is big enough to matter. Ken Arromdee (talk) 19:13, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
But the issue is, as stated above by others, that Scotty has no way to ever edit Wikipedia again at this point. Only if he is guilty does he have a way out, through the standard offer. But if he is innocent, then he can't do anything, because the only way for him to get out would be to admit that he's someone he's not so that he can use the standard offer. So, essentially, the way Arbcom has set this up is similar to the Salem witch trials. If you admit to being a witch, you get to repent to God and be set free. If you deny to being a witch, you get drowned. SilverserenC 19:04, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I can't believe that ArbCom didn't take Scotty up on his offer to stay away from anything that Mantanmoreland had touched, and un-block him immediately. That would have been the WP:AGF way to do it. Instead, they held a secret trial with no evidence presented to the community and decided that he is Mantanmoreland, thus should be blocked forever. The behavioral evidence is flimsy, and checkuser is unreliable, thus he should have been unblocked when he professed that he was not Mantanmoreland. Acps110 (talkcontribs) 19:29, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Great work ArbCom. Secret evidence, massive lack of transparency, inability to answer simple questions, failure to take notice of what anybody else actually thinks... and for what? So you can block a productive editor on the basis that he might be somebody who was less productive once? And we wonder why Wikipedia is losing editors... Alzarian16 (talk) 21:23, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure how helpful it is to continue commenting here, as I feel it may simply be prolonging this discussion to no good purpose, and - limited as I am by what I can say - it seems that whatever I say is taken badly. However, I will make one more attempt to clarify the situation, and then remove this page from my watchlist. If anyone after this would like my individual perspective on matters, they can contact me directly.

The basic situation is that an account was identified as being that of a banned user and blocked. An appeal was made to ArbCom by the blocked user. An investigation confirmed that the blocked account was run by the banned user and so the appeal was denied.

The main concerns arising from the case are:

  1. The blocked account was making positive edits, so should not have been blocked in the first place (or allowed to continue)
  2. The investigation involved using methods that cannot be revealed for security reasons; this is unfair because the blocked account cannot know what evidence was used against them
  3. The conclusions reached may be wrong, and so an innocent person has been blocked, who can only be unblocked by saying they are somebody they are not
  • As regards 1), a small number of Committee members expressed a personal view that they would not have blocked in the circumstances; having said that, the block was within policy, the blocking admin sought advice from the Committee before blocking, and there is a valid argument that a banned user who has a history of using sock accounts that start off well, and then begin to create problems, should be blocked when that user begins to nibble at an article where they have been known to cause problems. Where do we draw the line to prevent harm? In this case the line had been drawn for this user, and the user had previously crossed that line and been community banned. How many times does he need to recross the line? The counter argument is that we want people to edit Wikipedia, and if an account is doing no harm, then it should be left alone until it does harm. It is only when an account is doing harm that we should block. The debate on this can spin on endlessly, and people will have their own views. In this case, the Committee members who looked at the incident had views on both sides of that debate; however, all were agreed that given the history of the user in this case, and once the case had been brought before the Committee, the only option was to uphold the block. An analogy might be drawn with a driver banned for dangerous driving. A police officer who then spots that person driving may use their own personal judgement in deciding to arrest the driver (because they may eventually become dangerous), or allow them to carry on (as they are currently driving safely). However, if the driver is arrested and brought before the court, the court cannot then lift the ban early. This would be an inappropriate precedent to set - "banned drivers can be unbanned early by deliberating evading the ban". A banned or blocked user may appeal their block by following the appropriate route. The community may decide to lift the ban after a RfC, or the ban may be lifted by direct appeal to ArbCom. Either approach would involve the user first showing they can be trusted by not evading the ban, and by not editing articles they have been strictly instructed not to edit.
  • As regards 2), some of the evidence is purely factual based on editing or CU evidence. A known example is that the ScottyBerg account edited the Gary Weiss article. That is a fact. The motive or explanation is separate. There is no need to present the user with the fact of their having edited that account and saying - do you dispute this? It is a fact. Revealing it to the user or to anyone else is not going to stop it being a fact. But by revealing this fact, the user may say - "Ah, if I don't edit the Gary Weiss article in my next sock account, I will evade detection". There were a number of such technical evidences, enough to link the accounts. And there were other evidences used as well. But asking us to reveal them to anyone is inappropriate. It's like someone being caught using the wrong password, and them saying "well unless you tell me what the real password is, how do I know I got it wrong?" Even if the ScottyBerg account is innocent, being shown the evidence would not help them, as they cannot deny the facts. What has happened is that eleven people have looked at the evidence and feel it is enough. ScottyBerg may disagree. Some people on this page may disagree. But the people who were elected to look at such evidence and make a decision, have looked and made their decision.
(I want to make it clear that we did not make the connection between the accounts purely because of the Gary Weiss editing. I am using that as an example of an editing fact that is indisputable, does not need to be debated, but once revealed as evidence provides a sock puppeteer with useful information on how to evade detection.)
  • As regards 3), that we may be wrong. Yes, that is possible, but not plausible. We followed the most plausible route. We couldn't do anything else. It would hurt me personally if we were wrong. But I was elected to make such decisions, and I'm not going to shy away from them now or in the future. I accept that mistakes may be made along the way. It's a question of making the most appropriate judgements for the situation. If ScottyBerg is innocent, I can imagine the frustration they must feel. But if that is the case, what has happened is that by the way they have edited they have been confused with another user. The odds against this happening are very high, and it's like an innocent man with the same appearance and similar DNA of a murderer being confused for the murderer and being found guilty. It's an unfortunate by product of the unusual circumstance of having similar DNA.

I hope these views are helpful. I understand some of the feelings being expressed on this page, and share some of the frustrations. However, as I said above, I will now take this page off my watch list, and am unlikely to respond here again, though I am prepared to deal with direct questions unless that also appears to no longer be productive. SilkTork ✔Tea time 15:50, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

If an innocent person is convicted despite safeguards, because the evidence so overwhelmingly pointed to his guilt, that's an unfortunate byproduct of chance.
If an innocent person is convicted in a system which lacks safeguards for the innocent, that's not just "unfortunate", nor is it a random occurrence. It's a result of your deliberate decision to set up a system where innocent people can be easily convicted.
If Scotty is innocent, this isn't like being convicted because of unusually similar DNA. It's more like being convicted because the prosecution thinks that the DNA is similar... and no defense is allowed. This situation isn't really caused by the happenstance of having similar DNA; it's caused by the lack of opportunity to rebut evidence. Ken Arromdee (talk) 22:48, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Where did the Checkuser info come from???[edit]

This is a big question that needs to be dealt with. After the revelation from the Arbcom email leaks that showed that administrators were keeping CU data on their hard drives (something that could be technically illegal and is very against policy anyways), this case seems to be insinuating that this administrator practice is still being done.

When a CU was requested against Scotty back in September, it was stated that Mantanmoreland and his socks were stale (considering the last sock of his was a long, long time ago). So, if there are only stale accounts to deal with, what exactly are you comparing with the CU? There's no data available to compare Scotty with, so where did this Checkuser info come from?

This is a significant issue that, if it doesn't receive a proper response, would require full community intervention to deal with. SilverserenC 19:42, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

if they are doing that then I for one would be appalled. My two other problems are if arbcom was involved in the initial block the appeal is hardly impartial and two there needs to be a further appeal route if you insist your not quilty I.e to the WMF. I actually think an RFC on arbcom practices is more than appropriate whether quilty or not. . Edinburgh Wanderer 19:53, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
User:Alison, a checkuser but not an arbitrator, performed the block. Members of the arbitration committee and one other checkuser reviewed the evidence offwiki and unanimously affirmed Alison's conclusion and sanction on ScottyBerg. I don't see any evidence that the appeal was prejudiced as you suggest. alanyst 20:06, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Do you have an answer for where the Checkuser info came from though? Who did Alison compare Scotty with in the CU if all of Mantanmoreland's accounts are stale? SilverserenC 20:09, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't have any information on that. I'm not an arbitrator, checkuser, or admin. Without knowing, I can only guess that perhaps your assumptions about the policy and practices regarding retention of checkuser data for long-term abusive sockmasters are faulty. The alternative is that not a single arbitrator who reviewed the evidence noticed or objected to the lack of sufficient checkuser data, which I find highly improbable. alanyst 20:20, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I'd rather go with the past proven idea that the old CU data was kept on personal computers for use in the future. This is already known to have been done and known to have been acknowledged by Arbcom in their private email server. SilverserenC 20:29, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Alison said she had consulted the arbitration committee at the time of the block therefore they were involved. Anyway there should be a final route of appeal and that should clearly be the WMF.Edinburgh Wanderer 20:45, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I've replied on your talk page. I don't mean to intrude any further on ScottyBerg's talk page since he's not participating in the conversation anymore. alanyst 21:03, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
It's not really intruding on his page when he isn't going to be around anymore at all. There isn't really anyone to intrude upon. SilverserenC 22:24, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I think I can answer the original question without compromising the practices of our checkuser teams. We retain a lot of checkuser data for future reference, within a limited time period, on the Wikimedia Foundation's checkuser wiki (which is private). This practice is in line with the legal advice of the WMF General Counsel, whose opinion and advice, frankly, I trust rather more than yours. I'm not sure what you're driving at, nor what this has to do with the Mantanmoreland/ScottyBerg appeal, but there is your answer. I'm unwatchlisting this talk page and will not be participating in these discussions any longer, now that the appeal has been considered and the decision published. AGK [•] 21:53, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • While you won't respond to this, i'll still post this open question: the Checkuser Wiki keeps the information for a year and a half?! I can't see any legal council saying that doing that is a good thing. That is way outside the bounds of an appropriate time frame for keeping personal information. And since you won't be involved in this anymore, which in a sense means Arbcom won't be involved in this anymore, and we still have obvious problems, I think we need to escalate this discussion to a more public board. SilverserenC 22:24, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Was checking something for a comment elsewhere, but I think this requires a response. Go ahead, Silver seren. Please do escalate the matter. You've made hints about doing so for about a fortnight, so please stop waffling and take some action. I am happy to engage with the community if they think this issue (and every other matter you've made a pointless, disruptive issue out of) needs reviewed. AGK [•] 22:30, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── What do you think would be the best board to do so? ANI is way too much chaos to get anything useful out of it. Maybe Village Pump/Policy? What do you think, Jack, Acps, Edinburgh, Ken, MONGO, Cla, everyone else that i've missed? Village Pump/Policy? SilverserenC 22:36, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Arbitration Committee (2) comes to mind. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:42, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
That's true. But we want it to be focused. So, we would be discussing the Checkuser issues, though that's more minor than the whole holding back of necessary information and not allowing the possibility of innocence. I guess we could go work on organizing this on the talk page of that RfC, before making the RfC main page. SilverserenC 22:47, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) ANI is also for specific incidents, not policy discussion, so you would find it unsuited to your purpose because it is unsuited. As this is a Wikimedia-wide issue, Meta strikes me as the sensible choice, though you may want to keep it local - I don't know. I'm sure that, wherever you decide to start the discussion, it will be well-attended. AGK [•] 22:45, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Silver, while I am in near total agreement with you, I'm not sure there's much to be gained by escalating this issue. What action do you expect to be taken? I think the most you will accomplish is a lot of people reiterating many of the same concerns, which I'll list here for completeness (let me know if I've missed something or I'm misrepresenting your position):
    1. Secret trials based on secret evidence are abhorrent to nearly everyone.
    2. ArbCom are sure enough of guilt that we should unquestioningly accept their assertion that it was a slam-dunk decision, but not sure enough to actually allow the accused access to the evidence against them. This is not fair play.
    3. ArbCom have now made it clear there is a way back for the accused if they're guilty but no possibility of return if they're innocent. Also not fair play.
    4. Ditching due process to go after the "bad guy" seems unnecessary since nobody has claimed ScottyBerg was disrupting anything.
    5. We feel we have not got satisfactory answers to our questions.
    6. In the event that we are accused of something, we feel we're less likely to get a fair hearing than we did before this whole ScottyBerg mess.
    7. This business of hanging on to CU info for a long time doesn't sit well with a lot of people.
I'm sure ArbCom cannot be unaware of these concerns. They will either take them to heart, or they won't. If they do, there's no need to go further. But given SilkTork's evasive dissembling and AGK's labelling of your concerns as "pointless" and "disruptive" I unfortunately think they won't; and if they don't care if six people have a problem with this situation they won't care if a hundred do. But if that's the case, then ArbCom should expect a bigger backlash and more severe scrutiny of their actions the next time something like this comes up. I think that about sums it up, and I think that's where we can leave it. For now. Reyk YO! 23:14, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually there's another item you left out: the original user who complained is himself a sockpuppet. Ken Arromdee (talk) 05:06, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
That's a good point. I'll make sure to note that too. but i'm going to do it tomorrow. It's late and I have an 8 AM class. SilverserenC 05:52, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
The point is that there won't be a backlash if people don't know about this event. That would be the point of an RfC. We want a hundred or more people to know about what happened here so that it can be dealt with if it occurs again in the future. Just the ten or so of us knowing about it does no good. And, besides, just allowing the "people in charge" to do whatever they want without repercussions is never a good policy, whether you're talking about a government or our community here. SilverserenC 23:32, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
You may be right. If you think it'll do some good, go for it. Reyk YO! 23:36, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Would you mind if I quoted your list of points? They are very well formulated. SilverserenC 23:42, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Go for it. Reyk YO! 23:44, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm actually going to have to go with Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Arbitration Committee 3 (Undoing Durova's redirect. I assume they're not doing it anytime soon and they can just move it to 4 anyways), as a 2 was already done back in 2009. In terms of examples, we obviously have this case, are there any issues from the past that any of you guys think should be brought up? SilverserenC 00:14, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think its important to offer some viable solutions to the problem. Arbs (and admins in general) hate the idea of change, and especially change which affects the abilities of the arb (and admin), so any proposal that changes the status quo is going to be an uphill fight.
Myself, I think that one solution is for special situations such as this (secret information and the like) are contrary in principle to what Wikipedia is supposed to mean (in much the way that special rendition is anathema to an open and lawful society) can be the use of a Sanity Factor. This would mean that two neutral, experienced users (and it cannot be stressed enough here, not administrators) be included in the closed door discussions, so as to keep things perceptibly honest. The problem here is that ARBCOM completely misjudged how their actions were going to be perceived here, and made several missteps. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 14:33, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

It's a fact that the current system lacks checks and balances. ArbCom has, over time, evolved from a group of people arbitrating disputes to a mixture of supreme star chamber, legislature, and part-time executive. I don't think most of this is due to any intention of the Arbiters, but simply due to the fact that we have a very minimal system of governance, and there is a power vacuum (or let's call it "responsibility vacuum"). I do hold them responsible for the fact that more and more decision are hashed out behind the scenes on mailing lists and private wikis, and are only presented as a fait accompli. This is certainly easier and more convenient that exposing divisions and arguments to the public, but I believe it eats away at the moral authority of ArbCom as a body. One option to balance the concentration of power would indeed be a kind of editors tribune. If that is the best solution is open - alternatives would be a separately selected or elected council (e.g. akin to the House of Lords). I very much hope Wikipedia can operate with some kind of light-weight governance, and we don't need to break out Calvin's buddy. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:52, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

IP's need not be exact matches...they need only be similar...this combined with behavioral data such as found in edit summaries, grammatical similarities and a host of other clues, make sock confirmation not in itself that difficult. The IP's used by Mantanmoreland may be stale, but no doubt Wordbomb or some other Wikipedia Review denizen could recite them even if they are no longer stored on wiki. I was still wondering if arbcom had been iformed privately if ScottyBerg offered to do all he could to avoid Mantanmoreland edited articles...I suppose I'll not get an answer to that.MONGO 17:20, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Wanted to add that I should have used the word "compromising" rather than "compromise"...I wasn't trying to start some conspiracy theory or anything, just alluding to the reasons why arbcom and checkusers don't always provide all the answers we may wish since to do so might make it easier for ban evaders to create a new account. I want to empahsize that I still think this was a witch hunt since even if ScottyBerg is a previously banned editor, his current editing shows less than .01 percent of anything that is any way problematic.MONGO 18:39, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

The Signpost: 23 January 2012[edit]

Arbitration Committee RfC[edit]

An RfC regarding ScottyBerg's block has been created at at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Arbitration Committee 3. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:25, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

I very much appreciate some of the sentiments expressed, but please be clear that I am not interested in returning to Wikipedia under any circumstances. ScottyBerg (talk) 04:16, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
It's not really about just you, Scotty. Have a good life elsewhere. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 08:02, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you (I think). I'm also bidding farewell to Wikiprojects generally, especially Commons, where the well has already been poisoned to an extent as to make my participation there untenable. ScottyBerg (talk) 22:45, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

@Scotty, it is a shame that you are leaving, but under the circumstances I can understand why you would want to do so. In the past I have also felt like leaving. I don't know about the allegations against you, I just know that the only person that I can judge is Scottyberg and his contributions to the project and I know that no other editor has done more for the New York related articles and subjects then you. You have a lot of friends who believe in Scotty and his work. One of those people whom I would like to have in my corner if I got into a fight is User:A Quest For Knowledge. If your decision is final then I bid you farewell and the best of luck. Tony the Marine (talk) 18:43, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

I appreciate your kind wishes, Tony. Rest assured that others contributed to New York articles far more than I did.
What happened here is that I was targeted by a group of malicious editors offsite, and they have the ear of the arbitration committee. Confirmation bias did the rest. Since I can't email you as your email is not enabled, I've copied below the emails that I sent to Arbcom in my attempt to clear myself.
I've previewed this a couple of times and I'm afraid that the formatting of these emails isn't great.
I think that if you read them you can understand my bitterness and why I am ridding myself of Wikipedia forever. I think you would do the same in a New York minute under similar circumstances, despite your dedication to articles on Puerto Rico.

My first was sent to a specific arbitrator and then forwarded to the committee:

Being aware of the history of this, I don't see how you could possibly let Alison impose a block on me. I am not Manhtanmoreland. The only reason for suspicion is my editing of Gary Weiss, and as I just pointed out on my talk page, I only knew that article existed because of Huggle editing that commenced well in advance of a vandal arriving at that article.

Is Alison suggesting that I had clairvoyance that a vandal was arriving at Gary Weiss, began editing that article twenty minutes (or more in advance) and then swooped in so that I could then watchlist it and do Mantanmoreland-like editing? And doing this approximately eighteen months after creating my account?

My second:

I don't see how you can rule on my appeal if I haven't made one. As I explained on my user page, the sole basis of this block is apparently the Gary Weiss edits that were the basis of the previous SPI, which was ruled out as a bad faith report. Nothing has changed since then except my recent edits, which resulted in a hue and cry on Wikipedia Review that I swiftly reverted edits there.

Do you or members of the committee disagree that adding a section on Gary Weiss' weight loss violates WP:UNDUE?

As I explained on my talk page, I originally became involved in that article via Huggle in May 2011, and was engaged in automated edits well in advance of a vandal arriving at Gary Weiss. Previous to that, which was 18 months after commencing my edits at Wikipedia, I had no involvement in that article. I'd guess it was approximately my 11,000th edit to several thousand Wikipedia articles.

If there are any other aspects of my contribution history that bother you, why not ask me about it? Or at least let me know what they are?

As for checkuser, how can that be used against me if my contributions don't indicate that I am Mantanmoreland?

I'm an established user with no history of disruption and no involvement in the articles involved in the Mantanmoreland case EXCEPT for that one article. It's outrageous that I was blocked on such flimsy, secret evidence, without even a hearing. I respectfully request that this block be reversed.

My third:

I cannot find the Wikistalk took, only Soxred's "top edited pages" tool. Here are the results for Mantanmoreland:

* 114 - Naked short selling

* 85 - Martin Luther

* 73 - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

* 44 - On the Jews and their Lies

* 39 - John M. Oesterreicher

* 37 - Louis Farrakhan

* 28 - World Trade Center (film)

* 27 - Patrick M. Byrne

* 26 - Gary Weiss

* 23 - On the Waterfront

* 23 - Paul Burke (actor)

* 23 - Henry Ford

* 22 - National Crime Syndicate

* 20 - Dave Karnes

* 19 - John M. Corridan

* 17 - Jews for Jesus

* 17 - Fordham University

* 17 - Cornelius Willemse

* 16 - John McLoughlin (9/11 survivor)

* 15 - Ernest Borgnine

* 14 - Shepherd Mead

* 14 - Will Jimeno

* 13 - Malcolm Johnson (journalist)

* 13 - Pump and dump

* 12 - Ethan Bronner

* 12 - Thom Calandra

* 11 - Joe Queenan

* 10 - Eddie Egan

* 10 - Burton Turkus

* 10 - On the Jews and Their Lies

* 10 - Microcap stock fraud

* 10 - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Israel

* 10 - Richard Price (writer)

* 9 - Big Love

* 9 - New antisemitism

* 9 - Short and distort

* 9 - 2004 Madrid train bombings

* 9 - Arthur Waskow

* 8 - The Quiet Man

* 8 - The Friends of Eddie Coyle (novel)

* 8 - List of Fordham University people

* 8 - Jordan Belfort

* 7 - Detour (novel)

* 7 - Herb Greenberg

* 7 - Church of St. Joseph in Greenwich Village

* 7 - Jack Garfein

* 7 - CounterPunch

* 7 - Mark Cuban

* 6 - Grand Concourse (Bronx)

* 6 - Charles Lane (actor)

* 6 - Dutch Schultz

* 6 - Rose Thering

* 6 - Carroll Baker

* 6 - Louis Buchalter

* 6 - Michael V. Gazzo

* 6 - Love with the Proper Stranger

* 6 - Jason Thomas

* 6 - Kossar's Bialys

* 6 - James Cagney

* 5 - The Wanderers (1979 film)

* 5 - David Strathairn

* 5 - Hedge fund

* 5 - Antonio Demo

* 5 - James Dale Davidson

* 5 - Yonah Shimmel's Knish Bakery

* 5 - The Nation

* 5 -

* 5 - Pat Reid

* 5 - Avery Corman

* 5 - Lee Harvey Oswald

* 5 - Murder, Inc.

* 4 - Harry Connick, Sr.

* 4 - Spencer Tracy

* 4 - Russ Tamblyn

* 4 - Market Wizards

* 4 - Meyer Lansky

* 4 - Ryan's Daughter

* 4 - Barry Foster (actor)

* 4 - The Sleeping City

* 4 - Roger Lowenstein

* 4 - Arthur Levitt

* 4 - Boys Town (organization)

* 4 - Chop stock

* 3 - The Seventh Cross

* 3 - Stratton Oakmont

* 3 - Joseph A. O'Hare

* 3 - Cong, County Mayo

* 3 - The River (1951 film)

* 3 - Havana Conference

* 3 - Mickey Spillane (mobster)

* 3 - Donald Henry Gaskins

* 3 - Alex Nicol

* 3 - Augustin Cardinal Bea

* 3 - Richard Conte

* 3 - Mission San Xavier del Bac

* 3 - The Lost Weekend (novel)

* 3 - Jack Ruby

* 3 - Fordham, Bronx

* 3 - Woody Strode

* 3 - Katrina vanden Heuvel

Here are the results for me:

* 89 - Nelson Antonio Denis

* 87 - Doyers Street (Manhattan)

* 85 - Steve Brodie (bridge jumper)

* 76 - Juano Hernández

* 74 - East Harlem

* 71 - Raymond Márquez

* 70 - Zahi Hawass

* 68 - IRT Third Avenue Line

* 60 - Chasing Mummies

* 57 - Bowery

* 53 - Sixth Avenue (Manhattan)

* 48 - South Bronx

* 46 - Seventh Avenue (Manhattan)

* 45 - World Wide Tours bus crash * 43 - Chinatown, Manhattan * 38 - Allen Street (Manhattan) * 36 - Time travel urban legends * 34 - Tenth Avenue (Manhattan) * 32 - TriBeCa * 32 - Occupy Wall Street * 30 - Harlem * 27 - Chinatown bus lines * 25 - New York City Subway * 25 - Spread tow fabric * 24 - Singer Building * 23 - Italian Harlem * 23 - R32 (New York City Subway car) * 22 - ServiceMagic * 22 - Edgar Allan Poe Cottage * 22 - Commissioners' Plan of 1811 * 21 - Herberts Cukurs * 20 - Gary Weiss * 20 - IRT Sixth Avenue Line * 19 - Chuck Yeager * 19 - 2011 Egyptian revolution * 19 - Koreatown, Manhattan * 19 - Bowery (disambiguation) * 19 - Climatic Research Unit email controversy * 18 - List of Puerto Ricans of African descent * 17 - List of Puerto Ricans * 16 - C (New York City Subway service) * 15 - Closings and cancellations following the September... * 15 - Manhattan * 15 - IRT Ninth Avenue Line * 14 - IRT Second Avenue Line * 14 - The Bronx * 13 - Houston Street (Manhattan) * 12 - Harlem Riot of 1964 * 12 - South Street (Manhattan) * 12 - The Circus (film) * 11 - Adam Clayton Powell IV (politician) * 11 - Donald A Wilson Secondary School * 11 - Richard “Skip” Bronson * 11 - Longwood, Bronx * 10 - New York City * 10 - Shakaiba Sanga Amaj * 10 - Angie's List * 10 - Brownsville, Brooklyn * 10 - Stacy Horn * 9 - Steve Brodie (actor) * 9 - Josh Franceschi * 9 - Stonewall riots * 9 - Arthur Avenue * 9 - Rick Sanchez * 9 - Siege of Richmond * 9 - Pleasant Avenue * 9 - La Marqueta (East Harlem) * 8 - Hashomer Hatzair * 8 - Ferdinand Waldo Demara * 8 - Jerome Tiger * 8 - Alvin C. York * 8 - Division Street, Manhattan * 8 - Eddie Chapman * 7 - RMS Titanic Lifeboat No. 6 * 7 - Grand Concourse (Bronx) * 7 - Robert Moses Playground * 7 - Berenice Abbott * 7 - Association of Naval Service Officers * 7 - Radio Row * 7 - St Andrew's College, Cleethorpes * 7 - List of Clark University people * 6 - Orwell High School * 6 - Mottephobia * 6 - List of Puerto Rican boxing world champions * 6 - Irwin Corey * 6 - Longwood Historic District (Bronx) * 6 - 18th Street (IRT Lexington Avenue Line) * 6 - Stormfront (website) * 6 - David M. Gonzales * 6 - Young Man with a Horn (film) * 6 - Vesey Street (Manhattan) * 6 - Gotobus * 5 - David Guetta discography * 5 - You Me at Six * 5 - Space Cats * 5 - Michael Sorrentino * 5 - Malbone Street Wreck * 5 - Zuccotti Park * 5 - Battery Place (IRT Ninth Avenue Line) * 5 - Nolita

I'm not seeing any intersections except for Gary Weiss, which I have already discussed. I have shown no interest in any of the major subject areas of that editor, finance and theology.

An arb wrote back with a link to the wikistalk tool, which I then used and wrote back:

Except for Gary Weiss, which as I explained I was brought to by an automated program, there are five articles that I have edited in a very insubstantial way which Mantanmoreland also edited, also trivially, and one (Harry Maione) was a single automated Huggle edit. Considering that I've edited over 4000 articles and Mantanmoreland was also active, I'm surprised there isn't more.

What I didn't do was edit in a single one of the problematic articles mentioned in the Mantanmoreland arbitration, all related to finance.

In addition to the other points I've raised, I've noted that the Mantanmoreland's socks mentioned in the September SPI were socks who edited in league with each other. I haven't seen anyone suggesting that I'm tag-teaming and socking in tandem with another editor, not here or on Wikipedia Review, which is where this originated.

I think this was the fifth. First I asked for a provisional unblock then I said:

To repeat what I said in my response to AGK on my talk page, I do not know what to send you beyond what I already have. How can I appeal this block if I don't understand why I was blocked beyond "behaviorial evidence" and secret CU evidence? What behavior? Do you want me to respond to the issues the sock raised in his SPI in September 2011? That was so insubstantial that at the time it didn't even warrant a reply. Other things? Will someone please respond to this?

I don't understand why it will take a week to deal with this. I've already pointed out to you that I don't use multiple accounts, and that I have no interest in the subjects edited by Mantanmoreland, as clearly indicated in my contributions and that account's. My initial involvement in the Weiss article, the only article in the Mantan arbitration I've ever edited, was through vandal-fighting in May 2011, fifteen months after I began editing.

You are aware, I hope, that I encountered the Weiss article while using an automated tool, and that my use of the tool preceded the first contribution from the vandal at the Weiss article by about twenty minutes. It's not as if I was watching the Weiss article and then fired up Huggle when I saw vandalism there, and then hope it would get caught in the Huggle filter. I then watchlisted it and pursued the vandal who had attacked it, as I have done for numerous other articles I have encountered through Huggle and Twinkle.

If there are any other concerns about my editing, please let me know, as I am not a mind reader. I've responded to questions raised on my talk page, and I encourage the committee to read my talk page if you haven't already, such as my response to Cla68 at 23:40, 12 January 2012 and my post at 04:36, 13 January 2012 (UTC). Both involve my contribs to the Weiss article subsequent to its attack by the Cookiehead account. Beyond that I am not sure what to address. Since you haven't communicated with me, I don't even know whether this email should go to the entire committee or to any specific arbs.

Despite my making that last observation, not a single arb had the decency to to write back and say that the entire committee was considering my so-called "appeal."


Further on my msg. below, a Google search indicates that the alleged RL operator of the defunct Mantanmoreland account is a featured columnist for Salon and, producing columns that appear at least twice weekly. See

Assuming the relationship between that person and Mantanmoreland is verified, I think that a review of those columns would totally exclude the possibility of me as a possible sock of Mantanmoreland. I just don't get involved in articles on these kinds of subjects. I did edit in the area of Occupy Wall Street article a bit at the beginning, mainly to deal with a BLP issue on the police captain and the pepper spraying incident, in a successful effort to delete that article. That is the closest I've come.

I've never edited any articles about Ron Paul or the Federal Reserve, or anything having to do with banks, Timothy Geithner, the mafia takeover of brokerage firms, the financial crisis or Bernard Madoff (see Weiss biography,

I'm really stunned that the total absence of connection between me and this subject matter hasn't already lead to the end of this completely unjustified block on that basis alone. I would have thought that the circumstances of my coming to the Weiss article would have already led to my unblocking when it was pointed out to you, and I'm disappointed that that has not occurred.

My seventh, after which I gave up:

I wanted to elaborate on something I mentioned on my talk page:

Mantanmoreland's behavior was characterized by abuse of multiple accounts. I've never been accused of that. You may want to take a look at a recent dispute I was involved in that was so heated that I went to ANI over it,

There was first a heated AfD over a restaurant article.

Then there was a heated discussion at followed by an even nastier discussion in a RfC I commenced at

I received very little help in any of these discussions, so obviously I didn't bring in a sock to help me out, as Mantanmoreland would have done. This dispute over these Michelin restaurants was so upsetting to me that I seriously considered leaving the project over it, and mentioned that to another editor in an email at the time.

I think that was my last email to Arbcom. I received no substantive replies, no questions. There was no challenging of anything I said, no attempt at dialogue. I was not even told that arbcom as a whole was considering my "appeal." I read about that on an arb's talk page. I think that if you read these emails, Tony, you can understand why I'm not happy with how this was handled and why I would be an utter fool to spend another minute of my time improving articles and fighting vandals. Thanks again for your kindness. ScottyBerg (talk) 20:20, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Oh, and by the way, Tony, to make things even more grotesque, a member of Arbcom is now at the RfC, selectively releasing Arbcom's reasoning, saying that the checkuser just put me in the same vicinity as the banned sock,that it was mainly "editing patterns," and mentioning supposed similarities that were never mentioned to me for response. And, of course, totally disregarding the overwhelming non-similarities or the fact that I stumbled onto the offending article by Huggle. So the whole "technical evidence" thing is meaningless. I received less due process than the most malicious, disruptive socks would get in an SPI. If you were subjected to this kind of infuriating treatment, how would you feel about Wikipedia? I understand now why so many banned editors gather offsite, though I think their time would be better served doing other things. ScottyBerg (talk) 23:10, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

They have reasonable suspicions and probable evidence that you are banned editor Mantanmoreland...I am not convinced that they are wrong...but I do have a doubt...and therefore, against my better judgement, stated as such at the 03:43, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate your remarks but I don't think you understand that the damage has been done and is not reversable. Even if I wanted to continue editing, my ability to do so has ended because the well has been poisoned. The same applies to Commons, where I am not blocked, and I have so informed them. I was posting the emails not to beg for mercy but to explain just how odious this whole process has been. ScottyBerg (talk) 04:44, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, it would appear that even if you wished to continue this effort, the only way arbcom may reverse the decision would be for you to contact Jimbo Wales and do a Skype call with him.MONGO 17:09, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Even if the well is "poisoned" as you say, you could swallow your pride and do the Skype call with Jimbo. It would prove your innocence while simultaneously make ARBCOM reevaluate how it deals with these sorts of matters - preventing them from happening to someone else. I know that before I said you shouldn't have to do this, but that was while the arbs were still discussing your matter behind closed doors. Now, there is an RfC, with several other editors - myself included, and you know full well how much I loathe the idea of you editing here - defending you. Time to man up, Scotty; if you are too sick of the matter, then do it so someone else doesn't have to. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 18:15, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Whatever. The important thing is to revert all my edits. The process has already begun[24]. Since those edits are by a genuine sock, and not the product of collective paranoia, they will be ignored. I think it's important that Wikipedia be improved in that fashion. I'm outta here. ScottyBerg (talk) 23:35, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, I don't mind telling you how incredibly selfish that is of you, Scotty. If all you are out for is yourself, good effing riddance. Thanks for staying true to my perception of you. If you disagree with that assessment, prove me wrong. If you leave, you are saying that nothing is wrong, and you don't give a shit. Or, if Arbcom is right, you're liley eager to get on with your next sock. By bailing you are proving me right about you. Thanks for that. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 02:18, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh please, Jack, I donated hours of my time to this project and what did it get me? Eyestrain and an indefinite ban. Please don't talk to me about being incredibly selfish. Besides, I just handed the community an obvious sock on a silver platter as a parting gesture of goodwill. ScottyBerg (talk) 04:14, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Big deal. If you are unwilling to act effectively in your own defense, why should anyone believe any act of goodwill on your part. Because of this cloud hanging over you - a cloud you explicitly refuse to dispel - anything you do and say is tainted. Being selfish enough to not prove the allegations currently in place against you means that ArbCom is that much more resistant to changing the way they evaluate these sorts of blocks. That means that (if you are indeed innocent) someone else innocent will go through the same superhappyfuntime you are enduring. You are either selfish or guilty. There is no third choice that means a damn thing. Your call. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 05:12, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
My call is that none of you people give a shit about me, so why should I give a shit about you? Somebody just posted comparisons of my contribs with Mantanmoreland socks, and I see all this tsking and muttering. But nobody bothers to look at the actual edits. I looked at the comparison with JohnnyB256, where I admit there is an alarming number of matches. Every single article edit except for the toxic Weiss article was an automated Huggle edit. Apart from that, on the talk pages, I see that I contributed to the Madoff talk page in response to the RfC bot. I see also that Johnny and I, along with many other editors, gave warnings to a school IP that does vandalism. The rest are mainly edits to talk pages of veteran users, on subjects unrelated to anything I ever talked to them about as far as I can see. And for this I get hung on a meat hook? People don't give a shit about me, and you say "it's not about me," and you say I'm selfish. ScottyBerg (talk) 15:57, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
(ec) Yes, of course you are right, Scotty. We all came here because we simply wanted to have a schadenfreude moment, point, laugh and maybe take a parting shot at your expense. Yep, that's what we were doing, all right. Man, there are a lot of people defending you - not your edits, you. I am not among this number, but some people actually seem to give a rat's ass about you. I haven't a clue as to why.
You are acting like a major dumbass. Stop focusing on the errors of others and stop making them yourself. You can rage about this edit or another, protesting your innocence all day long while some trashbag from WR whips up an account or three to make you look like some evil creep. That isn't going to get anything done. You are banned. It's only a matter of time before some admin or arb comes along and blocks your ability to post even here, so get off your ass and stop making your defenders look like well-meaning idiots. Either take the step of proving your innocence in a concrete way (hint: bitching about diffs isn't having any appreciable effect) or simply go away, branded a sockpuppet of Mantanmoreland. If we were in person, I'd feel compelled to use hand-puppets and illustrations at this point, but in this limited media allow me to be a clear as possible: man up or stop wasting our time. I'm done reasoning with someone crying in their beer when there is actually a way out. Your choice is clear. Do or do not. Stop bitching. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 18:20, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
If diffs don't matter, if my edits and their lack of similarity to the socks don't, than what else is going to make any difference and why should I care? I just see an exercise in futility. ScottyBerg (talk) 18:32, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
And in case you haven't noticed from the emails above, I've already "proven my innocence" in the face of total silence from arbcom and the absence of a fair hearing as would be granted to a newbie vandal. All my proof of innocence is for people to see, and all I get in return is innuendo and guilt by assertion. First they say that there's technical evidence, then they admit that the technical evidence is just that I live in the same city as the sock. So that's gone. I mean, the treatment of me is so unfair that I just don't give a damn. ScottyBerg (talk) 18:37, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Obviously, there are a lot of us that care about you, Scotty, or the RfC would have never started. There are a lot of people that really appreciate the editing you've done, especially in the New York area. SilverserenC 17:44, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
I definitely did not have you in mind when I was writing those words. My apologies to all in general for my lack of generosity on that score, but it's been a tough couple of weeks. ScottyBerg (talk) 23:36, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
I think we can learn a great deal from this situation. Good faith editing is always paramount, and an editing history says a lot (good or bad, no judgments here). Open communication is important in any relationship or community. I think that Scotty made some good points, and I think that Arb Com had some valid concerns and a difficult decision to make. These decisions are never easy. I think that Scotty will eventually be back, and will be an even better editor.
In the meantime, I hope that we can maintain the fabric or our community, and do a great job going forward. Finally, above all, good faith and collaboration are the hallmarks of a healthy organization. Accusing people right and left (Mantanmoreland, ScottyBerg, whomever), usually gets us nowhere. It's a waste of human energy, especially among people who are volunteers to the cause. Let's work on good faith, and give Scotty a good welcome when he returns. (talk) 02:29, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I didn't mean to imply that Scotty Berg is a sock or anything, or that he will return as a sock. I don't have enough information, to formulate a 100% opinion about that.I hope he returns in good spirits, in whatever process is available for that.
What I meant to say, is that we need to bring out the best in each other, stop looking for flaws/picking arguments, or playing Sherlock Holmes into the wee hours of the morning. Let's create good articles, edit in good faith, and try to see that good faith in others. Otherwise this will be a shrinking club, and not a pleasant place to be. Remember we are all volunteers. No one should be gaming the system. We all agree about that. But we also need to assume good faith, if at all possible. (talk) 02:38, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

ScottyBerg and talk page watchers might be interested in this post of mine and the comments from Risker to which I refer. The "standard" practice it describes for handling alleged socks such as those of former-ArbCom member Rlevse might not sound entirely the same as those apparently adopted in ScottyBerg's case. EdChem (talk) 04:04, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

You are wrong to conflate socks of prolific banned users with socks of vanished users. Although neither is something we can ignore, the two cases you cite are rather different in nature. AGK [•] 18:31, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

We need to estimate probabilities here. There is a set of "problem editors" who have been banned and there are a large number of productive editors. The probability of interest is the probability that one or more editors from the latter group will match with one of the former group according to the criteria used here. If this probability is not small, one cannot rule out that someone in the latter group matches a problem editor. A tip from WR by someone with an axe to grind is then all that is needed to ban that editor. Count Iblis (talk) 00:23, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

A Barnstar for you[edit]

Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
Scotty, for all your hardwork and tireless contributions, you've earned this barnstar. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:44, 14 March 2012 (UTC)


I've requested your unban on WP:AN. Cheers. -- (talk) 18:00, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Input needed at RfC[edit]

Hi. You've been selected at random from WP:FRS, where you are listed as an editor willing to help with RfCs related to biographical articles. If you have time, could you provide your input to an RfC here involving issues of libel and defmation in relation to author Jared Diamond. Cheers. --Noleander (talk) 03:25, 11 February 2013 (UTC)


Club Season League Cup[1] Continental[2] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
JCT Mills 2005–06 National Football League 17 2 0 0 0 0 17 2
2006–07 National Football League 15 11 0 0 0 0 15 11
2007–08 I-League 16 7 0 0 0 0 16 7
Total 48 20 0 0 0 0 48 20
East Bengal 2008-09 I-League 14 9 3 2 0 0 17 11
Total 14 9 3 2 0 0 17 11
Dempo 2009-10 I-League 13 8 0 0 0 0 13 8
Total 13 8 0 0 0 0 13 8
Kansas City Wizards 2010 MLS 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Total 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Chirag United 2011 I-League 7 7 0 0 0 0 7 7
Total 7 7 0 0 0 0 7 7
Mohun Bagan 2011-12 I-League 14 8 2 1 0 0 16 9
Total 14 8 2 1 0 0 16 9
Sporting CP B 2012-13 Liga de Honra 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Total 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Churchill Brothers (loan) 2012-13 I-League 8 4 0 0 5 2 13 6
Total 8 4 0 0 5 2 13 6
Bengaluru FC 2013-14 I-League 11 4 0 0 0 0 11 4
Total 11 4 0 0 0 0 11 4
Career total 118 60 6 3 5 2 129 65

Note: Some of cup stats are missing,it will updated once it is known.

i want to know that if we can show this table with that 'Note' with it.Here every data is correct except JCT Mills one where we dont have cup data ques. is could we still show this table? Preetam040 (talk) 13:42, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Scottyberg is indefinitely banned, so he's not going to be able to help with this matter.--MONGO 15:58, 6 December 2013 (UTC)