Wikipedia’s Jimbo Wales unimpressed by Gary Weiss and his lies

It’s easy to see why Gary Weiss was the logical choice when proponents of illegal naked short selling sought a resolute apologist for their repugnant practice.

Wikipedia’s Jimbo Wales sees Gary Weiss sockpuppeting all over the internet

As is described at great length in these pages, Wikipedia has been one of the principal battlegrounds in the effort to cover-up the crime of illegal naked short selling.

For just over two key years, former journalist Gary Weiss dedicated an enormous amount of time and energy to the process of gaining control over and skewing the Wikipedia article on naked short selling. We know that given Wikipedia’s influence as a research tool – of journalists in particular – the heavily Weiss-influenced version of the article made it much more difficult than it should have been to get real reporting done on the issue.

Fortunately, as more and more Wikipedians came to see what Weiss was doing, an army of volunteers banded together to prove, beyond any doubt, the extent of Weiss’s deception. Their conclusion: Weiss created multiple Wikipedia identities (commonly known as “sockpuppets”) working in parallel to give the false impression of much more support for his position than actual existed.

This is a huge no-no on Wikipedia, and resulted in Weiss’s permanent expulsion from the project, and the liberation of the naked short selling article (though far too late to matter, as naked short sellers managed to destroy Bear Stearns exactly one month later).

If you’ve followed the Deep Capture saga for very long, that much you probably knew.

Now you’re going to hear the rest of the story.

For the purpose of what follows, you need to know that in 2007, Weiss’s two main Wikipedia sockpuppets were named Mantanmoreland and Samiharris.  In September of that year, a group of Weiss’s protectors decided to create a private mailing list in order to counter the efforts of the growing number of people already working together to expose Weiss, his lies and his enablers.

Included on that private list were Wikipedia’s founder Jimbo Wales and three or four dozen other members of the site’s inner circle. Just to complete the illusion, Gary Weiss also joined the list…twice, as both Mantanmoreland and Samiharris.

Some time ago, I was given many of the emails exchanged by what came to be known as the super-secret Wikipedia Cyberstalking list. What follows is an abridgement of one of them.

The thread begins with Weiss sock Samiharris lamenting the failure of an effort to silence Wikipedia editor Cla68, who had engaged in multiple attempts to make the article on Gary Weiss himself (which was, in fact, written by Weiss) read a little less like a promotional brochure.

The matter became so contentious that Jimbo Wales himself and Cla68 exchanged emails in an attempt to find some common ground. By the time that exchange was over, Jimbo wrote to the members of the Wikipedia Cyberstalking list:

“Cla68 has written to me, and what he has written confirms what I have thought for a long time… I am not the only sane and reasonable person who thinks it very likely that Mantanmoreland is Gary Weiss and who would be thrilled to have a proof otherwise.”

Shortly adding:

“If Mantanmoreland would properly identify himself to me and prove that he is not Gary Weiss, we could put all this to bed quite easily.”

Of course, Mantanmoreland (Weiss) did not appreciate this, and responded:

“I am disheartened by Jimbo’s private comments, disgusted by his handling of stalkers when they correspond with him, and have absolutely zero faith in his ability to properly handle stalker issues himself.  I am sorry, but this is something he should delegate to others. When he privately corresponds with a stalker like Bagley or a helper like Cla68 his heart melts and he gets all mushy. It has happened before and it has happened again. It’s not going to stop. Wikipedia’s handling of stalkers is going to fail as long as stalkers can make headway by privately corresponding with Jimbo.”

Jimbo’s slight mangling of Shakespeare can be forgiven by this, his pitch-perfect response:

“The queen doth protest too much, Gary.”

Weiss’s reply barely manages to contain his rage:

“Oh I missed the “Gary”. Please be sure to use that name every time you refer to me, as I want to be reminded of your behavior tonight…because tonight was the night you officially became a stalker.”

That’s right. Weiss, having found some success labeling me and everybody else intent on enforcing some accountability for his actions “stalkers”, actually applied the label to Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales himself.

At that point, Samiharris (also Weiss, remember) decides to offer himself some support in condemning Wales:

“I have to sleep on it to absorb the magnitude of the founder of Wikipedia acting this way.”

With that, Mantanmoreland and Samiharris signed off.

The next day, Samiharris started a new thread, hoping to recast Mantanmoreland’s earlier attacks on Wales:

“At its very lowest point, Jimbo precisely replicated the tone and content of a [Wikipedia criticism site] Wikipedia Review attack. I mean that literally. His response to Mantanmoreland, calling him “Gary,” could have been made by [Wikipedia Review administrator] Somey.”

To this, Wales offered the response of his life:

“I am frustrated that Mantanmoreland has not been more helpful to us in confirming that he is not Gary Weiss.  I think that the evidence for that is insufficient for us to know for sure, but that on average it tends to suggest it.  I have proposed a few different ways that Mantan could resolve this, but he is unwilling to even consider it.

And I am frustrated with you for your repeated personal attacks on me and complete refusal to assume good faith.  Any allegation against me, no matter how trivial or unsupported by evidence, is accepted by you as fact.  I think that’s unfortunate.

That frustration caused me to be inappropriately blunt with Mantan. But the issue is real. My concern is that if Mantanmoreland is really Gary Weiss, then it is only a matter of time until this is proven…either by Bagley or someone else…and we will find that we have been manipulated in a pretty sad way.

The evidence that Weiss has sockpuppeted all over the Internet is pretty compelling, and even the mainstream press has commented over his refusal to directly address it. Is Mantan one of those socks? We have no proof either way, but I think the evidence tends to suggest it.

It upsets him that I think that, but there you go.  Speaking the truth as I see it seems to me to be the most simple and direct way to correct any errors that I may have.”

Of course, everything I alleged linking Weiss with Mantanmoreland and Samiharris eventually was very publicly proven, and as Wales predicted, the clout once enjoyed by Weiss’s inner circle defenders was forever diminished.

This exchange, and many others like it involving Jimbo Wales and Gary Weiss in his multiple forms, also convinces me that – contrary to what I have openly wondered in the past – Jimbo’s public denial of the Weiss/Mantanmoreland+Samiharris connection, despite his private acceptance of the same, was based primarily on a desire to avoid damaging Wikipedia, as opposed to any theorized influence brought to bear by his associates in the Chicago options trading community (where a key component of illegal naked short selling takes place). I was wrong about that.

There are a few other insights we can take away about Gary Weiss from this exchange.

  • First, when backed into a corner, Weiss will reflexively and irresponsibly lash out at his accusers.
  • Second, Weiss seems programmed to characterize any efforts at investigating his online misbehavior as “stalking.” That, together with cries of “anti-Semitism,” are the two most well-worn tools in his chest.
  • And third, Weiss’s willingness – even eagerness – to go to great lengths to mislead all around him is pathological. He can’t help himself.

Put it all together, and it’s easy to see why Gary Weiss was the logical choice when proponents of illegal naked short selling sought a resolute apologist for their repugnant practice.

  1. Congratulations on your success in Marin Superior Court.

    However in my view it will help your creditability and cause to move away from the idea that Bear Stearns and Lehman was brought down by Naked Shorts.

    Just leave that issue to Taibbi.

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