Tag Archive | "Jimbo Wales"

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

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


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.

Posted in AntiSocialMedia with Judd Bagley, Featured StoriesComments (9)

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Weighing the options


Note: I have the privilege of being a contributor on an upstart blog where some extremely intelligent criticism of Web 2.0 is taking place. It’s called Akahele.org, and I recommend adding it to your RSS reader.

Akahele, if you’re curious, is a Hawaiian word meaning “slow” or “deliberate”, in contrast with wiki, the Hawaiian word for “fast” (and the origin of the “wiki” in Wikipedia).

The following is my most recent contribution to Akahele, and is an examination of the Wikipedia/Gary Weiss saga, with a new twist.

My direct involvement notwithstanding, I feel it’s both fair and accurate to say that the events surrounding the Gary Weiss/Mantanmoreland affair were among the strangest and most polarizing in Wikipedia’s history.

For those lucky enough to have no idea what I’m referring to, here’s the highest of high-level summations (much more in-depth explanations can be found here and here):

Former journalist Gary Weiss.
Gary Weiss

Former business journalist Gary Weiss used multiple sockpuppet accounts to ingratiate himself with Wikipedia’s inner circle and – thanks primarily to the relationships he established there – gain control of, most notably, the article describing an illegal form of stock market manipulation known as naked short selling.

Weiss then proceeded to dramatically alter the content of this and related articles in order to minimize the perceived negative impact of naked short selling while marginalizing critics of the practice, myself included.

There’s strong evidence suggesting Weiss was paid to do this by the very organization many fault as the primary enabler, not to mention a financial beneficiary of, illegal naked short selling.

I suspect most would agree with my assessment that among the darkest moments in the more than two-year drama between Weiss’s arrival and eventual forced departure were those in which Wikipedia co-founder Jimbo Wales injected himself into the controversy – always seemingly uninvited – and always with the effect of derailing whatever progress might have been made toward bringing about Weiss’s removal.

Among these, the most incomprehensible episode occurred at the crescendo of what is widely regarded the largest and most thorough sockpuppeting investigation in the history of Wikipedia, in which dozens of volunteers dedicated hundreds of hours amassing a body of evidence overwhelmingly implicating Weiss in a deeply disturbing deception.

It was at that time that Wales posted an unprovoked indictment of the process under the heading ‘I have personally seen no persuasive evidence’, resulting in Weiss getting another pass. This, despite Wales having told others, privately, that he knew Weiss was guilty; and many more, publicly, that I was a liar for making the same claim.

What follows is my best explanation for Jimbo’s odd behavior.

But first, I need to explain a little more about the nature of short selling, both legal and illegal.

Legal short selling involves selling borrowed shares with the expectation of buying them back and returning them to their owner at a later date and a lower price, allowing the short seller to pocket the difference.

Naked short sellers, on the other hand, sell shares short without borrowing them first, thereby creating the equivalent of counterfeit shares. This has the effect of artificially swelling the supply of stock, which has a markedly depressive influence on price, making the naked short seller rich, while inflicting immense harm upon legitimate shareholders and the companies in which they’ve invested.

There have been, in theory, rules intended to prevent naked short sales from occurring, or at least, from enduring longer than 13 trading days. Unfortunately, the people behind the practice are quite smart, and the monetary incentive to violate the law quite large.

In other words, they’ve found a path around the rules.

And that path runs right through the heart of Chicago’s financial district.

As it turns out, there is a law, known as the “options market maker exemption”, which permits certain brokerages, specifically those registered as ‘options market makers’, to engage in a highly-controlled form of naked short selling in the course of bona fide options market making – comparable to the permission police officers have to exceed the speed limit under certain extreme circumstances when it’s in everybody’s best interest that they do so.

Naked short sellers have discovered that they can essentially “rent” the options market maker exemption from certain corrupt options market makers, producing massive amounts of counterfeit shares in the process.

It’s as though a corrupt cop rented his police cruiser to a random citizen so he or she could drive it around at 120 mph for a day, without being held responsible for any of the damage they might cause.

Of course, it’s silly to think that either the citizen or the cop could get away this, but in the financial world, such overt violations of the law regularly take place on a grand scale. And though the reason is not immediately clear, research proves that this abuse of the options market maker exemption nearly always takes place on the Chicago Stock Exchange.

Why Chicago?

My guess is that it’s a cultural thing: the same way you’d never even think of bribing a cop who pulled you over in San Diego, while doing the same just 30 miles south in Tijuana is not a big deal.

What does this have to do with Jimbo Wales?

Well it turns out that both he and former Wikimedia Foundation trustee Michael Davis used to work at Chicago Options Associates, where Wales was a research director and Davis was CEO.

To be clear, while it existed, Chicago Options Associates traded options and futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and was not an options market maker. But because I suspect the Chicago phenomenon is a cultural one, and given the near certainty that Wales counts many equities options market making traders as his friends, I’m not sure it really matters: his professional background is deeply rooted in the same dark corner of the financial world that facilitates the same form of stock fraud Gary Weiss worked so hard to defend on Wikipedia.

Which I suspect explains why Jimbo Wales worked so hard to defend Gary Weiss.

Is Jimbo Wales above influencing Wikipedia content based on his personal relationships?

Rachel Marsden would probably say that no, he is not.

I recently asked Jimbo whether anybody with ties to options market making on the Chicago Stock Exchange sought to influence his decisions in this respect, and was not entirely surprised when Jimbo insisted that they did not.

However I was surprised when Jimbo followed with “it is still to this day completely unproven that the claims you’ve made about Mantanmoreland being Gary Weiss are true.”

Once I’d picked myself up off the floor, I decided to take Jimbo up on his invitation to finally show him the first bit of proof linking Gary Weiss to Mantanmoreland, despite the fact that doing so felt like proving to a skeptic that the moon is not composed of dairy products.

What I ultimately sent Wales were:

Gary Weiss wikipedia editing pattern chart. Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.
  1. A scatter graph (seen at right) showing Mantanmoreland’s Wikipedia editing pattern over several months, including a 12 hour time shift limited to the period in which Gary Weiss was known to be visiting India.
  2. Email from Gary Weiss (if you want to know how I came to possess Weiss’s private email, read this) in which he told a friend that he intended to edit a specific Wikipedia article to include a reference to a book he wrote.
  3. A link showing that Mantanmoreland did in fact edit that very article to include a reference to that very book.

I also made it clear that should these bits of evidence fail to convince him, I’m ready to send much, much more.

Maybe Jimbo was convinced and he decided there was no reason to respond further.

Maybe the evidence simply left him speechless.

Or maybe owning up to his reckless actions in this case would prove unpopular with his friends back in Chicago.

All I know is that once the evidence was sent as requested, the conversation went cold.

Whatever the case, the legacy of Gary Weiss’s campaign of misinformation endures on Wikipedia to this day, due in large part to the apartheid-like probationary status imposed upon the naked short selling article after Wales condemned the inquest into Weiss’s activities as having produced no persuasive evidence.

All the while, Wikipedia remains the first option offered those searching the web for information about naked shorting, and its role in the current financial crisis.

Weiss may have created this problem, but Jimbo Wales — whatever his motivation — has allowed it to persist. The time has come for Wales himself to step in, help find a real solution, and acknowledge the damage this dark episode has caused real people in the process.

Posted in AntiSocialMedia with Judd BagleyComments (40)

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Lecture on abuse of social media by stock manipulators


I recently lectured business students at the University of Texas, on the topic of abuse of social media by stock manipulators. I’ve merged the recording of the lecture with my slide presentation and converted it to video below. For the larger, interactive slideshow version, click here.



As a post-script, I found this experience to be a very positive one, and would welcome similar opportunities in the future. Please contact me via email at: antisocialmedia@gmail.com
If the information contained in this presentation concerns you, and you wish to help, then:
1) email it to a dozen friends;
2) go here for additional suggestions: “So You Say You Want a Revolution?

Posted in AntiSocialMedia with Judd Bagley, The Hijacking of Social MediaComments (91)

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The many fish tales of Wikipedia's Jimbo Wales


Over the past month, dozens of volunteers have joined together to assemble a staggering amount of evidence backing up one of the central claims of deepcapture.com: that former financial journalist Gary Weiss is possibly the most profoundly conflicted Wikipedia editor in the history of that website.

By all accounts, the resulting mass of evidence vastly exceeded any previous effort and produced a “case” supporting the claim that Gary Weiss has, in extreme violation of Wikipedia policy, deceitfully operated multiple accounts in an effort to skew the articles relating to naked short selling, Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, and Gary Weiss himself.

Those unfamiliar with Wikipedia policy might not appreciate just how big a deal this really is.

It’s very satisfying to see so much support for the claim that has, over the past year, created so much misery for the few who have believed it.

That misery was occasioned, in large part, by the inexplicable obstructionism of Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales, who intervened on multiple occasions to halt efforts threatening to tie Weiss to his many wiki sockpuppet identities.

Initially, it seemed reasonable to assume that Wales’s unreasonable behavior was based on bad information, and that he was otherwise acting in good faith.

That changed, however, when several of Wales’s contributions to a very small and private email list were recently leaked to me.

Of these, the most interesting, dated September 15, 2007, reads as follows:

From: jwales@wikia.com (Jimbo Wales)
I just want to go on record as saying that I believe the reason for this is that Mantanmoreland is in fact Gary Weiss.

Before lauding Wales’s apparent enlightenment on this topic, note the comment he made one month later, in reference to his support of an effort to block model Wikipedia editor Cla68 from making the most reasonable changes to the Gary Weiss article autobiography:

“Cla68, I fear that you have been manipulated by lying stalkers and trolls…”

In case it’s not clear, this is one of Wales’s many references to me as “lying stalker” and “troll.”

Kindly re-read the previous few paragraphs in case the following point is not made crystal clear to you: in private, Wales admitted knowing that I was correct about Gary Weiss, and yet in public, continued protecting Weiss, defaming me and castigating those who recognized and acted upon the truth as reported here.

What could possibly motivate someone to be not only deceitful, but deeply, irresponsibly and libelously deceitful?

Before you answer, consider the insights we can glean from the examples of Rachel Marsden and Jeff Merkey.

Rachel Marsden
Marsden is a controversial Canadian media personality and political consultant whose Wikipedia article has consistently tended toward the disproportionately negative.

While the full extent of their relationship is unknown, the emergence of a series of IM chat transcripts between Marsden and Wales makes it clear that in early February of this year, the relationship was…shall we say…a physical one.

Confronted with an overwhelming body of evidence, Wales conceded to a single “meeting” with Marsden, which took place on February 9, 2008.

While other evidence would suggest Wales isn’t telling the truth here, let us none-the-less focus on the circumstances surrounding that meeting.

In the following excerpted IM chat exchange between Wales and Marsden leading up to the February 9 meeting (originally published in Valleywag.com), the two discuss a specific point of inaccuracy in her article.

Wales: I wrote an email to the internal editors list about your entry recommending some changes, etc. I said that I would run it by you for clarification/comment and email again if there were any updates I think we have two major problems right now first, the timeline is wrong about the recent cop case… that is the worst error and easy to fix

Wales: right so the way it is told now, hang on a second let’s actually do this right now because the last thing I want to do is take a break from f**king your brains out all night to work on your wikipedia entry 🙂

“In September 2007, on her blog Marsden wrote about and posted a picture of a counterterrorism officer for the Ontario Provincial Police with whom she had an affair. She claimed that he had leaked secret anti-terrorism documents to her, then posted email messages from him as evidence that he had been pursuing her, and sent to the National Post these along with sexually explicit pictures of him that she had received. She was investigated for criminal harassment for this behaviour, but was not charged. The OPP’s criminal investigations branch cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.”

so our timeline is wrong we say
(1) wrote about him on your blog
(2) posted email messages from him
(3) as a result he files harassment charges

Marsden: exactly. it was a retaliatory complaint on his part that was launched 2 months after they initiated their investigation into his stuff.

Wales: but the correct timeline is
(1) wrote about him on the blog
(2) he files harassment charges
(3) you post email messages to show how his harassment charges are bullshit

Marsden: you’re a sh*tdisturber. 🙂 right I only posted the emails after he went public trying to create trouble. NOT before that.

Wales: so we can get that sorted and then this makes the story clearer

Marsden: that’s good of you to do. really.

Comparing the substance of this chat session with the edit history of the Rachel Marsden article in the days leading up to February 9, 2008, we see something rather striking: On February 7, wikipedian Guy Chapman (aka “JzG”) commits two changes (1)(2) which have the net effect of making precisely the content alterations Marsden requested.

Jeff Merkey
Merkey is a computer scientist and entrepreneur whose Wikipedia article came under attack by several editors critical of his professional associations.

According to Merkey, in 2006, Wales told him that in exchange for a substantial donation, Wales could use his influence to make Merkey’s article more agreeable, and to place Merkey himself under Wales’s “special protection” as an editor.

Merkey made a $5,000 donation and hinted at the possibility of something much larger in the future.

Merkey claims, and the record confirms, that following his donation, Wales personally made several edits to the Merkey article, including a complete blanking of the article and destruction of its edit history (extreme steps to take under any circumstances, and doubly so considering it happened without any effort at reaching consensus, which is supposedly the coin of the Wikipedia realm).

When he announced his unilateral “start-over” on the article, Wales offered:

I have deleted the old discussion because of the unpleasantness of it. Please be extra careful here to be courteous and assume good faith. We are nearing a resolution of this longstanding conflict. Play nice, everyone.

A priceless response came 20 minutes later by wikipedian Aim Here, who asked:

“…Have you been making secret dealings behind everyone’s back? So much for Wikipedia’s openness.”

To which Wales nervously responded:

“Secret dealings? What on earth are you talking about?”

To which wikipedian Aim Here replied:

Whether or not the original article was a mess, you did use the phrase ‘nearing a restitution of this longstanding conflict’, which suggests, despite the complete lack of evidence available in public, that there is an actual conflict going on, as opposed to one which had been completely dormant for ages now. After all, suddenly and with no warning, wiping out an article and ordering everyone to start again over some sourcing problems is rather heavy-handed and drastic. The normal WP procedure is to stick some tags on it and telling everyone to change the bad bits. The ‘secret deals’ phrase was of course total speculation, and sorry about that, but I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t something happening in private that sparked off this wholesale deletion of yours, either a deal or a threatened lawsuit. After all, pretty much the last thing Merkey said on this whole stupid subject was that he had been trying, in private, to throw $2 million at you and/or Wikipedia and threatening his usual bag of lawsuits. Well, whatever…

If this exchange seems familiar, it may be because it roughly resembles this one, which followed Jimbo Wales’ unilateral blanking of the debate over the proposed deletion of the article autobiography on Gary Weiss:

The page contained wildly inappropriate speculation that a notable author was sockpuppeting. As I am sure you are aware, many authors have had their careers badly damaged by being caught sockpuppeting at Amazon, etc., and it is deeply wrong for people to ask me to restore a page with such speculations in Wikipedia after the claims have already been investigated and dismissed. If there are further problems in the future, there will be no problem restoring the article at that time.

As an aside, based on Wales’s promise that “If there are further problems in the future, there will be no problem restoring the article at that time,” wikipedian Cool Hand Luke asked Jimbo for permission to un-delete the deletion debate in order to reference it during the present ArbCom case relating directly to the matter of Gary Weiss and his conflict of interest on Wikipedia.

Jimbo’s response: “I see no benefit in doing so.”

Conclusion
As the Rachel Marsden example demonstrates, when he’s “getting something” in return, Jimbo Wales is willing to use his position to influence Wikipedia article content.

As the Jeff Merkey example demonstrates, in addition to female companionship, that “something” can also come in the form of donations to the Wikimedia Foundation.

As the Gary Weiss example demonstrates, Jimbo Wales is willing to use Wikipedia as a tool of libel and disinformation when doing so suits him.

Only one question remains: what exactly is Jimbo Wales getting in return for continuing to publicly defame me and shield Gary Weiss from accountability for his two-year campaign of malice and disinformation, in support of illegal stock market manipulation?

Posted in AntiSocialMedia with Judd BagleyComments (0)

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The many fish tales of Wikipedia’s Jimbo Wales


Over the past month, dozens of volunteers have joined together to assemble a staggering amount of evidence backing up one of the central claims of deepcapture.com: that former financial journalist Gary Weiss is possibly the most profoundly conflicted Wikipedia editor in the history of that website.

By all accounts, the resulting mass of evidence vastly exceeded any previous effort and produced a “case” supporting the claim that Gary Weiss has, in extreme violation of Wikipedia policy, deceitfully operated multiple accounts in an effort to skew the articles relating to naked short selling, Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, and Gary Weiss himself.

Those unfamiliar with Wikipedia policy might not appreciate just how big a deal this really is.

It’s very satisfying to see so much support for the claim that has, over the past year, created so much misery for the few who have believed it.

That misery was occasioned, in large part, by the inexplicable obstructionism of Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales, who intervened on multiple occasions to halt efforts threatening to tie Weiss to his many wiki sockpuppet identities.

Initially, it seemed reasonable to assume that Wales’s unreasonable behavior was based on bad information, and that he was otherwise acting in good faith.

That changed, however, when several of Wales’s contributions to a very small and private email list were recently leaked to me.

Of these, the most interesting, dated September 15, 2007, reads as follows:

From: jwales@wikia.com (Jimbo Wales)
I just want to go on record as saying that I believe the reason for this is that Mantanmoreland is in fact Gary Weiss.

Before lauding Wales’s apparent enlightenment on this topic, note the comment he made one month later, in reference to his support of an effort to block model Wikipedia editor Cla68 from making the most reasonable changes to the Gary Weiss article autobiography:

“Cla68, I fear that you have been manipulated by lying stalkers and trolls…”

In case it’s not clear, this is one of Wales’s many references to me as “lying stalker” and “troll.”

Kindly re-read the previous few paragraphs in case the following point is not made crystal clear to you: in private, Wales admitted knowing that I was correct about Gary Weiss, and yet in public, continued protecting Weiss, defaming me and castigating those who recognized and acted upon the truth as reported here.

What could possibly motivate someone to be not only deceitful, but deeply, irresponsibly and libelously deceitful?

Before you answer, consider the insights we can glean from the examples of Rachel Marsden and Jeff Merkey.

Rachel Marsden
Marsden is a controversial Canadian media personality and political consultant whose Wikipedia article has consistently tended toward the disproportionately negative.

While the full extent of their relationship is unknown, the emergence of a series of IM chat transcripts between Marsden and Wales makes it clear that in early February of this year, the relationship was…shall we say…a physical one.

Confronted with an overwhelming body of evidence, Wales conceded to a single “meeting” with Marsden, which took place on February 9, 2008.

While other evidence would suggest Wales isn’t telling the truth here, let us none-the-less focus on the circumstances surrounding that meeting.

In the following excerpted IM chat exchange between Wales and Marsden leading up to the February 9 meeting (originally published in Valleywag.com), the two discuss a specific point of inaccuracy in her article.

Wales: I wrote an email to the internal editors list about your entry recommending some changes, etc. I said that I would run it by you for clarification/comment and email again if there were any updates I think we have two major problems right now first, the timeline is wrong about the recent cop case… that is the worst error and easy to fix

Wales: right so the way it is told now, hang on a second let’s actually do this right now because the last thing I want to do is take a break from f**king your brains out all night to work on your wikipedia entry 🙂

“In September 2007, on her blog Marsden wrote about and posted a picture of a counterterrorism officer for the Ontario Provincial Police with whom she had an affair. She claimed that he had leaked secret anti-terrorism documents to her, then posted email messages from him as evidence that he had been pursuing her, and sent to the National Post these along with sexually explicit pictures of him that she had received. She was investigated for criminal harassment for this behaviour, but was not charged. The OPP’s criminal investigations branch cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.”

so our timeline is wrong we say
(1) wrote about him on your blog
(2) posted email messages from him
(3) as a result he files harassment charges

Marsden: exactly. it was a retaliatory complaint on his part that was launched 2 months after they initiated their investigation into his stuff.

Wales: but the correct timeline is
(1) wrote about him on the blog
(2) he files harassment charges
(3) you post email messages to show how his harassment charges are bullshit

Marsden: you’re a sh*tdisturber. 🙂 right I only posted the emails after he went public trying to create trouble. NOT before that.

Wales: so we can get that sorted and then this makes the story clearer

Marsden: that’s good of you to do. really.

Comparing the substance of this chat session with the edit history of the Rachel Marsden article in the days leading up to February 9, 2008, we see something rather striking: On February 7, wikipedian Guy Chapman (aka “JzG”) commits two changes (1)(2) which have the net effect of making precisely the content alterations Marsden requested.

Jeff Merkey
Merkey is a computer scientist and entrepreneur whose Wikipedia article came under attack by several editors critical of his professional associations.

According to Merkey, in 2006, Wales told him that in exchange for a substantial donation, Wales could use his influence to make Merkey’s article more agreeable, and to place Merkey himself under Wales’s “special protection” as an editor.

Merkey made a $5,000 donation and hinted at the possibility of something much larger in the future.

Merkey claims, and the record confirms, that following his donation, Wales personally made several edits to the Merkey article, including a complete blanking of the article and destruction of its edit history (extreme steps to take under any circumstances, and doubly so considering it happened without any effort at reaching consensus, which is supposedly the coin of the Wikipedia realm).

When he announced his unilateral “start-over” on the article, Wales offered:

I have deleted the old discussion because of the unpleasantness of it. Please be extra careful here to be courteous and assume good faith. We are nearing a resolution of this longstanding conflict. Play nice, everyone.

A priceless response came 20 minutes later by wikipedian Aim Here, who asked:

“…Have you been making secret dealings behind everyone’s back? So much for Wikipedia’s openness.”

To which Wales nervously responded:

“Secret dealings? What on earth are you talking about?”

To which wikipedian Aim Here replied:

Whether or not the original article was a mess, you did use the phrase ‘nearing a restitution of this longstanding conflict’, which suggests, despite the complete lack of evidence available in public, that there is an actual conflict going on, as opposed to one which had been completely dormant for ages now. After all, suddenly and with no warning, wiping out an article and ordering everyone to start again over some sourcing problems is rather heavy-handed and drastic. The normal WP procedure is to stick some tags on it and telling everyone to change the bad bits. The ‘secret deals’ phrase was of course total speculation, and sorry about that, but I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t something happening in private that sparked off this wholesale deletion of yours, either a deal or a threatened lawsuit. After all, pretty much the last thing Merkey said on this whole stupid subject was that he had been trying, in private, to throw $2 million at you and/or Wikipedia and threatening his usual bag of lawsuits. Well, whatever…

If this exchange seems familiar, it may be because it roughly resembles this one, which followed Jimbo Wales’ unilateral blanking of the debate over the proposed deletion of the article autobiography on Gary Weiss:

The page contained wildly inappropriate speculation that a notable author was sockpuppeting. As I am sure you are aware, many authors have had their careers badly damaged by being caught sockpuppeting at Amazon, etc., and it is deeply wrong for people to ask me to restore a page with such speculations in Wikipedia after the claims have already been investigated and dismissed. If there are further problems in the future, there will be no problem restoring the article at that time.

As an aside, based on Wales’s promise that “If there are further problems in the future, there will be no problem restoring the article at that time,” wikipedian Cool Hand Luke asked Jimbo for permission to un-delete the deletion debate in order to reference it during the present ArbCom case relating directly to the matter of Gary Weiss and his conflict of interest on Wikipedia.

Jimbo’s response: “I see no benefit in doing so.”

Conclusion
As the Rachel Marsden example demonstrates, when he’s “getting something” in return, Jimbo Wales is willing to use his position to influence Wikipedia article content.

As the Jeff Merkey example demonstrates, in addition to female companionship, that “something” can also come in the form of donations to the Wikimedia Foundation.

As the Gary Weiss example demonstrates, Jimbo Wales is willing to use Wikipedia as a tool of libel and disinformation when doing so suits him.

Only one question remains: what exactly is Jimbo Wales getting in return for continuing to publicly defame me and shield Gary Weiss from accountability for his two-year campaign of malice and disinformation, in support of illegal stock market manipulation?

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Wikipedia: it pays to have friends in high places


We like to think that based on the strength of some of the research on this site, a move to delete the Wikipedia article autobiography of Gary Weiss was undertaken recently.

A longshot from the beginning, that effort failed despite the principled efforts of Cla68, an exemplary contributor and a truly bright light in what can seem an otherwise dark place.

A couple of interesting things happened through the proposed article for deletion (AfD) process. One is that Gary Weiss himself basically came unglued. The other is the subsequent deletion of record of the AfD debate (and with it record of Weiss’s mental decomposition).

As it turns out, the deletion of that debate will be hard to undo, since it came from the top of the Wikipedia organization: Jimbo Wales himself. Wales claims the debate was filled with “discourteous commentary” and as such meriting elimination from the record.

Last week an anonynmous editor asked Jimbo about his decision. That conversation, at least for now, may be read here. Not surprisingly, that editor was soon banned as a WordBomb sockpuppet.

Thanks to an enterprising administrator with the requisite permissions, the deleted debate has been recovered and is reproduced here for your enlightenment. Please inspect it and then comment on what you see as commentary of so discourteous a nature as to require elimination.

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Message from DeepCapture.com

At the time much of the content on DeepCapture.com was written, the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 was either on the verge of happening or had just occurred. In those days, emotions among this publication’s contributors were raw and, in an effort to get their warnings noticed and appropriate blame placed, occasionally hyperbolic language and shocking imagery were employed.

Were we to write these entries today, a different tone would most certainly prevail.

Yet, being a record of a pivotal time in our global economic history, we’ve decided to leave the rawness unedited, with the proviso that readers take the context of the creation of certain posts into account, and that those easily offended re-consider the decision to read them.