Wikipedia Review

aesthetics  →
being  →
complexity  →
database  →
enterprise  →
ethics  →
fiction  →
history  →
internet  →
knowledge  →
language  →
licensing  →
linux  →
logic  →
method  →
news  →
perception  →
philosophy  →
policy  →
purpose  →
religion  →
science  →
sociology  →
software  →
truth  →
unix  →
wiki  →
essay  →
feed  →
help  →
system  →
wiki  →
critical  →
discussion  →
forked  →
imported  →
original  →
edit index Wikipedia Review

verify page!
This article was imported to GetWiki, but it needs to be cleaned up. "Wikipedianism" might include out-dated links or text, links to similar pages, poorly-written passages, plagiarized or false content, and other Wikipedia-centric formatting, titles, and system code alien to much of the authentic WikiSphere. Please contribute to a clean, accurate article on GetWiki.

Wikipedia Review is an internet discussion forum and blog for the critical discussion of Pseudopedia and other Wikimedia projects.


The original version of Wikipedia Review was hosted at ProBoards in November 2005 by Igor Alexander. In December 2005, Igor Alexander gave up administration to Blu Aardvark. At that stage the policy of Wikipedia Review changed from anti-Wikipedia to merely critical of Wikipedia, and invited both pro- and anti- Wikipedia points of view.

In January 2006, SlimVirgin presented compelling evidence that Igor Alexander was neo-nazi Wikipedia poster Amalekite, who was in turn accused of being holocaust denier Alex Linder, which he turned out not to be, although Igor Alexander himself denied the Holocaust. He and other contributors to the site were accused of attacking the "Wikipedia Jews" by SlimVirgin. SlimVirgin herself is believed by some to be Jewish (although she has never actually admitted it either way), and had clashed with "Amalekite" over Wikipedia articles. SlimVirgin's suspicion arose that Igor Alexander had begun the board with the intention of attacking Jewish Wikipedia editors. The board carried much criticism of SlimVirgin, who remains a major target of criticism on the site. The Wikipedia Review community split between those who believed that Igor was a holocaust denier and those who believed that he wasn't. SlimVirgin and others used this accusation to label Wikipedia Review as a "neo-Nazi hate site", and claimed that it lacked credibility.

The paid version of the site,weblink was bought in January 2006 by Wikipedia Review user Blissyu2, who according to Wikipedia had been banned from Wikipedia as Internodeuser, officially for making legal threats during his Arbitration hearing, which was to query the content of his user page.

Wikipedia Review was in the process of moving to the paid site in February 2006 when Igor Alexander decided to regain administrator's privileges and use the privilege to ban Selina (aka Mistress Selina Kyle) amongst 9 other Wikipedia critics and long term posters, purely because they had called Igor Alexander a neonazi. A day later Wikipedia Review opened at the paid version, with Selina as the administrator. The same administration team, minus Igor Alexander, that had run the free site, ran the new site.

Shortly afterwards, however, Igor Alexander "temporarily" locked all of the old forum's posts, even those that were yet to be copied to the new forum's archives. He then posted much nazi propaganda to the old site, including trying to prove that the holocaust did not really happen, which he later stated was a joke. In a poll conducted on Wikipedia Review, 9 out of 11 posters believed that Igor was a holocaust denier.

Censorship of Wikipedia Review from Wikipedia

In November 2005, an article was created on Wikipedia to advertise Wikipedia Review. This article was deleted as non-notable. However, as the forum continues to grow, and is being mentioned more frequently in news and media reports, and linked with more prominent critics like Andrew Orlowski and Daniel Brandt, Wikipedia should recognise that in time the forum will be sufficiently notable to warrant its own article. It is the first forum for discussing Wikipedia, and the largest. Given its influence on Wikipedia, it could be argued that it is already sufficiently notable for its own article. However, Wikipedia has prevented the article from ever being re-created.

Administrators such as Slim Virgin and Raul654 have gone to pains to censor Wikipedia Review from Wikipedia, deleting links, and adding nowiki tags wherever they remain. This censorship went so far as to remove the link from the Criticism of Wikipedia article, against consensus. They then banned anyone who tried to add the link back in to the article, severely abusing their admin powers. They deleted links from other relevant articles, such as Daniel Brandt's article, the Seigenthaler controversy article, and so forth. Raul654 then labelled the link as "spam" and thus added it to the spam black list on meta in April 2006. However, this was eventually removed by Eloquence after some petitioning.

Wikipedia administrators have worked hard to discredit the forum and its members, calling its members "a bunch of banned users", and have called Wikinfo "a place we send problem users".

Prominent Stories on Wikipedia Review

See also:weblink

Wikipedia Review was first made famous for its discovery of the name of the person who edited John Seigenthaler Sr.'s biography. The discovery was first made by Daniel Brandt, who first posted it on the internet on the Wikipedia Review, prior to informing the media.

Wikipedia Review member "Blissyu2" was contacted by Andrew Orlowski in order to run a story on Wikipedia Review. However, "Blissyu2" instead opted to leave it to the forum. As a result, rather than run the pair of articles on Wikitruth and Wikipedia Review, the Wikipedia Review story was cut, and replaced with one on Sanger & Wales. Wikipedia's own article on Wikitruth however fail to mention this fact.

Broad Criticisms

Since Wikipedia Review forums were first created, in October 2005, it has been subject to the same degree of criticisms as has that which it is critical of, Pseudopedia.

Same as Wikipedia...

Many of Wikipedia Review's criticisms of Wikipedia can also equally be applied in criticm of Wikipedia Review. Some of these include:

  • Allegations of corruption of individual Wikipedia Review administrators (though unlike Wikipedia these have never been proved).
  • Lack of transparency of individual Wikipedia Review administrators, and their decisions.
  • That Wikipedia Review bans users from their forums, in the same way that Wikipedia bans users from their site, though this is much rarer.
  • That most Wikipedia Review members and administrators do not reveal their real names.
  • That Wikipedia Review (like many other web sites) has the ability to delete their posts to hide any proof of what may have happened; however, unlike Wikipedia's "Oversight" command, deleted posts are moved to a trash section, not deleted completely.
  • That Wikipedia Review is similarly guilty of abusing people it has banned, in a similar way to Wikipedia's use of Arbitration cases to abuse banned users (though on Wikipedia Review this is the work of individual editors, not of the "management").
  • That Wikipedia Review has many hidden sub-forums, in a similar way to how Wikipedia discusses some things "behind closed doors" in such things as closed IRC Arbitration chats and off-wiki e-mails.

Unlike Wikipedia

In addition to the criticism that Wikipedia Review is "just as bad as Wikipedia", and hence has no right to criticise it, Wikipedia Review has additionally dealt with additional criticisms that are not generally associated with criticism of Wikipedia. Some of these include:

Not a Serious Criticism

It is not a serious critic of Wikipedia, and instead focuses on petty grudges. Wikipedia Review has given little attention to what may be the most serious problem at Wikipedia, editing by companies and government agencies about their own articles. This issue was highlighted in a front page New York Times article on August 19, 2007. When Wikipedia Review members allege conflicts of interests, they mainly do so to advance their longstanding personal grudges and ideological agendas, such as hostility to Israel and Jewish subjects.

One recent Wikipedia Review discussion exemplifies this problem. WR user Blissyu2 suggested that the widely publicized WikiScanner website, which uncovered corporate and government infiltration of Wikipedia, was created to "cover up the real problems, SlimVirgin, etc."weblink. This obsession with conspiracy theories involving a handful of Wikipedia users has seriously damaged the reputation of Wikipedia Review.

Corporate Smear Campaigns

Wikipedia Review has become a venue for's widely publicized smear campaign against its critics. Judd Bagley, director of communications of, is a frequent and prolific user of Wikipedia Review, where he admits to posting as WordBomb. Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne also posts in and endorses Wikipedia Review.

Bagley operates a website called that attacks critics of Byrne and Overstock, including members of the media and a users of Internet message boards.weblink In furtherance of that smear campaign, Bagley uses Wikipedia Review as a forum to attack and to "out" Wikipedia editors he considers hostile to his boss. He has received the vocal support of Wikipedia Review administrator Somey, who harasses Wikipedia Review users he considers hostile to Bagley and Byrne. (See subsection "Does onot respect user privacy" below.)

Bagley's use of Wikipedia Review to attack Wikipedia has drawn attention in the blogosphere because Bagley runs a wiki called Omuse that seeks to compete with Wikipedia.

Holocaust Denial and Anti-Semitism

Allegations of holocaust denial and anti-semitism by some of their members, especially administrators, especially founder Igor Alexander who was accused of being Alex Linder. These allegations were primarily made by Grace Note, although, at least with regards to the accusations against Igor Alexander, they are shared by others including SlimVirgin. Note: Grace Note has made his own Wikinfo sub page to list his allegations against Blissyu2.

Cyberstalking and "Outing"

That Wikipedia Review is primarily concerned with stalking, or at least cyberstalking users, especially SlimVirgin, Jayjg and possibly also Snowspinner. The SlimVirgin scandal, in which SlimVirgin was alleged to be former reporter and supposed MI5 agent was seen by some on Wikipedia as a prime example of stalking, as it reached the mass media. The Snowspinner scandal, in which Snowspinner was interviewed by campus police in relation to a blog post he wrote in which he stated that he was a murderer, with no hint that it was in any way a fictional piece, combined with the fact that his school had 10 unsolved murders from the year before was seen by some, including Boing Boing as an example of cyber stalking.

Additionally, briefly Amorrow used Wikipedia Review to cyber stalk users including Katefan0. Numerous other Wikipedia editors are subjected to speculation as to their identity and effort to "out" them. Also, Wikipedia Review, especially through Daniel Brandt needlessly "outs" Wikipedia users, especially administrators, listing their real name and identity without their permission under the guise of trying to find out what their bias is.

Does not respect user privacy

That Wikipedia Review does not respect the privacy of its users, and that administrators use IP data to challenge users they don't like, especially users critical of Judd Bagley (see subsection "Manipulated by corporate smear campaign," above).

Review administrator Somey used IP data to accuse one user of having an ulterior motive in criticizing Bagley. (See Somey comment to Tarantino here weblink). Wikipedia Review took no action against Bagley, who admits to being Review user WordBomb, for planting tracking "bugs" to obtain IP data from Wikipedia Review readers. It banned the practice of planting "bugs."weblink But it continues to support Bagley, who has identified himself as an official of an Internet company competing with Wikipedia, because he shares the agenda of Wikipedia Review administrators. This kind of behavior promotes criticism of Wikipedia Review as a haven for trolls, crackpots and low-lifes.

Other Criticisms

In addition to the common criticisms of Wikipedia Review, there are additionally many stated generalisations about what Wikipedia Review is like, and who its members are, which many people on Wikipedia, including founder Jimbo Wales states as rationale that it should never be taken seriously. Some of these include:

  • That Wikipedia Review is primarily made up of users who have been banned from Wikipedia.
  • That most of Wikipedia Review's users are trolls, who would be banned from anywhere.
  • That most of Wikipedia Review's criticisms are unfounded conspiracy theories.
  • That many of Wikipedia Review's members are insane, with a number, including owner Blissyu2 and chief administrator Mistress Selina Kyle admitting to being diagnosed with a mental illness, in both of their cases the diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome.
  • That Wikipedia Review's primary criticisms are entirely different to those mentioned in Wikipedia's criticism of Wikipedia, that they ignore most of the criticisms which, according to Wikipedia, are the prime criticisms, and instead focus on what Wikipedia regards as "fringe theories".
  • That Wikipedia Review primarily focusses on the concept that the biggest problem with Wikipedia is its ability to change truth. Wikipedia states that this is not a generally accepted criticism of Wikipedia, as it forbids any articles to be owned, hence forbids any truth to be changed, and hence is impossible to achieve.
  • That Wikipedia Review primarily focusses on the supposed existence of a cabal, when Wikipedia has stated repeatedly that "There is no cabal", and that there is no secret group trying to run Wikipedia and control everything.

Wikipedia Review Responds

Wikipedia Review has made general responses to all of the major forms of criticism that have been levelled against them. They are, generally, as follows:

  • Not a serious critic:Wikipedia Review ran a blog on the topic of Wikiscanner, which had warranted page one treatment in the New York Times. See:weblink On the message boards, however, only one thread mentioning Wikiscanner remained active as of mid-September, and its primary target was User:Jzg.weblink There were no other discussions focusing on Wikiscanner in the Editors section weblink, or Articles.weblink

  • Corruption: Allegations of corruption have been levelled against powerful Wikipedia Review members, especially chief administrator Mistress Selina Kyle and during her absence, temporary chief administrator Somey. Many of the allegations have merit, and have been acknowledged as having merit. MSK deleted many posts without going through proper protocol. Somey has on many occasions changed the names of posts, moved posts to separate sub-folders without discussion, has banned users and locked topics, all without much discussion.

Wikipedia Review's standard response to this is that in any structure there is going to be disagreement about how it is run. They note that their criticism of individual Wikipedia administrators is NOT chief amongst their criticisms. They point out that they criticise the lack of transparency and secretive nature of Wikipedia's administrative structure, and point out that Wikipedia Review's structure, which is basically "If we like you, you stay, if you don't then you go" is far more transparent. Wikipedia Review acknowledges that it is impossible to have an administrative structure which everyone would like, and henceforth that it is irresponsible to suggest that just because theirs is perceived as being imperfect therefore they do not have a right to criticise a structure which, in the structure itself, is far worse. They also note that they are not trying to change truth, hence it does not matter as much.
  • Lack of transparency By in large, Wikipedia Review has decided that, rather than try to have everything open and ready for criticism, they would prefer to focus on the privacy of people who have had decisions made against them, thus allowing the affected user themselves to remove their own privacy if they wish to protest their ban. They feel that this is a better system, and creates less opportunity for harassment, smear campaigns and stalking than the structure that exists on Wikipedia. They have on some occasions, where relevant, made their decisions very transparent, however they generally have made a conscious decision not to have transparent decisions for the sake of privacy. They note that whilst some individual Wikipedia Review members have criticised Wikipedia's lack of transparency with regards to administrative decisions, they have been far more concerned with Wikipedia's lack of privacy with dealing with administrative decisions, especially with regards to changing banned user's user pages, and the creation of publicly viewable Arbitration Committee decisions, and that this far outweighs any concerns that they have about Wikipedia administrator decisions being transparent.

  • Bans users from forumsWhen Wikipedia Review was created, Wikipedia Review made the decision not to ban anyone, however this decision was changed to deal with wanton abuse of their forums, primarily by Wikipedia administrators who sought to destroy the board. After investigation, Wikipedia Review discovered that Wikipedia too had initially decided not to ban anyone, and that in fact that was a major reason why the administrative structure ended up in the way that it is now. As such, a conscious decision was made by Wikipedia Review that it would not be lenient on bans at all, in order to prevent a secret heirarchy from growing. Therefore, today it is false to suggest that Wikipedia Review has the same idealogy with regards to banning users that Wikipedia has.

  • Anonymity A number of Wikipedia Review's administrators have revealed their true names, such as former administrators Blu Aardvark and Sgrayban, prominent posters Blissyu2, Daniel Brandt, Joel Leydon and The Kohser however others choose to remain anonymous. Some, such as Blissyu2 and Nathan have been the victims of significant amounts of cyberstalking and hence choose not to reveal their full names. Others, such as Poetlister have become convinced that, were they to reveal their full names, that they may be the victim of cyber stalking. Others simply choose not to reveal their identity as they feel that they would be banned from Wikipedia if they did.

Wikipedia Review's primary response to this criticism is that they are not claiming to be a professional project, and are merely claiming to be an internet community, hence should not be expected to reveal their true identities. They do not seek to criticise other internet communities for having anonymous users, hence do not feel that this criticism is applicable to them. They feel that Wikipedia should be permitted to be an internet community if they did not also seek to be considered to be a professional community.
  • Deletes posts. Wikipedia Review has pointed out that, overall, they approve of the Oversight command's existence, as it has the ability to remove potentially libellous material. However, they disagree with the fact that first of all some users can still see the oversighted material even once deleted (which is not the case on Wikipedia Review) and secondly that on many occasions the Oversight command is misused. Wikipedia Review differs significantly to Wikitruth on this issue, in that Wikitruth primarily believes that the Oversight command is bad (and that is Wikitruth's primary reason for existence). Whilst some people on Wikipedia confuse Wikitruth and Wikipedia Review, Wikipedia Review would like to point out that they in fact approve of the Oversight command, but wish that it was more powerful, and used in more appropriate manners.

  • Abuses banned people Wikipedia Review rejects this criticism as they do not have anything similar to an Arbitration case available for any Wikipedia users, and in the few cases which have been discussed publicly, on request these have been moved to private forums. Thus Wikipedia Review does not feel that they have abused banned users.

  • Hidden sub-forums Wikipedia Review has on some occasions criticised Wikipedia's hidden discussion rooms, purely on the basis that they pretend that they do not exist. Wikipedia Review, on the other hand, does not pretend that they do not have hidden discussion forums, and admits their existence freely. Furthermore, Wikipedia Review has not suggested that there is anything wrong with having these hidden discussion forums. What they suggest is wrong is that the decisions reached from these hidden discussion rooms are then made public, pointing to evidence that is not public, thus making it impossible for anyone to check. Were Wikipedia to merely discuss things in private, and then make public all evidence, Wikipedia Review would not have a criticism of this.

  • Allegations of holocaust denial and anti-semitismSee also:weblink . Wikipedia Review has pointed out that on no occasion has their criticism of Wikipedia ever been motivated by holocaust denial, anti-semitism, neo-nazism or any other related factors. They acknowledge that some of their members may have individually been guilty of one or more of these crimes, and furthermore that all members who were guilty of these crimes have since been banned from their forums. They have noticed that, at least with regards to the allegations against Blissyu2, Lir, Qwerty, Blu Aardvark, Somey and Selina, the allegations of holocaust denial, anti-semitism and neo-nazism have solely come from one source, Grace Note, and furthermore that they consist of misquoting of statements that are taken out of context. For example, Grace Note's recent accusation against Blissyu2 was reliant on Blissyu2 quoting Adolf Hitler and trying to argue why so many ordinary Germans supported nazism, and then concluded by stating that nobody who is knowledgeable today would ever believe this, and that he personally never would. Grace Note, unfortunately, neglected to point out the fact that Blissyu2 was in fact vehemently opposing Adolf Hitler, and instead quoted selected text, to try to suggest that Blissyu2 was supporting Adolf Hitler. This kind of misquote is akin to describing someone as saying "Its not like I'm saying that all witches are evil" as saying "...I'm saying that all witches are evil", in other words that by the selective misquotes, Grace Note has allowed yes to mean no, and no to mean yes, and is deliberately misinforming people of the truth. Grace Note has refused on any occasion to link to the quotes themselves. This is discussed in more depth on Wikipedia Review's blog post on the subject:weblink

  • Cyberstalking Wikipedia Review has pointed out that the one and only bona fide example of stalking on Wikipedia Review was the case of Amorrow stalking Katefan0 and Musical Linguist and that on that occasion Wikipedia Review not only agreed with Wikipedia, but went further to ask Wikipedia to be more proactive in capturing the cyber stalker, and asked Wikipedia for assistance in prosecuting Amorrow. Wikipedia Review is responsible with issuing a takedown notice against the website that Amorrow used to stalk users, the now defunctweblink and furthermore contacted relevant authorities, and assisted Katefan0 to help to prosecute Amorrow for his offences. Wikipedia Review note that they were far more proactive with attacking this person and stopping an illegal act than Wikipedia was, and indeed Wikipedia was far more interested in condoning and supporting cyber stalking. Wikipedia Review further notes that whilst Wikipedia had accused Amorrow of cyber stalking, they had provided no evidence, and Wikipedia Review had therefore assumed that it was a false accusation.

With regards to such incidents as the Snowspinner scandal and the SlimVirgin scandal, Wikipedia Review has asserted that they were in no way similar to cyber stalking. With regards to Snowspinner, he in fact posted a blog post stating that he was a murderer, which, although fictional, was very irresponsible when he did not clearly state that it was fiction, and furthermore that it was normal behaviour for campus police to have interviewed him. This has been repeated by people who vandalised Wikipedia pages to make fake death claims that turned out to be true, and is normal for police agencies to perform. Wikipedia Review points out that they are not responsible for contacting police with this regards, but merely stated that it was a reasonable thing for someone to contact police, and are unaware of who is individually responsible for this action. With regards to the SlimVirgin scandal, Blissyu2 made a post to Wikipedia's mailing list to point out why it was not cyber stalking.

Wikipedia Review contains many members, and at one point included Blissyu2 and Nathan who have been the victim of serious stalking and cyber stalking, who, at least individually, would never be involved in any project that condones or supports cyber stalking, and are very offended at the accusations.

Wikipedia Review rejects any suggestion that they have ever condoned cyber stalking or deliberately acted in any way that could be perceived as cyber stalking, and furthermore that they have never knowingly produced false information about anyone.
  • Outs Wikipedia users Wikipedia Review notes that they are not the same site as Daniel Brandt'sweblink and that while Daniel Brandt was an early member of Wikipedia Review, his posts make up less than 1% of the total posts on the forum, and that on many occasions Wikipedia Review's administrators have disagreed with Daniel Brandt, have redacted names that he has mentioned, and have also deleted his posts, and that his individual concerns, whilst overlapping Wikipedia Review's, are not the same as theirs.

Wikipedia Review has condoned the outing of any Wikipedia administrator or other editors who have used Wikipedia with the purpose of changing truth in to untruth, to change history, or to otherwise act in a criminal manner. They have not condoned the outing of Wikipedia administrators just because they are Wikipedia administrators. Wikipedia Review is currently divided 50/50 as to whether outing, in any form, is acceptable.
  • Primarily made up of users banned from Wikipedia Wikipedia Review notes that approximately 30% of their members have been banned from Wikipedia, however only approximately 10% of these members were banned prior to first joining Wikipedia Review. Therefore, when Wikipedia states that Wikipedia Review's members are "banned users", they are in fact saying that Wikipedia has banned people for posting to Wikipedia Review, thus discounting this as a valid criticism. Furthermore, the majority of Wikipedia Review's members who were banned from Wikipedia were banned in some way for criticing Wikipedia or its policies or users, therefore making them valid critics.

Wikipedia Review feels that they should not be expected to accept Wikipedia's bans as automatically being valid, as many of the bans, especially those which they publicise heavily, are not valid bans at all. They do, however, recognise that many bans on Wikipedia, including bans for vandalism, had nothing to do with them being critics of Wikipedia.
  • Wikipedia Review users are trolls Wikipedia Review rejects this criticism. In fact, nobody who has ever used Wikipedia Review has ever claimed to be a troll, or has ever indicated that they ever used Wikipedia with anything other than a genuine purpose. The only person who has suggested that they enjoy trolling is Grace Note, who states in his blog entry: "Regular readers may remember that I had a lot of fun back in the day trolling". It should be noted that this proud troll, Grace Note, was the very first user to be banned from Wikipedia Review, therefore suggesting that Wikipedia Review does not support trolls. It further should be noted that this proud troll remains Wikipedia Review's number 1 critic.

Promotion of conspiracy theories Many of Wikipedia Review's criticisms are indeed described by its opponents as conspiracy theories, primarily because any theory that opposes the government is described as a conspiracy theory as a way to tarnish its reputation and influence, and that in this case Wikipedia is a de facto government. Few of Wikipedia Review's criticisms, however, are unfounded, and they seek to prove what their criticisms are and open them up for analytical discussion. Whilst some who disagree with them are keen to pass them off as meaningless conspiracy theories, people who study them sensibly often recognise that they are far from conspiracy theories.

Many Wikipedia Review members are crazy Wikipedia Review members have acknowledged that some of them do suffer from mental illnesses, as do many in the general public, however they do not have any higher level of people who suffer from mental illnesses than anywhere else in the world, and do not believe that Asperger's syndrome equates to insanity.

Claims of "cabal" Wikipedia Review has focussed on the existence of a cabal, or clique, or group of users with hidden power, and have demonstrated evidence that there are some users who are treated with much more power than other users as evidence that the cabal truly exists. Wikipedia Review regards this as being of high importance to criticism of Wikipedia.


External Links

Some content adapted from the Wikinfo article "Wikipedia Review" and "Broad Criticisms of Wikipedia Review" under the GNU Free Documentation License.
edit index
[ last updated: 9:51pm EDT - Mon, Aug 03 2009 ]
LATEST EDITS [ see all ]
M.R.M. Parrott