Another Wikipedia murder

One of the pleasures of reading the Wikipediocracy forum, as I do from time to time, is to see hard evidence of what I experienced myself, that it is very dangerous for ordinary people to attempt to contribute to Wikipedia.

Today’s thread discusses a long term editor hiding behind the name “MaterialScientist”.  This post comments:

You should talk to Artem R. Oganov about his long running dispute with Materialscientist. He got indefinitely blocked, then unblocked on the condition he didn’t edit subjects of his expertise. He decided to wash his hands and walk away.

“Some time ago I entered Wikipedia using my own name, which was a mistake. Now, due to the continuing smear campaign by the user Materialscientist, I want to completely withdraw from Wikipedia both my account an any mentions of my former relations to it. Now I know the identity of the user Materialscientist, and have proofs that he does not act as an impartial editor, but instead is involved in a conflict of interest with my group. Moreover, he uses every opportunity to attack my real name …”

Dr Oganov is a professor of Geosciences at Stony Brook University, and is responsible for breakthrough discoveries in Boron science (link to New York Times article).  “MaterialScientist” is … well, someone who doesn’t care to put his name to his work.

Dr Oganov was accused of “sock-puppeting”.  The real meaning of this term is someone who uses several accounts to give the false impression of multiple people.  However in Wikipedia it gets used for anyone who someone doesn’t like who has used more than one account on the system; say, perhaps, if he has edited under his own name and then found himself the target of a vicious campaign of personal attacks designed to ruin his real-world reputation. 

The disgusting “trial” is here.  The accusation was made by “MaterialScientist”, who submitted “evidence” under his alternative account “NIMSOffice”.  Likewise it is fairly obvious that “Uncle G” is a pawn of “MaterialScientist”, rather than an unbiased bystander; using one minor account to shriek accusations, and the main account to pretend to be calm and unbiased.  I have myself been the victim of just this techniqe.

No doubt MaterialScientist maneouvred cleverly, and played the game to win.  Bait your foe into hiding behind a false identity, use obvious socks and tempt him to respond in kind; and then accuse him of sock-puppeting with some pre-warned friends to implement a ban … nice.  

I have no doubt that Dr Oganov was very hurt by the treatment he received.  And … what kind of morons, finding that they have a world-expert on hand, issue him a  ban from editing on the topic of his expertise?!  You couldn’t make it up.

The end result was that one of the major scientists in Boron studies was forced out of Wikipedia.  And I suspect that this happens quite a lot.

Don’t contribute to Wikipedia.  The owners do not care what happens to any of the contributors, while the place is overrun with low-lifes, who will, coldly and deliberately, do you an injury while remaining anonymous themselves.

3 Responses to “Another Wikipedia murder”


  1. jun

    I’ve edited article a few times years ago. Without a login. I found that the edit disappeared within an hour each time. Once with a point I really wanted to make, to make the article more fair, I just kept posting it every day until it stuck. I guess I tired the trolls out at least temporarily. Of course I’m sure they’ve totally obliterated my contribution since then. As for trying to bait people to give their real names so they can use every avenue to attack them, hyper-Calvinists always do that on their blogs. People continue to fall for the old “reveal your real identity because its the Christian thing to do.” There’s a sucker born every minute.

  2. Roger Pearse

    I’ve never encountered “hyper-calvinists” – who are these? But yes, the abuse of real names by those who hide their own is a nasty trend online.

  3. jun

    Its surprising you’ve never heard that term. If a non-Calvinist uses the term, it means the Calvinists who are really hyper at pushing Calvinism down everyone’s throats (because they’re literally hyper). If a Calvinist uses it, it refers to Calvinists who openly admit to believing that God is the author of evil because to openly admit to the logical conclusion of the system is a no no which other Calvinists must distance themselves from.