Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2023-11-06/Arbitration report

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Admin bewilderingly unmasks self as sockpuppet of other admin who was extremely banned in 2015: "Is this an ArbCom case request or an M. Night Shyamalan movie?"
Arbitration report

Admin bewilderingly unmasks self as sockpuppet of other admin who was extremely banned in 2015

A 2015 arbitration report in this very periodical said "it was a matter of deep concern" that an abusive editor who had obtained administrator privileges "was able to fool the community for so long". At that time, they were banned by the Arbitration Committee following a long case. We are sad to report that, not only did the abuse not stop in 2015, but the same person managed to obtain a second administrator account, and was just discovered a few days ago.

November 1 case request and startling admission

Beeblebrox opened a request for arbitration against administrator Lourdes on 1 November, claiming misdeeds including administrative blackmail — bullying other less-privileged editors over their votes during a recent request for adminship. With the case request around one day old, on 2 November, the respondent suddenly stated that they are the site-banned former admin Wifione. The case request was closed as moot following Lourdes' admission.

One of the contributors to the case, Kurtis, asked "Is this an ArbCom case request or an M. Night Shyamalan movie?" Others, like arbitrator Moneytrees in the quote above, were more to-the-point.

Wifione background

If you have read our prior coverage of how the Wifione siteban came to be, amidst allegations of paid editing while holding the admin bit, you can probably skip over this section.

According to the 2015 Arbcom case, the oldest known account used by the individual also known as Wifione was created in 2006. They created dozens of sock accounts, which were revealed by a 2008 checkuser request.

That prior account was later linked to another account called Wifione, which was created in 2009 and that had become a Wikipedia admin in 2010. The Arbitration committee case found that Wifione was engaging in search engine optimization related to an Indian educational firm. Wifione was sitebanned as part of the case resolution.

An admin called "Lourdes"

This long-term abuser created the Lourdes account in late 2015, initially under a different name. In 2016 they renamed the account. They were most active in 2016–17, and ran an unsuccessful, self-nominated request for adminship in early 2017; a second attempt in 2018 was successful with 207 in favor and 3 opposed. The account went mostly unused for 2020 through 2022, with many months of total editorial inactivity, although it continued to perform admin actions. In 2023, they returned to regularly editing the English Wikipedia.

Throughout their tenure, they made 2,282 admin actions, according to User:JamesR/AdminStats.

The arbitration case request filed this month alleged that Lourdes engaged in egregious abuse of their administrator status during a recent request for adminship, including the following:

Because I remember having acted on your complaints at ANI a few times, and on the basis of that connect and support that I gave you, I am requesting you to reconsider your stand
— Lourdes, at the case request

This kind of pressuring (there were other examples) was described by one of the contributors to the case request as "the kind of thinly veiled threat you'd expect to hear in The Godfather". In response, Lourdes gave an admission nobody expected:

I am User:Wifione, the admin who got blocked years ago.

My RL identity has nothing to do with any celebrity or anyone like that. I am not writing this to have any final laugh. It's just that I feel it appropriate to place it here specially for Beeblebrox, who I almost emotionally traumatised over the years with the aforementioned double sleight -- aka, pulling him around for revealing my so-called identity. It also required double-doxxing myself on at least one external project, namely Wikipediocracy, which even placed mentions of my name in the private section to protect my identity.

— Lourdes, at the case request

And blocked themselves indefinitely:

2023-11-01T22:47:55 User:Lourdes (talk | contribs) blocked User:Lourdes (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of indefinite (account creation blocked, email disabled) (Abusing multiple accounts)

All of the details of the request and the statements made there — which arbitrators voted to decline as pointless soon after the revelations and the self-block — can be seen at its last revision link.


Nobody is quite sure what to make of this. How did they get away with this for so long? How did they conceal it this well? How did nobody notice? What was the point of spending years as a productive administrator, making tens of thousands of edits and logging thousands of actions, to implode the whole thing over a pointless argument on an RfA talk page?

The Signpost's sources have confirmed that the particular BADSITE mentioned in Lourdes' final message has indeed discussed this issue, and that both Beeblebrox and the disgraced LTA have posted more about the events, but the thread over there doesn't make a whole lot of sense either.

In short: what?