Rational Wiki is a collaborative wiki that looks like an online encyclopedia, somewhat like Wikipedia. It might even fool you into thinking it’s a Wikipedia page if you arrive from search. It uses WikiMedia software and has the same identical architecture. Part of the Rational Wiki brand is ‘snark’, their mission statement encouraging Rational Wiki editors to ‘comment in the Snarky Point of View’, or SPOV. Any Rational Wiki editor who thinks any subject or individual is stupid is, therefore, free to use the platform to broadcast dissent or personal grudge against that individual or subject.
Rational Wiki has a Google page rank of 5, so it can show up decently in search returns as is emerging as an influential online publisher.
Rational Wiki presents itself as a trusted publisher, promoting a ‘pro science’ viewpoint. Rational Wiki claims to defend attacks online made by conservative or religious groups in the matters of pseudo science, quack medicine, and environmentalism. Rational Wiki’s history shows it came from a community known for trolling Conservapedia, another ideology driven wiki.
The veneer of an encyclopedia and rational thinking is misleading. Behind the scenes, at Rational Wiki there are abuses and personal vendettas that rule it’s community – and they have overstepped their boundaries or sphere of relevance into online harassment inside of a particular culture war and can employ any number of ‘dirty tricks’ found in political campaigns.
My experience with Rational Wiki is direct and personal. While WWHP has focused on the harassment and abuses that occurred on Wikipedia – I’ve left out the harassment and abuse that is leveraged on Rational Wiki, which has a dedicated article page to yours truly.
Immediately after I was banned on Wikipedia, as the clear and irrefutable evidence holds, the pattern of harassment I received from a community of self-declared skeptic activists continued. Within days, there were two websites that were registered on WordPress (romeviharoisanidiot and romeviharoisamoron) and an entry on Rational Wiki in the Rupert Sheldrake article for ‘Rome Viharo’.
When I confronted members of these communities on Facebook publicly, Tim Farley told shrugged me off and told members to not link to this site, and use the ‘snarky’ Rational Wiki article on me to promote.
Rational Wiki’s current article on me today contextualizes me as a media strategist (true, one of my skill sets but not my current occupation), a ‘known internet troll’ (which references back to the accusation made about me on Wikipedia as evidence) – and somehow ‘red flagging’ me to the world as a supporter of the pseudoscience of Rupert Sheldrake, of course linking to my editing history on Wikipedia editing Rupert Sheldrake’s biography as the definitive reference on the matter.
As a media producer, technologist and entrepreneur living in Los Angeles the majority, of my life – it’s probably not hard to imagine that I have very progressive viewpoints, political or otherwise – so it’s disturbing to me to see an online community that professes progressive ideals collaborate using such abuses in communication and media that are the lowest type of online behaviors.
Of course, it’s easy for me to verify how accurate RationalWiki’s article on me is, as I have the benefit of actually knowing my own intentions, history, thoughts and beliefs for certain.
RationalWiki is not just intentionally misrepresenting who I am – but doing so in a malicious attempt to discredit my reputation online, a strategy that began on Wikipedia in 2013 and continues to this very day.