On Rational Wiki there is an biographical article about yours truly which frames me as a quack, crank, and pseudoscience promoter. This was created on me while I was outed and harassed on Wikipedia for editing a biography page on Rupert Sheldrake. I am called a ‘pseudoscience and woo supporter’ because I engaged in editorial based arguments about non controversial biographical facts on a Wikipedia article. This framing compliments the Rational Wiki brand of snark. ‘Snark’ is an inherent component of the Rational Wiki brand – whose mission statement is to ‘expose pseudoscience and quackery’.
In reality, Rational Wiki has little resemblance to an encyclopedia that covers scientific and rational thought, rather Rational Wiki editors abuse their platform by harassing people they meet on the internet. Editors there leverage the page ranking of Rational Wiki and hold that power over individuals they disagree with. On the most pettiest of disagreements to boot, squabbles on Wikipedia.
As a developer and owner of two companies, both heavily involved in technology and media, articles labeling me a ‘crank’ are harmful to my reputation, so this does make this study quite personal. I recently closed my final round of funding for one company, but I had to address the Rational Wiki article in the process causing me embarrassment. Something I have to continue to address in many meetings, and how much it effects things I don’t even know about often worrisome.
In addition – I’ve had to pause crowd funding and grant seeking this year for my other company because of this article, leaving me with a development hole and coming short $50,000.00.
Yet when confronted with the personal effects of this campaign waged against me – those involved like Tim Farley or other Rational Wiki editors shrug it off. Tim Farley encourages skeptics not to read this website. He tries to explain me away, as if he was James Randi dealing with a fortune teller.
“He’s just a troll…” Tim states in online discussion forums , “He’s been angry for years that the top result in Google for his own name is the RationalWiki article about him.”
It’s odd to be shrugged off just because ‘I’m angry’ that I’ve been harassed. I encourage the skeptic community who is ticked off with me to reflect a little bit deeper here on your online actions. It’s probably pretty predictable that someone’s going to be pissed if they get harassed, stalked and hounded on the internet.
Groups of skeptics attacking those who do make claims in alternative medicine or parapsychology are one thing, but attacking innovators and creative artists, especially using dated blog comments for their evidence to lump them into their mission is awfully…creepy.
That an article is written on me at all on Rational Wiki is itself an act of ‘bad faith’ amongst this community. It was initiated as one act in a series of harassment I received from editing a Wikipedia article. Within days of being banned from Wikipedia, my rational wiki article was created in addition to two websites, romeviharoisanidiot.wordpress.com and romeviharoisamoron.wordpress.com.
This has been a continual pattern of harassment that was initiated with Wikipedia editor Manul’s original claim on Wikipedia in September of 2013. We see how it continues some 18 months later on Rational Wiki.
I’ve been confronting Rational Wiki editors for the justifications on publishing my article. Over the past 18 months, it’s gone through a number of deletion votes.
Here’s a sample of that works on Rational Wiki. There are at least two or three reasonable editors out of the dozen or so I’ve encountered. It’s fair to note a few of them protested too.
This page is a deliberate attack piece on Viharo. It must be deleted, let’s vote. I say delete. Evolutionist
Some marginal guy on the internet said something silly. Nobody got hurt as a result. Said guy will go the fuck away and stop bothering us if we take the article down. So take it down. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 14:21, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
if only ’cause he (RV) wants it deleted. Scream!!
And how do we know that no one “got hurt” by trusting Viharo’s BS over actual science? I still think this kind of “no harm, no foul”-argument is weak and opens a royal road to start removing all kinds of woo-related stuff from RW as long as it isn’t “obviously harmful” (beyond giving people a nonsensical view of the world, of course).ScepticWombat (talk) 15:35, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
One of our principles is to write about crank ideas and cranks. See RationalWiki:Mission. A vote to delete your article is a deviation from that principle, not adherence to it. PacWalker 04:32, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
So why is there an article about me on Rational Wiki? If I never edited that Wikipedia article on Rupert Sheldrake, why would they need to write an article about me ever?
Many Rational Wiki editors, along with Tim Farley directly, suggest I deserve this – that somehow my activities get categorized as a ‘promoter of pseudoscience’ and a quack. What have I done in my life to get ‘shamed’ for such a label? According to Tim Farley, its because I am ‘verbose’. Really Tim? That’s your metric?
Here is Rational Wiki’s editor justifications when confronted with the obvious fact this is just a payback article.
According to Rational Wiki, I am to be ‘snarked’ as a ‘promoter of pseudoscience and a crank’ because:
- Deepak Chopra funded my research into Wikipedia abuse and I engineered a consensus on his Wikipedia article.
- For designing content agnostic architecture for an online academic library housing peer reviewed scientific literature on the mind/body problem.
- Arguing anonymously on Wikipedia that WP:Fringe policy did not have proper sourcing to override the ‘biography of a living person’ policy of Wikipedia on Rupert Sheldrake’s article.
- For leaving two or three comments on the TED blog in 2013, defending Rupert’s TED talk from being removed by TED, along with thousands of other comments.
- 8 – 12 years ago, I was one of the authors and creator of OS 012, ‘the playful, tongue in cheek master meme’, which they describe as ‘contradicting known physical laws’ because the word ‘exponential’ was to describe the viral nature of ideas in a creative essay no longer on the internet.
- For declaring in my TEDx talk ‘Google Consciousness’ that social media may evolve to replace government as we know and use it today, an idea endorsed by Clay Shirky and the European Union.
- According to Rational Wiki, I am to be labeled a ‘conspiracy theorist’ because I publish this website which discloses evidence of harassment I received on Wikipedia while editing two controversial topics, Rupert Sheldrake and Deepak Chopra.
Here are their justifications for publishing an article on me, in quotes.
This is not a pre-Nürnberg war crimes trial; superior !orders are not a defense here.PacWalker 06:10, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Helping a crank like Chopra build an online platform for pushing his woo enables him to promote said woo. Call it enabling or promoting, the end result is the same. Putting a nice sounding PR slogan, such as “online consensus building”, on it doesn’t polish this turd one bit. Unless sockpuppet somehow make a case that ISHAR was designed for another purpose than woo peddling, the only “online consensus building” involved in it is the confirmation bias kind found in woo echo chambers: Cranks and woo peddlers telling each other how right they are and that the those who disagree are just biased nay sayers who need to havean open mind.
The general consensus on “Pseudoscience” and “crank” here is “Something that runs counter to currently established scientific fact, often with little testable proof” and “Person who promotes said ideas”–Miekal 05:15, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Pseudoscience is not an ambiguous term, and you have quite unambiguously promoted pseudoscientific theories and originated some of your own. As such, you qualify as what we call a crank. PacWalker
Viharo stated that Rupert Sheldrake‘s “morphic resonance” could not be classified as pseudoscience
Lol, you are the one on the receiving end. Get over it. You are a waste of time in general, but guess who decided to waste their time debunking you? ħuman 02:59, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
On a side note, I’d advise against engaging with him. He’s a notorious internet troll, with a long history of intentionally bullshitting, and is more than happy to talk in circles as you pull your hair out. Marlow (talk) 16:12, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I see. You are actually insane, or at least incapable of explaining your insanity. ħuman 03:01, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Response to my claim of online harassment.
“It is clear to me, if only from his extreme verbosity, that this guy is just a troll trying to soak up as much of everyone’s time as possible. Every comment elicits a gigantic reply from him, no issue is too small for him to write thousands of words on it. Do not let him waste your time, he’s not worth the trouble. He’s been angry for years that the top result in Google for his own name is the RationalWiki article about him, so he’s just trying to annoy/aggravate/rile the editors. Don’t fall for it.” Leuders (talk) 02:20, 26 April 2015 (UTC)