AE double takes – won’t take responsibility for my ban

After the Arbitration Enforcement council banned me indefinitely on Wikipedia for ‘trolling’ – this was challenged by a number of other editors both on Rupert’s ‘Talk’ page and on the AE noticeboards.

24 hours later – my banning as a decisions of ‘Arbitration Enforcement’ was revoked somehow. Opps?

I was not banned by Wikipedia’s AE council, I was now told I was banned by the actions of just one admin – who for some reason decided to take it upon himself to ‘throw the last blow’ and ban me, regardless of no consensus and an official AE case and with no discretionary warnings to meSee here.  I found this very odd. So did a few others. For whatever reasons this was done,  it removed the responsibility for the outcome from the AE admins and put the blame on just one of them should it be challenged.

Craig Weiler, a blogger who was covering the affair (as well as one of the editors who was harassed) blogged about the ordeal in ‘The Trial of The Tumbleman’ and I found myself receiving considerable attention from other bloggers and even a tweet promoting it from Deepak Chopra oddly enough.

As I was now banned and my own ‘Talk’ page access revoked – my page for a few days became a battleground for the ‘Wikipedia’ culture war.

First, the editors and admins who harassed and banned me came to my page. Roxy the Dog left a few nasty personal commentary which Red Pen of Doom deleted. EEng came by to gloat and they ‘got the troll’. James Watson came by to say that all of my defenses were typical of those who believe in ‘conspiracy theories’. Red Pen of Doom began to edit and delete sections of the page.

I decided to post a ‘final statement’ on a Tumblr site. I also decided to appeal my ban. I informed the admin in the ban that my banning was the result of harassment, and Wikipedia’s policies were being gamed by activist editors. I provided the evidence. I was told that my request was denied because I did not seem sorry for what I did. The response was the same.

Hello The Tumbleman,

There was very strong community support for your block, and I very much doubt any single admin will be inclined to left it unilaterally. In addition, there is absolutely nothing in your unblock appeal that suggests that you would not continue with the same disruption should you be unblocked; to the contrary, you continue the same arguments and the same blame game. I believe at this point your only avenue for appeal would be through the Ban Appeals Subcommittee.
English Wikipedia Administrator

There was no strong community support for my banning, indeed, there was more support for my remaining on Wikipedia than not. What behavior? I specifically asked them to review my behavior in the actual article.

With non transparent appeals process – it seems unlikely that this ban will ever be lifted.


Editors on Wikipedia create attack piece on me: Rational Wiki


Additionally, an attack piece was created on me on an off wiki site called ‘Rational Wiki’. It’s there to this day. This has affected my personal and professional life. The article describes me as a well known troll who supports pseudoscience of Rupert Sheldrake, refers to me as a bullshit artist, and attempts to critique a few projects I have done in such a manner as not only to distort my point of view, but completely reference it in the opposite of what my point of view is. This was also challenged, and on Rational Wiki, I had many more ‘delete’ votes by other editors there who also just thought it was an attack piece and i was not notable. Even though the majority weighed in favor of its deletion, its still there and any attempts to remove weasel words or defamatory statements just get reverted immediately.


Ignore All Rules: Banned editors have this right too.


If any editor is banned through harassment, bullying, outing, or any form of intimidation such as in my case – then I believe any editor has the right to ignore that rule – and if they believe that their voice is necessary to contribute to neutrality and making the page better, then it would be their duty then to do whatever is necessary to bring that voice to the article in question.

Additionally, Wikipedia administrators should apply some common sense to claims of  harassment. If Wikipedia cannot offer any oversight for harassment, then they can expect anyone feeling harassed on Wikipedia to take actions into their own hands to protect themselves or to avoid further harassment.

So after I was banned indefinitely from Wikipedia on my account Tumbleman, I simply started a new Wikipedia editing account and continued with rational consensus building.


Enter Philosophy Fellow


With this sentiment in mind, I decided to create a new account after I was banned on a new IP address and just continue with reasoned argumentation on the Sheldrake page.

Philosophy fellow got a number of ‘thank you’s from other editors, including David in DC. I also took the article to a BLP noticed board and created a new hearing ‘Rupert Sheldrake is a BLP Mess‘ where many admins  and bystanders jumped in and supporting.

Philosophy Fellow was clearly not a disruptive account, as the evidence shows here. I kept my participation light, and did not contribute much. I just addressed the unanswered critical questions from before.

I admit to Philosophy Fellow, I believe it was both a justifiable application of the ‘break all rules’ pillar on Wikipedia, and that it was non disruptive. I was simply continued to counter argue on the ‘Talk’ page.

I do not think it is fair to list these accounts as ‘sockpuppets’ as they were created after a previous account was banned from an harassment activity on Wikipedia.


Please read: Am I really a sockpuppet?


A few months after this occurred and I published Wikipedia we have a problem – Deepak Chopra contacted me via twitter. He offered to give me a small grant to continue my work. I created a new Wikipedia editing account called SAS81 – and within 30 days, I completely resolved his ‘wiki war’ and returned his article to neutrality. I received support from many Wikipedia admins and senior Wikipedia editors. Five months later, I was again stalked online, and one editor was able to put two and two together. I was then banned for sockpuppeting and Deepak Chopra’s article quickly took a turn for the worst.

I will be publishing the case study soon. It shows that

  • My intentions on Wikipedia are in consensus building
  • My arguments are not ideological, they are biographical
  • My arguments are in accordance with Wikipedia’s editing policy
  • None of my accounts are doing anything disruptive.
  • My methods for consensus building work in problematic environments.