Wikipedia/System gamers

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Concept.png Wikipedia/System gamersRdf-icon.png
Type research tool
Wikipedia accounts accused to manipulate content.

This page is a research tool for Wikispooks editors. The activities of certain Wikipedia accounts give some pointers about what the establishment/commercially-controlled media want publicised, and what they would like to censor from Wikipedia.

Wikipedia definition

Gaming the system means deliberately using Wikipedia policies and guidelines in bad faith to thwart the aims of Wikipedia. Gaming the system may represent an abuse of process, disruptive editing, or otherwise evading the spirit of community consensus. Editors typically game the system to make a point, to further an edit war, or to enforce a specific non-neutral point of view.

If an editor finds a loophole or trick that allows them to evade community standards or misuse administrator tools, it should not be treated the same as a good faith mistake. However, Wikipedia sanctions are meant to be preventative, not punitive. A warning from an administrator is usually the best way to prevent gaming, because a clear warning should help correct both good faith mistakes and bad faith games. If an editor ignores a warning and repeats their behavior, or if they find new creative ways to achieve the same disruption, it is more likely that they are gaming the system in bad faith.[1]

Problems

Because of it's establishment friendly bias "to thwart the aims of Wikipedia" might actually be seen as a good thing to circumvent censorship. Moreover, in WP's broad definition of the term every editor who engages in an argument is a priori a "system gamer". It all boils down to the question: "what is bad faith?" Therefore, depending on personal beliefs, calling someone a "system gamer" is an ad hominem argument which can never be proved or disproved, with the attachment to it that what someone does he does in "bad faith".

To enforce the belief system of administrators WP states in no uncertain terms that fear of punishment is used: "sanctions are meant to be preventative." In an orwellian spin it adds that "fear of punishment" is not the same as "punitive" action itself: The threat of punishment (a warning from an administrator) "is usually the best way to prevent gaming".

Theory v. Practice

The Wikipedia:Gaming the system article (and all the links from it) provide an online tutorial for anyone wishing to censor an article or push their own point of view (as if the inbuilt bias of Wikipedia wasn't enough on its own). Theoretically, there are "systems in place" to deal with system-gamers though, in practice, they are selectively applied.(an example).

The contributions to "Talk" pages are especially rich in possible content because this is where non-mainstream views are often censored by the system-gamers. But, rather than trawling through tens of thousands of words on the talk pages, to find out what was being censored (and therefore possibly of interest), it can sometimes be more efficient to simply look at what certain accounts are doing. For example, if a "grade 5" system-gamer account is actively pushing for something, it's a safe bet that there's more to the story than what's in the WP article itself.

Example system-gaming accounts

An account does not necessarily represent a particular person or persons. Wikipedia accounts are anonymous and so any particular account may have input from more than one person or one individual may use more than one account. Consequently, the table below is not a value-judgement on a particular person but on the way an account behaves. "Level" is a 1 to 5 score where 1=slight/subtle and 5=outright/blatant.

Account Interests include Level
Volunteer Marek Russia, Ukraine 5
Sayerslle Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Bellingcat (blocked for 2mths in Feb 2015) 4
Iryna Harpy Russia, Ukraine 4
Bdell555 Ukraine, fracking 4
Kudzu1 Russia, Ukraine, Syria 4
Geogene Russia, Ukraine 3
Stickee Stickee Russia, Ukraine 3
Jtydog Glyphosate 3
Supreme Deliciousness Syria 3
My very best wishes Russia, Ukraine (now retired) 2
Martinevans123 MH17 1




References