User:Bicycle Wheel/RationalWikiWiki E

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Easter 2012 chaos[edit]

The Easter 2012 chaos began on the 7th of April 2012 with Brxbrx thinking, for whatever reason, that this was a good day to stick his head back above the parapet. He quickly found himself being blocked and otherwise attacked by an increasingly frustrated community. Highlights of the next few days included a massive vandalism attack on both RationalWiki and here on RationalWikiWiki which brx was widely believed to be responsible for, and a pair of proposed permabans being voted at the Chicken Coop.

Early days[edit]

Edit rates of Brxbrx and Maratrean in the months prior. 'Twas a golden age.

Early Easter was already a chaotic time, with a number of old inactive users choosing to reappear, if only for a moment.[1] Among these was Maratrean, who had returned from his attempt to become the next Steve Jobs (A project he insists is still ongoing).[2] Conversely UHM, another of brx's semi-allies, (supposedly) LANCBed around the same time.[3]

Brx himself had been showing up with increasing frequency since his own return nearly a month previously. What with Brx's abrasiveness, the presence in Maratrean of a potential ally for Brx, and the number of other returned editors who had left in relation to the two, something was bound to happen.

Having previously been around on the 3rd of April, Brx made a somewhat more long term appearance on the 7th (Holy Saturday).[4] He made some rather bizzare comments on Trent's talk page,[5] and stuck his nose into a minor controversy involving Proxima Centauri.[6] He also got invovled with the 'welcoming' of Maratrean after the latter's resurrection on the 8th.[7]

For his troubles, brx found himself under attack with troll templates and lengthy blocks. He brought his complaints to the chicken coop,[8] which didn't go down well.[9] He complained to the moderators AD,[10] DickTurpis,[11] and Blue.[12] He then called it a night. All three of them responded much later, claiming that they were busy etc.

Goatse vandal[edit]

A wave of vandalism began at 14:34 server time on the 8th with the goatse-ing of the Easter Holydaze template that was being displayed on RC at the time by a new user called KenY. With RC now unreadable, 'Ken' then did the same to the {{brx}} template commonly used to tell brx to shut up and at the time used by brx himself in his sig. It was not until 14:54 that Nutty Roux fixed the damage and blocked the vandal, who had only gotten around to vandalising one other template in the same time.[13]

All this had taken place mere minutes after brx, still a sysop, had been blocked by Nutty Roux 'with an expiry time of infinite'.[14] Brx unblocked himself at 15:02, but was reblocked and promoted at 15:08.[15]

After KenY's block, vandalism did not resume until 15:48, now via IP. Targets included Nutty's sig and the useful links template.[16]

By 16:46 all was calm, and Nutty decided to experiment and unblock both Brx and KenY, and re-sysoped Brx. At that point Armondikov had fixed the main Holydaze template (or at least blanked it) and things were calming down.[17] Immediately, it started again.[18]

By 17:33 Trent was onto finding a way to stop what was still quite erratic vandalism.[19] However, within half an hour all that was on RC was vandalism and counter vandalism.[20] By around this time the finger was being squarely pointed at Brx.[21] In the confusion, at 19:29 WaitingforGodot made P-Foster a moderator in the hope he could do something with these powers.[22] At around 22:00 the primary target of the vandal was templates. At 22:03 'CamilleT' turned up on the ATIM talk page to complain of being blocked.[23]

Second wave[edit]

Further Waves[edit]


During and immediatly after the vandalism, spree, several users began to draw evidence based on the method and recent events to blame Brx for the attack, starting a Permaban vote.

BrxBrx Vote[edit]

Went nowhere, like most Brxbrx ban votes.

UHM Vote[edit]

The UHM vote began when UHM admitted on RWW that he was responsible for the attack, throwing the entire Brx situation in a bad light. Brx soon after made posts claiming to have an email stating "he didn't do it, he's just protecting me from harm". Thus far the reaction has been "ok, so he still get punished if he wants to take the fall"


To be decided, but a change in page protection seems to have taken place. That is to say, templatespace is now completely protected to a minimum of autoconfirmed level, and many signature templates were manually protected by P-Foster to sysop level. Additionally:


  • Sophie, maybe - she announced her LANCB but still stuck around 'till bedtime.
  • Tyrannis sulked for a bit.
  • Jack Hughes
  • Osaka Sun[24]
  • P-Foster, citing the lack of any dedicated effort to keep the vandal from going besides ad-hoc page protections.[25] This was more a self-promotion than an actual LANCB, and only lasted a few hours before he needed them back.[26]

Edit Filter[edit]

Some of the following has been redacted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in order to protect the Security of the Wiki.

The edit filter (or abuse filter) is a tool of oligarchic oppression masquerading as a MediaWiki extension that "allows privileged users to set specific controls on actions by users, such as edits, and create automated reactions for certain behaviors."[27] In other words, it can be used to help prevent spam, wandalism, and free speech.

User rights[edit]

All users can view the edit filter and resulting logs,[28] though only techs can see "hidden" filters (which is most of them) and edit the filters. Additionally, most of the filters are set up not to bother users that are 'autoconfirmed,' although they by no means have to do that.

Inner workings[edit]

The filters work by checking edits against certain conditions, such as the blanking (or near-blanking) of pages, the insertion of blacklisted external links, editing by a specific user, certain patters in edit text etc - basically, anything you like (if you're a tech).

Various responses are available for response, including warning the user (meaning that they have to hit submit a second time), banning them, flagging the edit in recent changes and simply disallowing the edit.

Notable filters[edit]

Twelve filters have been created so far - of which four have been deleted, and only two are presently in operation. Only six of the twelve are marked as 'public' (i.e. publicly viewable to non-techs) and three of those are deleted.[29]

Blanking articles[edit]

Abusefilter #1 is your standard blanking-prevention filter. It fires when a user is not autoconfirmed and changes the article size in bytes from more than 500 to less than 50. Additionally, it checks to ensure that the user is not in the 'recent contributors' to the article, and they are not simply redirecting it.

The filter warns the offending user, and tags the edit with 'blanking page content'.[30]

Protect Maratrean's user page from trolls[edit]

Abusefilter #5 (public, deleted) had the de facto effect of protecting Maratrean's user page at the moderator level, while still allowing him to edit it himself. And if the techs will do that, what else will they secretly protect?

It was created by Nx and had no effect beyond simply preventing the edit.[31] ListenerX, B♭maj7, and SuspectedReplicant were all caught by this filter on September 11 2011, the only time that it was ever really used.[32]


The mysterious filter #6 (disabled, private) seems to have done nothing except prevent the BoN from replacing the Terrorism-baiting article with some kind of ascii-art.[33]

Deautoconfirm Ponder Stibbons[edit]

Abusefilter #7 (public, deleted) seems to be Nx fiddling around to see what kind of mischief he was capable of with his hands on the leavers. It no longer does anything, but does show that Nx was aware of the possibility of using it to promote users.[34]

Prevent Blue from editing specific namespaces[edit]

#8 (disabled, public) was Blue's attempt to prevent herself from getting involved in HCMs. It didn't work.

Editing your own article[edit]

RationalWikiWiki prohibits editing your own article. This is because, true to RationalWikiWiki's stated purpose of analyzing RationalWiki, many of the articles about individual editors will be critical and even outright negative. If RationalWikians were allowed to edit their own articles, their biases may drive them to tone down or remove such critical and negative material (subconsciously or not). In order to preserve the critical nature of these articles, RationalWikians are not allowed to edit their own article.

This policy also covers edits made by anonymous IPs which have the look and feel of edits made by the article's own subject. Such edits will be treated as though they were, in fact, made by the editor themselves.

Consequences of violating the rule[edit]

  • It may get your article locked.


If you don't like what has been said, or otherwise want to change your article, then please whine pathetically about it on the talk page.


Article does not exist[edit]

If you feel you are an important person on RationalWiki, but there is no article about you, you are allowed to create an article with the line "Please say something about me; I feel left out," or "I'm a masochist. I want you to write something nasty about me," or words to that effect.

Special invitation[edit]

If a RationalWikian has no article here, and not enough intelligence has been gathered on them to make an entry, an administrator may extend a special invitation to them on their RationalWiki talk page. The invitee has license to establish their own article, with the understanding that once the article is established, it will will be ruthlessly edited afterwards and the rule will come back in effect.


You may fix grammar, spelling, wikification, and other stylistic issues. You may also correct your membership in objective categories such as Category:RationalWiki sysops or Category:bureaucrats if you are a sysop or bureaucrat, but you may not add categories like Category:Significant RationalWikians (which depend on your opinion) in your own article. However, if you are told not to do it, you must stop editing.

Getting away with it[edit]

If you register here with a user name that is different from your RW name, and can manage to edit your article without making who you are obvious, no one is going to know that you are doing it. (Though you should feel like a sad person.) No examples will be given, because that would be telling!

Eternal threads[edit]

The talk pages for the targeted WIGOs—Conservapedia, Citizendium, and formerly A Storehouse of Knowledge—function as seemingly never-ending threads discussing relevant topics. A number of other subjects exhibit similar behaviour, but lacking a formal WIGO page they may not be tied specifically to one talk page.

Some people find these discussions annoying, and may even take steps to entirely remove them from sight altogether.[35] Others seem to relish the arguments that develop.

The subjects of some of the more notable eternal threads include:


Similar to the Citizendium discussion, a small group of disaffected LessWrong users hang out at Talk:LessWrong and related pages. Their obsessive commentary about dense and obscure issues such as "Roko's Basilisk" can be difficult for the uninitiated to grasp. Most of the main editors in this thread are not regulars elsewhere on RationalWiki, but the likes of David Gerard, AD and a few others also participate.

Men's rights/feminism[edit]

Large portions of the internet don't like RationalWiki's anti-MRA stance, and the arrival of another user attempting to "fix" the articles is a regular and mundane occurrence. Arguments with these people are also a common event, as are internal discussions between established users. Given the wide variety of articles on this subject this thread does not have a fixed home, but instead crops up all over main talk along with user talk pages and the bar.

Gun control[edit]

While absolutist "gun control is of the devil" types tend not to edit the wiki, a wide variety of conflicting opinions on this subject are held by members. This can lead to huge threads composed of small groups of users arguing round and round at cross purposes. Due to the relatively small number of mainspace pages directly addressing this subject most gun control debates begin at the bar, and are sometimes then moved to their own forum.

Technical support[edit]

While individual topics under this heading tend to have little relation to each other, it is a constant of the wiki that at least one thread along the lines of "my computer is borken, please help!!!" can be found at the bar at any given moment.

Meta discussion[edit]

Like any similarly dysfunctional community, RationalWiki has more than its fair share of meta discussions. Nobody likes them, but surprising numbers of people keep joining in, time after time. The precise subject of these discussions varies, but often include such topics as:

  • Liquid threads (are of the devil, apparently)
  • Deleting Conservapediaspace


  1. To the extent that dropping the distinction was considered.
  2. "I wish to quasi-unretire. But my user page is sysop-editing locked, and someone has deoped me."
  3. "I am leaving this site for personal reasons. None of you pushed me to it, none of you are big enough assholes to do that."
  4. See his contributions.
  5. See rational:Thread:User talk:Tmtoulouse/You know.
  6. "Tmt reverted [your last edit], so I'm popping in to provide a possible explanation as to his motives."
  7. Opening shots.
  8. "I'm not going to roll with the punches, I'm not going to take it in stride, and I'm not going to just forget about it. It is really fucking annoying and I'm getting sick of it."
  9. the discussion, at the point before we get ahead of ourselves.
  10. His message to AD.
  11. His identical message to Dick.
  12. Also with an identical message.
  13. See File:Easter-vandal-01.png.
  14. 14:29 to be precise.
  15. See File:Easter-vandal-02.png.
  16. See File:Easter-vandal-03.png.
  17. See File:Easter-vandal-04.png.
  18. See File:Easter-vandal-05.png.
  19. See File:Easter-vandal-06.png.
  20. See File:Easter-vandal-07.png.
  21. See File:Easter-vandal-08.png.
  22. See File:Easter-vandal-09.png.
  23. See File:Easter-vandal-10.png.
  24. "Don't know if you can call [this] a LANCB"
  27. Extension:AbuseFilter on the MediaWiki website.
  28. Special:ListGroupRights
  29. All filters, including the deleted ones.
  30. Special:AbuseFilter/1
  31. Special:AbuseFilter/5
  32. The filter log for #5
  33. Special:AbuseFilter/6
  34. Special:AbuseFilter/7
  35. Nutty Roux removes topics from his personal view of RecentChanges via javascript.