Mod+ Wikipedia Cyberbullying: A Case Study

Rome Viharo covered some of this information in another thread, but I've put much of this into an article for him.

There are some new developments in the saga of Wikipedia and Rupert Sheldrake. One of the editors has come out and is using his real name, mostly because unscrupulous editors on Wikipedia outed him and he had to clear his name. Rome Viharo, a.k.a. Tumbleman, is now being cyberbullied by (ir)rationalWiki, just like me.

He has responded by documenting all of the abuse he has received on Wikipedia and has provided a compelling account of what has been happening, some of which I documented on my blog. His account was banned and he had to come back under another name although unsuccessfully.

The whole biography page is very much a kind of Last Stand for the skeptics. One editor, Ryan Castle, aka ‘The Capn’ writes of the saga:

Nearly a dozen editors who have disagreed with the skeptical majority’s opinion on the Sheldrake page have been threatened with banning. Those who persisted, and especially those who presented valid references, sources and citations that could not be easily dismissed were accused of vague infractions and/or of sharing the viewpoints of others that had been previously banned, such as Tumbleman. Despite failing to illustrate a single case of actual, intentional or disruptive violations, these cases against the dissenting editors were rapidly filled by shrill cries to have them banned forever, “for the good of WP.” An administrator usually gives the case a brief review, sees an entire page full of denunciations of the dissenting editor and makes the quick & easy choice to click “BAN.” In all fairness, these admins have hundreds of cases to get through and can’t spend much time reviewing the details.
On my blog Tom Butler made the following comment:
It is interesting to note that one of the people talking against Barleybannocks to have him topic banned from the Rupert Sheldrake article is an editor who has been banned from Wikipedia for life. He is ScienceApologist now editing as JPS (AKA User:QTxVi4bEMRbrNqOorWBV. ( One editor even pointed this out on the Rupert Sheldrake article talk page where we know administrators are watching and fully aware of JPS’s activity. This pretty much makes it “Official Wikipedia Policy” that strongarm skeptics editors are a protected class.

The note about this on the talk page: “I am also quite saddened that an editor with your experience, expertise and background,(1) has had to resort to personal attacks again (“myopia”, “brain dead”), bearing in mind your history, (2) previous sanctions, (3)and the very recent WP:AE case concerning Barleybannocks and TRPoD. (4) Barleybannocks and TRPoD. –Iantresman (talk) 20:21, 21 December 2013 (UTC)”


JPS has now pretty much taken over the article and moving it hard-over toward the skeptic view.

(1) (