Muddying Sandifer

Wikipedia administrator investigated after on-wiki dispute

Wikipedia Administrator Phil Sandifer was briefly investigated earlier this month after a short fictional story he wrote was submitted to University of Florida police. The incident, which Sandifer suspects was initiated by a user he had previously blocked, led to the creation of an article on Sandifer (subsequently deleted after a successful AfD), and renewed questions about a Wikipedia criticism site where such a threat was hinted at.

According to Sandifer (formerly known as Snowspinner), he was first contacted by University of Florida officials on 12 May, after which he received a phone call from UF police. In a subsequent 16 May meeting, Sandifer was told that the problem centered on a 2004 story entitled I am Ready to Serve my Country, a first-person story centering around a murderous protagonist wishing to join the military. On 18 May, Sandifer indicated that the issue was largely resolved.

It's still unclear who contacted school officials. Sandifer indicated that he believed the person who tipped authorities off was a user from Wikipedia Review, a site critical of Wikipedia, who was angry about being blocked. Daniel Brandt first suggested contacting UF officials on Wikipedia Review earlier this month. The tip raises questions about Wikipedia Review, the same week that administrator Katefan0 left the project, after Brandt threatened to contact Katefan0's employer regarding her work on Wikipedia.

In the latter incident, Daniel Brandt discovered Katefan0's employer, and posted her real-life identity on her user talk page. When the information was removed, Brandt e-mailed Katefan0, and threatened to reveal her involvement to her employer. Soon after, Katefan0 deleted her user and user talk pages, and replaced them with a notice indicating that she had left the project. Katefan0's departure marks the second administrator recently to leave the project due to threats involving their employers; Gator1 left the project in April after his employer received a complaint about the on-wiki blocking of another user.

The incident has also raised many users' awareness about the possibility for threats. At least ten administrators have deleted old revisions of their user pages containing personal information, even information that was previously freely given by the administrators in question.


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In my opinion, Katefan0 should take Brandt to court for harassment. - Ta bu shi da yu 04:35, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I totally agree, I fail to understand what motivates people to do stuff like this. I cannot believe that I have had to delete my user page history in order to protect myself. Rje 18:19, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There really are a lot of fools in the world, unfortunately most of them have taken up the fight against Wikipedia. - Ta bu shi da yu 13:23, 31 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, amen to that. Snoutwood (talk) 18:43, 4 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"It's still unclear who made the threat." – What threat? Is calling the police "the threat" or did someone actually make a threat? heqs 00:44, 2 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Calling the police. Sorry for the confusion. Ral315 (talk) 01:57, 2 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"...a Wikipedia criticism site where such a threat was hinted at." – Not trying to nitpick here, but again, what is the threat? Is the act of submitting info to authorities the threat, or did someone threaten to do it? heqs 02:21, 2 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There, it was a threat. A few users made comments that at the very least bordered on a threat to call the authorities. Ral315 (talk) 03:07, 2 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe that should be stated more clearly in the story then. It's still somewhat confusing use of the word "threat". heqs 17:32, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is confusing

Um, what the hell did Katefan0 do? Is she...at U of Iowa? Is Katefan somehow involved with this story? It jumps from Snowspinner's story to Brandt threatening to inform Katefan0's employer of her work on Wikipedia. What, is Wikipedia now a crime? Can someone please clarify this? I am so terribly confused. Hbdragon88 05:16, 3 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

They're two closely related issues involving Wikipedia Review. As you said, "It jumps from Snowspinner's story to Brandt threatening to inform Katefan0's employer of her work on Wikipedia." That's the story, basically. Ral315 (talk) 06:29, 4 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Was she involved with the Lir/Snowspinner incident? Did Lir call up the police on Katefan0? Or did some other Wikipedia Review user call up the police on her? Hbdragon88 03:22, 5 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nobody called the police on Katefan0, and she was not in any way involved with the Snowspinner incident. They're two similar stories. They're not connected. Ral315 (talk) 22:59, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]





       

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