Another desysopping

User resigns admin status amid allegations of sock puppetry

Oldwindybear resigned his status as a Wikipedia administrator amid allegations that he had been editing abusively from multiple sock puppet accounts. He is the third user in the last three months who has lost his adminship because of alleged sock puppetry.

Oldwindybear joined Wikipedia in August 2005. His request for adminship succeeded with a nearly unanimous tally of 66/0/1, so he was promoted by Deskana on 14 July 2007.

Three days later, on 17 July, Deskana asked other administrators to investigate a suspicion that Oldwindybear was using User:Stillstudying as a sock puppet account. This suspicion first came to light in May 2006 at Wikipedia:Suspected sock puppets/Oldwindybear, but User:Dijxtra closed the case as inconclusive. The year-old sock puppet case was not cited on Oldwindybear's request for adminship, but once it was discovered, the administrators decided to investigate further.

A checkuser case revealed that Oldwindybear, Stillstudying, and User:Finishedwithschool edited from the same metropolitan area, but it did not establish a clear link between Oldwindybear and the other two accounts. In light of this evidence, Proabivouac and Barneca compiled a comprehensive record of evidence to prove that Oldwindybear was using Stillstudying, Finishedwithschool, and other accounts as sock puppets. They reported their results on the administrators' noticeboard.

Not wishing to submit the case to the Arbitration Committee, Oldwindybear decided to resign his adminship voluntarily, while still claiming that he is innocent. He remains an editor in good standing, but his alleged sock puppets have been blocked indefinitely.

The case draws comparisons to other incidents in recent months. In May, two other users were desysopped and banned because of alleged sock puppetry. Runcorn was desysopped and banned by the Arbitration Committee after Checkuser confirmed that he was using five sock puppet accounts to skew debates (see related story). Henrygb was desysopped and banned after failing to respond to an arbitration case against him. Earlier, in April, Robdurbar was immediately desysopped and banned after a rampage of inappropriate deletions and blocks (see related story). He was later discovered to be a sock puppet of Wonderfool.

Of about thirty cases of involuntary desysopping or resignation under controversy, as with Oldwindybear, only five have involved allegations of sock puppetry. Most of the others were motivated by abuse of administrator privileges, such as out-of-process deletions or wheel wars.

On July 25th, he made this statement: "Personal attacks are never fun. When they reach the point of abuse, which they have here, I am going to go find something else to do. I never used a sockpuppet, and I am not anyone but myself. I am being accused of being practically everyone in the metroplex. I resign to avoid further abuse. Thanks to all who supported me, and I enjoyed being here, except for this recent abuse". After that, he resigned as administrator and apparently left Wikipedia.

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Update: it appears that Oldwindybear has left Wikipedia. He announced on his userpage 25 July that he was leaving, and on 28 July it was deleted at his request. He has not made a contribution since 25 July 2007. -- llywrch 17:24, 31 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]


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