Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Baloney Brigade's Assault on Wikipedia

Update: It later was revealed that the persistent vandal I describe below -- the one who with 45 identities -- was's "director of social media," Judd Bagley. He also later confessed to running's smear site, which was anonymous when this post was published. See this subsequent post, and others tagged "Judd Bagley."

The Baloney Brigade anti-shorting loons hate Wikipedia, and with good reason: the user-edited encyclopedia is effective and ruthless in dealing with organized crackpots.

When anti-shorting poster child sought to turn its Wiki article into a house ad in August, it was swiftly rebuffed, with an editor chortling "you can't spam your advertising here."

These nuts have been trying to pull the same trick in other articles on naked short-selling. The anonymous anti-shorting con artist "Bob O'Brien" has orchestrated the onslaught on his psycho "sanitycheck" website and as Wiki users "Boboncans," "Bobobrien" and Lord knows how many clones. As noted previously in this blog, "O'Brien" pushes the agenda of pump-and-dump stock promoters and inept CEOs who want to suppress short-selling and intimidate critics.

One Baloney Brigadier [later identified as director of social media Judd Bagley has sought to vandalize and harass Wikipedia via dozens of multiple identities -- a favorite Baloney Brigade tactic, used to generate multiple SEC comment emails.

So far he has been caught a grand total of 45 times by official Wikipedia count (see here and here). The same character runs an anonymous attack website of his very own, and has hijacked anti-Wiki websites. I find it hard to believe he's not being financially subsidized, at the very least, by a certain venom-spewing CEO who has promoted his site on penny stock websites.

The anti-shorters have had some limited success, front-loading the article on their dispsy-doodle hero Patrick Byrne with fluff about his "first class education" PR stunt. But for the most part, all the money and energy are going to waste so far. An effort by this multiple-ID weasel to create an article entitled "Market Reform Movement" -- what the anti-shorting nuts, and only the anti-shorting nuts, call their obsession -- was deep-sixed.

This/these same buffoon/buffoons have also vandalized articles they don't like and have smeared me, saying that I'm editing Wikipedia using multiple IDs. (Accusing people of stuff you do yourself is another favorite Baloney Brigade tactic.)

Wiki founder Jimbo Wales laid that lie to rest a couple of days ago, saying that "the claims have already been investigated and dismissed."

Mark Cuban, who was suckered by an anonymous email from Overstock flack Judd Bagley pushing this lie, has yet to issue a retraction or apology.

Will this mollify the Baloney Brigade? Off course not. Jimbo Wales is now part of a conspiracy involving half the civilized world. I'm sure that Baloney Brigade chief troubadour Byrne, who has been making the rounds of penny stock "broadcasting" and anti-Wikipedia websites, will make that point fairly soon.

You can't fault the guy. Whining like a baby on penny stock websites is a lot more fun than trying to convince people to buy footstools bearing the American flag and other junk in the Overstock warehouse.

Kind of makes you wonder why some regulators are taking these knuckleheads seriously.

P.S. As you can see from Overstock's recent 10-Q, the company received one helluva subpoena last May. It required that the company produce documentation on everything from its accounting to "communications regarding short selling, naked short selling, purchases and sales of Company stock, obtaining paper certificates, and stock loan or borrow of Company shares." Whatever became of that investigation, anyway?

© 2006 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.


Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.

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