Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Wikipedia Bans Overstock.com

This appears to be a two-items-on-Overstock.com day. Well, it's not for nothing that they call this sleazy Internet retailer "the gift that keeps on giving."

It seems that one of Judd Bagley's "black ops" targets, Wikipedia, is getting sick and tired of being abused and spammed by this company. Wikipedia today banned editing from every Overstock.com IP address.

I guess Bagley & Co. will have to run out to Internet cafes when they want to intimidate Wikipedia administrators, stalk teenage boys or turn Wikipedia articles into advertisements for Overstock.com.

A Wikipedia honcho observed, under the subject header "Overstock.com/WordBomb/Judd Bagley":

I've just blocked, which is an IP range (a) owned by Overstock.com (b) widely used by them for spamming, COI editing and attempted intimidation of administrators dealing with them. I strongly suggest against unblocking this range under any circumstances; requested unblocks should probably be run past the ArbCom, who are very aware of Bagley/Overstock's odious work, before acting.
It's fairly unusual, though not unprecedented (see comments), for an entire company to be declared persona non grata by Wikipedia. That requires an unusual degree of sleaziness, which is of course Overstock.com's primary export to the civilized world.

Apparently the online encyclopedia was annoyed by this kind of crap being inserted in the Overstock article by one of Bagley's umpteen sockpuppets. Thanks to Wikipedia, we now know for sure what was obvious for some time -- that a particularly odious message board poster named "Lenofus" is Judd Bagley.

Wikipedia took some harsh action here. A Wikipedia editor familiar with such things tells me that Overstock was first "soft-blocked," which means that no one can edit without logging in, but can edit if he or she or it has an account.

The administrator, a Mr. Gerard, then changed his mind, undid the soft block, and "hard-blocked" that IP range instead, with the block summary: "etwork [sic] owned by commercial spammers overstock.com; please refer unblock reqs to the arbcom."

Hard-blocking means no one can edit Wikipedia from those IPs, and also can't create accounts with them or edit from them with accounts already created.

The courageous individual who took this action will, no doubt, now be added to Patrick Byrne's Omnibus Conspiracy Theory Explaining Why Overstock Can't Make Money.

I find it interesting that volunteer editors of a website are showing more cojones in dealing with the miscreants at Overstock than the lapdog "independent directors" of the company's board of directors.

UPDATE: A few days later, Wikipedia created an article on Judd Bagley, which was promptly vandalized into mush by Bagley sockpuppets. The article was later, lamentably, truncated to one sentence out of a view that it failed to meet Wikipedia policies. Interesting to see if Byrne incorporates this thoughtful action into his Omnibus Conspiracy Theory.

Remarkably, the Wiki editors also debated whether to include the name of Bagley's antisocialmedia.net corporate smear site in the article. That's a bit like debating whether to include the name of the SS in an article about Heinrich Himmler. It's a disgusting site I know, but sunlight is the best disinfectant. I hear it even dries out vomit!

Speaking of the above ... hmmmm..... does this person remind you of anyone?

© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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