Mike V

The Wikipedia administrator and checkuser Mike V  (Michael VanHall) recently blocked a number of accounts as socks of Coat of Many Colours.

This surprised us, not only for ("shall we say") merely metaphysical reasons, but also because we know for a fact that none of these editors are associated with any of us. We despatched our useless banned lawyers to set the record straight:

This was reverted without any attempt to engage the issue. We accordingly followed up with this:

This too was reverted.

Of course it's very unsatisfactory that any individual, let alone one representing a preeminent website such as Wikipedia, should behave in such an arrogant and dismissive manner. Mike V must expect us to respond as we would any other individual treating us so.

The trawling we mention was raised on Eric Barbour's Wikipedia Sucks! site. Not only was Mike V invading the privacy of users, but in the case of the editors he blocked as sock of Coat he was "fishing", a clear violation of checkuser policy.

It's curious that no real attempt is ever made to check the probity of checkusers. We shall return to that issue at a later date in conection with child protection policies.

A poster at Eric Barbour's "Wikipedia Sucks!" forum has identified Mike V as Michael VanHall, a 2009 graduate of Utica Community Schools. He self identifies at Commons with this upload.

The one on the extreme left is a spy and people like him could be abusing our trust to groom your kids without you or anyone else knowing the first thing about it (shit we cannot believe we have to fucking point this out like it's for the first time ever - doh!)

VanHall  must have begun his account around the age of fourteen or so. He never really expressed any interest in editing other than  "fighting" vandalism. His edit stats at April 2016 show him as making some 25,000 edits over a ten year period, of which just 17% are in article space. His few article contributions are confined to his schools and to articles such as J. K. Rowling. There is no indication of any abiding interest where he contributes. In the jargon of Wikipedia, he is "not here to build an encyclopedia".

Within two months of  starting his account he applied for adminship (his original moniker was icestorm815).  He withdrew this when it became clear he had no support. The following year he re-applied and this time was accepted, thus becoming yet another teen admin at what must have been around the age of sixteen to seventeen. He almost immediately blocked himself (something addicts do) and for the following year did not edit, presumably because of the pressure of time in his last year at high school. He then unblocked himself with a new account, but kept his admin privileges. He gained checkuser powers last year under the good offices of the Wikipedia editor and former Arbcom member Risker (a Canadian editor whose identity is well known, noted for her obsessive editing at the James Blunt article). A respected critic at the Wikipediocracy site remarks that Mike V's editing is single-mindedly concerned with sockpuppetry, sockpuppetry, sockpuppetry .  

VanHall's internet fingerprint is slight, consisting of just this one student page we can find. Whereas it's not difficult to follow up on his fellow students mentioned on that page, the same is not true for him. It may be significant that the two images associated with him have been deleted. Our suspicion (and we will be happy to issue a corrective if it is unfounded) is that this is an individual whose Wikipedia addiction has taken over his career ambitions.

Concerning the "socks" above, we believe these probably originate from individuals associated with the Qatar Museums Authority. We know they contribute very high quality articles on the Fine Arts.