Wikipedia's Treatment of WikiAlpha

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This is to keep a log of the appauling manner in which Wikipedia treats people who run even marginally against the grain of its tyrannical policies.

Spam from Wikialpha

The following appeared here on July 10th, 2011.

I've gotten a spam email via my Wikipedia account. It was saying an article I did an AfD on is preserved at WikiAlpha. Also said to find more and join up, goto WikiAlpha. It was sent by a non-existent user. Bgwhite (talk) 08:41, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure what admin action you are expecting here - do you have anything in mind? -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:10, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
This has happened before. According to this thread, User:WikiAlphaBot was doing the same thing and was banned for "Email spambot (per CheckUser)". Just wondering if it is happening again and how a non-existent user is emailing thru the Wikipedia interface? Bgwhite (talk) 09:23, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Good question, raised at WP:PUMPTECH#Wikipedia email from non-existent user. Dougweller (talk) 11:55, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Can you tell us the username? T. Canens (talk) 12:04, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
As an aside, I once tried to start an SPI for various versions of these spambots at Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/WikiAlphaBot. Singularity42 (talk) 13:04, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
The Wikialpha admins seemed very responsive to issues about licensing compliance (although I've not visited their website since helping them with the issue). My naive question: has anybody asked them to stop? :) (Somebody may have done, I know.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:06, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Great! Now the world can read about Lewinsky (neologism) in two places! /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 14:27, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Yes, but who in their right mind would want to? Besides, it could be worse. It could be goatse. --Alan the Roving Ambassador (talk) 16:03, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

This appears to have been resolved; Template:User, who was sending the emails, has been blocked as a sock of Template:User, who was the first account sending these messages. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 16:29, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Nope, not resolved. I just got another one a few minutes ago from Template:User. Obviously, block as a sock, but this is starting to get really annoying. I'm almost at the point of disabling the ability to let other users email me. Singularity42 (talk) 16:53, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Blocked. Dougweller (talk) 16:58, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Yea, I'm still getting the emails from ValloVir. Thank you for putting the block on. Bgwhite (talk) 17:02, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

I have alerted the administrator of WikiAlpha about this discussion (at least the one who idenfied himself as such here) - both at the talk page of his user account here, and at the talk page of his WikiAlpha account. Singularity42 (talk) 17:17, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

So what is this, a wiki-mirror for editors who can't cut it here? I'm sure there's dozens of these things around. Tarc (talk) 17:28, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Lots of them around, but this one specifically preserves articles that up for AfD. The main problem that brings it to ANI is that they are created bot accounts to send spam emails to Wikipedia editors about their mirror site. Singularity42 (talk) 17:32, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Is this truly spam though? Wikipedia insisted that Wikialpha keep a list of the article editors with the articles copied, isn't it appropriate to INFORM an editor his work has been copied to another wiki? Isn't that what the email links are there for? If someone doesn't want a email they can turn the link off. If they specifically don't want Wikialpha emails, I'm sure they could request to be put on a "no call list" with Wikialpha. Mathewignash (talk) 17:46, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
As for what Wikialpha is, it's a user edited encyclopedia, just like Wikipedia. The main difference being that is doesn't have requirements for notablity, as the editors feel Wikipedia is a bit too strict on that. So they copy deleted articles from Wikipedia into their deletion space, and if if someone wants to look over the formerly deleted article, and sees it's fine except for falling short of Wikipedia's notability standards, they move it to regular article space on Wikialpha. I edit articles on both sites. It's actually a good place to keep articles in development that border on being notabile as you compile sources to prove notability. Mathewignash (talk) 17:51, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm Administrator Govind on WikiAlpha. I took a look at WP:EMAIL and I don't believe there is anything that this bot does that is in violation of Wikipedia's policies - I think that the fact that it is an automated email has colored your perception of it as being "spam"; as has been established above, some users have found these notifications helpful; after all, it is just a notification that one's article is listed for deletion, and I believe that this is a legitimate reason to contact someone. GSMR (talk) 17:53, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

  • It's most definitely against the spirit of the policy; I've blocked users for spamming research projects via email, for example, and have done so with authority. Running an unauthorised bot is most certainly against the rules. Cease and desist immediately or, unless a consensus forms here that this behaviour is kosher, I will quite happily block the accounts. Ironholds (talk) 17:59, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Using the Wikipedia's e-mail to send what amounts to advertising for your little hole-in-the-wall should not be in any way permissible here. IMO, block this GSMR person and anyone else found to be involved in the spam-flood. Tarc (talk) 17:57, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Please do devolve to name calling Tarc. If GSMR looked at the policy and tried to fall within it, he's editing in good faith. Disputes in policy should be talked over before reverting to blocks. Mathewignash (talk) 18:04, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
GSMR/Govind and Mathewignash, it should have become clear to you by now that these e-mails are not wanted. The bot has been blocked. Re-creating it was an act of block-evading sockpuppetry, if nothing else. Running unauthorized bots is also against our bot policy. Bots should also never operate without a clear disclosure of who runs them. But now, let's cut to the chase, shall we: who creates these bots, who controls them? Certainly somebody involved with the administration of Wikialpha? So, was it you? In that case, desist. Fut.Perf. 18:02, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Not me. I'm acting as a representative for WikiAlpha on this discussion, though. GSMR (talk) 18:03, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Then tell the person who is doing it to stop. Ironholds (talk) 18:04, 9 July 2011 (UTC)