SlimVirgin scandal

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The SlimVirgin scandal is the name given to the events when SlimVirgin's real identity and her reasons for being on Wikipedia were exposed by OhMyNews and in turn by Slashdot. They had been originally exposed on Wikipedia Review by WordBomb, Daniel Brandt, Jorge, Blissyu2 and others.

Who is SlimVirgin?

SlimVirgin's real name had been discovered long ago, thanks ultimately to Daniel Brandt, but with help from others on Wikipedia Review. Knowing her real name, or even her newly changed name, was not a scandal. Furthermore, we knew that SlimVirgin's main reason for being on Wikipedia, initially at least, was to try to control the Lockerbie bombing article and to pervert it into her version of truth. We also knew what kinds of articles SlimVirgin wrote about, and the way that she edited. She wrote about Jews, animal rights, terrorism and related topics. We also knew that she had been related to the Lockerbie bombing cover up, that she had acted to help MI6, effectively as an agent. Whether she was paid for them, or just paid as a one off, is another issue.

What did OhMyNews expose?

Ludwig de Brackenleer, who had never previously written about Wikipedia, but had written a lot about various government cover-ups around the world, including the Lockerbie bombing, and is something of an expert on the topic, found the posts on Wikipedia Review and added his much-needed expertise to it. He made them make sense, and showed to the world what it really meant. He also gave it integrity - after all, he was not a Wikipedia critic. He had no axe to grind. He was neutral, impartial and independent. He didn't even speak English (not well at least). His article was translated into English.

Basically, what OhMyNews exposed was that SlimVirgin was an actual spy, and that she had infiltrated Wikipedia. Daniel Brandt claims that this is false, but OhMyNews had a compelling argument. SlimVirgin had developed a lot of power on Wikipedia. SlimVirgin controlled policy on a number of topics. She had told lies, playing damsel in distress, to get more power and influence. She had had other people do her dirty work for her. She had covered up a lot of things. OhMyNews was able to go through what she had done, edit by edit, and put it all into context. It also hinted that there was a lot more going on, that secret agents were indeed changing truth on Wikipedia.

Slashdot's response

After Slashdot picked up this topic, it soon became hot news. Everyone had an opinion on it. A lot of people said that obviously the intelligence agencies used Wikipedia, because their job is to control truth. Others said that intelligence agencies wouldn't bother with something so small (so small as to be one of the 10 most viewed web sites in the world?) Some claimed that intelligence agents used Wikipedia, but not for work. Others claimed that intelligence agents used it for information, or to spy on people who might be terrorists, but not to change truth.

The opinions varied enormously. The thing is that no matter how much Wikipedia tried to deny it, they couldn't. They didn't even have a line to try to suggest that it was false. She really was the person claimed, there was no disputing that. She really did have ties to intelligence agencies. She really was involved in the actual Lockerbie bombing cover up.

Wikipedia's response

Wikipedia for a long time wasn't sure how to handle it. Would they hide it, as they did with the Snowspinner scandal, or would they expose it, as they did with the Essjay scandal and the John Seigenthaler Sr. scandal? They weren't sure. Eventually it was decided.

They eventually hid it, not on the basis of whether it was true or significant (because on both counts it was), but rather because it exposed SlimVirgin's real life identity, which they said was precious. Regardless of whether SlimVirgin was really an intelligence agent, or was really destroying Wikipedia, or was really an agent of disinformation, they felt that anywhere that exposed her real name and real life identity had to be stopped.

It was difficult to do it, but other admins diligently removed all links and banned anyone who repeatedly posted them. OhMyNews was labelled as an unreliable source, and was never again listed as reliable. This whole response was then abused by Kato during the Robert Black (professor) ruse. To this day it is still a touchy subject.

News reactions

Over 100 different news sources ran with this story, although it did not make it to any TV news (and it is uncertain whether it made it to any paper newspapers). It had a major impact on the internet news, in blogs, and for several months was a hot topic of conversation. There were at times over a million Google hits on the topic.

OhMyNews reaction

OhMyNews got 5 times their usual level of traffic for the week after this news report ran, the article itself getting over 150 times the hits of the second most popular article that week, and was still the most popular article on the site over a month later. That article got over 150 genuine comments, the vast majority approving of the article. Eventually it was ruined with 1000s of spam comments.

Wikipedia Review reaction

Wikipedia Review unsurprisingly got their highest ever user level to that point during this scandal, and overall this doubled their user level. They did later get even more users, and had higher peaks, but this was probably the single biggest leap in their history. The peak that time was 5 times the peak that they had had beforehand.

Reaction to SlimVirgin

SlimVirgin "quit" (but not really) and ever after lost popularity on Wikipedia. Many people became suspicious that she may indeed be a secret agent. It may have been hidden from Wikipedia, but people knew. Every action she made was now being questioned as to whether there was a hidden agenda related to it. SlimVirgin's old sock puppet, Sweet Blue Water, was exposed as having been abusive, and was banned. SlimVirgin's other sock puppets were also exposed.

Relation to Wikipedia

Not too long after this, the WikiScanner came about and exposed that the intelligence agencies really were abusing Wikipedia (as were just about every business and political agent in the world), controlling truth and changing truth all over the place. thekohser claimed that businesses shouldn't be blamed, but most people did indeed blame businesses. Sadly, the WikiScanner was misquoted by OhMyNews, which ruined their credibility and forced a retraction.

Ever after, people have wondered an increasingly large amount about just how much Wikipedia controls truth.