Hi, welcome to Wikipedia! I noticed you wikified the dates in Condoleezza Rice. Thanks! But can I ask what you meant by the edit summary? Yours, Meelar 22:28, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Is this Michael or is this a wiki april fool's joke??--Plato 23:51, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

My favorite part is the assumptions they make. When they "assume" that I didn't check the edits, that's false. I did check the edits. They were almost entirely "appropriate" wikilinks. That had little bearing on my decision to (temporarily) ban the username. The edit summary, pattern of behavior (Michael has/had a history of "useful" additions) and the date of contribution (April 1) all were red flags. Also, the summary in the ban field "probably Michael" was indicative of my lack of certainty. After all, I didn't say "definitely Michael". I stand by my decision. Also, although I won't do it myself, I suggest a ban of User:Michael33 as a malicious troll. Have a nice day. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 00:23, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Dante -- I notice they didn't complain about my reversion of their edit to Tony Blair. As I said in Talk:Tony Blair: while this may not be hard-banned User:Michael, the summary comment makes me very suspicious that it is he.. Of course, we only have Michael3s word for it that they are a research group and not another incarnation of Michael -- if they are genuine, they will doubtless have no hesitation in telling us which academic institution they are affiliated to, so that we can check their bona fides. In the meantime I second the proposal to ban Michael33 as a malicious troll. -- Arwel 00:51, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Furthermore, note that Wikipedia is not a forum for original research... I do believe that the "experiment" being undertaken by the Michael3/33 Group (as I've decided to label "them" lacking any preference on their part) falls under that category. :) --Dante Alighieri | Talk 00:53, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)


Hello. We are a research group and we are doing a social experiment: We choose articles that may be controversial or frequently vandalized. We submit a small useful edit but we use user names and edit summaries which may make the administrators think we vandalized the article. In this case we chose the name of a hard-banned user (Michael) hoping to make you believe Michael3 was his sock puppet. We thought the user name and the edit summary (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!!!!!!!) would deceive an administrator to revert the article without checking our useful contributions. We have performed many similar experiments in Wikipedia and other online communities. In this way we can understand how much respect a community has for democracy and personal freedom, whether a community is healthy, whether its administrators are doing their job well, and how paranoid they turn when they face strange vandalism-like edits (that aren't vandalism). We are a large group and our online experiments are part of a major psychological and sociological research. We are very concerned with freedom over the Internet and we have faced many unreasonable and paranoid reverts and blockings by the administrators of the Wikipedia community. Dante Alighieri was successfully deceived and blocked Michael3 noting "probably Michael" (a hard-banned user). But Michael3 was just adding useful links (for example, wikifying dates, i.e. turning dates in active blue links) and his only "sins" were his user name (similar to Michael) and his mysterious edit summaries (ha ha ha !!!). Michael3 is not Michael, he is a member of our research group. You didn't know that, because this knowledge could destroy our experiment. Michael3 could be just an innocent new user. Now we have shown that the Wikipedia community has turned paranoid over possible vandalism and unreasonably restricts the individual liberties. This has to stop. We also ask the community to take care of Dante Alighieri since he blocked Michael3 too easily, probably without checking his edits. We'll continue our experiments and we hope that your community will understand that freedom is more important than security. All yours, Michael33.

Also take care of Dysprosia. Michael33
Anyone pretending to be Michael deserves to be banned. Michael's MO, for anyone who doesn't know, consists of adding reasonable-looking facts to articles, many of which are incorrect. It sounds like Dante and Dysprosia acted appropriately. -- Tim Starling 00:06, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
Well, it sounds that way because I did act appropriately. ;) Of course, that's just my opinion. Heh. Michael3/33's complaint about Dysprosia (I believe) stems from Dys' removal of Michael33's comment from my talk page, which User:Eloquence (imho, properly) restored. I then removed it myself. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 00:30, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
If that was wrong, I apologize. I did originally think this was Michael, and was going by "revert all edits". Dysprosia 00:40, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Eh, I wouldn't call it "wrong", it's just that talk pages tend to get more leeway than articles. I think that your actions were appropriate, but I also think that El's were as well. In the end the point was moot since I used my perogative as the User associated with said talk page to remove the comment entirely. :) --Dante Alighieri | Talk 00:45, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
See also my comments on User talk:Michael33. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 00:31, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
We only have your word for it that you are a research group and not another incarnation of Michael, whose style you mimic very well. If you are genuine, please tell us who you are, and which academic institution you are affiliated to so that your bona fides can be checked. In the meantime I remain unconvinced of your good faith. -- Arwel 00:57, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
That's not Michael's style.—Eloquence
Please let us know how you managed to obtain ethics board agreement to a psychological experminent where the subjects (wikipedia contributors as a whole) did not consent. I don't believe your claim. Jamesday 01:59, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
My roommate (a criminal psych major) was just explaining the boards to me last night, and it sounds like Jamesday hit the nail on the head - I seriously doubt (from what I was told) that any board would sanction this. →Raul654 02:14, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia:No original research - Does this cover using Wikipedia AS research as well as using Wikipedia to POST research? --Dante Alighieri | Talk 02:16, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
Absolutely not. WIkipedia has inspired several research papers. →Raul654 02:22, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
No, no, I mean actually PERFORMING the experiment on Wikipedia, not using it conceptually or observing it as a model... I mean making edits to the 'pedia with the sole intention of those edits being research... not legitimate edits. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 02:23, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
Getting back to the original topic of peformaing experiments on unsuspecting wikipedians - it rang a bell that this had already been outlawed. It's the first point of the Nuremberg Code - The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential →Raul654 02:37, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
This is a gross misprepresentation of the Nuremberg Code, and advances a myth that has no basis in US law. Research funded by the US DHHS must comply with guidelines that require the consent of an Institutional Review Board. Most academic institutions have guidelines that bar research on unsuspecting subjects. Research procedures likely to harm subjects otherwise requires the consent of subjects because harm to research subjects is also prohibited by common laws barring assault, battery, mayhem and murder. Otherwise, individuals and companies are free to conduct whatever research they care to conduct with no barriers from the (!) Nuremberg Code. Companies conduct research on unsuspecting human subjects every day of the week. This is another case of an unreliable source apparently guessing about a subject to advance positions that have no basis in accepted literature. Wikipedia contributors should be aware every keystroke they enter, including user histories and talk page information, may become the subject of research, fair use media coverage and other secondary uses not readily apparent in the GFDL license disclaimer.

p.s. attempts to use the Nuremberg Code or any other device to bar politically oriented research would run up hard against the First Ammendment. And of course, the US Central Intellegence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and other tradecraft agencies worldwide routinely conduct covert research.Filibuster 04:24, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC) ~o~

Are you suggesting that Michael3 and/or Michael33 could/should be banned for Crimes against humanity? --Dante Alighieri | Talk 02:40, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
I think the question is: Do we regard this as helpful to the task of building the encyclopedia?
My reaction, I'm afraid, is no. The story does have a couple of credibility problems, but more important, this unsought advice from outside is best ignored anyway. We don't want to encourage this sort of thing. We do want to encourage our fellow-workers who, whether their actions were perfect or not (and they did well IMO) were unpaid volunteers doing their best to build the encyclopedia.
So to the conductors of this experiment, thanks but no thanks. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, if you do want to conduct this sort of thing there are ways to do it properly. Contact me if you like, I used to write internationally-published papers on Audit Methodology and I think I can give you some pointers. You've broken more rules than just ethics. If you're under any sort of supervision, that's a bit sad. They've let you down badly.
If you want to help Wikipedia, there's lots to do. The first thing to do is to become contributors. Andrewa 04:37, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
It appears Micheal3 is neither asking permission nor declaring an intent to help Wikipedia.
True, sort of. They are demanding we change our behaviour, they don't actually say that this is for our own good but I think that is the implication. See above: We are very concerned with freedom over the Internet and we have faced many unreasonable and paranoid reverts and blockings by the administrators of the Wikipedia community. Later Now we have shown that the Wikipedia community has turned paranoid over possible vandalism and unreasonably restricts the individual liberties. This has to stop. We also ask the community to take care of Dante Alighieri since he blocked Michael3 too easily, probably without checking his edits. Food for thought? Andrewa 02:47, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)
At best, the contributor is advising Wikipedia of actions underway. There are two points that need to be considered here: One is that political operators, especially during a time of national elections, need to know the atmosphere of open dialouges. Misinformation has appeared on Wikipedia that could affect electoral politics. An example that comes to mind is a claim posted that stated Bush supporters had circulated a fake photo of Kerry at an anti-war rally. The part truth masked the real truth that Bush supporters had circulated a legitimate photo of Kerry at a rally, but one Bush supporter later released a retouched photo that became the source of rumors. So political researchers are likey using and perhaps abusing Wikipedia during the election season especially.
The other concern that arises here is that some contributors wonder if information is accepted on its merits or on the reputation of writers. This is a widely discussed issue in the publishing industry and it is entirely appropriate to discuss provenance as it applies to Wikipedia. I find it somewhat dissappointing that a few editors are anxious to repress discussion about whether edits are accepted for their factual basis or on the authority of the author. It is safe to assume that profit-oriented publishers will test Wikipedia to see how it holds up to this sort of discussion. Once proof is established that Wikipedia accepts information solely on the reputation of anonymous pseudonyms, a savy publisher would release details of misinformation that has been accepted on the reputation of an author, to protect their market for the publication of more credible information.
Since this is primarily a hobbiests site, it might be dissappointing to some that these issues arise, but for professional publishers, editors and writers, the spread of a grossly innaccurate encyclopedia that threatens the market for accurate, well-funded encyclopedias probably is worth conducting some covert research and releasing details of that research to concernned news organizations, and to research institutions that can better document the phenomenon. User:Filibuster
Lots of issues here, very forcefully argued, some I agree with, some I don't. But also food for thought. Andrewa 02:47, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Moved from user pageEdit

In other words, "they" are trolling. - Hephaestos|§ 23:38, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
The excessive use of the word "we" seems to be overcompensation which indicates that this user consists only of a singular person as opposed to an entity made up of multiple people. Perl 01:34, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

WTF???, I think this an April Fool's joke (not at all funny though)--Plato 04:38, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I have amended our blocking policy to deal with the concern expressed by this user. Martin 00:27, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)