Alden Sockshade: a timeline of deception
This is a timeline of several accounts suspected of being operated by Alden Loveshade (Cainad, Binky The WonderSkull, Un-Minnie, Miley Spears, Why do I need to provide this?, Pope Hilde, Alden Loveshade, Devil Details, Black Enforcer, GINA Is Not an Acronym, and PlacidDingo), as well as the "Dǐll Kevlar" account. Dates and times are in UTC. Cainad was unblocked after I originally wrote this, as he was apparently impersonated. I believe the next seven are Alden, I'm undecided on the other three, and I believe Dǐll Kevlar (DK) to be a different person (though I initially suspected them of also being Alden). At the end there is also an analysis of DK's activity (#Who is Dǐll Kevlar?) and a proposed explanation for Alden's actions on the "hosting options" forum (#What really happened here?).
This is not a comprehensive collection of evidence. I intended to write a brief overview of times and dates but ended up with something rather longer and more detailed.
- 25 February: Cainad begins editing (no account creation entry). First edit is to create the account's user page with various content including section headers and templates.
- 2 March: Binky The WonderSkull begins editing. First edit is to the "Reverend Loveshade" article.
- 29 March: Un-Minnie (presumably originally "Minnie") makes four edits, the first two of which are to upload an image and add it to Reverend Loveshade, the second two to the "Fnord" article. Prior to that, the account uploaded an image called "Minnie Rae 1871s.jpg", which is now deleted.
- 9 June:
- 4:29: Miley Spears registers
- 4:31: Miley Spears creates
a user page with this text:
- Hi I'm Miley Spears!
- While I write this there's a message that says "Pages about you, your friends, your schoolmates, your teachers, etc. WILL be deleted on sight."
- So I'm supposed to write my user page and not talk about me?
- 8:20: Miley requests to be adopted by Cainad on his talk page. The post lacks a signature but shows knowledge of how to make such posts and of the "adoption" process. Miley claims that "I saw you in Adopt a Noob". She also claims to have "edited several wikis" previously, while not specifying which ones.
- 11 June: Cainad accepts Miley's request
- 2 September: Why do I need to provide this? registers
- 30 March: After several shorter gaps, Binky The WonderSkull makes three edits on this day and goes quiet until 2012.
- 6 May: Miley Spears stops editing
- 28 October: Cainad stops editing
- 28-29 January: BTWS makes a series of edits and goes quiet again
- 12 May: Why do I need to provide this? stops editing
- 16 February: Miley Spears resumes editing. The gap between 2015 and 2010 can be seen here.
- 20 March - 18 June: Pope Hilde makes a series of edits to the "FM" article, originally started on 20 March by Miley Spears. (This account's only other listed edits are in 2016 to the "Brenton Clutterbuck" article, which was imported from another wiki. Pope Hilde claimed in the comments on Alden's blog post about the "purge" that she had never edited here with this account, so FM may also be imported, but I couldn't find a log entry for that.)
- 16 October: Miley Spears stops editing again
- Miley Spears makes two edits on 21 June and 23 June, then goes inactive again, not resurfacing until 2018. (Two other edits are also listed for 2016, but those are to Brenton Clutterbuck.)
- 26 May: Miley Spears resumes editing
- 1 June: Alden Loveshade registers and makes a handful of edits, claiming to be the same person as Why do I need to provide this?
- 2 June: Miley Spears receives admin rights
- 22 June: Devil Details registers
- 7 July: Black Enforcer begins editing. First two edits are to post to the talk pages of Romartus and Alden Loveshade accusing them of being the same person. Also uploads the image "Dana hilde matching.jpg", which has since been deleted. This image attempted to link the Pope Hilde account to a real person other than Alden Loveshade.
- 2 August: GINA Is Not an Acronym registers
- 15 and 17 August: BTWS makes a few more edits
- 18 August: Black Enforcer posts to the talk pages of GINA, Miley Spears and Romartus accusing GINA and Miley of being the same person.
- 19 August: GINA requests that Black Enforcer be blocked, citing the "Dana hilde matching" image and talk page posts, and adds the image to QVFD. Note that the second edit inserts the date "18 August", indicating that in GINA's time zone the day has not yet switched over. The UTC times for these edits are 1:04 and 1:18, just after the UTC day starts and well within the previous day for US time zones. In EDT, CDT and PDT, the three time zones used there at that time of year, 1:00 UTC corresponds to 21:00 (9 pm), 20:00 (8 pm) and 18:00 (6 pm) respectively.
- 21 August: Miley Spears comments on GINA's block request: "If I saw the pic first I would have banned him cuz he's been warned about that on other wikis, but I didn't so it's Ok. But if he does it again, ban time."
- 26 January:
- 6:12: PlacidDingo posts on Black Enforcer's talk page asking how to access the "Dana hilde matching" image. The only prior edits for the PlacidDingo account are two imported with Brenton Clutterbuck, seemingly to make it more favorable http://archive.is/nr3pq http://archive.is/lWp3E
- 16:37: PlacidDingo edits their user page to claim that they are Brenton Clutterbuck.
- 27 January:
- 17:37: Black Enforcer replies "Go away, Loveshade."
- 21:21: Miley Spears replies:
- If PlacidDingo makes another request for that image on this or any other wiki I admin, he or she will be permanently blocked and I will report it to Fandom.
- If Black Enforcer posts it here or on any wiki I admin, he or she will be permanently blocked and I will report it to Fandom.
- If it's requested or posted on a wiki I do not admin, it will be reported to Fandom.
- 30 January: Miley Spears makes a forum post about Wikia/Fandom's decision to move non-fan wikis to wikia.org instead of fandom.com.
- 31 January: Miley Spears and Alden Loveshade comment on the post at 1:22 and 19:31.
- 11 February: Dǐll Kevlar begins editing http://archive.is/39DVF
- 14 February: Miley Spears comments on the domain name post again. This is the last comment here from this account.
- 21 February: Alden Loveshade comments on the post. This is the last comment here from this account.
- 25 February: Dǐll Kevlar comments on the post. This is this account's second edit. The discussion ends here.
After the shutdown notice
- 26 February:
- 17:24: Sannse makes the forum post about Uncyclopedia's impending shutdown.
- 20:14: Dǐll Kevlar posts the following: "Well, since 'conflict of interest' is no longer a problem, I'd strongly recommend making ties with uncyclopedia.co. They would probably be fine hosting original articles and sections that they don't have. Maybe we could request them to make wikia.uncyclopedia.co to host a database dump, for a transition." This comment is signed as "Imdill3". (The account was originally named Imdill3; the name change happened in October 2018.) This is the account's third edit.
- 27 February:
- 1 March:
- 1:31: Alden suggests that all admins and bureaucrats on the Wikia site should be given the same position on the fork
- 3:16: Miley replies "I think you're either spying or mindreading again. See the below."
- 3:18: Miley posts the text of Zombiebaron's email about merging the two Uncyclopedias, which had previously only been shared with the admin mailing list. This email mentions doing what Alden suggested. Miley was on the list at this time, but Alden was not.
- 2 March:
- 11:41: Alden is added to the admin mailing list
- 20:36: Miley makes a forum post linking to a poll on the Discordianism Wikia about the fate of uncyclopedia.wikia.com
- 4 March:
- 5 March: Alden receives admin rights http://archive.is/Z5mFz
- 6 March:
- 5:14: Simsilikesims starts a vote on Miley's poll forum
- 7:18: DK votes in favor of merging with uncyclopedia.co
- 9:51: After some back and forth between DK and me, Romartus locks the forum. No one has voted except Simsilikesims, me, PF4Eva and DK.
- 9:54: DK asks Romartus to unlock the forum, saying "I will not debate there anymore. If I have further points, I will direct them elsewhere on the site." (So why do they want it unlocked?) Romartus refuses.
- 12 March: Romartus starts the official vote on where the Wikia Uncyclopedia should go
- 13 March:
- 0:59: Alden votes for "Uncyclopedia.co" (no other words)
- 1:07: DK also votes for "Uncyclopedia.co"
- 1:21: I add additional rules underneath Romartus's original post and strike DK's vote. http://archive.is/0LLFI I had first suggested these rules on 8 March, when both Miley and Alden were on the mailing list. Neither commented on them at the time.
- 1:25: DK tells me "I guess your reader community doesn't matter."
- 2:17: DK undoes my strike of their vote and replies further: "Someone brought to my attention that you added a rule after my vote was added. That is super scummy. In addition, you are incorrect about me representing the reader community. I am retracting the strike."
- 2:23: Miley splits off part of the voting section into a new section titled "Discussion", beginning with the comments by me and DK under DK's vote, giving the edit summary "Discussion separate from votes". This also has the effect of excluding the votes by Spike and me, as they were underneath that thread.
- 2:27: Miley moves Spike's vote back into the voting section while leaving mine in the new "discussion" section and adds this reply to me in defense of DK: '"Voting:Users and administrators/bureaucrats will have equal value as regards the vote count." It says "users" not "article editors."' http://archive.is/cXdgA
- 2:29: Miley votes "For the spoon merging with the fork, Uncyclopedia.co" even though that option was not presented.
- 2:40: I restrike DK's vote. http://archive.is/QS4Li
- 2:44: Miley complains about the rule asking active admins on .co to recuse themselves from voting: "Somebody who's active both here and there shouldn't be restricted from voting. That is totally not fair!"
- 2:53: DK unstrikes their vote a second time and replies again: "You eliminated many uncyclopedia.co users and myself because you already knew what their vote would be. These terms that you fabricated are biased and this vote's result should not be taken into consideration by Fandom. My posts are in good faith. In fact, I'd like to think "my unfaithful contributions" just exposed some shady behavior."
- 2:55: Miley defends DK again by attacking me and Romartus: "Llwy-ar-lawr, maybe that's the way you run things when you're in charge, but that's not the way Fandom works. Two people are not in charge of this site. It belongs to everybody who comes here. That's in Fandom ToU which overrules anything posted here."
- 3:08: I restrike DK's vote again and reply "So do you also have a problem with Romartus's account age and IP rules and his agreeing to what I suggested? This is not about me or how I "run things". I already explained myself in the email discussion. Take it up with him. I'm done with this thread."
- 3:10: Miley reverts my edit. This undoes both my strikeout and my comment.
- 3:13: Miley posts on my talk page: "If you think there's a problem, then you need to check with other admins and see if there's a consensus among admins. Otherwise this is now one admin reverting another admin's edits. If you want to continue this and don't want to work with other admins, we'll need to have Fandom staff make a decision." This comment is edited slightly at 3:18, notably replacing the first clause of the last sentence with "If admins can't work together".
- 3:26: I respond "I'm not sure which thing you're referring to here. I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't remove my comments and abuse the word "vandalism", but if you're going to threaten me like this, I won't bother restoring them. Now I said I was done there, and I meant it."
- 3:29: Miley replies claiming not to have removed my comments but rather moved them to the discussion section. (Those were different comments.) She then adds at 3:39 "Remember who nominated you for Uncyclopedian of the Month? I am not your enemy. :)"
- 10:08: Romartus says it was his mistake on my talk page, then on the forum at 10:13, but that he will let DK's vote stand because it was made before the rule change. The issue seems to be closed at this point.
- 16:16: Sannse responds
to the discussion about the rules:
- I'm not sure what you want from me, some sort of Supreme Court judgement? Or just comments? I'll assume the latter.
- As I've said before, I'm very keen that this vote should only be made by current members of the community on this wiki. To me that means those who have been active editors here within the recent past.
- That said, I am no longer one of those people. I wandered off from being an active admin and contributor here some time ago. And, as a staffer for Fandom, I certainly shouldn't have a say in how you depart us. Given that, the active admins here are the people I believe should set the rules - even if that means changing the rules if they think it necessary. I hope very much that you find the right solution - especially as I have a half written article somewhere about cockroaches being archaeologists
- 17:52: Sannse comments further: "Romartus has clarified that he wants my opinion on the rules for voting. As they restrict voting to active editors, I'm happy. The point that readers are part of the community (I forget who said that) doesn't work because there is no proof that any individual is a reader. Similarly, there are issues with anon votes and the ability to simply switch IP as needed. Anyway, the the norm on wikis is for "community" to refer to the active editors. So I'm happy with the conditions as listed by Rom"
- 19:18: Black Enforcer continues the discussion on their talk page from January, replying "Oh I'm scared."
- 19:23: Black Enforcer votes: "Merge with Wikipedia."
- 20:02: Devil Details votes: "Heard about sad turn of events from Romartus. Go with LaL." This is signed with Cainad's signature.
- 20:06: Devil Details votes for "Llwy-ar-lawr", this time signing as Devil Details. The signature is timestamped 20:38.
- 21:08: Devil Details changes their second vote to read "Co." and the timestamp to 21:08.
- 14 March:
- 0:40: Miley replies to Sannse: "I wanted staff opinion on this vote, and we got it from Sannse who's one of the best. So it will stand as it is!"
- 0:49: Miley strikes Devil Details' first vote, the one signed as Cainad, claiming the rules prohibit Cainad from voting (even though they do not) within a paragraph of praise and apologies.
- 1:11: I unstrike the "Cainad" vote.
- 1:20: Miley redoes the strike, as well as striking TheHappySpaceman's vote, removing The Last of the Mohicans' vote, and removing two comments from me.
- 1:30: Miley posts this comment with the header "Please follow the rules": "Llwy-ar-lawr, Romartus asked me to keep an eye on the voting for what happens to Uncyclopedia. He said votes were grandfathered in, and nobody disagreed with that. I can't help but notice that you remove votes that aren't what you want, and put back votes that are what you want. I'm being objective here; I just struck a vote that agrees with what I want, but I have to play fair. I ask you to do the same."
- 1:32: I roll back Miley's edits. As this removes comments from her, I readd them at 1:33.
- 1:41: Miley complains about my removal of comments, even though they had already been replaced eight minutes ago, and silently removes the phrase that states I removed and readded votes according to "what I want".
- 1:58: Miley changes the second rule I added, "Active editors on the fork must have five edits to this site between 1 January 2018 and 26 February 2019", to remove the phrase "on the fork". She adds a comment underneath the rule, between it and my signature: "See below as posted by Fandom Staff Sannse: "As they restrict voting to active editors, I'm happy." That means active editors on this Fandom site, not on another website that does not belong to Fandom." She never directly mentions the change.
- 1:59: Miley redoes the strikes.
- 2:18: I rebut Miley's points. At this time I had not noticed the rule change.
- 2:36: Binky The WonderSkull adds this comment to the voting section: "It is sad that there seems to be even more infighting here on the fork than there was when I was more active here. So maybe it would be best if we go with an Uncyclopedian off site like Carlb or Lyrithya but I don't know which. I don't know if we can vote 1/2 for each? If not tell me and I can change my vote."
- 2:38: BTWS replies to me: "It seems you are having trouble getting along here. Maybe if would be best if you each went your separate ways."
- 3:01: Alden posts this comment claiming he didn't understand the rules because he doesn't know what "the fork" is. (Note that Miley clearly does.)
- 3:11: Alden asks Sannse for clarification. His question misconstrues the disputed rule as possibly meaning that voting is restricted to editors who are active on the fork (uncyclopedia.co), as does Miley's comment when changing the rule.
- 4:00: Miley backs off and apologizes to me on the issue of removing comments while not addressing the rule issue. In the same edit, she silently removes the phrase "on the fork" from an earlier comment of hers that quoted the rule to TheHappySpaceman.
- 4:08: Miley replies to BTWS's reply to me: "Hi Binky! I'm doing just that. I'll come back later and see how things are going then."
- 6:13: PlacidDingo replies to the discussion on Black Enforcer's talk page: "Thanks, but I don't understand. This seems an old page from 2010?" The discussion ends here.
- 18:07: Alden comments that the vote can't be enforced because anyone can legally put up a copy of the site.
- 23:08: Supergeeky1 points out the double vote by Devil Details.
- 15 March:
- 1:20: Devil Details replies, claiming "Sorry about that; got confused with my old and new accounts, didn't know which sig to use. Changed my mind because of all the infighting here. Part of the reason I left originally."
- 1:26: Devil Details replies to my comment at 1:11 14 March (over 24 hours ago) about undoing Miley's strike of the "Cainad" vote: "Don't get your panties in a bunch. Let the strike stand." with the edit summary "new jerks replaced the old jerks".
- 20:20: Sannse states that she misread the rules and that, in her opinion (which she disclaims as such), inactive editors should not get a vote.
- 16 March:
- 5:22: Alden agrees with Sannse that inactive editors shouldn't vote.
- 10:15: Romartus restarts the voting, creating separate sections for the four options presented. He includes several votes that had already been cast, including those by Alden and DK.
- 22:29: Miley votes in the Lyrithya section.
- 22:37: Miley complains about the rules again, specifically the part about inactive editors being allowed to vote. "Two admins deciding how this vote will be done even when other admins and Fandom staff disagree and want it done differently." (The "other admins" in question are Miley and Alden. No one else disagreed with this aspect of the rules except Sannse.)
- 17 March: Alden alphabetizes the voting sections, which has the effect of putting Miraheze -- currently the option with the highest score after Lyrithya -- in last place.
- 18 March:
- 16:35: Alden edits the rules given by Romartus to change them from bullet points to plain paragraphs.
- 16:58: Alden defends The Pioneer's vote (for Miraheze) at length.
- 23 March: Alden complains about various problems he supposedly encountered on Miraheze, culminating with the bizarre assertion that it doesn't show him whether he's logged in. This is the last edit to this forum by any of the accounts.
- 24 March: Romartus closes the vote.
Who is Dǐll Kevlar?
Dǐll Kevlar (whom I sometimes refer to as "DK" for brevity and to avoid that pesky ǐ character) is an account with a very brief career on Uncyclopedia, having made just 20 edits spanning the period between 11 February 2019 and 16 March 2019. Almost all of these edits consist of advocating for Wikia Uncyclopedia to merge with uncyclopedia.co. DK claims to be a reader rather than a community member and would have us believe that readers have as much of a stake in the outcome as editors:
- "I have a past with forking wikis and I've enjoyed this site's content for a period of time. My opinion is as good as yours. Perhaps, I only got involved to see things move forward."
- "Oh, disregard the question. I guess your reader community doesn't matter."
Which wikis is DK referring to here? They don't say. They are equally vague in this forum post on .co, saying "As a previous host of several forked wikis [...]".
I do not believe the average reader of Uncyclopedia, even with experience on other wikis, would begin editing there with the sole purpose of pushing for it to meet this particular fate -- one most popular among a certain group of insiders -- and behave so aggressively toward established editors. It's possible but unlikely. DK is much more likely to be established themselves and pretending to be a mere reader for some unknown end. But who could it be?
DK is established on Wikia Community Central, where they began editing on 8 April 2010. Their user page links to their pages on several other Wikia wikis and Wikipedia. On those under "Current Projects", they are an admin and bureaucrat.
Under "Current Projects":
- Internet Box Wiki. DK began editing on 9 August 2015. This wiki is about the Internet Box podcast, hosted by members of Rooster Teeth. The main page says that it is one of several "Rooster Teeth wikis". A look at recent changes shows that the wiki is active but almost all the edits are made by DK.
- Rooster Teeth Wiki. They began editing here on 22 January 2016.
- Sugar Pine 7 Wiki, where they began editing on 3 January 2018. Sugar Pine 7 is a subsidiary of Rooster Teeth.
Under "Places you might see me":
- MyCoke Wiki, where DK is listed as the founder and began editing on 19 December 2010. MyCoke was an online game created by Coca-Cola.
- Habbo Wiki, where they are an admin and began editing on 10 April 2010.
- Nineties Internet Wiki, where they are the founder and began editing on 8 July 2016.
- Community Central itself. This is probably here because the page is transcluded on DK's user pages on other wikis.
- Wikipedia. DK's account here is named "Imdill3", their former Wikia username. The user page is as follows: "Hey everyone, I mostly work with Wikis with wikimedia. Usually, I edit anonymously." It was created on 31 October 2011 with slightly different text: "Hey everyone, I mostly work with Wikis with wikimedia and prior to 17:02, 31 October 2011 (UTC) usually editted under anonymous." The edit summary reveals that the timestamp was created by typing five tildes, so it is the same time as the edit. It was changed to the current text on 30 July 2018. Imdill3's Wikipedia edits are few and not very informative.
Out of all these wikis, the one they started on the earliest is Community Central on 8 April 2010, an unlikely place for a new Wikia editor to begin. There is no log entry for account creation here, so the account was probably created elsewhere first. I don't know where.
The page on the Internet Box Wiki contains a link to uncyclopedia.co. This link formerly used Wikia's interwiki prefix for Uncyclopedia and was changed on 2 March 2019 with the summary "RIP wikia's uncyclopedia", anticipating the "merger" as if it were a given. The original link was added on 3 February 2019. This is all the evidence I've found so far that DK had anything to do with Uncyclopedia, as a reader or otherwise, before 11 February.
The bulk of DK's edits to Uncyclopedia are more than just advocating for the so-called "merger": they consist largely of replying to posts by Miley/Alden and supporting points of view they were pushing around the same time. This can be seen from the timeline above. To recap: DK posts on a forum by Miley, supports merging with .co on Sannse's forum before Alden and his socks show up, replies to Alden to agree with him about merging, replies to Miley's "child porn" comment, votes for merging on another forum by Miley, tries to talk Romartus into unlocking said forum (arguing that they won't comment there anymore -- in that case, why do they care?), votes for "Uncyclopedia.co" on Romartus's vote forum 8 minutes after Alden does, attacks me for striking the vote, replies to Alden's message about the vote being restarted... and those descriptions cover 17 out of the 20 edits. The remaining 3 are a minor edit to "England", creating User:Imdill3 as a redirect to User:Dǐll Kevlar, and creating User:Dǐll Kevlar with a transclusion of DK's Community Central page.
The insistence that attention be paid to readers is reminiscent of Alden's complaints here, here and here about how the site isn't usable or good-looking enough for readers and my work on Fake Vector is basically worthless because readers won't see it. The issues complained of are different, however -- voting rules vs. web design/interface. That said, given Alden's extensive network of socks, I wouldn't be surprised if he decided to further his point by pretending to actually be a "reader". Furthermore, Miley was quick to jump in and defend DK with very similar arguments, including the one about non-editors getting to have a say. DK stated that "this vote's result should not be taken into consideration by Fandom", implying Wikia has some authority over where the site goes when they obviously do not, similarly to Miley talking about Sannse's comments as though they were the law and not -- as Sannse herself said -- mere opinions.
DK's writing style has some similarities to Alden's but is noticeably different:
- Alden often uses edit summaries for discussion posts that add on to or summarize the post in some way (Alden, Miley, Devil Details). DK occasionally does this (here) but does not show as strong a pattern, and they also use the edit summaries "+reply" and "+", which Alden never does. (This is harder to assess on Community Central because it does not have normal discussion pages.) The main similarity is that both Alden and DK use mostly lowercase summaries with no full stop and occasionally use capital ones. (GINA breaks this pattern by always capitalizing them.) There is a further difference in that Alden's capital summaries also lack full stops while DK's have them (diff), though GINA uses a full stop here and here, and DK does not use one here.
- DK sometimes leaves apostrophes out of contractions  . Alden does not.
- DK makes errors that suggest a non-native speaker, such as unnatural/incorrect phrasing (e.g. "editted [sic] under anonymous", "unfaithful" for "bad faith") and putting commas after conjunctions where they don't belong ("So, don't be afraid to add a joke or two"). Alden does not; he writes like a perfect native and has shown no sign of knowing any other language. I know enough about some languages to identify English errors that originate from them, but I don't recognize any of DK's. (They don't look like French or German. They don't look like Welsh either, but how often do you see a native Welsh speaker with an obviously non-native grasp of English... I mean, really.)
- DK sometimes uses single quotes  and sometimes double . Alden always seems to use double. Despite DK's use of single quotes, they use American spelling, like Alden.
- Both DK and Alden use the less common practice of putting the full stop outside parentheses when there is a complete sentence inside them (DK, Alden).
If we accept that Miley Spears and Lorien Loveshade are Alden, he's clearly quite capable of altering his writing style to suit different socks. For example: Miley and Lorien make heavy use of smileys, while Alden does not seem to use them at all. Alden uses double spaces and Miley uses single spaces. Lorien sometimes says "lol" while Miley and Alden do not. Younger versions of Lorien use bad English with run-on sentences, misspellings and missing apostrophes. However, I find that Miley resembles Alden and Lorien resembles Miley while DK resembles none of these. He seems to "switch gears" between intelligent, reasonable adult man, stupid little girl, and various intermediate stages. DK doesn't have an obvious place on this spectrum. It's possible he could pull off a style like DK's, but it seems unlikely.
Alden and DK's interests don't seem to overlap. Alden shows no interest in Rooster Teeth or online games, and DK shows no interest in Discordianism, Miley Cyrus, the SCA, or little girls. DK appears to have some technical knowledge, e.g. CSS and file types, while Alden and Miley claim to lack such knowledge (though Alden obviously knows enough to design his websites, which use some advanced features including keywords within <meta> tags and custom cursors). The main commonality is that they both have an active, years-long presence and advanced permissions across multiple Wikia sites.
My "Dunning-Kruger effect" comment was not just random snark. I believe that "merging" is what an outsider or newcomer with no real knowledge of the site's community or history would want. (It's what I wanted back when I was one.) It's obvious, right? There should only be one English Uncyclopedia, not two. Except if you know about the cultural differences and the years of pain and fighting, it's not so obvious anymore. Even if you don't know, it's arrogant to assume you know better than people who have donated years of their life to a project and there are no good reasons for them to stay separate when they have been for over half a decade.
It's possible I made a bad first impression and DK was only reacting to that. I can't go back in time and try being nicer. But it took very little on my part -- two mean comments and striking a vote, and suddenly I'm the worst thing since unsliced bread. Really? There are other possible ways DK could have replied to me:
- To my first (fairly polite) remark: I have a past with forking wikis and I've enjoyed this site's content for a period of time. I understand if you want to limit voting to the people who built the content, but I like to think my opinion matters too.
- About the striking:
- I've now noticed that you added a rule after my vote was added. Why did you do this? Is there some mistake?
But they didn't say anything like that. First they claimed that their opinion as a self-described outsider was "as good as mine", then they jumped straight to painting my actions in the worst possible light, and they never took it back even after I explained what really happened. The characterization of me as "scummy" and "shady" reveals more about how DK thinks (or what they were told) than what my motives were.
Notice that my suggested reply ditches the "Someone brought to my attention" bit. It is not an appropriate opening. Who is "someone"? Where and when did this happen? The implication is there was some conversation that took place in private or in a chat room. Why mention this "someone", and why not name them? It gives the impression of offsite gossip or conspiracy, not a "nice" thing to convey. Perhaps it is alluded to in this fashion for the sake of secrecy, or perhaps it never happened at all and "someone" is the account operator themselves.
If DK is not Alden, it's likely that they're some other fork editor, or possibly someone who hangs out on the fork's chatrooms and mostly or entirely stays off the wiki. The latter could explain why I don't recognize them. I've also considered that DK is Roza. Roza uses the name "dill" on Discord, initially supported a merger and replied to DK's first comment on "A message from Fandom", uses lowercase edit summaries sometimes without apostrophes, and shares the very rare trait of putting extra commented-out text in a post (DK, Roza). Roza writes like a native English speaker, though, and they don't seem to have much else in common, so they're probably not the same.
If DK is none of the above, truly just a reader, we are left with many questions:
- Why are they so bent on having the two Uncyclopedias merge?
- If their main purpose was to advocate for this when the opportunity arose, and it's true that they "only got involved to see things move forward", why did they begin editing on 11 February, soon before Sannse's announcement but at a time when they couldn't have known? (Note this is someone who has been involved with Wikia wikis since at least 2010.)
- Why did they make one unremarkable article edit, then make nothing but discussion posts about the fate of the wiki (except for the two user page edits)?
- Why were their discussion posts all in response to Alden/Miley or in support of their views? (Don't tell me it's just "common sense".)
- Why were they so quick to dismiss my disagreement and attack me?
- Why do they think their opinion on a subject like this, far more internal and specialized than article content, should be counted as a reader?
- Why was Miley so intent on defending this particular vote?
- If they value the site's content and want it preserved, why do they want the site shut down?
Whatever the case, we can be sure of this much: though they claim to value Uncyclopedia's content, DK has no respect whatsoever for the people who produced it and does not care about what they want or what would benefit them.
What really happened here?
I can never know for sure, of course, but this is what I think.
Alden Loveshade decided he was going to stuff the ballot. He had plenty of socks, and he meant to make full use of them. First he voted with his "Alden Loveshade" account. Even though in that period there were several people casting votes within minutes of each other, he waited a while before logging in as Miley, probably thinking it would be more realistic.
Before he did so, DK came in and cast a vote. DK had been hanging around the fork's Discord server (or the wiki) and knew there was a "reunification plan" even before the closure announcement. They made a token edit to the England article in early February to make themselves seem more established, then focused on internal discussions. They had preconceived notions about Wikia Uncyclopedia and its editors, possibly specifically me, either absorbed from others or carried over from a different established identity.
Then Alden logged in as Miley. Before voting, he mangled the voting section so that my objections to DK's vote, Spike's vote and mine were no longer in it, giving the excuse that he was "moving discussion to discussion". The idea was to deter the challenge to a point for his side and sweep away votes for other outcomes. He then moved Spike's vote back, possibly thinking his action wouldn't be accepted otherwise or trying to make it look more innocent (see, I just screwed up a little, that's all). In any case, the more he messed with the section, the harder it would be for other people -- real people -- to vote.
He decided to have Miley criticize me to strengthen the effect. He condescendingly quoted one of the rules to me and echoed DK's argument, not necessarily believing it himself but using it to support an outcome he wanted. Then he made the vote (his second).
Seeing that I wasn't giving up on the DK issue, he really went on the attack. Even if he didn't succeed, he knew, he could sure make a mess. Usually he had her play the "nice airhead" role, but for this purpose he made her the "catty bitch". When I said I was done, he removed that comment so my attempt at deflection and closing the issue would fail, I would look worse, and he could continue raking me over the coals. He knew of my history with losing adminship and my feelings about it, so he threatened me in vague terms knowing he couldn't follow through but I would infer this consequence and be intimidated into backing down. It was a button he could push. And he did. It worked. He then had Miley back off and resume her usual sweet smily behavior, saying "I am not your enemy". This would confuse me and make me more likely to comply. It would also make both me and others more likely to see the original threats as just reasonable advice.
Then he logged in as Devil Details. First he cast a vote signed as Cainad, voting for something he didn't want to confuse the issue. Four minutes later he cast a vote signed with the account's real signature but with a fake timestamp so the timing didn't look suspiciously close. An hour and two minutes later, he changed the Devil Details vote to the outcome he actually wanted. He didn't change the Cainad vote because it was supposed to throw dust in the air and he couldn't edit it further with a different account without looking even more suspicious.
He switched back to Miley and used Sannse's words about active editors (her misreading of the rule) as an excuse to strike the Cainad vote, thus going to the opposite extreme from his previous position that voting should be for all "users". The Cainad and Devil Details votes were made after Sannse's comments, so he was counting on being able to toss out Cainad. He was not counting on me coming back and getting in his way; he thought he'd permanently intimidated me off the forum. He redid the strike as well as striking/removing votes for Lyrithya to make it look more "objective". He went back on the attack, including the accusation that I struck and unstruck votes because of what the votes were for, which applied to him more than me because he defended the first vote with bogus arguments and made the second one himself just to throw it out afterward.
I did not give up. He adjusted his claims, removing the one about me striking/unstriking votes in accordance with my preferred outcome because it no longer applied. Seeing that I'd removed comments from him, possibly knowing full well I'd put them back, he used this as an excuse to threaten me further. Then he changed the rule he didn't like so it (sort of) said what he had claimed it did, counting on nobody noticing it. When I called him out on the threats and accusations instead of just folding over again, he realized that tactic wasn't working and backed off.
He switched to Binky The WonderSkull and posed as an innocent bystander reflecting on the "sad" "infighting", referring to his own argument with me, while also using this account to vote "1/2" for Lyrithya. The conclusion that "it would be best if we go with an Uncyclopedian off site like Carlb or Lyrithya" does not follow from the premise. What does the choice of host have to do with the "infighting" on this wiki? What is "an Uncyclopedian off site"? What he means is not me. The intended conclusion is that I caused the problem and should not host the site.
He switched back to Alden and put on his "reasonable" role that he uses with this account. He went on about how confusing the rules were and how he didn't know what the "fork" was, which was untrue and meant to throw more dust in the air. Then he switched to Miley and resumed the "nice airhead" role. This, combined with her saying she was taking a break, further reinforced the notion that I was the big meanie. I made sweet little Miley get upset and run off, see.
He was not counting on Supergeeky1 pointing out the double Devil Details vote, either. When this happened, he cooked up the excuse that he "got confused with [his] old and new accounts, didn't know which sig to use", and he said he changed his mind "because of all the infighting here". These are both implausible.
- Devil Details registered in mid-2018, never previously claimed to be Cainad, and would have had to either type the Cainad signature manually or have set it in his preferences -- and in the latter case, he would have had to either manually type the Devil Details signature exactly like the default, including mimicking the "#top" anchor used on one's own talk page (assuming he didn't reset his signature after both votes were made), or set his signature back to the default in the four minutes between the "Cainad" and "Devil Details" votes.
- "all the infighting" probably once again refers to the first argument between Miley and me, which was already over before Devil Details cast the original two votes (over thirteen hours before, in fact). We are supposed to believe that he voted for me after this happened, then changed his mind in just over an hour (during which no additional arguing took place) and decided Lyrithya was better, even though the argument was over and had ended in a civil fashion.
- The vote signed as Devil Details originally had a timestamp that did not match the edit (specifically, it gives a time that is 32 minutes later). This would not happen if the signature had been created in the normal way; it must have been typed in or copied from somewhere. There is no good, honest reason to do this for someone who obviously already knows how to sign posts. It is most likely that the timestamp was deliberately faked. This is not the action of someone who just "got confused".
This comment serves two purposes: to excuse the double vote, and to further paint me as the cause of the fight Alden started. He then had Devil Details get a bit more personal and direct with the "new jerks"/"panties in a bunch" comment. Naturally, since the vote was for something he never wanted in the first place, he wanted it struck and was unhappy about having it unstruck.
Notice in the comments by Binky and Details, Binky calls the Wikia site "the fork" and Details calls the .co site "the spoon". Alden had previously said that he didn't know what the "fork" and "spoon" were. Before that, Miley used "fork" to refer to .co, indicating that Alden knows perfectly well what it means. The swapped terms and professed lack of knowledge were meant to sow confusion and add to the impression of Alden, Binky and Details being ignorant "innocent bystanders".
After Sannse returned to say she'd misread the rules and she thought letting inactive editors vote was a mistake, Alden agreed with her as himself, adding support to the view previously only expressed by Miley. When Romartus ignored this in the course of restarting the vote, he had Miley complain that this was bad because "other admins" -- meaning him -- were being ignored.
This didn't get him anywhere, and he mostly left off at this point. He alphabetized the voting sections, which was an excuse to move Miraheze to last place and make it less likely to be selected by voters. He defended The Pioneer's vote to appear reasonable; he never wanted Miraheze to win, and he had no stake in that particular vote. A few days later he signed up for Miraheze to invent reasons why it was a bad choice, and he posted these to strengthen the case against it. Then he left the forum. He knew he'd won.
I believe he went after me the way he did not because of me specifically but because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It could have been anyone else. I fear for those who cross him.
So who pushed the vote to Lyrithya? Not "the forkers", but two people: one with a good grasp of "always attack, never defend", and another with an army of sockpuppets. They are not "the community" of either site. They never were.