Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Minions

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This is an offensive user subpage written to target Mike Church, a mostly extinct Wikipedia editor.

Some of these "sock puppet" claims may be true, but a number of proven false ones are included on the page. Some of these users don't even exist; for example, User:521 has zero contributions. Most of these alleged sock puppets use distinctly different writing styles from Mr. Church's. A number of them seem to be anonymous accounts of Wikipedia users who wished to express opinions on controversial matters without it affecting the rest of their Wiki-lives. Others were new users who were turned away from Wikipedia from the ugly politics that emerged as soon as they commented on hot-button issues and were accused of being other users.

The page is inaccurate and defamatory, and is damaging to the working environment of Wikipedia. It ought to be deleted immediately. Maradox 17:10, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • Question: Have you contacted Isomorphic and asked if he or she will remove the page or why he or she believes it to still be necessary? I agree that people are very quick to label sock puppets and that the local politics can be off-putting, but I hope we can get an amicable solution before VfD. Geogre 17:16, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Comment: The fact that User:Maradox's second edit was to mark the page for deletion somehow makes me suspect an ulterior motive. Also I would like to note that 521 has in fact made edits, though to a deleted page. —No-One Jones 17:23, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete: Mike Church is easily one of WP's most controversial users. Most people who support him do so anonymously (like myself) because they don't want to see the disruptive wrath that was inflicted upon Mr. Church earlier this year. For example, a poster with six hundred edits, dating back to October, was once accused of being a "sock puppet" for Mike after writing a very cautiously pro-Ambition post. This kind of crap only adds to that environment. The sad fact of the matter is that no one would argue that Ambition was worth an article; Mike just made the mistake of writing the article himself. If he'd been older and wiser (he's what, 23?) he would have known that this would be bad form and lead to automatic rejection of his contributions. Neither Mike nor any of us can erase the blemish that mistake has given his Wiki-reputation, but we can erase the petty crap that comes out of these long-stale squabbles. Blue Dragon 19:50, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep; anyone poking around on user sub-pages should realize the limitations of private work product and of guesses about sockpuppetry, so accuracy is not required. But it provides valuable clues to anyone willing to use it with that understanding. --Jerzy(t) 04:21, 2004 Aug 8 (UTC)
  • Keep. Ambi 10:23, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep. No case to answer. Andrewa 12:10, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete. I'll also comment that User:Maradox is an unlikely candidate for Church-ness given that s/he quoted Ayn Rand on his/her user page. Also: Blue Dragon, Mr. Church is either 20 or 21, according to his user page. 259 17:38, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete. Mike doesn't seem to want to be on Wikipedia, Isomorphic and his herd don't want him here, and keeping this page is just going to provoke regular rashes of vandalism. It's not worth the time that will be wasted. Unattributable 17:58, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep. —No-One Jones 18:08, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete. Part of one of the more clever but most petty smear campaigns in Wikipedia's history, one that has turned away hundreds of users and is mentioned in several disparaging reviews of Wikipedia. Zzzzzz 18:40, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep: I hope the users in question can sort out their differences. I haven't seen convincing arguments that the user pages violate Wikipedia policy, and therefore they stay. I understand that they might be upsetting, but our user pages should be places for us to work through out Wikipedia-related thoughts, even if they're wrong. Geogre 19:41, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    • Comment: Well said. Two quibbles. One, I don't think it's really a case of working out differences as one side has absolutely no case to answer IMO. Two, I'm unconvinced that this is all a particular user. It may be, but a number of people find it amusing to disrupt our activities. There was a similar deletion debate about one of Tim Starling's user pages a little while ago. And I can understand why most (not all) sock puppets dislike being identified, how would you like to have the whole logical basis for your being removed? (;-> No change of vote. Andrewa 20:56, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    • Flip reply: Happened to me a long time ago. It just left me wondering why I was here, and then I discovered Wikipedia. :-) (Truthfully, I think the only possible response on these matters is to not engage the issues, but only to assess flatly on deletion criteria. Anything else means that VfD gets to be another forum for airing grievances, and we'll see more people settling scores here.) Geogre 04:10, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep: What Jerzy said.--Bishonen 20:13, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Jesus H. Christ. How many users have been registered solely for the purpose of voting to delete this article? Whoever keeps doing this (Mike Church?), please cut out this stupid sock puppet crap; it isn't working, and I'm sick of liars. Vote and argue under your own username. Keep. --Ardonik 20:48, Aug 8, 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete with haste; there shouldn't even be a debate. I'm sick of this fucking childish, inane bullshit. I made some mistakes early on (like, February) in the overzealous promotion of my game and my ideas and people never forgave me. Why? Because they're petty, egotistical, and inherently negative. I've accomplished things-- for one, invented a well-respected card game-- through my talent, toil, and yes, some luck. Isomorphic et al, rather than investing time into their own accomplishments (and I'm sure many of these people are quite talented, some probably smarter than I am) spent hours upon hours attacking me for their own childish amusement. Why? It's hard to accomplish stuff; much easier to sit back and shit-talk others' achievements. Since then, they've done everything they possibly can to annoy or insult me, taunting me to get me as riled up as they possibly could; it was a source of humor for them. This is not good for my health, to be regularly angry. I left WP in disgust last May hoping I could end it, but then people began using the remaining Ambition page (which I wanted deleted) to insult me, both in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. So, yes, I'll admit I did a little bit of "sock puppetry" on Ambition (card game); I wanted it either deleted or modified in ways that were not insulting to me. The page was deleted, as I wished. And yet, this insulting, highly inaccurate page against me persists, and I will have it and any like it gone at all costs. My desire is to erase every trace possible of my existence on Wikipedia, for good. I have spent enough time on Wikipedia to know its fatal flaw: The massive egos of a few overzealous contributors dominate, and ruin the experience for everyone. Knowing this, I want no part. Furthermore, the highly inaccurate and, in many cases, provably slanderous statements on here about me and my supposed "sock puppetry" ought to be removed, and will at any cost. This page and all other slanderous claims about me ought to be removed now, so I can peacefully leave WP as I wanted to a long fucking time ago. Mike Church 22:32, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Oh, and some reading for ya. It explains much more.User:Mike_Church/72804 Mike Church 22:38, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Sock puppet. 936 22:41, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Pot. Kettle. Black. —No-One Jones 23:10, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete No personal attacks. The Steve 17:37, Aug 9, 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete. There should be no debate. It should be a speedy deletion. It clearly violates # 4 on the list of what Wikipedia is not. Skyler 19:50, Aug 9, 2004 (UTC)
    • Comment: Try as I might I can't see how you can get even a debatable violation of what Wikipedia is not out of this. It's a user page, so it doesn't need to meet the article guidelines, just the general ones, and it does. Whether the page is a personal attack is an opinion I guess, it seems to me that it's accurate and commendably dispassionate. There's a bit of humour in the wording which is helpful IMO seen in the context of the whole messy story of Ambition (card game), Mike Church's now deleted article about the game he wrote and promotes rather aggressively at times. No change of vote. Andrewa 00:53, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
      • Reply: There are two parts of the "Wikipedia is not" article. The first is in general. The second applies to actual entries. Number 4 in the first part states, "Wikipedia is not a place to or means of calling people names or bashing people. It is a serious encyclopedia." I take that to mean any page under the domain of, whether it be a subject entry or personal one. Whether it is a biased personal attack or a factual statement, it is punitive. I support the policy. Skyler 02:33, Aug 10, 2004 (UTC)
        • Comment: I support the policy too. But I don't think this page exists to call Mike Church names or to bash him. I think it exists to help contain the damage caused by the unfortunate actions it documents, and is a very reasonable attempt at minimising the time wasted by everyone in the process. It's a shame such things are necessary, it's a thankless task as this debate has proved, and the page is not perfect but what is? No change of vote. Andrewa 13:04, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete. It's a vanity page. User:Isomorphic is an alternate screen name of Mr. Church, who created the page to glorify himself. Mr. Church created a lot of the users who have attacked him, to bring as much drama and press to his game as possible. I hung out with him a bit last winter and he had this all planned out, that he would create as much drama as possible, phase the page out in August or September, then people would wonder where it went. And he'd become famous, the story went. User:Isomorphic will fiercely deny being a sock puppet of him, as will others, such as Mr. No One Jones, but the fact is, they are. You have all been pwned. The troll you summoned 01:56, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep: Church is a serial liar and an admitted puppet master. Isomorphic's page is a public service, quite apart from being a user page. --Tagishsimon 01:58, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Sigh. Creating this page was, admitedly, not my brightest moment on Wikipedia. I let Mike's behavior get to me. However, his comments above (all of them, not just the ones he made with his own account) give a pretty clear picture of what got me to that point. I don't really care if the page is deleted eventually, since I can recognize Mike pretty easilly under any name he chooses. Still, I don't think I could take the irony of having it deleted at the request of one of Mike's sockpuppets. Isomorphic 02:02, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    • Comment: I love the page name, very apt. We don't need to be humourless in the user namespace, especially in these matters. Hang in there. Assuming there is no consensus to delete, I hope we can keep this discussion for a while too, it contains some interesting stuff. Andrewa 21:14, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete. The page has outlived its usefulness, and maybe -- just maybe -- if we clear away all references to Mike Church, he really will go away. It's worth a try. In any event, the page isn't useful anymore. Wile E. Heresiarch 02:30, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    • Rather hard to clear out all the references, since he put so much effort into spreading them. Besides, he already made an enormous deal of "leaving" once, and what did that turn out to mean? Only that we'd have to deal with sockpuppets instead of a fixed identity. Do you think it will be different this time? Isomorphic 02:41, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
      • Well, I guess you're right. I still don't think the page serves a purpose. Not that it matters a lot one way or the other. Wile E. Heresiarch 03:21, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
        • Comment: I think it matters. From time to time we suffer deliberate disruption by serial pests, for various reasons. It's important to have policies that allow us to deal with them efficiently. What Wikipedia is not and the deletion policy are two key policies. The only issue to be decided here is, under these does this user subpage qualify for deletion? The question is its existence, the details of its contents are another issue. IMO the subpage is a useful contribution to MWOT even if some of the contents are arguably a bit passionate, and even then I said arguably. My calling these people pests above is arguably a personal attack too. It's a fine, difficult and thankless line to walk between attack and dispassionate accuracy. Isomorphic has a history of patience, skill, hard work and a sense of humour in these matters (so no wonder some people don't like it), and has my support. No change of vote. Andrewa 20:58, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
          • Unfortunately, it seems to me that Isomorphic has taken a big step over the dispassionate line, as you call it. Even the title, used instead of something like User:Mike Church's suspected sockpuppets tells me that Isomorphic has something against this other user. Some of you may think it amusing, but to the ordinary contributor who knows neither user, such vitriolic humor only ends up making Isomorphic look worse than Mike Church. The Steve 08:18, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)
            • Comment: I agree there are some things in the page that in hindsight are unfortunate, and I think Isomorphic has agreed with this too. I disagree that they are major seen in the context, and as for any comparison between the behaviour of Isomorphic (or me for that matter, see below) and his attackers (Church and/or others), come off it. But in any case, is VfD the appropriate way of handling this? Of course not. The first thing to do about a user page is to contact the user. Andrewa 21:28, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete. Look at all the bullshit this page attracts, on both sides. Maybe if it's deleted, the conflict will stop as there will be nothing to fight over. After all, the Ambition (card game) article is gone and I don't think anyone wants it back. 38 14:05, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • 38 - Contributions!
    • Surprise surprise, 38 is on the list of sockpuppets. —No-One Jones 16:23, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    • Comment: My guess is that Mike Church wants the article back very much. But it's a guess. If you like to have a look at the evidence, it's all online. That's what he's trying to stop now. There are some inconsistencies in his behaviour, yes, read Pavlov for some clues here, although we only briefly mention the work in question. Food for thought? Andrewa 21:26, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Comment. (I already voted) Grow up, all of you. I know I'll get the label of "sock puppet" thrown at me; it's half-true. No, I'm not an M.C. sock puppet. I contributed under my real name until last spring, when an employer suggested I avoid such public exposure; this stuff gets copied a lot and is pretty prominent on the 'Net. I left Wikipedia, returned four months later with this name. According to Wikipedia:Sock puppet this is appropriate, and so I feel no need to answer for anything, and will not reveal my prior identity.
Anyway: I do know Mr. Church, it being a small world and all, and I followed his contributions quite a bit while he was a contributor. A few points I'll make:
  • Mr. Church is a talented, energetic young man who, like most ambitious young men, has a pressing need to prove himself, bordering on insecurity. He lives in constant fear that he won't accomplish or be well-known for anything, despite proven mathematical and literary prowess. His zealous and, at times, dishonest promotion of his game comes from this pressing, almost neurotic, fear of obscurity.
  • Before he stomped out in disgust, it's true that about 20% of his contributions dealt with his card game. Another 20% was silly college-kid stuff (List of severed penises and dog years, I believe, he admitted). The other 60 or so percent were legitimate, well-written contributions (indeed, one of the criteria for M.C. sock puppetry has been good writing, which is stupid because there are a lot of good writers here). I think he honestly wanted to contribute something positive to Wikipedia. All of you forget this while you insult him in his absence, but for a while, he was as much a part of this thing as many of you were, and did as much as you did to build it.
  • I think he did engage in some "sock puppetry" (the anon. vandalism is obvious) but not as much as you might accuse. At any rate, is this so unforgivable? In his mind, he's inerrantly right but outnumbered, and the only way to counter an incorrect (as he sees it) majority is to create an illusion of support. It's not a good way to solve a problem, but it's not like you can't understand where he's coming from, especially when his adversaries would rather outright insult him than reach consensus.
  • I don't think this issue is permanently resolved, but not because of Mr. Church. What happens when Ambition does become well-known? The game, now, is not much more notable than Magic circa October '93, but its reputation at Carleton and in the surrounding community is pristine; it will probably break within 5 years. What happens then? Will the unwitting contributor who writes an article on the subject be insulted and interrogated mercilessly?
  • Mike realized, three months before you did, that this is a conflict he could either lose or walk away from. The same goes for all of you. Is Isomorphic's page going to serve any other purpose than as an excuse for Mr. C, and other trolls knowing their crimes will get pinned on some other guy, to vandalize pages? You won't gain anything by pursuing this conflict further; everyone is best to walk away.
At any rate: I still propose the speedy deletion of this page and any others that exist solely to insult this user; it borders on bullying. Then, a nine-month moratorium on any mention of Ambition on Wikipedia, regardless of what its notoriety does-- even if it were published in the New York Times, the game is not that important that Wikipedia can't function without it. It's best for everyone.
That's longer than I ever want to write again about another user. 259 22:50, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
259 - Contributions!
Your point?
Read again: I'm not an M.C. sock puppet. I contributed under my real name until last spring, when an employer suggested I avoid such public exposure; this stuff gets copied a lot and is pretty prominent on the 'Net. I left Wikipedia, returned four months later with this name.
I already explained and cleared the fact that my contribution list is short; I used to contribute under another name, until last April when I started at a somewhat political job and was requested to terminate my Wikipedia activity, at least under my real name.
Now, please reiterate the point you were trying to make. 259 13:25, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Your contributions speak for themselves. That's the point. --Tagishsimon, anonymously.
They speak... what, exactly? I'm not sure how you can infer any patterns, as I've only been on this name for a couple weeks. 259 22:52, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Some people are good at inventing card games. Some people are good at spotting patterns. Live & let lie, I say. (Sorry, my v key isn't working :) --Tagishsimon