SPECIFICO

Specific discussion about Wikimedia editors and editing of Wikimedia project pages.
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The Devil's Advocate
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SPECIFICO

Post by The Devil's Advocate » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:27 am

This editor has a very long history of agenda-pushing for left-wing viewpoints and has developed quite a few backers. Most recent incident worth mentioning is this report where one of his backers, MelanieN, is trying to get the conservative editor TheTimesAreAChanging sanctioned for "harassment" over at AN. What is curious is that every last one of these acts of "uncivil harassment" are allegations about agenda-pushing. Not only that, but checking the diffs shows these critiques are backed with diffs, which is generally permitted under the civility policy. However, Melanie has neatly excised the parts where TTAAC has provided diffs to back up his assertions about SPECIFICO's behavior.

Drmies was quick to show up and endorse an interaction ban with a block for any further remarks and Dennis Brown endorses that proposal as well. Fortunately, GoldenRing did call out the not-so-subtle editing out of TTAAC's diffs showing misconduct. Melanie's response was to insist this was about brevity, yet checking the comments shows his diffs could have been included without adding more than or two lines to the quotes. Other misrepresentations include her replacing a comma after the line "false, unsupported assertions have been repeatedly debunked on this talk page" with a period, when the actual sentence continued to cite examples and that would only have added an extra six words. Seems plainly clear Melanie was attempting to misrepresent TTAAC in order to get him muzzled.

Not hard to see why as TTAAC lays out the evidence for SPECIFICO's agenda-driven editing rather comprehensively in those comments. One example is a dispute over a Weekly Standard article being used to state Trump's Executive Order on rescinding two regulations for every single new regulation has had an impact in stopping the growth of federal regulations. SPECIFICO had claimed, "But all the sources, yours, mine, and every other source in the universe of sources, states that there has been no effect to date and that it remains to be seen whether this order has a significant impact in reducing regulation," yet the very source under discussion did say just that.

All the comments from TTAAC contain damning criticism of SPECIFICO's agenda-driven editing and dishonest misrepresentations of sources in furtherance of that agenda. One of the past incidents mentioned in his comments is a case where SPECIFICO tried to argue a misleading summary of sources that would imply Russia only denied Putin being directly involved in leaking hacked material from the DNC rather than flatly denying all involvement by the Russian government as one source clearly supported. He also includes a past incident where SPECIFICO kept trying to make it seem as if the CIA never said there were WMDs in Iraq, when the truth is the Bush Administration exaggerated intelligence to make it seem worse, as the CIA did believe Saddam had retained large stockpiles and had active weapons programs. Looking at it, in some cases the sources didn't even address the veracity of Trump's claim, making it a BLP violation.

We'll have to wait and see if GoldenRing's call-out and Lambden's subsequent detailing of SPECIFICO's own behavior will prevent action. It includes this rather galling statement for someone who has been blocked numerous times and banned from at least one topic area by ArbCom, later expanded, for agenda-pushing edits on political articles.

sashi
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Re: SPECIFICO

Post by sashi » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:54 am

I remember TT speaking postively about MelanieN when we discussed the en.wp AP swamp once upon a time. I'm guessing his opinion will have evolved. I had hoped he was right. As for Ice of Pïks, it's amazing what that account gets away with. I'm glad Lambden gave a taste of their baiting.

Proabivouac
Posts: 147
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Re: SPECIFICO

Post by Proabivouac » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:12 pm

Who is "SPECIFICO"? He claims to hold a doctorate in philosophy and publish in scholarly journals:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =798098516

Yet here claimed to be an American economist and businessman:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =510351925

His very first edit under this username in 2012 was to argue with TheTimesAreAChanging:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =510275336

All the edits from his then-IP are about Peter Schiff:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... .151.19.17
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Schiff

Here he states that he is an Austrian with an academic background:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =507748595

sashi
Posts: 40
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Re: SPECIFICO

Post by sashi » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:45 pm

wow. a Connecticut banker in Puerto Rico's San Juan. I didn't know about that Peter Schiff guy. I hope his company is making it through the power outage okay.

Specifico doesn't want to be tied down to a gender or homeland apparently. (Technically the userbox on their "fake news" userpage doesn't actually say they studied "phylo dough", it just claims a PhD, I think). Opinion: There's too many economists in the media.

These are some very interesting discoveries Proabivouac. :)

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The Devil's Advocate
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Re: SPECIFICO

Post by The Devil's Advocate » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:39 am

Proabivouac wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:12 pm
Here he states that he is an Austrian with an academic background:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =507748595
For clarity's sake, when he calls himself an "Austrian" he is referring to a school of economics as opposed to his nationality. His other claims aren't inconsistent as one can have a doctorate in economics and such interest would make sense for someone who gets involved in the business world. I admit, I didn't pick up on this interesting tidbit. The IP resolves to a part of Connecticut a little more than half an hour from where Peter Schiff has a house. Given SPECIFICO's dedicated hostility towards Austrian economists, or specifically those he considered to have given the philosophy a bad name, I wonder if his grudge against Schiff was a personal one that fed into an overall grudge against other Austrian economists.

Proabivouac
Posts: 147
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Re: SPECIFICO

Post by Proabivouac » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:11 pm

The Devil's Advocate wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:39 am
For clarity's sake, when he calls himself an "Austrian" he is referring to a school of economics as opposed to his nationality. His other claims aren't inconsistent as one can have a doctorate in economics and such interest would make sense for someone who gets involved in the business world.
His current userpage states that he holds a doctorate in philosophy.

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The Devil's Advocate
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Re: SPECIFICO

Post by The Devil's Advocate » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:38 pm

Proabivouac wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:11 pm
His current userpage states that he holds a doctorate in philosophy.
That's also known as a Ph.D.

Proabivouac
Posts: 147
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Re: SPECIFICO

Post by Proabivouac » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:29 am

The Devil's Advocate wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:38 pm
Proabivouac wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:11 pm
His current userpage states that he holds a doctorate in philosophy.
That's also known as a Ph.D.
Oh gosh, really? You learn something new every day!
The Devil's Advocate wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:39 am
His other claims aren't inconsistent as one can have a doctorate in economics and such interest would make sense for someone who gets involved in the business world.
Is he an economist and businessman or an academic philosopher? His current userpage lists only one crendential in economics and business: "This user is a member of WikiProject Economics." Here he offers an explanation:
SPECIFICO wrote: Formerly on the faculty at an East Coast university, I changed paths and became a businessman.
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =514433707

But going into business doesn't make one an economist. Maybe he used to be Essjay? This was erased a few edits later:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =518774813

In July 2013, he blanked his claim to be an American economist:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... =563373050

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The Devil's Advocate
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Re: SPECIFICO

Post by The Devil's Advocate » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:28 am

The Essjay thing is a bit of a leap. He probably removed it because it was somewhat revealing personal information.

Proabivouac
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:01 pm

Re: SPECIFICO

Post by Proabivouac » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:22 pm

The Devil's Advocate wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:28 am
The Essjay thing is a bit of a leap. He probably removed it because it was somewhat revealing personal information.
Why not, he joined Wikipedia with false claims in order to boost his standing in a particular argument, then realized later that this might be a problem going forward? Alternately, as you suggest, he thought he'd given too much away so replaced it with a fake background in which he's an academic philosopher? Or there's nothing amiss in the telling of a complicated story. It is theoretically possible to be simultaneusly an academic philosopher, a businessman, an economist and a Wikipedian, just not very likely.

What we are really looking to answer here is, who is "SPECIFICO", specifically? As with Essjay, without that, there's no way to evaluate it.

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