Wednesday, October 3, 2007


This title has always been one of my favorite WP user names. Maybe FatVirgin would be even better, but such self-deprecation might get too cloying if it showed up repeatedly on Wikipedia. SV (another cutesy acronym) has been one of the most active contributors and admins on the encyclopedia, with 4,572,398 edits and 8,945,661 admin actions. These are only slight exaggerations.

SV has also become the favorite target of the anti-Wikipedia websites that have proliferated as the encyclopedia has crawled up the Alexa rankings. She has shown a tendency to edit extremely controversial and heavily politicized articles, such as New antisemitism. Her legion of critics charge that she is trying to push her dreaded POV (another cutesy for "point of view") throughout Wikipedia, and that she's not above using her admin power and connections to other important people on Wikipedia to get her way.

Wikipedia Review, in particular, has become Internet Central for SV-hate, though other sites like Encyclopedia Dramatica and Anti-Social Media have gotten in their licks. WR has concocted an elaborate story on who SlimVirgin really is, involving the Lockerbie bombing, a Cambridge education, a name change, possible intelligence agency connections, and getting fired by Pierre Salinger. That last one would be a solid plus in my book, because Salinger was a paranoid idiot. Whether any of this long, strange trip is true is impossible to decide. There's little or no evidence for it beyond the speculations of SV's sworn enemies.

I've had few run-ins with SlimVirgin because we rarely edit the same articles. She did yank a link I had posted in the Criticism of Wikipedia article to a harmless thread on Wikipedia Review, citing the idiotic BADSITES policy. But I found another source, suitably impeccable, for the article.

The oddest twist is that SlimVirgin has been almost completely inactive on WP for the last month or so, making no edits to articles and only posting a few comments on Wikipedia policy pages. Her admirers and detractors both speculate that she's editing under another account, which may or may not be true, depending on whether you know or care. She's no bother to me. I'm not a friend or foe. But she does generate drama on the encyclopedia even when she may not be around much.

UPDATE: Even though SlimVirgin still isn't editing Wikipedia, at least under that account name, there's more hoohah about her. Seems that Slate published the allegation that she's an intelligence agent of some sort. Which has set off predictable huffing and puffing about BADSITES and whether Slate should be banned as a source on WP. I've had my say on this ruckus, so I'll pass on the latest round.

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