From time to time I check in on the bitter Manual of Style Wikipedia war that is being fought over the em-dash and other assorted bits of punctuation. The other day a new character, SlimVirgin appeared in the talk page, and I didn’t think that much about it until I went over to Cannonfire, who has just inexplicably announced he will stop blogging and erase his blog, and saw a mention of “Slim Virgin” there.
Something strange seems to have happened behind the scenes at Wikipedia: See the tale of “Slim Virgin” here. Turns out that Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales is an Ayn Randroid. Yet another libertarian! They’re freaking everywhere!
Joe Cannon’s link leads to a piece by Ludwig De Braeckeleer, who wonders if intelligence agents have infiltrated Wikipedia, and are planting disinformation. Slim Virgin is identified as a young graduate Pierre Salinger hired to help in the investigation of the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie and later locked out of her office. There is much buzz about SlimVirgin on Teh Intertubes, some of it from hate sites and deeply offensive, and some with a conspiracy edge to it, but here are a couple of the most informative. This thread at The Wikipedia Review says she also used the name “Sweet Blue Water”. The Wikipedia Review posts a list of known infomation about her, as does Wikipedia-Watch.org, their list is here. Yikes, the last link says
Over the past year, she edited nearly 35,000 articles (about 100 every day, without holidays and weekends). The same SlimVirgin also holds a record of continuous editorial work lasting 26 hours, with the longest break in editing not exceeding 40 minutes. These statistics from Wikipedia’s editing records suggests either a supernatural ability, or more likely that SlimVirgin is a convenient smoke screen for an entire team of specialists editing Wikipedia articles on behalf of intelligence services.
Cannon notes that Wikipedia will no longer link to him, although they have done so in the past. Some time ago, several writers left The Confluence over Riverdaughter’s decision to include his blog on the blogroll (she removed it, but they left anyhow. It’s back up now). I too find his Palestine/Israel positions biased and disturbing, but I think his voice provides a necessary free-speech balance to the equally disturbing extreme bloggers who post links to Israeli hate sites and videos. I hope his blogging break is voluntary, and I hope he leaves his blog up even if he doesn’t continue to add to it.