Go looking for the reasons why users of an IP range can be banned from editing their own user pages on Wikipedia, and the waters become deep and murky really fast. In the end you have to conclude that it’s an American mind-set now so deeply ingrained in many of its citizens that the astonishing crypto-fascism of it is no longer apparent to its propagators.
The journey quickly changes from being a search for coherent explanations of Wikipedia policy to being a an exploration of a mass psychosis in Amerikaner society.
Like the balefully authoritarian Patriot Act, Wikipedia ‘policy’ on banning IP blocks is basically an open invitation for anyone with the power to do so to exercise blanket censorship. No reason needs to be given beyond ‘suspecting’ malfeasance.
Like standard American police practice, Wikipedia editors can be banned the same way black people can be lynched in broad daylight by law enforcement gunfire: for any reason at all. For no reason at all. Because the anonymous admin thug felt in fear of ‘its’ life.
Like Nazi practices, a user not guilty of any crime can nevertheless be forced to wear a yellow star on his clothing by a forced association with an unproven and unreasoned assertion about some malfeasance linked to an IP address, address block, web hosting company, or any other damn reason one of the Wikistapo bureaucrats can dream up. Let’s keep in mind here that Hannah Arendt eloquently unmasked Nazi monsters as banal bureaucrats, the latter being terminology Wikipedia itself uses to describe its administrators.
Underlying the Wikistapo chain of logic is also an alarming technophobia I never noticed before. Wikipedia dweebs were at least technologically savvy a few years ago. But apparently today basic internet architecture stumps them.
IP range blocks ignore the reality of the depleted stock of IPv4 addresses, and what that means about ISP use of their blocks. Such usage includes applying the same public IP address for several customers at once (while internally distinguishing between them on the basis of matching user router/modem MAC addresses).
So you can get ‘shot’ by Wikistapo goons for a crime committed by someone who ‘looked’ like you (blacks or Jews all look alike, right?).
Since when can ISPs be distinguished from web hosting services providers, and from where the hell else is an ordinary internet user going to get an IP address?
Moreover, from the time America invented the idea that corporations and governments should be able to persecute people online as part of a nominally ‘free’ democratic process, VPNs have become pretty common. But not in the minds of the Wikistapo. If its boffins cannot determine who owns/controls/uses an IP address, they just ban the whole range? Yellow star again. Or is this more like a Trump wall to keep ‘undesirables’ out?
It gets better: if your Wikipedia user identity is clean, but an IP address you are using is not, your identity is tarnished by that association: you are a negro/Jew by association, to be dealt with accordingly. Is that the Mississippi doctrine resurrected as homage to some Wikiklan? ‘If you support ‘em nigrah’s we’ll lynch ya like ‘em nigrahs.’ Or is it a just case of channeling mass murder the way we read about shootings in the USA almost every day?
While all this is going on, the Wikistapo thugs themselves continue to use mostly juvenile gamer pseudonyms to preserve their anonymity. But looking for IP anonymity is not allowed! How is that not cartel regulation of anonymity methods, with the Wikistapo faction acting in a directly commercial and prejudicial fashion against VPN providers, customers, and the entire business model?
In fact, am I wrong to suspect thuggish abuse of power, and the whole thing can be explained by hidden commercial motivations? You know what, I don’t really give a shit. Except to point it out as yet another example of an entire society that seems to have developed a split personality, with half its people acting like monstrous barbarity were entirely normal and conscionable.
In 2012 I stopped regularly contributing to Wikipedia for other reasons, but reasons even then directly related to the astonishing ignorance and swaggering arrogance of the Wikistapo types, who were enforcing the presentation of propaganda as fact because they could interpret their ‘rules’ to back such subversions of rationality.
I dropped in occasionally to check out disputes I was invited to mediate as an independent outsider, but mostly I stayed out of the shit-fights between people using juvenile pseudonyms to propose even more juvenile arguments to justify the presentation of utter nonsense as facts worthy of an encyclopaedia.
I always thought that any concerns about Wikitrolling could have been cured a long time ago if there had been an earnest attempt to create identities for contributors that were less removed from responsibility for words and actions.
But that’s not the Amerikaner way. Lynch mobs like to be anonymous (with bed-sheet hoods), and they definitely don’t want to be accountable for their actions or words.
Today I noticed I couldn’t use an anonymous IP to see the talk page of an article apparently misrepresenting Australian Aboriginal history. After logging in with my account details, I realised that I couldn’t even edit my user page – a page with no possible impact on the Wikipedia project itself.
The idiot responsible for this ban goes by the name of SQL, and seems to have been an administrator for all of five minutes. But ‘it’ has the power to impose bans on whole IP ranges. And to attribute guilt by association. And to threaten me with removing my remaining avenues for communicating on Wikipedia. Because I called ‘it’ out as the Wikistapo thug it is.
Before today I have not used my Wikipedia account with the apparently offending IP address. In fact I rarely used my account at all for a couple of years, and when I did, my IP address was unlikely to have been the same twice in succession. This is how it goes for most people renting online access. It’s hardly new-fangled technology. But the Wikistapo seems to be unfamiliar with the concept.
Such are the people entrusted with the curation of ‘knowledge’. It’s like putting book-burning vandals in charge of libraries. Which is pretty close, now, to the way half of America thinks, if their preferred presidential candidate is a barometer of such things.
I’m done asking how this could happen. I’m just pretty sure the world needs to be less restrained in telling the relevant Amerikaners that this is not OK. Not tolerated by sane people. That people who act like Gestapo thugs need to be called out for it.
And that Wikipedia is now as compromised as Fox News by the behaviour and effect of its Wikistapo goons.