Sunday, January 13, 2008

Man-Boy Love Advocate Accused of Using Wikipedia to Troll for Interested Parties

by Gilbert Wesley Purdy.

In September of 2006, David.Monniaux, "a [system operator] on the English-speaking Wikipedia and a member of the board of Wikim├ędia France," deleted the English Wikipedia user page of User:Rookiee (a.k.a. Rookie Revolyob) and blocked it from further changes. Monniaux's reasons were amplified in a page now archived under the header User:Hermitan. The user/editor had used his page to advocate for man-boy love. That page now reads as follows:

User:Rookiee's page listed a cause ("boyloving") that he advocated; his signature contained a mirror image of "boylover". If I understand correctly, he was not advocating breaking laws, but changing them so that certain acts become legal; but regardless, this was still advocacy.

Rookiee was one of a group of Wikipedia users who openly identified themselves as "pedophiles". As many as a dozen such self-identified pedophiles have been active editors on the site for considerable lengths of time. Some remain so.

Note: The User:Hermitan entry quoted above no longer exists at Wikipedia. Nor does its archival version exist.

Rookiee's first edit would seem to have occurred on October 21st, 2005:

01:51, 21 October 2005 (hist) (diff) Talk:Child sex offender Note: the Wikipedia page "Talk:Child sex offender" has been replaced by "Talk:Child sexual abuse". The archive page for "Talk:Child sex offender" no longer exists.

It is an innocuous edit to a page which would be consistent with Rookiee's interest areas. The following are a representative sample of Rookiee's edit subjects:

16:43, 21 October 2005 (hist) (diff) Talk:Pedophilia ("Cultural Norms")

18:40, 21 October 2005 (hist) (diff) Talk:Sex offender

20:56, 21 October 2005 (hist) (diff) m Sexual abuse (Sexual Abuse, Minors, Consent, and Culture)

19:58, 25 October 2005 (hist) (diff) User talk:ThePedanticPrick

19:39, 1 November 2005 (hist) (diff) m Child grooming ("Online sexual grooming")

01:31, 8 September 2006 (hist) (diff) Talk:Child sexuality (Sex vs. Sex Play)

A complete (one assumes) listing of User:Rookiee's edits (to other than his deleted User and Talk Pages) can be found on his Wikipedia User Contribution page.

Note: a number of Wikipedia archive pages relating to pedophilia have been cut-off to provide no more than the most recent 100 - 200 entries. The remainders of the archive have been removed.

While it is clear from the topics listed that Rookiee was interested in "dispelling cultural biases," and otherwise "misapprehensions," from the Wikipedia pages that hosted references, direct or indirect, to "boyloving," numerous references to his now deleted User pages make clear that Rookiee was accused of linking from his Wikipedia page to boylove advocacy pages. The following is quoted from the comments of another User who otherwise defended Rookiee's right to use his personal pages as he saw fit:

...I would strongly suggest he removes the links to the various pedophile blogs and websites.... — Matt Crypto 14:04, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

His User Talk pages, of course, also now deleted, provided a means for interested parties to make first contact with him. All of this was available to the many millions of minors who explore the pages of Wikipedia.

There remains some record of how Rookiee's various actions were perceived. During an intense online discussion, on a pedophilia-related topic, he was temporarily "blocked" (prevented from editing). In a Wikipedia discussion page preserved by the site Wikitruth, it is clear that at least one user understood that Rookiee had been blocked for "pedophile trolling":

Rookiee wanted to reply to you, but found himself blocked again, indefinitely this time, by Neutrality for "pedophile trolling". Clayboy 10:44, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
The accusation is referred to as a matter of established fact in a September 2006 Wikipedia discussion in which User:Hermitian objected at length to Rookiee's being banned from Wikipedia:

When Rookiee was banned by an admin with the excuse of "pedophile trolling" during the controversy over the Justin Berry article, there was extensive discussion at that time, and consensus was reached that banning people from editing Wikipedia because of their sexuality was inappropriate, and his ban was revoked. Rookiee's user page wasn't even an issue during that discussion, and I don't recall anyone having problems with it.
Unwilling to be perceived as intolerant of others' "sexual preferences", the block had been lifted. Reinstated, Rookiee was informed that he had been blocked by Jimmy Wales (lifetime CEO of Wikimedia), only until he and his edits could be "sorted out":

You were blocked because jimbo decided to block you while he sorted out the complaint made about the article. It's only a short block, I realise you feel hard done by but Jimbo has to look at the whole picture.

Rookiee's boyloving propensities, it was decided, fell under the category of "sexual preference" and users were not to be discriminated against due to sexual preference. A thorough search through the pages of Wikipedia indicates that this remains the online encyclopedia's only stated policy specifically regarding pedophile trolling and advocacy.

At least one user attempted to rein-back on the final decision:

In short we dont want self identified paedophilles editing articles about people who claim to have been molested and abused as children. We will write the article ourselves thank you. Personally i don't object to paedophilles editing pages about peadophillia but writing articles about abuse victims is simply not on.Theresa Knott Taste the Korn 16:52, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
While all of this went on, Rookiee's User and Talk pages continued to be available in Wikipedia for nearly a year, and, in the words of User:Hermitian, it "wasn't even an issue".

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