User:Jonas Rand/Sam Blacketer Timeline

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  • 27 March 2004: David Boothroyd begins editing, as "Dbiv", making his first edit to a Wikipedia talk page for the article on a British general election.
  • 20 January 2005: After making over 2000 edits, User:Dbiv successfully becomes an administrator as a result of a self-nomination.
  • 15 February 2006: Dbiv is blocked for a purported violation of the Three Revert Rule, whereupon he unblocks himself using administrative tools, giving the reason "Yes, I know I am not supposed to do this. Justification 1: Block was wrongly applied. Justification 2: I have a major edit which I am not going to lose come what may. WP:IAR applies."
  • 9 June 2006: Dbiv enters himself into the arbitration case regarding Irishpunktom. Prior to that, he commenced working on a "Draft RFC [request for comment]" on Irishpunktom, who he had edit-warred with in the past. The focus of the arbitration is an editing dispute that Dbiv and Irishpunktom have regarding the article Peter Tatchell. The arbitration results in the removal of Dbiv's administrative tools; additionally, among the Arbitration Committee's findings is that Dbiv's unblocking of himself was an abuse of administrative tools.
  • 21 August 2006: Dbiv creates the User:DavidBoothroyd account, stating that it is to be used solely for editing his biography (at the time, he was the subject of a biographical article).
  • 27 August 2006: Tony Sidaway blocks Dbiv for a week, for knowingly violating the ArbCom restriction by editing the Peter Tatchell article.
  • 31 August 2006: Boothroyd logs in to the DavidBoothroyd account, using it as a sock puppet account to evade the one-week block and report User:Calton to the "Personal attacks noticeboard". His usage of the account contradicts the statements that he made about the purpose of the account. Boothroyd says about the usage of the account for purposes not previously outlined:

"I registered this account solely so I would be able to correct material inaccuracies in my own biography. However, I now find myself forced to resort to it to action this change, which I am explicitly allowed to do: I want all talk to go to User talk:Dbiv. If you need to leave messages about User: do so at the user page, not the talk page. This seems perfectly fair to m e. Meanwhile Calton is being disruptive. He is not an admin and has no role in any of this."

  • 7 October 2006: User:Dbiv is renamed to "Fys" upon his request, citing concerns about the connection to his real-life identity.
  • 4 December 2006: After Fys re-creates the User:Dbiv account to avoid impersonation, he uses it to create a userpage for User:Dbiv, with the cryptic text "I have laid down this title and do go by another." This gives the appearance of a user who had "retired", and decided to come back under a different account (rather than just being renamed). When an unrelated user later asks him what it was, he reverts the edit with the summary "none of your business".
  • 12 December 2006: User:Sam_Blacketer is registered. Keeps a very low profile, shows intricate knowledge of MediaWiki, displays experience with Wikipedia. Begins with work on London boroughs; in one day uploads a photo of his cat, creating a userpage displaying the photo. This is an undeclared sockpuppet of Fys, which was created and used actively in conjunction with the Fys account.
  • Meanwhile, as "Fys", his Wikipedia activity is characterized by a sizable period of personal attacks, rudeness, and other less-than-friendly behavior. [1] [2] [3] [4]
  • 3 February 2007: As activity by the Fys account declines and the Sam_Blacketer account accumulates edits, a user asks what Dbiv's new username is after viewing the User:Dbiv page. Although it was quite obvious that Dbiv was Fys, which is what was initially meant by "I have laid down this title and do go by another", no link was made to the Sam_Blacketer account. Within seconds, Fys (as Dbiv) reverts the user with "none of your business". On that day, Fys makes 4 edits and Sam_Blacketer makes two.
  • 28 April 2007: Boothroyd again successfully passes a request for adminship after a self-nomination, this time as Sam_Blacketer. The self-nomination RFA passes 57-5-3, support-oppose-neutral. At this time, the only personal information revealed about this user is that he is from the United Kingdom.
  • 10 November 2007: Editing by the Fys account ceases as all focus is placed on the Sam_Blacketer personality.
  • 24 November 2007: Boothroyd hurls aspersions at Gregory Kohs, the founder of MyWikiBiz. On a mailing list maintained by the Wikimedia Foundation, Boothroyd sneered, "I hope Greg Kohs is sick as a parrot." When reprimanded for this being a gratuitous comment, Boothroyd only upped the ante from behind his protective cloak of fake identity, saying that both MyWikiBiz's business transactions and content were "not ethical".
  • 17 December 2007: Sam_Blacketer is elected as a member of the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee, being the only arbitrator that has not provided identification to the Wikimedia Foundation (Cary Bass). This is only a year after the Sam_Blacketer account was created.
  • 11 November 2008:, "Blacketer" is still the only arbitrator that has not provided identification to the Wikimedia Foundation. Additionally, he is the only arbitrator who does not possess the Check User or oversight capabilities, leading to suspicion. He is completely anonymous, and we know only that he lives in London. Wikipedia Review poster "tarantino" notices these oddities, and starts a thread about Sam_Blacketer highlighting them.[5]
  • 13 April 2009: Jonas Rand (banned Wikipedia user Ionas68224) sends an e-mail to sam.blacketer AT, out of curiosity, asking Boothroyd if he had any previous accounts. In the e-mail, Rand also asked Boothroyd why he was so experienced with Wikipedia when he joined, and why he became an arbitrator a year after he joined, additionally raising the question of his e-mail address (which has no trace anywhere on the Web except Wikipedia-affiliated projects).
  • 18 April 2009: After five days without receiving a response, Rand asks Boothroyd on User_talk:Sam_Blacketer to respond to his last e-mail, telling him "It's time not to be evasive anymore, Sam". Boothroyd responds by e-mail, asking if Jonas Rand promises to keep the answer confidential. When Rand replies, agreeing to do so, Boothroyd lies by saying that he had no previous accounts, concocting an elaborate falsehood of a story about how he came to Wikipedia, not explaining the choice of a Wikipedia-only Gmail address.
  • 21 May 2009: Wikipedia Review poster "tarantino" announces that he determined the real identity and former usernames of "Sam_Blacketer" after reviewing the case "a few days ago". Though he doesn't immediately reveal that it is Boothroyd behind the account, "tarantino" posts this statement:

I revisited this a few days ago, and I've figured out who Sam is. If Jimmy and the voters had known what his older account was, he probably wouldn't be an arb today. You played a great round of Wikipedia this time, Sam.

  • 22 May 2009: "Sam_Blacketer" provides identification to the Wikimedia Foundation and is placed on the Identification noticeboard, a list of people who are identified to the Foundation (Cary Bass).
  • 23 May 2009: "Sam Blacketer" resigns from the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee, revealing himself to have formerly edited under the alias Fys. It did not take long for posters on the Wikipedia Review to determine his name, David Boothroyd. Wikipedia Review members also mention the fact that he actually writes biographies of British politicians for pay, and serves on the Westminster City Council. The hypocrisy in this and the comments that Boothroyd made to the effect that MyWikiBiz was an unethical business was noted on WR.
  • 25 May 2009: On the Wikipedia Review thread where Sam Blacketer was recently exposed as David Boothroyd, tarantino is asked how he found the connection between Boothroyd and Sam Blacketer. He responds by keeping the link confidential, but provides this graph, which compares the editing times of User:Fys with that of User:Sam_Blacketer. In the graph, considerable similarities between the time slots of editing can be noticed.
  • 26 May 2009: An article that Cade Metz wrote about the scandal, entitled "Sockpuppeting British politico resigns from Wikisupremecourt", is published in The Register, outlining his resignation from the Arbitration Committee and the story behind the account.

See also