The idea is brilliant and I love the concept of safe keeping humanity's knowledge in a single database in which we all have grown to love. There's an article for everything. Those who say Wikipedia is inaccurate are truly ignorant as the administration is inhumanely strict and prevents any drop of tainted information from seeing the light of days.
Having said that, I'm giving Wikimedia specifically the Wikipedia encyclopedia a one star rating. The administration is a beast truly totalitarian and ruled by corrupt and power hungry administrators. I'm thankful they prevent vandals. I'm thankful they have the tools to correct information. But they've grown wicked, and if you go against their preferences in editing, they band together to prevent you from further contributing.
My experience with Wikipedia goes back to 2013. I've grown quite knowledgeable on the ins-and-outs of Wikipedia, the policies, and it's guidelines. But after a long battle, the administrators prevailed in getting me banned completely. It began with one preference driven editor, then he brought out another powerful admin, the two being a famous tag team and banning people, and the rest of the administrators followed. There's about 200 administrators and all of them seem to be chums. They do not freight about the immortality of their actions as they know they will face no consequences. They are at the top of the chain. Not even the folks of the Wikimedia Foundation the office workers and data maintenance have a say. I offered large sums of money to get my account back but to no avail.
I'll let out the elephant in the room: "Sergecross73" is a wicked one. It all began when I made a BLP error in my edits. He knows that the less people contributing to Wikipedia, the more room there is to make it his own. He banned me for three days without warning.
In that time I argued with him on my talk page, and since administrators have emotions too, he obviously became angry that I went against wishes. He doesn't want commoners disobeying him after all.
When I was finally unbanned, I went on my merry way before facing a weeklong ban without warning. Basically, Editor #1 reverted Editor #2's BLP related edit because it didn't contain a source. I reverted Editor #1's reversion because Editor #2 did in fact have a source in his added information. Sergecross73 didn't like this though... HIS preference was that Editor #2 needed to have exactly TWO citations, not just one. I didn't know Sergecross73 had a specific quantity in mind but nonetheless I was blocked. I apologized and tried persuading Serge into realizing it was a mistake and that I'd gladly comply with anyone's opposing views. I always have and I always would've. Talk pages exist for a reason. Serge doesn't think mistakes mean anything though. Even though I accidentally went against his ways, in a technical perspective, he says "He disobeys my preferences. No matter the circumstance. He's gone."
The last paragraph is what lead on to over a year of constant disputes. During my week long ban I threatened to make another account and continue editing, and here's why:
I love editing Wikipedia. The past few years have been amazing and I've had an intense care for the encyclopedia. I constantly strived to better myself and improve my edits. I fixed and revised typos, proof read, added sources, collaborated with other editors, actively used talk pages, heard all view points and rarely got into disputes. It's become a huge hobby of mine and throughout the last year Sergecross73 became Hellbent on completely separating me from something I was passionate about. I even told him how much I loved editing but he twistedly perceived my explanation as my "vanity project" as opposed to an explanation as to why I'd never do any Wikipedia harm.
And side note, I really never have done Wikipedia harm. At all. And if I have done it harm, than it was an error and I most likely would've complied with the opposing viewpoint.
Disagreeing with the ban Sergecross73 placed on me I began leaving bluff messages on my talk page: "Fine I'll just edit using another account."
I then (complete bluffs:) listed a fake To Do list. "On other account: 1. Correct typos on Squirrels 2. Add citation on Beyoncé 3. Delete false information added to Physics 4. Add leah oh in NBA" etc.
Despite having no proof of my fake activity, Sergecross73 indefinitely banned me and revoked my access to my talk page. That's it. Over 10,000 edits and three years down the drain.
Side note, Sergecross73 LOVED using past warnings against me. I was a good and honest user so I never erased things from my talk page. Sergecross73 saw the rookie mistakes I made during my first year, and some of the older warnings I received (which I in fact took to heart and used the criticism to better myself) and applied them to my most recent BLP related edit (an error) to finalize the ban.
Now it was finally time to make a new account. I know sock puppetry is the number one sin of Wikipedia but we all forget the reasons they're placed: to prevent vandals and people who disrupt Wikipedia; NOT to eliminate users administrators have personal grudges against. It's also a way of tracking IP activity and pinpointing all edits to one person which is fine by me, I'd love if all my edits were pinpointed to one account, but whose fault is it that this isn't the way things can be?
Using my first sock account, I built up quite a reputation. I got a few barn stars and had hundreds of edits MOSTLY just being typo fixes and citation related. Sergecross73 somehow found out my account had similar activity to my original and blocked the account, even though there wasn't any malice there.
The cycle continued over and over again. Many accounts down the drain. "Chrissymad" who isn't an administrator joined the bandwagon and treated it as a game, creating a "sock drawer" and using petty insults against me despite my gentle nature. Quite the trash talker. The only administrators more notorious than Sergecross73, "Ferret" joined around this time. I can see why Wikipedia user Ferret has such a simple name: all of the hate pages and complaints online about Sergecross73's tyranny will trace back to him, but Googling "ferret" won't necessarily bring up the Wikipedia editor now will it?
Ferret all of the sudden began adding potential sock puppets that weren't even ME to the sock drawer and now I was being blamed for edits (by the way, most of which didn't even seem harmful) that weren't even MINE. He didn't even use IP-technology, he just saw that people were attempting to edit typos I was trying to edit, and the dude hates my guts so much (due to an argument we had) that he doesn't care who gets injured along the way, as long as there's no chance I get to engage in something I love.
I asked my friend to log on her computer and try making some typo fixes that were bugging me but she got banned too. She was enthusiastic about trying Wikipedia but her plans to edit articles that were of her interest was stunted and she didn't have a chance to be a part of the community because ferret saw that she had relations with me and thus wasn't worthy of contributing.
Over the course of my time on Wikipedia, I was thrilled to contribute photography of my own to various articles. An article about dogs that had no photos now had a beautifully taken photo of a dog that met all the relevancy of the article. And so on. Ferret took it upon myself to get every last photo I'd uploaded to Wikimedia Commons taken down on grounds that they A. belonged to a sock, B. were low quality (which they weren't by any means), and C. weren't mine he backed up this claim in saying a few of them were screenshots. Which they were, I emailed photos from my phone and camera to myself, and downloading them takes awhile so I used the application "Screensaver" to quickly instill them within my files. Ferret is cruel, every photo I ever uploaded was removed and all articles that had a picture of mine were affected.
Ferret is also slanderous. He told various people that my sole intention of contributing to Wikipedia is "putting pictures of my friends on Wikipedia articles", which is outrageous. I took a picture of a mountain clear, relevant, and the only photo on the page but since my friend was standing there, smiling, in the bottom left corner, it could back up his slanderous claim. Ferret said the same for other pictures. One article was about genetics and I was attempting to show the correlation in facial features of sisters. One article was about facial scarring and I took a cool picture that went well with a paragraph. I uploaded some clear and concise sports photos too. Nonetheless Ferret began disregarding my original BLP related errors and began telling administrators "this guy uses socks to upload photos of his friends to Wikipedia". All administrators mindlessly believe each other without a second thought so what was I supposed to do?
There's a Wikipedia Discord page. For Wikipedia related discussions of course. Unfortunately Ferret is the number one staff member there. I tried asking him about my bans. I tried being civil. I apologized. I tried telling him I understood Wikipedia's guidelines. In a very blunt and rather immature fashion, he insisted he wouldn't listen to my rebuttles. I still tried to enjoy myself talking with other Wikipedians about what we love films, music, and Wikipedia. Ferret even unbiasly helped me with a few things. Then we get in an argument on Wikipedia and the guy BANS me from the Discord. Whenever I tried rejoining the Discord with other accounts, he'd ban them instantly. Since Discord isn't technically Wikipedia, he lost all professionalism and resolved to completely insulting me in front of the other Discord attendants. He told them how much he loved banning me and watching my in vein efforts. He slandered me again and told the users I was just "some annoying kid". He's well aware I'm in my mid-20's (he's seen a photo of me and the bio I kept on my original user page (including details about college life)) and yet he wants others to believe I'm some millennial attempting to "troll". Friends I made on the page said "wow I didn't know" and told Ferret how glad they were that I was gone. Keep in mind, I've been polite in front of all of these people times have been quite merry. And Ferret manipulates them just like that. I lost all access to the Discord without warning and when I tried to rejoin he's instantly ban me. Luckily ONE of my alts stuck around and I was able to monitor all of the activity. It just goes to show how immature some administrators can be. I mean the guy plays Steam games and listens to the most childish music which I personally find admirable...I don't judge but the way he resolved to calling me "some kid"... just really irks me.
Finally, when all hope was lost and I was falling into a pit of despair, completely defenseless, I relentlessly gave up and promised the administrators that I'd undergo a standard offer. A six month period of no editing. As unfair as this all is, I'd do it. Ferret promises he'd vouch for me when the six months were up and personally review my appeal, which meant a lot to me and encouraged me, even more, to take six months off and reflect.
Four days in, Ferret resets my standard offer. Apparently some guy tried fixing a typo I tried fixing with a sock. Ferret uses this opportunity to frame me, as said guy. Okay, fine, whatever maybe Ferret legitimately believed the dude was me. Okay, I'll try this once more. My hands aren't even touching the keyboard, I'm out practicing basketball, I come in, not even three days later Ferret resets my standard offer and completely changes his mind. "I won't even consider the standard offer anymore," Ferret says, "if he ends up doing it successfully, feel free to look at his appeal, but I want nothing to do with it". He then avidly discouraged anyone from sympathizing with me. Sometimes he'd pop back into my talk page with a new professionally crafted accusation and tell others to make sure not to "buy it". He'd continue and use every last morsel I've listed thus far in the review against me, and his tag team buddy Sergecross73 would turn the blind eye or even participate himself and encourage other administrators to do their best to eliminate me.
What frustrates me the most about the entirety of this situation though, is that I'd spend days using socks (yes, I know it's bad) making productive and beneficial edits and Sergecross73 and Ferret would stop what they were doing and go on a full out witch hunt, and take the time to revert every single last edit made by a suspected account, whether it was mine or not (yes innocent people were getting their edits reverted). The two administrators were literally ADDING typos and incorrect information to Wikipedia articles, knowingly and ON PURPOSE... it finally became apparent to me that they had no concern for the well being of Wikipedia... they didn't care how messed up an article was... their grudges consumed them and as long as an edit by the one who opposed them was removed, they could sleep at night.
So then other innocent Wikipedians would go in after seeing the typo and it would bug them as it had bugged me and they'd try to change it for themselves but BECAUSE it was a type of issue (within an article) that I myself was once concerned with, the tag team can't take any chances and they will revert the (beneficial) edit and BAN the innocent person. The cycle continues and literally some typos may never be fixed until the editors' demise. They actively search articles I once edited, on a daily basis, blinded by the lust of eradicating someone who went against their wishes. Using their power, they've found a twisted way of satisfying themselves. In a BDSM sort of way, they know it hurts me, and I find it cruel that they continue doing this. And I find it incredibly agitating that there's editors like this, on Wikipedia, WITH power, more concerned for their personal desires than doing good with their said power.
It's quite ironic: I was indefinitely BANNED for re-ADDING (deemed) information to an article. And now Sergecross73 and Ferret are re-adding incorrect information to articles on a DAILY BASIS.
I hate giving these two all the glory, as MANY other administrators joined in the fun. "Chrissymad", "NinjaPirateRobot", "Ohnoitsjamje", "Oshwah"... and I feel petty mentioning this next detail, it almost paints MYSELF as immature mentioning this, and I don't wanna lose any respect for saying this: but there's a REASON these administrators receive so much hate. There's a reason hate pages and entire feeds exist about these individuals. There's even PETITIONS regarding these guys... asking that they be removed, and that the tyranny may one day end.
The founder of Wikipedia had a vision in which everyone could contribute and this is not what he intended. I'm actively trying to make the site better and these guys have grudges/thirsts for power.
I'm not just another vandal who's butthurt over a little argument. But I've been fighting for months without giving up, passionate over (not revenge but) being avenged. Over avenging Wikipedia, that is. I wanna do it justice. I hope this review can at LEAST catch the attention of someone who's (been) aware of the corrupt administrative team and might be able to do something about this. Or maybe someone finds this and can nod their head and go "yeah something like this has happened to me before... I can agree with this."
This isn't a vanity project. This is an explanation as to why I don't want harm for Wikipedia and how I won't cause any harm and how I'm willing to prevent it.
Like I said earlier I've offered Wikimedia large sums of money in donations. They don't take requests so my checks weren't of interest to them or at least, my requests weren't. But I just find it strange how the developers of Wikipedia the ranks that are literally ABOVE the administrators will say they're powerless to end this stuff.
There needs to be exceptions and alternatives to the standard offer. In my case that simply won't work. And not only that but people in my position shouldn't have to endure six months away from something they've loved for no reason. Okay, Wikipedia was huge to me I'd wake up every morning, excited to log in and make it a better and more knowledgeable place. It felt good that people were reading improved articles that I edited. (NOT a vanity project, okay?) Heck, my friends and family knew me as the Wikipedia guy. I even told my English professor that I was considering joining the team in the distant future. But not now, that is.
AWK!not to mention Oshwah revoked my access to my talk page for "hateful language" to the administrators simply because I called their editing style "preference driven" and this all happening moments after Sergecross73 left a blurb of text with not one not two but three cuss words and a remark saying he doesn't want me around followed by Ferrer voicing his intentions to continue erasing traces of me. When he deletes days worth of editing all of which were unopposed by other editors it's a horrible feeling. I've spent hours researching, and have lost a lot of sleep over the past few months trying to figure this out.
Review wise I'm going to need to give Wikipedia a one star raiding. How could I not? I'd spare it a star and maybe give it two, simply because I love Wikipedia and the vision behind it so much. But I can't bring myself to do it. Not while Sergecross73 is laughing at all the underdogs. Honestly look at his (and others alike) edit history... these days he doesn't even edit articles, he literally spends all of his time on users' talk pages enthralled by banning debates. Same goes for Ferret. It's just trying to get people banned. Sure they must've done good things to GET them the administrator position. Heck they must've created a lot of articles. And revised a lot of information. But their edits over the last year or two don't involve making Wikipedia a better place it's just edits trying to make it THEIR place.
Sergecross73 and Wikipedia user Ferret. They're destroying the platform, along with many others.