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5ko, I really appreciate your effort in defence of the privacy rights, so that we don't inadvertently slip on this slippery slope and do more harm than good. I completely share your view that the checkuser investigations should be reserved for only the truly troublesome cases. However, considering all the circumstances, I still can't see your point, I'm afraid. And because the stewards don't know the complete story, let me briefly summarize it:
  • Two or three months ago the bg:W community started tracking a well-defined pattern of anonymous edits, typically involving controversial use of speedy deletion and similar maintenance templates. The systematic nature and clear pattern of the edits unambiguously pointed to a single person behind them. Actually, the first sign were likely some inexplicable template invitations for an event that has passed years ago posted on Spiritia's talk page.
  • Over the time, the edits became even more controversial, with the anonymous editor requiring articles to be removed or protected based on his/her perception of their "immorality" and/or risk of being vandalised on such grounds. The best example is the Swiss city of Chur, whose name is written in Bulgarian exactly as one of the slang words for "penis". When confronted with the opposition from the bg:W community, the anonymous editor went on to rename the articles on his/her own, thus displaying disregard for his/her colleagues' opinion.[mod 1][mod 2][mod 3]
  • The anonymous editor showed explicit interest in the Wiki-wars that have ravaged bg:W some years ago. He/she tried to remove (by requesting speedy deletion) quite a few archived discussions and user pages of editors that have long ago retired (and some have even passed away).[mod 4] This strongly expressed interest seems rather inexplicable, unless it's a case of the "namespace shift" that you mention. However, I can't help to notice that this phenomenon is supposed to occur as the editors mature, while here we have a clear example of extremely immature behaviour. If it is indeed a shift, I'm afraid it's a shift in quite the wrong direction.
  • Very strong activity was recorded in the AfD discussions, where the anonymous editor engaged systematically with forging the signatures of his/her comments and at times altering other editors' comments, too. He/she also systematically ignored the rules and engaged in voting, despite the numerous notices and warnings. At certain point of time, the anonymous editor flooded AfD with proposals to delete articles on pornographic actresses — obviously infuriated with the rules that such articles also have place in Wikipedia. That was a clear example of disrupting Wikipedia just to "prove" his/her point.
  • Meanwhile, suspicious vandalisms began to appear, likely connected to the anonymous editor. Indeed, he/she claimed the vandal to be certain acquaintance of his/her, going by the name of "Christo". At that point he also identified himself as one "Dimitar Popov from Sofia" (NB for the stewards: both names are masculine). BTW, this obviously contradicts with your concerns over keeping his privacy. Still, I'm inclined to believe that the name is fake (which is not that important, anyway,) but also suspect that the "Christo" story might be fabricated either. Indeed, Christo and Dimitar might be a single person, or at least they might not be "adversaries" where Dimitar is allegedly trying to calm Christo down, but could be merely amusing themselves by playing a prank on the bg:W community.
  • After countless requests to register, as the constantly changing IP addresses and signature forgeries were becoming a major nuisance, the anonymous editor finally seemed to comply: and here's how the "Модернатор" account emerged. The already well-established at the time pattern of controversial edits however did not change.
  • Here comes the crucial point in the story: The "Mapa" editor had been vandalising bg:W for some time; at some point, the constant blocks imposed by the admins, he/she ostensibly created the "Спиритиа", "ШейдОфГрей", "Блъдайс", and "Уикипедия" accounts and went on to harass the respective users. There wasn't really much doubt that those were Mapa's sockpuppets, because the style matched almost perfectly. Meanwhile, Модернатор also stepped in, arguing with the puppets and urging them to stop their aggressive actions. And, all of a sudden, the checkuser links the sockpuppets not to Mapa, but to... Модернатор himself/herself.
  • Since this is really the most revealing part of the story, let me reiterate it: Модернатор has created a bunch of sockpuppets, seeking to pass them as Mapa's by carefully imitating Mapa's style, and has then vandalized Wikipedia and harassed other editors through those puppets, while at the same time pretending to be "fighting" them. Do you understand now why those colleagues of ours find the case "schizophrenic"? And this is also the reason why it is really important to know whether there's a connection between Модернатор and Мара, too.
  • Actually, the name Модернатор would correspond to "Modernator" in English — which obviously begs to be mistaken for "moderator". Numerous notices were made by different editors and recently several administrators warned the user to change his/her username. It was not just the name per se, but rather the way Модернатор acts as sort of an authority on Wikipedia. He/she however completely denied any bad intent and refused to comply.
  • In blatant discrepancy with these claims, however, just a couple of days ago Модернатор went on to impersonate an administrator by placing a "you were blocked" template on certain user's talk page. The said user had indeed been blocked, but it was only at the respective administrator's discretion to place or not to place the template. While this might be considered minor offence on its own, I'm sure you do realize how it fits in the complete picture that I've drawn so far and what it means.
Indeed, the facts best speak for themselves. As hard as I try, I cannot find any good faith behind those actions: don't forget as well that many editors and administrators have tried on many occasions — fruitlessly — to reason with the person. And I can't really accept such kind of behaviour as permissible on Wikipedia: it very badly hurts one of the most important pillars of the project — the mutual respect and trust between the editors.
From the personal conversations and the group discussions it's clear to me that many, if not most of the active editors share these worries. It might even be argued that whoever stands behind Модернатор and the unknown number of sock-puppets and IP addresses, and whatever his or her motivation, he or she has already crossed enough lines to deserve a ban. This is not an easy decision to make, though, and therefore the community needs and deserves to know as much as possible before it eventually reaches some consensus.
In the end, we must not forget our goal — to develop and support Wikipedia as the best-quality collection of the human knowledge, available free to anyone. Wikipedia has always strived — and for all the good reasons — to be a friendly, inspiring place for everyone who wants to contribute to this goal. For the sake of keeping this positive atmosphere, the community even accepts the random quirks of various editors, especially if they are otherwise helpful and productive. But when it's faced with mostly egotistical, destructive and deceitful behaviour, like the one we clearly see in the presented case, it becomes a simple choice: either we allow it to destroy Wikipedia, or we stop it. Sadly, sometimes we just have to "bite the bullet".


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