Thursday, August 02, 2007

Regrets

The recent checkuser finding that Orderinchaos had sockpuppets leading to the block of Zivko85 and Zivko's subsequent explanation of how he came to share IP address with other editors leads me to need to make the following statement regarding a similar case from some time back.

In December 2005, SlimVirgin asked me to run a checkuser on RachelBrown, Poetlister, and a specified IP address from the UK. I remember running the checkuser but don't seem to find my response -- likely it was on her talk page, which has been deleted and purged so many times that it's likely that my response is currently a deleted revision which I, being a lowly non-admin peon, am not permitted to see. (This bothers me somewhat.)

From what I recall, I found evidence of some shared IP use, but the patterns were such that IPs frequently used by one user were infrequently used by another, and vice versa. At first I suspected that this was a case of friends or coworkers occasionally editing at one another's location. At the time I didn't know enough about British IP ranges to recognize IPs that were likely to be public wireless access points, residential, or commercial (and really I still don't). However, I was convinced (pressured, really) by others to set aside my doubts regarding the reliability of the conclusion and so reported the lot of them for sockpuppetry, in what was almost certainly a miscarriage of justice.

I regret this mistake. I was much more naive then and more full of myself than I am now. I apologize to Poetlister and all the other parties unfairly besmirched in this incident. There's nothing I can do at this point to materially alter the outcome or remediate it now, but at least the truth is out.

I hope that those currently entrusted with checkuser and administrative rights will think carefully about the history here before making any final decisions regarding Orderinchaos and his friends.