Ryulong

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Michael Cohen
Ryulong.jpg
The Face of a Petulant Bully.
Occupation Unless full-time wikisperging counts, none since at least January 2015.[1][2]
"Don't trust children with edge tools. Don't trust man, great God, with more power than he has until he has learned to use that little better. What a hell we should make of the world if we could do what we would!"
—Ralph Waldo Emerson


The corrupt former Wikipedia administrator, known as Ryulong (often rendered as Ryulóng and/or Řÿūłóñġ), also known as Michael Cohen, is an individual noted for his aggressive and bullying demeanor. On any wiki he has had power, he has insisted upon openly abusing his authority and using it to ensure his point of view has primacy over all others, facts and rules of the wiki be damned. He is known for harassing and attacking anyone who remotely disagrees with him on an article, even if he has to violate a given wiki's rules to do it. In his eyes, his admin position was not to help moderate, but to force his viewpoint on others. Ryulong's history of abusing other users became so well-known that he was chronicled extensively on WikiAbuse, a site that was specifically dedicated to covering the actions of abusive Wikipedia staff [3].

Though originally known on Wikipedia for his nigh-autocratic control of Wikipedia's articles on various Sentai series, Ryulong came to the attention of the Kiwi Farms, and subsequently this wiki due to his involvement with The GamerGate Controversy. His reaction to this controversy and attempts to control the article discussing it would become so infamous that he would be repeatedly sanctioned by Wikipedia's staff. Eventually it would become known that his involvement in attempts to dominate and control this article were being directly financed by a GamerGate opponent in violation of Wikipedia's rules, and Ryulong was disgraced, first being stripped of his administrator status, and thereafter, when he refused to stop interfering with articles, being banned from the website entirely.

After his exile from Wikipedia, Ryulong would come to occupy a similar niche on RationalWiki, a wiki which primarily focuses on Left-Wing political analysis and developments. In a manner similar to his work on Wikipedia, he would quickly become infamous for harassing and bullying other users, ultimately winding up sanctioned by RationalWiki in a similar fashion after constantly fighting over GamerGate and even a My Little Pony article.

In both capacities as an administrator, Ryulong showed an infamous tendency to abuse his authority at every turn, quickly indicating that those who believe he should be nowhere near any position of authority have damned good reason to show concerns. He is noted for watching over articles he considers "his" for hours - sometimes days - at a time, aggressively editing and reverting any edits which do not pass measure and accosting any user that offends his sensibilities. In multiple cases, this has resulted in marathon battles with wiki staff and affiliates.

Method of Operation

Main Articles: List of Ryulong's Abuses, Videmus Chatlog

Ryulong's abuse of authority is well-known and well-documented. In general, Ryulong would act relatively normally until a user edited one of "his" articles, or someone who he didn't like showed up, at which point he would spring into action. In addition to relatively minor abuses such as reverting articles constantly for "vandalism" when they were well-sourced and well-grounded, needlessly attacking users who were already warned, or nominating articles for deletion for spurious reasons, Ryulong also showed far worse and far more chilling actions during his tenure on Wikipedia.

Ryulong became infamous for openly attacking and harassing other users, even off-site, or for using his position on Wikipedia to wage personal attacks. Using his authority as an admin, Ryulong would ban users for spurious reasons and take extravagant steps to ensure they couldn't react, editing users' talk pages to make them look more incriminating, or reporting accounts as vandalism-only even if they had quality edits - or indeed, a single edit to their name. He would often use an obscure Wikipedia exploit to edit pages without being recorded, something he was chastised for on multiple occasions.

Ryulong received admin privileges on Wikipedia through a process many found objectionable. He attempted to become an Admin three times; during the third time[4], when he was successful, he did not have sufficient votes to be appointed by the majority, but was given the position by a friend of his. [5]The main argument against his appointment was that he would openly abuse his authority - which, of course, he did. He had managed to win several Wikipedia staffers over by saying he was open to be recalled if there was a problem, only to remove himself from the recall list later.

This was key to him ultimately being stripped of his authority in 2014.

Early Wikipedia Activity

Ryulong joined Wikipedia in February 2006. Ryulong's earliest activity was largely centralized around Tokusatsu community. His early actions are largely unworthy of note except for the possessive streak he had around "his" articles, which he would aggressively engage in edit wars over. Even in this time, Ryulong was infamous for being extremely aggressive and petulent, often attacking newbie editors for minor mistakes.[6] By far his worst offenses, however, was abusing AIV (Administrator Intervention against Vandalism) reports[7] and aggressively reverting articles, which he openly admitted to abusing. [8] Ryulong's abuse of these were so well-known that they were central to his first two failures to become a SysOp.

To enable his ability to revert without consequence, Ryulong developed an insidious trick that enabled him to revert other users without being detected by the database. This trick took advantage of an obscure issue with Wikipedia - it could only handle so many attempts to edit at the same time - and by overloading the system with edit attempts, it was possible to use the trick to surreptitiously get around fact that Wikipedia logs all entries and edits made. For Ryulong, this trick, though somewhat time-wasting, allowed him to get away with even more edits than he otherwise would have - since a major objection to his RFAs (Request for Admin Status) was that he dramatically overused reverts. Indeed, Ryulong was infamous for using SysOp privileges despite not actually being one yet, often closing unblock requests of people he found offensive.[9]

In August 2006, he submitted his first RFA (request for administratorship) First RfA. In that discussion, opposing users brought up edits which Ryulong had labeled as vandalism [10] and submitted as evidence for blocking the other user[11]. His second RfA [12], less than 2 months later, was cancelled prematurely due to opposes adding up faster than supports.

Ryulong was appointed as an admin after his third RFA by user Raul654, under the justification that he would be a good fit, despite knowing it was against policy.[13]

This decision would ultimately pave the way for the most infamous and odious chapter of Ryulong's career.

Ryulong as a SysOp

As a SysOp, Ryulong quickly became a lightning rod for criticism as he quickly became notorious for what Wikipedia's other SysOps were concerned over. Exactly as was predicted by several of the opposing votes, Ryulong's overuse of AIV reports and threats towards newbies blossomed immediately into him essentially spamming the block button[14] and banning users forever as he saw fit.[15] To say that Ryulong, who had long been on something of a power-trip on Wikipedia, became a petulant tyrant is something of an understatement; if he felt that "his" articles were in any way edited in a way he didn't approve of, he would deal with the offender as harshly as possible, even if he had to openly violate the terms of use of Wikipedia to do it - as happened when he deleted an article[16] that had survived an AFD review and received overwhelmingly positive feedback.[17] He was also well-known for reverting and removing any criticism of his handling of things, like any petty despot.[18]

Of particular note was his seeming seething hatred for almost anything related to *chan culture - such as when he blocked attempts to update the Media's portrayal of 4chan[19] or notable events that the likes of 4chan were involved with, such as when he blocked attempts to update screenshots related to 4chan's infamous Habbo Hotel raid, something that drew national press attention.[20] His treating Wikipedia as his own personal possession only intensified once he became a SysOp; in short order, he had a reputation as being one of the worst offenders on Wikipedia, leading to his Wikiabuse article.

GamerGate Controversy and Corruption

Main Article: Ryulong Corruption Leak

While Ryulong had a longstanding history of being a petty tyrant on Wikipedia, the full capacity for how openly corrupt he could be was yet to come. When the GamerGate controversy broke, Ryulong, provably operating under direct orders from Zoe Quinn's clique, went to war to ensure that the GamerGate article on Wikipedia was nothing but an attack piece. Ryulong would also actively push to keep anything remotely critical of his cohorts off their Wikipedia articles, and blacklist or ban anyone who pushed too hard against his attempts.

Ryulong was so prevalent in this behavior that within four months of GamerGate starting, his work accounted for roughly one fifth of all edits to the Wikipedia article on GamerGate.[21] He wound up making over 1,150 edits to the article before he was finally sanctioned.[22] When people started to complain about Ryulong's open bias (he was doing an Ask Me Anything event on a subreddit that was openly Anti-GamerGate), he openly bragged about his biased position.[23] Ryulong inevitably was sanctioned by Wikipedia, whose head, Jimbo Wales, had to personally come and ask him to stop when it became clear that Ryulong was openly making shit up in order to push an agenda.[24]

In spite of this, Ryulong did not relent. He continued to attack GamerGate, both on and off wikipedia, completely unconcerned with showing his own bias. He would often go on long-winded rants describing anyone who opposed his talking points as a "GamerGate Zombie"[25] and publicly mocked those on Wikipedia that took offense, likewise, as "GamerGate Fags."[26] One might think that since he'd already started to receive sanctions, he might, conceivably, tone down the obvious bias a bit, but if anything the reverse was true.[27] Ryulong argued that he, in fact, had to keep doing this, because somehow, GamerGate was forcing him to do this.[28]

The end of Ryulong's personal campaign of terror against the article would come to an end when Ryulong's own conflicts-of-interest would come to light. The first of these was an incident involving GamerGhazi, an anti-GG subreddit, who had recently been shown to be openly financing Ryulong's GoFundMe campaign. Suffice to say, paired with other ill behavior of his, which had included biased edit warring and battleground tactics,[29] this resulted in him being banned from editing anything remotely to do with GamerGate entirely.[30] Ryulong proceeded to continue his incandescent lunacy off-site, launching into long-winded rants on Twitter.[31] Ryulong's partner-in-crime during this edit war, NorthBySouthBaranof, was also similarly banned entirely from the topic. When Ryulong continued to continue his nonsense via sock accounts and meatpuppets,[32] Wikipedia's arbitration committee had finally had enough of his shenanigans, and banned him entirely and indefinitely soonafter.[33]

Ryulong's response was anything but graceful:

"I was not banned from shit. Wikipedia can fuck itself over. I've been there for 10 years. I'm the 57th most prolific editor. But because I lost my temper to this right wing hate group I'm a danger to the project and have to stay away for at least a year. But I don't care anymore. All of the Japanese culture pages I worked on can go to shit because /m/ will take them over and change all the fucking names to spite me."
—Ryulong on GamerGhazi[34]


In spite of all this, Ryulong continues to use his friends and associates to smite his enemies on Wikipedia,[35][36] in addition to making anonymous edits with an IP spoofer.

On August 25th, 2016, the Crash Override Network Log Leaks were released by Canadian game reviewer Bro Team Pill. The logs themselves, a series of Skype chat logs, established conclusive proof that Ryulong had been operating under orders from Zoe Quinn and her associates all along. The logs captured one such incident where one of the chat members, Tesseract, said that he would "get Ryulong on it" after Zoe Quinn complained about Wikipedia's 4chan article.[37] several hours later, Tesseract confirms that Ryulong had edited the article.[38] A cursory look at the article's edit history at the time reveals that Ryulong did, indeed, openly edit the article, exactly as Zoe Quinn had demanded.[39]

RationalWiki Activity

This article segment will cover his actions on RationalWiki.

Ryulong's Associates

Even after Ryulong's Wikipedia ban, some users continued to reinstate his edits. Kitsunelaine/Adaminator [40], a friend from Twitter who later assisted Ryulong in his edit wars at RationalWiki[41], has reinstated some of Ryulong's edits to Wikipedia pages, going against a consensus [42].

References

  1. https://archive.is/Vzfl3
  2. https://twitter.com/NurseMcHurt/status/699904657208905728?ref_src=twsrc^tfw
  3. WikiAbuse article
  4. Successful RfA
  5. Ryulong's third request for administratorship, the successful one, had a 69% approval rate; on Wikipedia, the minimum approval rate is 70%, with the range of 70-80% being a judgement call by the closing bureaucrat.
  6. Wikipedia - Ryulong Insults a Newbie
  7. Ryulong abuses AIV
  8. Wikipedia - Ryulong Admits to Abusing Reverts
  9. Wikipedia - Ryulong Closes an Unblock Tag
  10. Edit reverted as vandalism by Ryulong
  11. AIV Report on previous ref
  12. Second RfA
  13. Wikipedia - Ryulong's RFA Closed Despite 69.4%
  14. Wikipedia - Ryulong Blocks an Non-Disruptive Account
  15. Wikipedia - Ryulong Gives an Eternal Ban
  16. Wikipedia - Ryulong Deleted Steve Rizzono Article
  17. Wikipedia Review - Ryulong Deletes an Article that Survived AFD
  18. Wikipedia - Ryulong Removes His Own Criticism
  19. Wikipedia - Ryulong Refuses to Allow Correction of Media Portrayal of 4chan
  20. Wikipedia - Ryulong Prevents Image Updates
  21. Limburger Limited's Twitter - Ryulong sanctioned for abuse; accounts for over 20% of Wikipedia edits on GamerGate
  22. XTools - Wikipedia edit data for GamerGate
  23. KotakuInAction - On Ryulong's AMA
  24. Jimbo Wales Talks to Ryulong on Wikipedia
  25. Wikipedia - Gamergate Zombies
  26. Ryulong's Twitter - GamerGate Fags
  27. Wikipedia - Ryulong and Obvious Bias
  28. KotakuInAction - Ryulong in Deep
  29. More Wikipedia Sanctions Against Ryulong
  30. {https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/GamerGate#Scope_of_standard_topic_ban Ryulong Receives a Standard Topic Ban]
  31. Ryulong's Twitter - The Meltdown Begins
  32. WikiInAction - Ryulong Continues War though Muppets
  33. Wikipedia - Ryulong Banned
  34. GamerGhazi - Ryulong Banned
  35. Ryulong on Wikipedia - Examples of associates
  36. Wikipedia - Ryulong's Associates Continue his Sentai Article Control
  37. CON Chat Log Leaks - I'll Get Ryulong On It
  38. CON Chat Log Leaks - Ryulong Fixed the Article
  39. Wikimedia Labs - 4chan Article History for January 2015
  40. Link connecting Kitsunelaine and Adaminator
  41. RW - Ryulong and Kitsunelaine working together on an AFD
  42. Wiki - Discussion on Kitsunelaine's reinstatement

Known Accounts

Wikipedia RationalWiki Reddit