Everything happens for a reason, and if the WP page on "John Lott" is a classic example to illustrate why consumers should distrust material from Wikipedia, then the driving force making this true is surely Tim Lambert, as illustrated in the earlier exchanges.
Irregularities in Lambert's handling of "information" in the course of discussing these topics at several web sites make clear he is not interested in debating the merits of issues, but simply driving his own advocacy positions into acceptance as "truth." For example, see http://xrlq.com/2005/05/11/lottsa-personalities/#comment-15728 for documentation of Lambert adding (and posting on the web) a signature on a review to make the material (incorrectly) appear to be that of Lott; he then went forth to proclaim this doctored material showed Lott was reviewing his own work. Later in this page ("Sockpuppet theatre") we present excerpts of an exchange in which Lambert again claims a WP poster is Lott, citing analysis of IP addresses as conclusive. Even after this analysis is shown to be objectively faulty, Lambert continues to proclaim this as an example of Lott sockpuppetry.
Not to risk that casual browsers might find someone else's material on the issues, Lambert has also in the past mirrored others' web sites, apparently hoping to bring traffic to his site, boost page rank and broaden the scope of his advocacy.
Interestingly, during the time he mirrored the sites, search engines from companies having a relationship with WP (like google) tended to rate the mirrored site (from Lambert) over the actual sites of Lambert's targets (like Lott.)
Lambert's attacks on Lott are not limited to Wikipedia's forums. Apparently, Lambert just can't pass up any chance to attack Lott, no
matter how obtuse or indirect the reference, a fact that should have tipped WP staff to the lack of merit to what they present there. (This illustrates WP's apparent willingness to promote an advocacy position on the sites.) An LA blogger caught an LA
Times journalist using "sock puppets," included a cursory reference to John
Lott, and there was Tim Lambert, ready to turn the whole thing into another
discussion about Mary Rosh:
According to archives, Lambert doesn't appear to have been a regular at Patterico, so one must presume that he only found the discusison by Googling "John Lott sock puppet" or something similar, then chimed right in.
Lott is not the only object of Lambert's ire. Lambert has frequently accused Ann Coulter of using sock puppets as well:
and accuses others of editing their wikipedia page:
Lambert consistently reports that both Lott and Coulter review their own works on the net either anonymously or under fake names. Interestingly, a glitch that occurred at Amazon.ca in 2004 revealed the actual names of reviewers of a host of materials for a period of about a week. Many authors were exposed giving reviews and comments on their own work, but neither Lott nor Coulter were among them. In spite of that, Lambert persists in characterizing the two as induling this practice on much the same resource as was laid bare for the world to see.
Some related material under study: The Washington Times reports on the increasingly-recognized shenanigans by candidates for office. Like Lambert, they use the pliable and left-leaning policies of Wikipedia to rewrite their own histories and cast their opponents in poor light, if not also defame them prior to elections.
[Paragraph added 3-5-2007] On March 5, 2007, the New York Times reports on its discovery that a Wikipedia contributor fabricated his scholarly credential in order to gain the confidence of all in editing thousands of articles at the Wikipedia site. He "was once one of the few people with the authority to deal with vandalism and to arbitrate disputes between authors." So far no word on whether this user was one of the Wikipedia editors who sustained the fabricated claims of Lott's detractors.
We also note that Walmart has experienced much the same attacks as Lott on Wikipedia; as reported, they have gradually been able to battle back to at least a draw on the quality of presentation of their entry. Individuals like Dr. Lott obviously lack Walmart's extensive resources to battle back when zealots attack with the assistance of Wikipedia.
We close with one of the classic exchanges involving Tim Lambert ...
On March 19 TimLambert wrote:
On Mar 19, we had a little edit war much like the previous ones. Culminating with an edit by 22.214.171.124 described like this: (Stop these reverts back and forth. Keep the version that Rory096, Pearle, and Lambert had.) . Except that it didn't revert to Rory096's version. Instead most of the material about John Lott's use of sockpuppets was removed (see diff ). Both of the sides in this little show seem to have been sockpuppets of Lott. Thanks for the show, John! -- TimLambert 03:27, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Thus proving it really does take one take one to know one. Thanks to you as well, Tim! Lambert's Got His Own Sockpuppet Controversy -- Cbaus 9:47p.m., 21 March 2006 (EDST-USA)
Sorry, I don't use sockpuppets. Someone I caught using several sock puppets came back with a lame accusation that two commentors on my blog were my sock puppets, even though their IP addresses showed that they were from a different country. You just destroy you credibility by repeating such lame attacks. -- TimLambert 15:13, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
And what credibility do you have by constantly accusing people who disagree with you of being John Lott, as you did me when I first posted here? I see you accused 126.96.36.199 of being John Lott, while offering no proof. -- Cbaus 9:39p.m., 26 March 2006 (EDST-USA)
And much later, Cbaus:
Ok, so I've waited long enough. Lambert is apparently not going to try and offer proof of his accusations that 188.8.131.52 is John Lott, just as he had no proof when he accused me or dozens of others here of same. He may not be willing to do it here, but I see that elsewhere Lambert claims that 184.108.40.206 "tracks to Swarthmore, PA, which is where Lott lives." Not so. Using this locator, the IP tracks to Aston, PA, not Swarthmore. I know Lambert's from Australia and all, but clearly Aston and Swarthmore are two different places. Mapquest says Aston is just over 10 miles from Swarthmore, which is where Lott may or may not still live. But even assuming he does, wouldn't it make more sense that if Lott were willing to drive 10 miles to set up a puppet, and given that Lambert makes it his full time job to watch out for any hint of such a thing, that he might have gone the same distance and found himself in Delaware or New Jersey? Or in the other direction the same distance, to Philadelphia? The bottom line is, Tim Lambert cannot back up his repeated assertions that there is sockpuppetry here, and appears to be willing to assert things that he hopes others will not check up on to prop up his claims. -- Cbaus 10:16p.m., 11 April 2006 (EDST-USA)