Crash Override Network Had Wikipedia Articles Changed At Their Behest
(Last Updated On: September 9, 2016)

Crash Override Network is supposed to be an anti-abuse specialist organization to help victims of cyber-bullying and harassment. Recently, however, chat logs were leaked that revealed that Crash Override Network, oftentimes shortened to CON, was involved in some of the very activities that they claimed to  fight against. In one particular section of the logs, it was revealed that the members had direct access to an editor on Wikipedia, as well as getting changes made to articles at the behest of CON’s members.

The chat logs that were leaked from the Skype group from Crash Override Network were confirmed to be legitimate by former member and contributor to Heat Street, Ian Miles Cheong, as well as online abuse specialist Randi Lee Harper. You can access the full chat logs from the Kotaku in Action CON leak megathread.

Whoever recorded and leaked the chat logs managed to capture a section where Zoe Quinn, one of the co-founders of Crash Override Network, was distraught about a line on the 4chan Wikipedia page, where she states in the chat, under the handle Dr. Internet PHD…

“ahahaha wowwwww the 4chan wikipedia page needs some serious editing “In August 2014, the Jabronis controversy in video game culture involved 4chan in events surrounding a dispute between indie game developer Zoe Quinn and the self-described radical feminist group The Fine Young Capitalists. After 4chan users donated over US$5,000 to TFYC’s Indiegogo campaign for a charity game jam, they were allowed to create a female character to appear in the winning game. Users of the /v/ video games board created a character[114] named Vivian James, a pun on “video games”, and designed her to appear like a normal female gamer.[115]”

A user named Tesseract quickly responds by saying… “ I’ll get ryulong on it”.

CON member Izzy Galvez then asks… “Is that Zoe’s addon? Making the change?”

Athena Hollow responds with “lol yea”.

According to the time stamps in the chat logs, the individual who leaked the chat logs was approximately nine hours ahead of the time-stamps recorded by Wikipedia, based on the page edits conducted by Ryulong.

Nevertheless, the edits took place over the course of an hour and a half on January 3rd, 2015 after the individual Tesseract mentioned in the chat that they would get Ryulong to make the edits.

Sure enough, if you check the Wikipedia edit history for the 4chan page, you’ll see two edits by Ryulong modifying the section that Quinn took issue with regarding The Fine Young Capitalists and the 4chan donations.


The first edit he made involved excising the mention of how much 4chan donated to The Fine Young Capitalists, a feminist organization, along with removing the mention of #GamerGate’s mascot, Vivian James. In the second edit he amends a section about 4chan prohibiting discussion of #GamerGate.

Ryulong made no further edits to the 4chan Wikipedia page after that. His last edit before being requested to make the change was on October 14th, 2014.

Nearly an hour and a half after the request, Tesseract informs the chat, writing…

“zoe, ryulong fixed the article”

The edits didn’t last too long, though. The modification of the page by Ryulong was eventually reverted by other editors.

Now for those of you wondering whether or not this breaks the rules, it in fact does. According to Rule 7 on Wikipedia’s Ten Simple Rules page

“If you have a personal or financial interest in the subject of any article you choose to edit, declare it on the associated discussion page and heed the advice of other editors who can offer a more objective perspective.”

In this case, Ryulong had a personal and financial – according to a GoFundMe drive by a group called GamerGhazi – interest in the subject matter. After a lengthy and complex arbitration process, Ryulong was eventually banned due to edit warring over the #GamerGate article and other pieces relating to Zoe Quinn on Wikipedia.

Nevertheless, the chat logs prove that he was working closely with people who were in stark opposition to #GamerGate and the chan imageboards, thus compromising the neutrality of the articles on Wikipedia.

You can read the exchanges during the section involving Ryulong and Wikipedia by checking out the truncated logs in this pastebin file.

(Main image courtesy of anons)


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About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • bob

    Have some bad news for these people.

    Lies, leads to more lies. Sooner or later the truth is going to catch up to you.

    And when that big day finally comes, it will be very unpleasant for them.

    And I can’t wait.

  • I could not have imagined two years ago when they first tried to get Mundane Matt’s video pulled that we would wind up this far down the rabbit hole.

  • Corrupt to the fucking bone.

  • Parrikle

    Let’s start with the claim: “it was revealed that the members had direct access to editors on Wikipedia, as well as getting changes made to articles at the behest of CON’s members.”

    No. What it shows is that once, one article was changed, after one of the people in the chat asked an established editor to look at the issue. Not “direct access to editors”, but “the ability to ask one editor”. Not “changes made to articles”, but “a change to one single article”.

    “The edits didn’t last too long, though. The modification of the page by Ryulong was eventually reverted by other editors.”

    Temporarily, yes. Although reverted is a bit strong – rewritten makes more sense. However, ultimately the wording the community agreed to was very similar to what Ryulong added. Ryulong’s version:

    Also in August 2014, 4chan was involved in the Gamergate controversy, which began with false allegations about indie game developer Zoë Quinn. Later, users of 4chan began donating to The Fine Young Capitalists, which had been involved in a dispute with Quinn, donating thousands of dollars to the group’s women in video games project through Indiegogo; 4chan also created a video game character, Vivian James, to be used by The Fine Young Capitalists in their project, who became an unofficial mascot for GamerGate supporters. Discussion regarding Gamergate was banned on 4chan due to alleged rule violations, and Gamergate supporters moved to alternate forums such as 8chan.

    Then, of course, there’s the accusation that this is somehow wrong.

    • No. What it shows is that once, one article was changed, after one of the people in the chat asked an established editor to look at the issue. Not “direct access to editors”, but “the ability to ask one editor”. Not “changes made to articles”, but “a change to one single article”.

      Ryulong made hundreds of edits to the #GamerGate article and was being paid by GamerGhazi to make said edits. That’s multiple articles, which was mentioned later in this very piece. This particular section of the CON log shows them asking Ryulong to make an edit to the 4chan piece, but he was also editing the other articles at their request as well, which is why Jimmy Wales eventually had to step in. This was neither isolated nor contained within a vacuum.

      • Parrikle

        No, Ryulong was not been paid to make edits by GamerGhazi. Even if he had been – and he wasn’t – that would be ok on Wikipedia so long as it was disclosed.

        > This particular section of the CON log shows them asking Ryulong to make an edit to the 4chan piece, but he was also editing the other articles at their request as well

        Asking someone to make one change is not proof that they were also asked to make changes elsewhere. I’m not sure why people would think that it was.

        • Spider Jerusalem

          No, Ryulong was not paid to make edits by GamerGhazi.

          He had moderators at GamerGhazi pushing his gofundme.

          https://archive.is/PEKH2

          • RobertParker14

            Lol – that Gofundme is to reclaim possessions which he lost in Japan. No way can that be construed as being “paid to make edits” to Wikipedia.

          • Parrikle

            Mentioning someone’s gofundme is not the same as paying them to edit.

          • While you can deny that there’s nothing wrong with that, even Jimmy Wales found this too close to being a conflict of interest to ignore and suggested Ryulong step away from the article after it was discovered.

            It doesn’t matter what the intent was for giving money to a Wikipedia editor, it’s the fact that — as proven by the logs — this editor had ties to people with a vested interest in establishing a specific narrative while being paid by supporting groups.

            It’s like a PAC giving Hillary Clinton money for a purse she lost in Japan and saying she won’t be using it for her campaign.

          • Parrikle

            Jimmy Wales has every right to his opinion. But so what? It wasn’t being paid to edit, like you claimed, Wikipedia permits paid editing even if it was, and there is absolutely no problem with people being connected to the groups they are editing about. There might be a problem if Quinn or Milo were to have edited the article themselves, but then what they would have been asked to do is get in contact with someone who is experienced in Wikipedia and ask them to look into it. Which is what they did. There’s even an entire process were you can do that.

            > It’s like a PAC giving Hillary Clinton money for a purse she lost in Japan and saying she won’t be using it for her campaign.

            Not even remotely like that.

          • Not even remotely like that.

            Why not?

          • Parrikle

            The fact that we need to distinguish between funding for an election campaign and someone making a minor change to Wikipedia seems to point out why you have the problems you do in your article.

          • The fact that we need to distinguish between funding for an election campaign and someone making a minor change to Wikipedia seems to point out why you have the problems you do in your article.

            So then, you don’t have an actual rebuttal as to why there’s a difference? Okay then… lol.

        • Asking someone to make one change is not proof that they were also asked to make changes elsewhere. I’m not sure why people would think that it was.

          It reminds me of the mob line “I know a guy”… as if that “guy” is a one-time thing. It’s as if you’re trying to portray Ryulong as being on beck and call for just one mission and one mission only, and every other time the guy is just a sweet pea.

          As Mr. Towel pointed out in the other comment, Ryulong was assiduously making edits to articles containing any mention of Quinn, and was constantly getting feedback from GamerGhazi, who was also pro-Quinn.

          • Parrikle

            > As Mr. Towel pointed out in the other comment, Ryulong was assiduously making edits to articles containing any mention of Quinn, and was constantly getting feedback from GamerGhazi, who was also pro-Quinn.

            So what? Even if that was true, it has no bearing on whether or not he could edit Wikipedia. And it certainly has no bearing on your exaggerated claims.

          • So what? Even if that was true, it has no bearing on whether or not he could edit Wikipedia.

            It does if the article in question is supposed to be a neutral point of view regarding a controversial topic.

          • Parrikle

            No, it doesn’t. The article should be neutral, but that does not require that the contributors are neutral.

          • Except as you could see from Ryulong’s edits, they weren’t neutral. He was removing facts and adding information to some articles that were either improperly sourced or designed to favor Quinn.

          • Mr.Towel

            And it certainly doesn’t help the article to achieve neutrality when its contributors are openly biased.

          • Exactly. Add in the fact that a sociopolitico group was funding this guy and he had direct connections to the subject of several articles he was editing (through a back-channel no less) and there’s really no defense for Ryulong.

    • Mr.Towel

      Once is enough.

      And regardless where Wikipedia permits it or not (for it only amounts to Circular Reasoning), it still is a serious moral and ethical flaw, it’s corruption in the mind of anyone with a decency of common sense.

      • Parrikle

        Once may be enough, but that’s not what Billy D wrote. However, I have a hard time seeing how “correcting an article after being told you about a problem” equates to a serious moral and ethical flaw and corruption, but I’m sure you can.

        • Mr.Towel

          Any action can be reduced to an innocuous act, the fault is on the details.

          Ryulong has a long history of clearly one-sided wikipedia editing and now there’s proof that at least one of these edits were suggested from a non-neutral source (and the edits themselves were dubious as the previous version was stating facts, the edits were made to hide or alter the presentation of those facts because it didn’t align with the political perceptions of the non-neutral source, not because they were clearly false). Therefore, it’s likely that many of other edits had similar bias as they had similar nature (if you want 100% check-proof on human behavior you have no idea criminal investigation work). Which makes him corrupt when summed with he big picture (who he is, how he acted, what he says, how he began and ended).

          If contextualization is a skill lacking in your reading capabilities you have no reading comprehension. Sole literal interpretation is a very limiting modus of thought.

          • Parrikle

            > Ryulong has a long history of clearly one-sided wikipedia editing and now there’s proof that at least one of these edits were suggested from a non-neutral source

            So what? Wikipedia is not built on the idea that only neutral people can edit articles. Given that it relies on anonymous editors, it can;t be built on that idea. What it relies on is that those editors – neutral or not – have to strive towards neutrality when editing, and that the process as a whole, of hundreds of thousands of contributors with differing views, will (over time) work towards balance. There is no corruption involved in having an opinion when editing Wikipedia.

            >If contextualization is a skill lacking in your reading capabilities you have no reading comprehension.

            That’s just it. I do have reading comprehension. Which is why I can tell the difference between asking one person to make a change, and having multiple editors in your pocket. Asking people to support a gofundme and paying someone. And asking for changes to be made to multiple articles, and asking for a change to be made to just one.

          • Mr.Towel

            Again, what Wikipedia is or permits is not the point here, Wikipedia can permit a lot of things, it doesn’t mean what Wikipedia permits is inevitably sound.

            The concept of Impartiality and Neutrality is a very established idea in the ETHICS of social discussion regardless of how Wikipedia acts about it. If you can have bias and be partial in such discussion, you’re obviously ethically free to be so, however, to be partial and biased while POSING, PRESENTING yourself and your actions as just, unbiased and neutral, no, not so.

            Reading Comprehension requires Contextualization, and you’re clearly missing the Context of these actions. It’s not about the differences between one action and another(such would be Categorization, not Contextualization), but in which landscape such one action happened, Context.

          • Parrikle

            Do you know what else is really important in ethics? Accurate reporting. That didn’t happen here.

            As to the rest, you are making a lot of assumptions – that Ryulong was claiming to be impartial (he wasn’t), that being asked to make an edit on Wikipedia prevents you from being impartial (it doesn’t), and that being neutral on a topic prevents you from engaging in it (it does not). It is easy to throw these sorts of claims around, but it is largely meaningless.

          • Mr.Towel

            Defending Ryulong while complaining about lack of accuracy in reporting is the creme de la creme of irony.

            I didn’t say nor even implied that being asked to make an edit on Wikipedia prevents you to be impartial, this is your own reductionist approach projecting itself on the discourse. I said Ryulong was biased and partial much before such thing even happened and that is a very important context when the fact of being asked to make a edit happens.

            I didn’t say Ryulong was claiming to be impartial, I said he was posing to be a judge, an arbiter in a social discussion, for which he doesn’t have the ethical standing to be so.

            I didn’t said that being neutral in a topic prevents you from engaging in discussion of said topic.

            You’re putting a lot of words in my mouth that I didn’t said, you either is doing in it in bad faith or you really have some reading comprehension issues.

          • Parrikle

            > Defending Ryulong while complaining about lack of accuracy in reporting is the creme de la creme of irony.

            Arguing about ethics while ignoring that the article you are defending fails to meet the basic requirements of journalism is irony.

            > I said Ryulong was biased and partial much before such thing even happened and that is a very important context when the fact of being asked to make a edit happens.

            It is only important context if it is relevant. It isn’t relevant. He doesn’t need to be impartial. This is a straw man.

            > I didn’t say Ryulong was claiming to be impartial, I said he was posing to be a judge, an arbiter in a social discussion (as his position of editor renders on him), for which he doesn’t have the ethical standing to be so.

            He wasn’t posing to be a judge, though, or an arbiter – he was just another contributor. Again, that’s a straw man.

          • Mr.Towel

            I fail to see the lack of accurate reporting in the article. He reported what happened, conjecture doesn’t fall into reporting.

            The context is not relevant for Wikipedia wicked policies (which for the fourth time, is not the point), It is relevant to the ethics of a social discussion.

            The position of an editor renders him as a de facto arbiter of that discussion.

          • Parrikle

            > I fail to see the lack of accurate reporting in the article. He reported what happened, conjecture doesn’t fall into reporting.

            No, he didn’t. He made a series of claims which were wrong or not supported. Which is where this began. It is far from the first time.

            > The position of an editor renders him as a de facto arbiter of that discussion.

            No. It doesn’t. No more than we are a de facto arbiters of this discussion.

          • Mr.Towel

            If its conjecture, it’s still in his right as journalist to do so.

            This discussion isn’t meant to be published in a article affecting the assumptions of millions. Context.

          • Parrikle

            There’s a difference between conjecture an incorrect claims.

          • Mr.Towel

            The difference being what?

            As far as I know an incorrect claim is a claim that is PROVED to be precisely false, a conjecture is a claim of what might be possible till proven that it isn’t, if it wasn’t proven to be false, it’s still conjecture.

          • Parrikle

            From the original article:

            > The modification of the page by Ryulong was eventually reverted by other editors.

            No, it was modified, and then largely kept. That’s a false statement.

            > … it was revealed that the members had direct access to editors on Wikipedia, as well as getting changes made to articles at the behest of CON’s members.

            No, it was revealed that they had direct access to one article, and made changes to one article.

            > Now for those of you wondering whether or not this breaks the rules, it in fact does.

            It did not.

          • No, it was modified, and then largely kept. That’s a false statement.

            Check the history of the edits. They removed that entire section. What it is now may reflect what Ryulong wrote but what was edited in directly after Ryulong’s edit completely removed his sections.

          • Bob Cat

            >that being asked to make an edit on Wikipedia prevents you from being impartial (it doesn’t)

            The proper way to ask for an edit is on the talk page, not in a secret chat with the subject. Indeed, there are countless cases of interested parties asking for a disinterested editor to fix this or that on talk pages.

          • Parrikle

            > The proper way to ask for an edit is on the talk page, not in a secret chat with the subject. Indeed, there are countless cases of interested parties asking for a disinterested editor to fix this or that on talk pages.

            That is a perfectly good method of asking. But Wikipedia provides a lot of alternatives – including the OTRS system, where your emails are kept confidential, IRC, and pretty much anything else. Except in the case of paid editing, where a disclosure is excepted, Wikipedia focuses on the quality of the edits, not who asked you to look into them.

  • TT

    I’m still amazed at how all this corruption exposure was the result of pissing off gamers…like, I would never have guessed such a thing would be plausible.

    • Michael Marquardt

      Yep. Never underestimate the power of people who have spent their life completing games that require deductive reasoning, advanced problem solving, and serious time investment. They tend to be meticulous and overly clever. Seriously, WoW players built their own economy.

  • C G Saturation

    Same old.

    • Radspakr

      He got banned from Wikipedia, then went to Rational Wiki and got banned from there now he’s on the Bleach wikia and eventually they’ll ban his ass too.

      • Michael Marquardt

        Sadly, there will always be people who take his place, and they will get banned too. I wonder how long it will take before all the Ryulongs in the anti-gg arsenal are expended.

        • Radspakr

          The other guy hasn’t been banned as far I know.

      • lucben999

        I find it amazing that he managed to get himself banned from fucking RationalWiki, one of the most SJW-infested cesspools of the internet, for being too zealous. Ryulong’s power level is off the charts, he used to spend over ten hours a day every day doing nothing but editing the GamerGate article over and over and over again.

  • Eric Kelly

    makes you wonder how deep this rabbit hole really goes.

    • chaoguy

      Son, you don’t even know. You know how games do the “I’m the real final boss” thing? Imagine that, but 10 times over until your fighting the harder optional boss of the 5th game in the series- that hasn’t even been thought of yet.

      • That… that’s surprisingly accurate to the situation.

      • So…Raid Boss?

        • chaoguy

          Only deal with the summoned mob if you have to, know your role, know their strategy.

    • Bitterbear

      In the end. Kefka is a fat chick with blue hair.

    • C G Saturation

      I don’t need to wonder because I already know. Either way, there’s nothing I can do about it. At least I can take solace in the fact that they will eventually destroy themselves. Some day.

  • Laytonaster

    CON is really just the gift that keeps on giving, ain’t it?

    • chaoguy

      Only if you let those who work with them know how crooked they are, and let Twitter people and shareholders know Twitter’s Trust & Safety council can’t be trusted.

      So- email people and be polite.

  • scemar

    the wiki infowars are real