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The Great Wikipedia Titty Scandal

This is the story of a Wikipedia administrator gone mad with 80,000 boob pages — and an unhinged trial that would dictate the site’s NSFW future

As midnight neared on the night of November 5, 2015, an anonymous user on Wikipedia submitted a report that would rock the internet behemoth to its core. Apparently, one of its high-ranking administrators, Neelix, had gone rogue and was quietly amassing thousands upon thousands of entries dedicated to titties

For a platform wherein unpaid users produce the lion’s share of content, Wikipedia rarely receives the same kind of criticism for the divisiveness, misinformation and moderation issues that plague Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, etc. That’s because, by and large, Wikipedia runs a tight ship aided by a massive, if not convoluted, bureaucracy of moderation. “Oh, it’s very complicated,” says Greg Kohs, an early co-founder of Wikipedia watchdog Wikipediocracy. In short, Wikipedia is operated by a massive hierarchy of users with varying levels of power. Near the top of the pyramid are roughly 1,100 administrators, who have the second-most power, just below the platform’s 19 bureaucrats. 

Obviously, the top of the pyramid isn’t open to just anyone. Those attempting to become administrators are put through “a process similar to the Supreme Court nominee hearing before the Senate,” Kohs explains. “Not many people are making the effort to go through the kind of ordeal of having every one of your previous edits inspected and criticized before you’re offered up this powerful tool.”  

If approved, administrators are granted the ability to block disruptive editors as well as view, edit and restore pages that had been previously deleted and create, edit and publish pages without approval from a higher power. Though a large portion of administrators operate under pseudonyms, they’re a tight-knit, tireless group of volunteers who take their responsibility of maintaining Wikipedia as an accurate, neutral resource very seriously.  

Chief among them was Neelix. “His user page has boxes that say that he’s ranked 10th on the list of Wikipedians by number of articles created, that he’d created over 5,000 articles,” Kohs observes. “It seemed that was definitely a source of pride for him.” 

So when the anonymous user charged Neelix with “chronic, intractable behavioral problems,” the Wikipedia community found itself in shock. Was one of its greatest administrators a fraud? 

When dealing with such serious allegations, Wikipedia administrators gather on a public forum called the “Administrator’s Noticeboard,” where they essentially hold a trial for the accused. They dig through the defendant’s editing history to present further evidence of wrongdoing, argue the degree of punitive measures required and give the accused a chance to defend themselves. 

In Neelix’s case, he was charged with creating unnecessary “redirects,” which automatically send visitors to the “main” article for that topic. These typically have to do with plural versions of a word or different permutations of a topic — searching “testes,” for example, automatically takes you to the Wikipedia article for “testicle.” 

Digging into Neelix’s history, however, his fellow administrators couldn’t believe what they found. He hadn’t just created a handful of redirects, as the original report described; he’d quietly created thousands upon thousands of new redirects, each one a chaotic, if not offensive, permutation of the word “tits” and “boobs.” For example, he created redirects for “tittypumper,” “tittypumpers,” “tit pump,” “pump titties,” “pumping boobies” and hundreds more for “breast pump.” In fact, for seemingly every Wikipedia article related to breasts, he did something similar. 

At first, given how many redirects had been created and how nonsensical and immature they were, administrators assumed his account must have been hacked. “There was a recent incident … of admin accounts that were compromised,” wrote administrator DD2K. “Could this also be one? I cannot fathom a logical reason that someone would create all of those infantile redirects.” 

In his defense, however, Neelix testified that his account had not been hacked, nor had he used a bot to create such a vast number of redirects. Rather, he simply stated that he was a fast typer. “Considering that there seems to be so much opposition,” he responded, “I will not object to the redirects being deleted and I will not attempt to create more redirects in this vein, but I do think them valid.” 

But the deeper the administrators looked into Neelix’s history, the more inexplicable redirects they found. “If [Neelix] thinks links like ‘titty constructor,’ ‘boobie builder’ and a dozen variations [should redirect to] ‘breast reconstruction’ and ‘tiny titties’ with many variations [redirect to] ‘micromastia,’” scolded administrator Jbhunley, “I strongly suggest they do not have the maturity and judgement we expect in [our] administrators.” 

When one administrator came to Neelix’s defense, arguing that deleting his redirects would be censorship, others were quick to respond. “This doesn’t have anything to do with censorship. It’s creating redirects with infantile wording just for shits and giggles,” DD2K corrected. “Who the fuck is going to search ‘suckling of the titties’ instead of ‘breastfeeding’?” 

“I especially don’t see the value of creating pages with titles like ‘titty banged,’ ‘frenchfucking,’ ‘licks boobs,’ ‘boobyfeeding,’ ‘a trip down mammary lane’ and so on. Wikipedia is not censored, but we’re also not Urban Dictionary,” added Ivanvector

The tribunal of administrators begged Neelix to explain himself, but he refused. “I apologize for creating unusual redirects,” he responded. “When creating them, I did not think the community in general would be against them. Again, I am very sorry.” 

In a recap of the trial on Reddit, redditor Cumby_O_Boombox offers the theory that Neelix might’ve just gotten carried away. “One could argue that it’s reasonable to redirect ‘boob sex’ and ‘tit fucking’ to ‘mammary intercourse,’” they explained. “But it’s much harder to defend redirects like ‘titty tumors,’ ‘segmental removal of the titties,’ ‘constructions of the booby,’ ‘hypoplastic tits’ and ‘atrophy of the titties.’” 

Without a fitting explanation, administrators didn’t know what to do. If Neelix truly believed he was doing the right thing, perhaps this was simply a lapse in judgement that could be corrected. On the flip side, if this man was an inherently flawed titty mastermind, they had no other choice than to revoke him of his administrative power. “The thousands upon thousands of absolutely puerile and useless redirects is staggering,” DD2K marveled. “Literally there are thousands and thousands just in the last several months. Something needs to be done about this, but I’m not sure what.” 

“I’ve just gone through all 80,000 page creations, and he was creating nonsense like ‘anti-trousers’ years ago,” added Iridescent. “This isn’t anything new, it’s just the first time it’s come to light. If ‘segmental removal of the titties’ [isn’t deleted by Neelix] in the next 10 minutes I’m blocking him.” 

Finally, after six days of exhausting deliberations, Neelix reappeared on November 11th, and volunteered to step down as an administrator and retire from Wikipedia completely. 

The Trial of 80,000 Titties was over. Still, it would take administrators nearly three years to undo the damage Neelix had wrought. Recalling “such timeless classics as ‘booby surgeons,’ ‘titty waist hip measurement,’ ‘milks boobies’ and ‘titty physics,’” one Wikipedian concluded, “thank God he apparently never heard the term ‘jugs’ or ‘rack’ or other similar slang or this would have been many times worse.” 

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