A 12-Year-Old Furry Wrote 20,000 Articles Of Gibberish On Scots Wikipedia
Read to the end for a cool macaroni recipe
Alright, The Scots Wikipedia Thing
A 19-year-old furry from North Carolina appears to spent the last seven years making over 120,000 edits to the Scots Wikipedia. The furry does not appear to speak Scots.
Scots Wikipedia is Wikipedia written in Scots, an indigenous language spoken in Scotland and a few regions of Ireland. Scots speakers have been suspicious of the Scots Wiki for a while now. I found a few instances of confusion from Scottish redditors about the Wiki. One user a couple years ago wrote, “I don't think it's a deliberate joke but it is of very low quality for an encyclopaedia.” (Hilariously, I also found this Slate story published two years ago titled, “The Free Enclopaedia That Awbody Can Eedit: Scots Wikipedia Is No Joke”.)
The bombshell discovery was posted to the r/Scotland subreddit last night and after going through all of it, I can say it looks pretty legit. The furry made thousands of edits and even fought other users about them. I’m not going to include their username in this because they’re getting flooded with harassment.
The r/Scotland post laying out exactly what has happened is riveting. The original poster, u/Ultach, explains the extent of the damage:
The problem is that this person cannot speak Scots. I don’t mean this in a mean spirited or gatekeeping way where they’re trying their best but are making a few mistakes, I mean they don’t seem to have any knowledge of the language at all…
This is going to sound incredibly hyperbolic and hysterical but I think this person has possibly done more damage to the Scots language than anyone else in history. They engaged in cultural vandalism on a hitherto unprecedented scale.
Following u/Ultach’s post, both the r/Wikipedia and the r/Scotland subreddits went into full meltdown mode. An admin for Scots Wikipedia held an emergency AMA last night. Things did not go well. The editor mostly blamed Scots speakers for not catching the errors.
The whole mess has also inspired lots of people to share their favorite excerpts from Scots Wikipedia.
I should note that a really unfortunate immediate side effect of all of this is now the whole internet is dunking on a very real language and endangered language.
The furry who trashed the Scots Wikipedia has mostly deleted their socials from the internet, but I found their Twitter, DeviantArt, and Fur Affinity account. (Fur Affinity is a social network for furries.) They describe themselves as a college student and their age is currently listed as 19 years old, which means they started editing Scots Wikipedia when they were 12. Their fursona is a “foxdeer,” in case you were curious. The cache I found of their account only goes back to late July, but apparently they thought the Netflix anime Beastars was only mediocre. There was nothing about Scots on there.
It’s not really clear how you can fix this level of damage other than wiping the whole wiki and starting over. It’s already been pointed out that the Scots Wikipedia is used as training data for language detection. Also, as one Redditor noticed, the furry wasn’t just active on Wikipedia. He was LARPing as an expert on Quora, as well.
The furry did respond to a request for comment on Wikipedia. Their response is interesting and answers a few questions as to how one accidentally gets wrapped up in this sort of thing:
Honestly, I don't mind if you revert all of my edits, delete my articles, and ban me from the wiki for good. I've already found out that my "contributions" have angered countless people, and to me that's all the devastation I can be given, after years of my thinking I was doing good (and yes, obsessively editing, I have OCD). I was only a 12-year-old kid when I started, and sometimes when you start something young, you can't see that the habit you've developed is unhealthy and unhelpful as you get older. I don't care about defending myself, I only want to stop being harassed on my social medias (and to stop my other friends who have nothing to do with the wiki from being harassed as well). Whether peace can [be restored] by scowiki being kept like it is or extensively reformed to wipe my influence from it makes no difference to me now that I know that I've done no good anyway.
Goodbye Cottagecore, Hello Queer-Frog-And-Toad-Core
Good for them.
On eBay, You Can Buy A Body Painting With A Bit Of Shit On It
A TikToker going by @aleasha89 did the body art challenge that’s currently going around. Her best guy friend wanted to try it out too and apparently after he pressed down on the canvas, he left a bit of shit smeared on the canvas. Which makes sense. As we’ve learned from years of Reddit posts, men really don’t seem to know how to wipe their own asses.
@aleasha89 decided to list the shit-stained body art on eBay. Obviously. Apparently, someone did win it, but they didn’t pay, so she’s re-listed it. The starting price is $10 and you have six days left to put your bid in. Get moving! She’s describing it as “scratch and sniff.”
Here’s A Good Meme
I Just Learned About “Unofficial” Japanese Mascots
First, if you don’t follow Mondo Mascots, you absolutely should. This account has been going for about four years and it’s just a wonderful reprieve from the general awfulness of Twitter when it graces your timeline with an update. SB Nation recently did a big deep dive into Japan’s obsession with mascots. Worryingly, the coronavirus may be putting the whole practice in jeopardy as the country cuts back on public appearances. But basically, everything in Japan has a mascot — towns, companies, casinos. When I was working in the Yahoo Japan building in 2017, they had two giant mascots, Search-kun and Engine-kun. Here are selfies I took with them:
What I did not know about, though, were unofficial renegade mascots. Earlier this week, Mondo Mascots posted this picture of Kikuchi-kun, the unofficial mascot of Kikuchi City. According to Mondo Mascots, it’s wearing a melon as a hat, its nose is a grain of rice, and its eyes are the historic crest of a local clan. More than a few people noticed the word “unofficial” in Mondo Mascots’ tweet and they, of course, had questions.
Luckily for us, Mondo Mascots had an answer!
Which really only inspires countless more questions. Here’s a photo of the two together.
Honestly, not sure which one I like better? I love Korou-kun’s little sword, but Kikuchi-kun looks completely insane and the fact it was built by some random person makes me like them even more.
If you want to explore a great selection of other “unofficial” Japanese mascots, here’s a link to a bunch of Mondo Mascots’ tweets about them. My favorite is the bad boy sweet potato of Hitachinaka City.
The Next “Extra Garbage Day” Drops Tomorrow
So every other Thursday right now, I’m releasing an “Extra Garbage Day” for paid subscribers. If you’re interested in checking these out, hit the subscribe button below.
It’s $5 a month or $30 a year (or you can pay the full $60 a year if you really love this newsletter). I want to thank those of you who are already signed up. Due to your support, Garbage Day has very quickly and shockingly become a full time job and I feel unbelievably grateful. So every sign-up just helps keep this crazy train going. The previous Extra Garbage Day was a Q&A with Sarah H (@nezumi_ningen on Twitter), one of my favorite QAnon researchers. Tomorrow’s is a Q&A with one of my favorite YouTube musicians, Skatune Network. I hope you’ll check it out!
P.S. here’s a cool macaroni recipe.
***All typos in this email are on purpose actually***