With a grammatically feminine (gender) yet genetically masculine (OMG did u say sex?) user name (botanical, even), Florence Devouard fit the favoured ToW profile of internally contradictory screen names. She was so good at the Wikipedian MMORPG despite not even being a really long-term inmate that she ascended like sewage in the ocean through the salaried ranks of the Wikimedia Foundation. Professor Essjay only fibbed, dreamed, got to the first rung of the ladder, and fell off. Like MilToWpia, but just over a year earlier and in a bigger way, Madame Wikiwiki went right to the top.
How Did This Happen?
Enter Madame Wikiwiki
Madame Wikiwiki, Florence Devouard, Florence Nibart-Devouard, Anthere, or just plain Florence or Floflo (bit liek Fifi, amirite?) to her closer wikiwiki associates at their meetups, was in France, outside Jimbo's home jurisdiction, and thus a convenient patsy and foil for any potential legal problems that might raise questions of personal or foundation responsibility or unfair business practices. Keeping her figure and face carefully hidden to maintain the image of a vaguely appealing and vague older woman with vaguely new-age words and vague opinions, a fanatical yet vague devotion to the wikiwiki way, and a vaguely defined shitload of money, she was perfect for the part.
Ho, ho, ho, the Madame is such a choker!
—Madame Wikiwiki, Wikinews
Deliriously yet vaguely accepting the offer to be the chief fall guy for the foundation (especially darling Jimbo and Angie) Madame Wikiwiki instantly became "The Dearest and Third Most Loving Leader after Jimbo and Angie" to the devotees. Just a few months later, she became Madame Wikiwiki to the French public.
Madame Wikiwiki the anti-Jimbo
Madame Wikiwiki is the object of a personality cult: from ToW “administrators” wanting to fool you that they are really, really good people (and Santa really does have your name on a special list) to Amorrow (here) and other ToW exiles who’ve been attacked and smeared by the Wikipedia, various people project their wishful thinking onto her. Darth Wikiwiki is the one who will kiss the poor Wikipedians’ bruised egos and make them all better if only Darth Jimbo will give her free rein. She does have one or two superior qualities and opinions (not hard in comparison with the sole flounder) but they only matter if you are a Wikipedo and if so, you can read about them somewhere else.
Enter Francis Marmande
Francis Marmande christened her Madame Wiki in the nice rant of the same name published in Le Monde at the very beginning of February 2007. He also seems to have been the first to call Wikipedians cultists, as they so richly deserve.
—Paraphrase of Francis Marmande on Madame Wikiwiki (short version), Le Monde
Here is the full paraphrase: [Click to make full paraphrase collapse] [Click to see full paraphrase] 0
Marmande’s article was a satire of an article that appeared in Liberation just over two weeks earlier. This is pretty easy to see from the near-identical headline, sarcastic near-repetition of some of the same descriptions by Marmande, and the original article being a puff piece about the greatness of Madame Wikiwiki as one of six “people of the year” (persona 4/6) according to Liberation’s leftard standards.
The last line of the first version read
—French Wikipedo Xremis, French Wikipedia
Madame Wikiwiki’s Official Response as Foundation President
Madame Wikiwiki’s official reply to Marmande’s Madame Wikiwiki article in Le Monde shows wikipedo-discussion pathologies like repetition and wikipedese. It’s probably supposed to be rhetorical but d’ya think “On Wikipedia, we are not perfect, but ...” might be a BIT STALE BY THE SIXTH REPETITION? That’s the harmless part.
Marmande really brought out the Wikipedian in Madame Wikiwiki.
Smearing the critic’s publisher
Just like when any other newspaper or news site carries a critical piece or news of a wikiscandal (Essjay, Jimbo, Jossi, Slim Virgin, etc.) or mentions this very wiki, Le Monde suddenly stops being “notable” and becomes “gutter press” and “like a scandal sheet”.
Wikipedian sense of entitlement
The Madame’s official response as prez of the WMF was published 24 hours after the article, but Madame Wikiwiki seems to think (like this krazy kow) the whole world must drop everything to do a Wikipedian’s bidding RIGHT NOW!
—Madame Wikiwiki, Official WMF blogue
Maybe anyone but the President of France has to give Le Monde more than a couple of hours to respond?
Coordinates? Would the idea be to contact him or send him a cruise missile?
Very strange expectations
Everyone contacts the subject of a satirical or other critical piece to get all points approved in advance, right? It’s just what you do, natural like.
OIC, so we can all see where the WMF gets its bigger contributions (and how it distributes funds)? LOL.
Fuck, whadya know? So the foundation chair is a voluntary position? Would ya credit that?
Victims of Wikipedia should be pleased about all these new policies.
Gloating over the French Wikipedia’s vengeance page on Marmande
... plus a link to a smarmy blog attack on Marmande.
Satire, sarcasm and irony are alien concepts, all criticism is forbidden
... implied legal threats, citing 79 Wikipedo anonymous Internuts as if their bullshit counts for anything, distortion of Marmande’s words and moar. The whole is moar than the sum of parts. Read a paraphrase in English of Madame Wikiwiki’s whole official response as WMF Prez.
[Click to collapse.] [Click to expand English paraphrase.] 0
Madame Wikiwiki in Jimbo's Sex, Lies and Expenses Drama
Madame Wikiwiki generally hates and fears drama like a cat hates and fears a bath. Trouble is, one of her fellow WMF board members leaks like Jimbo's cock after picking up a case of the clap at a Moscow massage parlour. After Floflo told the Associated Press that Jimbo had just been "slow in submitting receipts" and persuaded them that "the money story was a no story", the nice leaky sieve dropped this little drama bomb from internal WMF mail.
—Madame Wikiwiki to Jimbo, Associated Press (via ABC News etc.)
Whammy! After all that Jimbo's done for her, and just what is that past he's rewriting? Minus the object for "grip", Jimbo in typical fashion assumed she meant his cock. Who knows, maybe Floflo herself was the sieve?
The Fall of Madame Wikiwiki
Jimbo didn't take Madame Wikiwiki's insults lying down, even though they were all supposed to be private in the first place. By May of the same year (2008) he had manipulated the board of the WMF so as to make Madame Wikiwiki's position untenable. While Floflo didn't resign, she did announce that she would not be up for re-election.
In a second announcement she made a few statements in English about why she committed suicide as chair of the Wikimedia Foundation. Unhappily for us, she got an English-speaker to fix them up beforehand and so cut their lulz value to pieces.
To consider the amount of difference you could make (now 1 of 11) vs the personal price you may have to pay To be silent, and fail the community or to be outspoken and face possible (even likely) ridicule and gossip from high-profile outsiders To have all your past contribs (in Wikimedia and elsewhere) dragged out and combed over and quoted to make you look like a radical/loon/criminal To be assumed corrupt, a liar, when actually all you are doing is trying to give a shit
... and she probably wasn't the leaker.
- It took just over a month for him to become 'notable' on the english wikipedia, although we might guess oversight came along the way
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