For Seven Years, Scots Wikipedia Was Vandalized By A Furry Who Didn’t Know Scots


Scots Wikipedia Articles refers to a controversy surrounding thousands of articles found on Scots Wikipedia that are, instead of Scots, written in mangled English.


On August 25th 2020, a thread was made on the 4chan /his/ board that started a discussion about dozens of articles on Scots Wikipedia that weren’t even written in Scots, but in broken English with a few Scots words in them. It was discovered that most of them were written just by one American (now 19 years old) teenager, with a username AmaryllisGardener, who has been writing them for more than 7 years.

>9325450 >>9325454 >>9325464 >>9325472 >>9325477 >>9325509 >>9325683 >>9325867>>9325899 >>9325974 >>9325993 >>9326011 >>9326141 >>9326273 >>9326331 >>9326508 >>9326573 >>9326611 >>9326615 >>9326631 >>9326774 >>9326883 >>9326931 >>9327580 >>9328532 >wonder for years why the Scots language wikipedia is so badly written >it’s basically just written in English, no efforts are made to include Scots vocabulary or grammar >if try to add any Scots vocab or fix the grammar your edits will be reverted within the day >start noticing a pattern with the edit pages >all the articles are created by the same person >look at a dozen more articles >they were all created by this same person >look at about two hundred random articles >they’ve all been created by a gay 13 year old furry from North Carolina who doesn’t even speak Scots >he’s created practically ever single page on the wiki I know this is probably too niche a topic for /his/ and probably nobody cares but me, but I find it pretty horrifying. Through the efforts of one obsessive who knows absolutely nothing about the topic he seems to dedicate all his spare time to, what could’ve been a vital resource for a dying language is instead most commonly used as ammunition against it, people deriding it as ‘badly spelled English’ because that’s what the guy writing all these thousands of articles thinks Scots is. 600 years of literary history wiped out by a random teenager. Truly the digital age is a horrific time. Text Font Green Line Document” class=” kym-image image-auto-link” id=”photo_1888075″ title=”The /his/ thread”>


Later that day, the issue started to be discussed on various other boards and eventually was posted on r/Scotland by user Ultach, who said that AmaryllisGardener “has possibly done more damage to the Scots language than anyone else in history.” The Reddit post was more detailed and included more examples of mistakes found in the texts, such as:

For example, they consistently translate “also” as “an aw” in every context. So, Charles V would be “king o the Holy Roman Empire and an aw Spain [sic]”, and “Pascal an aw wrote in defence o the scienteefic method [sic]”. I think they did this because when you type “also” into the Online Scots Dictionary, “an aw” is the first thing that comes up. If they’d ever read any Scots writing or even talked to a Scottish person they would’ve realised you can’t really use it in that way.

Wikipedia could have been an invaluable resource for the struggling language. Instead, it’s just become another source of ammunition for people wanting to disparage and mock it, all because of this one person and their bizarre fixation on Scots, which unfortunately never extended so far as wanting to properly learn it.

After Internet users found other AmaryllisGardener’s social media accounts, including his Twitter and Reddit, the fact that he seemed to be a part of Furry and My Little Pony fandom made him even a bigger subject to online harassment which led to him making his Twitter account private and editing his Wikipedia bio (shown below).

Older Uiser: Frae Wikipedia Newer (Scots) Hello! A'm an A Uiserboxes Wikipedia:Babel help mainteen this wiki! A hae been here This uiser is an admeenistrator on the Scots Wikipaedia. (verify) This user is a native speaker of the en English language. syne Februar 2013, an syne late 2013 A hae been the main active admeenistrator Uiser:AmaryllisGardener This uiser is an admeenistrator on This uiser can contreibute wi a here. A'm an aw active on the Inglis sco-3 Wikidata. (verify) heich level o Scots. Wikipaedia, as weel as Wikidata, whaur A Frae Wikipedia, the free beuk o knawledge ru-1 Smom участник владеет русским языком на начальном уровне. am an admeenistrator. Apairt frae This uiser haes creatit 23,000 airticles on Wikipaedia. Wikipaedia, A'm a User language Userboxes This uiser haes made mair nor a brony, an INTP. Sairch uiser leids 120,000+ 120,000 contreibutions tae Wikipaedia en-N This user has a native understanding This user is a rollbacker and of English. (English) Hello! I'm I help maintain this wiki! I have been here and pending changes reviewer on the English Wikipedia (verify). This uiser is a native resident This uiser can contreebute wi ae Sco-2 middlin level o Scots. since February 2013, and since late 20131 This user is an administrator on Wikidata. (verify) have been the main active administrator This uiser is o pih-1 This user has basic knowledge of Norfuk / Pitkern. here, I'm also active on the English Scots auncestry. This user is a member of the Small Wikipedia, as well as Wikidata, where I am Wiki Monitoring Team. Users by language an administrator. Apart from Wikipedia, I'm a a brony, and an INTP. This user has P autopatrolled rights on Wikimedia Meta-Wiki • 5,000t eedit: [1]& • 10,000t eedit: [2] This user has made over 200,000 contributions to Wikimedia 200,000+ • 20,000t eedit: [3] • 100,000t eedit: [4] Host wiki Contributions Logs Edits • 1st airticle: Human Development Index • 100t airticle: Bundesautobahn 4 • 500t airticle: Okapi • 1.000t airticle: Guar qum • 2,500t airticle: Satrap • 5,000t airticle: Sheikh • 7,500t airticle: Hel (bein) • 10,000t airticle: Quintillus Text Product Web page Font Line Screenshot
Later that day, Ultach’s post was linked on Twitter by a user Robyn Speer, which helped the issue to get even more attention.

Robyn Speer @r_speer Almost every article on Scots Wikipedia is written by one American teenager, who does not speak Scots and is just writing English in an Text Font Line” class=” kym-image image-auto-link” id=”photo_1888080″ title=”Scots Wikipedia Tweet”>
AmaryllisGardener gave people a response in a thread on Wikipedia:

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.

On August 27th and 28th, several mainstream media started covering up the controversy, such as The Guardian and Vice.

Since the number of articles is huge and correcting them all would require lots of time, some people proposed deleting the whole Scots Wikipedia. This idea was however rejected by Daria Cybulska, the director of programmes and evaluation at Wikimedia UK, who responded with the following:

We are aware of the concerns that have emerged about the content of the Scots-language Wikipedia and are in touch with the Wikimedia Foundation and volunteer editor community to offer support in helping to ensure that these issues are addressed.
We are exploring ways of supporting the existing Scots Wikipedia editor community, by offering help with editing training for newcomers, facilitating partnerships with authoritative language organisations and organising editing events to harness current interest and energy.

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