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In the media

Court-ordered article redaction, paid editing, and rock stars

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By Kudpung

German court orders Wikipedia to remove defamatory statements about a computer science professor

Lobby, Landgericht (State Court) Berlin

Writing in Heise Online on 2 November, Torsten Kleinz reports that the State Court of Berlin (file reference 27 O 12/7) has ordered the German Wikipedia to remove a critical passage on language researcher Alexander Waibel. "Just how far can one go in making supposedly reputation-damaging claims without substantiating them?" Computer scientist Weibel had sued Wikipedia following a claim sourced to the MDR magazine Fakt, in which he was linked to surveillance programs of the US intelligence services. Weibel, a professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, sees the allegations of being connected with espionage programs as reputation-damaging. "One needs to be very careful before claiming a scientist has connections to the secret service", recommends the presiding judge. Whether the claims were justified or not was not taken into account by the court. The Wikimedia Foundation, which admitted to not being aware of any lack of veracity in the Fakt article, has not appealed the verdict. The corresponding text has since been removed from the encyclopedia's article.

If you are famous and you die, Wikipedia will be one of the first places people will go for the most recent information

Marty Friedman

Wikipedia 'Deaditors': The People Who Let The World Know When Famous People Die, says Antoinette Lattouf, senior reporter of 10 daily on 11 November. Revealing that Conor Crawford, a 30-year-old from Missouri who edits Wikipedia as Conman33 was the first to update the Wikipedia biography on the 2009 death of Michael Jackson, she continues by explaining that he was also involved in the reporting of the passing of Prince in 2016. According to Lattouf, "Wikipedia’s page view statistics show that the site is the first stop for many when actors and entertainers pass away". Crawford told 10 daily that " the 'era of fake news' Wikipedia needs to be more stringent".

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  • I'm going to have to break that down some. There seems to be more than a hint of irony in the Christian anarchist criticizing a work created by unpaid volunteers, himself funded by an officially designated agent of the Russian state. ☆ Bri (talk) 15:43, 1 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • (edit conflict) Hedges picked that up from Buyniski's Progressive Radio Network pieces (republished to Medium: [2][3]). Did the pieces play anywhere besides RT? And I haven't finished them yet—what parts were worth covering? czar 15:54, 1 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Well, Czar, maybe Hedges' deep embarrassment when people introduce him with text from his Wikipedia page, because he just knows they've read it. I had a look at the undue emphasis on overblown claims of plagiarism when I first read the article. (After reading the talk page, I've removed the section as undue based on the consensus I found there for removal.) There is also a retrospective on a number of things: the Galloway / Phillip Cross incident of course, but also more generally the toleration of full-time editing and the obsessiveness (and competence with templates) needed to do it well, the Kazakh Wikipedia (this bit is particularly poignantly treated, for one of her sources, cf. [4]), the Seigenthaler story, the Clinton Foundation page, the Minassian Media story, WikiPR, COI editing, WikiScanner, the NYPD in March 2015, the antipathy to expertise, Larry Sanger, etc. It's quite the retrospective she's put together. It would be interesting to watch the Signpost tear it apart or recognize that there was some truth to what she says. I was impressed with her research at WPO, WR, and elsewhere. Of course, I should also say that I'm fairly involved in one of the stories in particular that she writes about, though I only had a chance to exchange with her after her research was done and after this interview had been filmed. Disclosure: I was blocked for 500 days, at least in part for a misunderstood comment I left here concerning two things: 1) the Sagecandor morality play & 2) the Minassian Media September 2016 communications audit and c-level training mission. Bri, let's talk content, not contributors (to the knowledge econoflu·x).  :) — 🍣 SashiRolls t · c 12:40, 2 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • I've only taken a brief look at Buyniski's articles on Medium -- the first appears to confuse the concept of evidence that proves chronic & endemic problems with the concept of proving that many problems exist & are being dealt with, & I lost interest half way thru; I'm still struggling thru the second -- but I'm seeing issues with her credibility. She cites Gary Null as an example of a sustained personal attack on a person (where she raises concerns that should be addressed), & claims she or others tried to "correct" the article on Null; however I've found no evidence that these attempts were made, at least in the last 6 months. I'm suspicious. Maybe someone with more time & experience with handling fringe theories can do a better job verifying Buyniski's claims. -- llywrch (talk) 21:57, 2 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]


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