Wikipediaclassaction.org

I recently had an exchange with the person behind WikipediaClassAction dot org. The transcript is below Comments are welcome, though the following quote from wikipediaclassaction.org might do just as well to show you how stable the author is (emphasis my own):

Our primary concern is that Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. and JIMBO (Jimmy) Wales believe themselves above the law, refusing to remove offending, defamatory and untrue content, even going so far as to cause further damage by highlighting the content, asking people to vote on its removal, etc. The system is full of problems and these are intentional in design and purposeful in their intent; to cause harm, to permit and encourage a system of anonymous libel and we submit, the result of Wales’ deep-seated upset with ridicule he suffered the result of his porn business; something like the way that Richard Desmond acts because he has never quite been accepted into ‘society’ because of his King of Porn history. Similarly, Wales uses Wikipedia to libel and ‘get back’ of those he doesn’t like…

Transcript follows:

From: Lee Sonko
To: lawsuit @wikipediaclassaction.org
Date: Dec 13 2005 – 11:56pm

You are an idiot.

From: lawsuit@wikipediaclassaction.org
To: Lee Sonko
Date: Dec 14 2005 – 4:17am

http://news.baou.com/main.php?action=recent&rid=20679

From: Lee Sonko
To: lawsuit @wikipediaclassaction.org
Date: Jan 1 2006 – 8:12pm

That article appears to mostly just claim that pedophiles are writing articles in Wikipedia about pedophilia. Writing about pedophilia is not a crime.

I get the impression that you are afraid that people will read articles on pedophilia and this will convert them into pedophiles. This is doesn’t fly. There are television shows and movies (and Wikipedia articles) about all manner of deviants and criminals; many of these shows glorify such activity. There are shows about serial killers and peeping toms, mattress tag rippers and even homosexuals but the conversion rate of people that watch or read this material remains low.

Censoring writings about a particular behavior is unlikely to stop it. Maybe what you need is a good book burning. Unfortunately, the US court system is unlikely to grant you one. I suggest you go burn your own books.

I would like to point out that your web site, http://wikipediaclassaction.org/ has Google Ads on it. These ads were not written by you but they appear on your website. If there were an objectionable ad on your website via this service, it would be reasonable of you to disclaim responsibility for it. This case differs very little from Wikipedia’s situation. If you condemn Wikipedia, you condemn your own practices as well.

From: lawsuit@wikipediaclassaction.org
To: Lee Sonko
Date: Jan 2 2006 – 5:14am

If you don’t see the difference between editorial content and an ad,
then you need to return to school.

Suffice it to say, if there were an objectionable ad, I could report it
to Google and they, being a responsible company would do something about
it. They would not disown the content of their service.

Of course, the point is, that I placed those ads there and so I take the
chance that some content may be objectionable. However, I do not choose
to have our organization and or our fellow complainants written about in
Wikipedia. Against our express requests, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
permits (read: encourages) users to post content that is both
un-verified and potentially libelous and defamatory. When informed of
the offending content, Wikimedia (the publisher of the content) adds
insult to injury by highlighting the content “for deletion” which merely
serves to inflict further harm on the victim.

The system is fraught with problems.

Hence the lawsuit.

From: Lee Sonko
To: lawsuit@wikipediaclassaction.org
Date: Jan 2 2006 – 11:09pm

WikipediaClassAction.org wrote:
> If you don’t see the difference between editorial content and an ad,
> then you need to return to school.

I’m not sure what difference you are referring you.

> Suffice it to say, if there were an objectionable ad, I could report
> it to Google and they, being a responsible company would do something
> about it. They would not disown the content of their service.

Actually, that is incorrect.

https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/answer.py?answer=9716&ctx=top5

Please note that Google does not commit that all ads for the websites that you add to your competitive ad filter list or ads containing objectionable content will be prevented from display on your site.

https://www.google.com/adsense/terms

9. No Warranty. GOOGLE MAKES NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION WITH RESPECT TO ADVERTISING, LINKS, SEARCH, REFERRALS, AND OTHER SERVICES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS THE WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF NONINFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, AND FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE. TO THE EXTENT ADS, LINKS, AND SEARCH RESULTS ARE BASED ON NON-GOOGLE CONTENT, GOOGLE SHALL NOT HAVE ANY LIABILITY IN CONNECTION WITH THE DISPLAY OF SUCH ADS, LINKS, AND SEARCH RESULTS.

> Of course, the point is, that I placed those ads there and so I take
> the chance that some content may be objectionable. However, I do not
> choose to have our organization and or our fellow complainants written about in
> Wikipedia. Against our express requests, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
> permits (read: encourages) users to post content that is both
> un-verified and potentially libelous and defamatory. When informed of
> the offending content, Wikimedia (the publisher of the content) adds
> insult to injury by highlighting the content “for deletion” which merely serves to inflict
> further harm on the victim.

The WikiMedia Foundation is not the author or editor of the material on wikipedia and therefore has no right to edit the materials.

I don’t follow how highlighting for deletion inflicts further harm on the victim. Please explain.

May I ask what you think of the main substance of my previous email? The part about censorship, book burnings, and conversion. See below for a reminder of my words.

From: lawsuit @wikipediaclassaction.org
To: Lee Sonko
Date: Jan 2 2006 – 11:30am

There is little point in this exchange since you are not going to stop our action and I am not here to change your mind.

The courts will decide the matter. Not you.

From: Lee Sonko
To: lawsuit@wikipediaclassaction.org
Date: Jan 2 2006 – 11:54pm

I asked pointed questions about how you might succeed. But you haven’t provided on your website or in our emails any compelling reasons why this lawsuit might succeed. Have fun in court.

8 Comments

  1. Lee says:

    Another response

    From: lawsuit@wikipediaclassaction.org
    Date Jan 2 2006 – 12:15pm

    But it is none of your concern. You are not a defendant. You are not one of the 1,577 plaintiffs. So you have no involvement. Why should I be required to provide you any so-called compelling argument?

  2. Lee says:

    Amykins, I wrote about 385 words trying to defend the creation of a new form of communication from a closeted pedophile and an army of lawyers. I then made it public in the hopes that it would convince others that the case has no merit. I did this because it is too often the case that when something gets the wrong spin in the media, strange and terrible things can happen.

    Yesterday, you wrote 450 words (a friends-only blog) telling us what you made for dinner, how much you like your new boots, and how you didn’t get to shower until just before bed.

    You write your blog, I’ll write mine.

  3. Lee says:

    Compare the business and life concerns that you have with mine. We write about different things for a reason.

    I could say that your life is pathetically trivial if all you have to think and write about is meatloaf. But that would be just as much a pointless flame as your comment to me.

    You write your blog, Iíll write mine. There is room enough on the internet for both of us.

  4. WTL says:

    I believe that as this is Lee’s blog he can write about whatever the heck he wants. Amy has her blog and she can write whatever she wants. And guess what? I have my blog, and *I* write about what *I* want.

    I think that this lawsuit against Wikipedia is unproductive and destructive. Wouldn’t it just be easier to edit the articles in question?

    I would imagine that rather than fighting lawsuits, it might be interesting to just move Wikipedia somewhere “safer”.

  5. Lee says:

    To a more legally lenient place like Anguilla? Right next to the online gambling houses? That might end up being a good idea.

    It’s a sad day when business has to go outside the US to find better intellectual freedom. I fear that we’re digging our own grave.

  6. Lee says:

    Obviously, the internet is not big enough.

    Amykins, please stay on topic.

  7. Lee says:

    I ask again that you stay on topic. You are referring talking about a topic best discussed in personal email.

  8. Lee says:

    It appears that Wikipediaclassaction.org has gone away. Going to the site today, I was redirected to officialwire.com which appears to be an automated pseudo-news site designed to tug on the heart strings of Google Pagerank and make money with Google Ads and dietary supplements.

    Hmm, was I hoodwinked into linking to him? I doubt it since I got several responses from the guy.

    Nevertheless… Unlink! Unlink! Ok!

    —-
    Hah! I’m the 5th highest ranking site on Google for Wikipediaclassaction.
    1- The site itself
    2- Officialnewswire
    3- The wikipedia article of the same name
    4- A post on Beer Pressure
    5- Little old me

    I’m like… news or something.

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