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March 01, 2007

Fuzzy Zoeller

No, I didn't know this. Wikipedia is apparently immune from libel suits, as Fuzzy Zoeller has just found out:

The offending paragraphs allegedly slandering Zoeller’s name were posted on December 20 2006, and have now been removed, but not before they were discovered, with Fuzzy Zoeller being named as ‘John Doe’ in the legal action that has subsequently been initiated to clear his name.

The IP address of the posts was traced back to education consulting firm Josef Silny & Associates of Miami, although Mr Silny says he is surprised that the complaint originated from his computer systems and doesn’t know who at his company might have made the offending Wikipedia posts.

Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, although following previous instances where Wikipedia entries were defaced and edited with potentially defamatory information, with people previously affected by inaccurate Wikipedia entries including John Seigenthaler, a former assistant to Robert Kennedy, who was falsely accused of being a suspected participant in the assassinations of  the Kennedy brothers, along with US politicians who have had their Wikipedia entries besmirched.

I guess the assumption is that as the people who host and run it are not the people who write it, it's more like a forum or bulletin board than anything else. So the hosters aren't liable, only the writers.

March 1, 2007 in Weblogs | Permalink


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