Talk:Wikipedia class action site vanishes, backers revealed

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Latest comment: 14 years ago by Brian McNeil in topic Could do better
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Wikinews investigation


This story is the result of a Wikinews Investigation. Please refer to Wikinews talk:Story preparation/Wikipedia class action lawsuit linked to possible earthquake charity fraud for further information.

"The Internet group that once solicited complaints purportedly for a class action suit against Wikipedia has shut up shop and revealed its roots." This does not sound professional at all. 06:07, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply



This article is too biased and emotionally charged. It would be better to get another news outlet to report it first as you can't write without biased against your enemy. 19:47, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

There must be specific actionable objections regarding the article's content in order for the editors to fix whatever bias being claimed. Please itemize the areas of the article that are of concern before placing a tag; the claim of bias appears to be predicated on an assumption that someone is an enemy of Wikinews and that assumption has no validity,imo. Neutralizer 21:03, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply
I've restored the tag, as you cannot remove a tag because you don't agree with a user's objections. The user in question has been blocked for a little less than two hours now, and is unable to respond to your message right now. Please give them time to respond. --MrMiscellanious (talk) – 21:05, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply
As one of the main contributors to this, the first thing I'm going to say is I don't object to the tag. At the time I applied the {{publish}} tag I felt it was a bit of a hatchet job. However, please give me specific, reasonable items that can be worked on to meet concerns regarding the article. I haven't checked the sourcing of material for a while so please bear in mind it'll take me as long to check aspects such as that as it will you. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:13, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply
List of problems that I immediately see:

1.Using phrases like 'defamation website' when 'website' suffice. 2.There are no reliable sources to prove the story is true. 21:39, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

1 I have changed it to class action website.
2 This is original reporting, there is a link at the top to various research pages.
--Brian McNeil / talk 22:06, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply
Do any actionable objections remain on this? --Brian McNeil / talk 23:07, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

Bias remains


There are still no reliable sources cited. It is mostly about Wikipedia participants behavior, with some harsh phrases from the dismissed portion of an unrelated lawsuit thrown in for good measure. I can cite several examples of overt attack journalism that remained in the article:

1. "is no stranger to controversy" One lawsuit on an unrelated matter hardly justifies this ad hominum. Wikipedia is no stranger to controversy. Wouldn't it be just as relevant to mention that Wikipedia has been sued for invasion of privacy in Germany, and so far has lost, and that the office frequently receives calls advising of potential legal action against the Foundation?

2. "the Amazon suit sought triple damages" Did they get it? It seems all they got was use of a DNS registration. So why are their allegations in an unsucessful plea for damages relevant? Again, why not some information about the Foundation's legal woes, which are more relevant to an article about proposed legal action against the Foundation.

3. "a negative publicity campaign waged via..." It takes one to know one? How about simply refering to these as articles critical of Wikimedia Foundation? Is there something wrong with a media organization portraying "Wikipedia or Wikipedians in a bad light"?

4. "Originally filed suit in Greece" -- what happened? Did the Greek legal system refuse their pleading? Did they loose? Did they go shopping for a friendly court? The reaction of the Greek legal system would seem just as relevant as that of the US system.

5. "A thinly veiled shakedown" -- again, more scurious language from a lawsuit where we are told nothing about hte other side's filings. From this article, we would come away with the belief that mining of DNS registrations is something new and always illegal. For all it's vast "free knowledge" we are not offered any links to any articles that woudl provide factual information about the extent to which people lawfully register and then sell lucrative DNS registrations.

6. "An organization which Wikipedia editors have accused of being a scam" -- isn't the issue here Wikipedia editors conducting original research? If nobody outside Wikimedia Foundation has made the accusations, they are not even permitted in Wikipedia. So why are original allegations contrary to Wikipedia policy relevant to the Signpost article?

7. "has shut up shop and revealed its roots" How do you know they have "shut up shop"? Did you interview them? How do you know the "group" is not working on the same project from a different approach? And "revealed its roots"? Does the Signposts eventual realizaton of who they are comprise a revelation? Did the Signpost make any prior effort to interview those behind the class action site? Did the Signpost have some way of knowing the parties involved didn't widely reveal their identities elsewhere?

8. "long-standing Wikipedia-alleged association between" -- the term "long-standing" defeats the qualifying effect of "wikipedia-alleged" and instead supports the assumpton that it is a "long-standing association". How about "long-standing allegations"? We don't have any information the history of the alleged association, nor for that matter any information about the character of the association. Did signposts volunteers ask QuakeAID or Officialwire?

9. "Wikipedia editors did not acknowledge the tax-exempt status of the organisation" do they now acknowledge it? It is easy enough to find out from an official source who is 501c3.

10. "A number of groups removed QuakeAID form their public list..." What number is that? Two? Two-thousand? One? The linked QuakeAID article mentions only one group that removed them from their list. If you don't know the number, why not stick to facts that you do know? What groups were they? Did others retain them on lists? "A number of" is a classic weasel phrase. Is there any actual evidence that QuakeAID was not involved in some way in delivering actual aid?

11. "using their newswire to run a smear campaign:" again, takes one to know one. The language is inefficient "using .. to run" when the same word space could be used to tell us something about the content of the articles they publish on their newswire. Does someone not want us to know what they write about Wikimedia Foundation?

12. "who is affiliated with..." what is that affiliation? Does she work for them? Is she a volunteer? The only evidence Wikipedia cites is that somebody used that same user name.

13. "threat to society" as the last word in the article. Again, it takes one to know one. But these words are part of an unsuccessful pleading for damages. The courts denial of the damage claim renders the words moot unless they are balanced with counter claims by the party who prevailed in the damages hearing. If Signpost writers think readers are too naive to see beyond this sort of writing, either they are catering to a less intelligent crowd than I run with, or they seriously underestimate the sophistication of the average newsreader.

14. The shrill "investigation ongoing" tags at the top of Wikipedia articles related to the Signpost article. Why not make the banner yellow and black, with "CRIME SCENE" repeated all around the edge? This is straight out of COINTELPRO tactics - indictment by investigation. Signpost's so-called reporters (hacks, propagandists?) can as well conduct their business without spreading evidence of their campaign all around a supposedly neutral website. Refering to the process of rounding up unsubstantiated allegations of sinister wrongdoing as an "investigation" is spurious promotion of the so-called news service but little more. One expects an investigator to contact all relevant sources and to provide the client of the investigation (readers in this case) information relevant to the subject at hand. We aren't even told what allegations the class action suit sought to bring to court. That's no investigation. What is relevant, as far as this article is concerned, is that dominant wikipedia participants involved here don't like the proposed class-action or anyone associated with it.

I am in no way associated with any parties to this matter. I simply responded to this because it is an easy article to pick apart, and because almost every controversial topic I read in Wikipedia and on the Signpost is constructed in the same style of thinly-veiled ridicule masked as neutral reportage. It is offensive to the tradition of news reporting and some people consider it a "threat to society." 02:21, 26 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

Could do better


Arrived here to do some background reading on websites that focus on criticism of WKP.

This article is not a good advert for collaborative journalism. It is informative, but needed to present more of the other side's arguments, given the non-neutral terms used in presenting what seems to be the WKP view of the site and its organisers.

"Amazon initially filed suit in Greece, and later in the US where their complaint described initial communication from Smith as a "thinly-veiled shakedown" when he offered to sell a controlling interest in CITI to the company for $1.6 million. "

What is the CITI referred to? Poor editing (talk) 05:57, 20 November 2009 (UTC)Reply