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> Letter to UK Charity Commission, Is this a big enough stick? I hope so.
Peter Damian
post Thu 24th November 2011, 8:29pm
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QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Thu 24th November 2011, 6:39pm) *

The exact wording of the application would be helpful, because the Fraud Act of 2002 makes it unlawful to make any sort of misleading statement with the intent of gain. It is the statement that is the critical act, not the gain, which does not have to be crystallised.


I had a correspondence with the lawyers, Stone King (who strangely have no article about themselves in Wikipedia, though some lawyers do), who were very helpful. This is all going to be arranged.

I have heard nothing directly from WMUK however. This may change when I pay a visit to their offices next week.

QUOTE(timbo @ Thu 24th November 2011, 4:37pm) *

Narcs suck.

t


There were some great articles linked to on your page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Carrite about fires in New York garment district where the bosses kept the doors locked and many workers died as a result.

How terrible if someone had informed the authorities about these terrible working practices and those bosses were punished. How bad for the bosses. Narcs suck, indeed.
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carbuncle
post Thu 24th November 2011, 9:49pm
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QUOTE(RMHED @ Thu 24th November 2011, 7:41pm) *

The listing as it appears on the Commissions website, and the trustees.

For ease of reference, here is the list of trustees from that link:
MR ANDREW TURVEY
MR MICHAEL PEEL
MR STEVE VIRGIN
MR ROGER BAMKIN
DR MARTIN LEWIS POULTER
MR ASHLEY VAN HAEFTEN
MR CHRISTOPHER JOSEPH KEATING

I regret looking at the list because one of those names is particularly familiar to me from past interactions. I guess I haven't been paying attention, or I would have noticed this earlier. I'll open up that can of worms when I get the time.
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Detective
post Thu 24th November 2011, 10:32pm
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QUOTE(RMHED @ Thu 24th November 2011, 7:41pm) *

The listing as it appears on the Commissions website, and the trustees.

I see that one of the trustees is a Mr. Steve Virgin. Maybe he's taken on the job hoping to benefit from Jimbo's advice. biggrin.gif After all, whatever we think of Jimbo, we will all agree that there's one thing he's very good at. tongue.gif
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RMHED
post Thu 24th November 2011, 10:48pm
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QUOTE(carbuncle @ Thu 24th November 2011, 9:49pm) *

QUOTE(RMHED @ Thu 24th November 2011, 7:41pm) *

The listing as it appears on the Commissions website, and the trustees.

For ease of reference, here is the list of trustees from that link:
MR ANDREW TURVEY
MR MICHAEL PEEL
MR STEVE VIRGIN
MR ROGER BAMKIN
DR MARTIN LEWIS POULTER
MR ASHLEY VAN HAEFTEN
MR CHRISTOPHER JOSEPH KEATING

I regret looking at the list because one of those names is particularly familiar to me from past interactions. I guess I haven't been paying attention, or I would have noticed this earlier. I'll open up that can of worms when I get the time.

So the Trustees are just the current members of the Wikimedia UK board. A bunch of geeky white men with too much time on their hands and an inflated sense of their own importance.
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dogbiscuit
post Thu 24th November 2011, 10:53pm
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The fact that the charity trustees are employing people known to them rather than most suitably qualified for the role (Chase Me being the prime example) is a problem under Charity Law. Trustees are under a legal obligation to act considering the best interests of the charity and if it could be shown that they were employing friends that were not qualified in a world where there must be plenty of experienced people then they are heading for trouble.

QUOTE
Trustees must... act with integrity, and avoid any personal conflicts of interest or misuse of charity funds or assets.
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RMHED
post Thu 24th November 2011, 11:20pm
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QUOTE(Detective @ Thu 24th November 2011, 10:32pm) *

QUOTE(RMHED @ Thu 24th November 2011, 7:41pm) *

The listing as it appears on the Commissions website, and the trustees.

I see that one of the trustees is a Mr. Steve Virgin. Maybe he's taken on the job hoping to benefit from Jimbo's advice. biggrin.gif After all, whatever we think of Jimbo, we will all agree that there's one thing he's very good at. tongue.gif

Image
Steve Virgin, PR consultant.
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dogbiscuit
post Fri 25th November 2011, 8:34am
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Could you run through Verifiability not Truth once more?
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"Verifiability not truth" could be another stick to beat them with.

There has been a battle over many years and the fact that one individual has owned that controversial statement and held it in place against all reasonable attempts to correct the difficulties of the deliberate misinterpretation of this ought to be an element of the argument that Wikimedia UK have any semblance of editorial control for the Greater Good.

It is probably the finest example of ownership on Wikipedia, not only for the length of time, but for the overarching effect of the ownership.
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Cla68
post Fri 25th November 2011, 12:59pm
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That would be just outstanding if WR could get their charity status pulled.
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Peter Damian
post Sun 27th November 2011, 3:30pm
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I have discussed with Mike Peel and it turns out that the article in Third Sector http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/go/governance...charity-status/ was a misquote. The Stone King press release http://www.stoneking.co.uk/news/articles/-/page/1244 is more carefully worded, saying that

QUOTE

In accepting Stone King’s application on behalf of Wikimedia UK, the Commission has been at pains to point out that the publication of information useful to the public and the promotion of open content are not inherently charitable activities. Any similar organisation seeking to become registered with the Charity Commission would need to demonstrate that its activities are exclusively for the public benefit and that the content promoted has sufficient editorial controls and safeguards on the accuracy and objectivity of the information provided. In Wikipedia’s case, for example, the continuous development and operation of editing policies and content security tools assure an increasingly high quality of content.


I.e. WMUK has to demonstrate that there are sufficient editorial controls on Wikipedia, does not have to ensure this. A fine line.

This changes nothing, however. I did not think an law firm would have made such an elementary mistake. The real question is, how WMUK can demonstrate that there are sufficient editorial controls. This is what I am focusing on.
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Daniel Brandt
post Sun 27th November 2011, 4:20pm
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If you have an occasion to mention John Seigenthaler, here is a little bit of multimedia that should impress anyone who has an objective interest in the points you are making. Wikipedia was awful in 2005 when the Seigenthaler defamation occurred, Jimbo was still making excuses for the Seigenthaler defamation in 2007, and it's still awful today. Get the connection?

This is a two-minute mp3 audio clip of Jimbo, in an interview on Australian television, explaining why it was John Seigenthaler's own fault. The interviewer is Ellen Fanning. She has worked for years at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The show title was "Wikipedia - Right or Wrong" and it aired on Sunday, April 1, 2007 as a feature story. The name of the program was called SUNDAY. The original link to the full video was at ninemsn.com.au but by now it's a dead link.

I sent this mp3 clip link to John Seigenthaler and he listened to it. On April 22, 2007 he responded in an email to me:
QUOTE
Wales is unbelievable!

He says he thinks it "amusing" that I wrote an article in USA Today complaining about Wikipedia's unreliability. He needs a new definition for the word "amusing."

He also needs a new one for the word "obscure."

That "obscure" biography was found by two friends of mine — one, Vic Johnson, in Nashville and the other, Erin MacAnnally, in Honolulu — before I saw it. And it appeared on perhaps two dozen "obscure" mirror sights around the world, most of which I still have not identified.

Jimbo is duplicitous. He says that his expert Wikipedian editors missed the article identifying me as suspected assassin and defector, because it was located in that "obscure" corner of Wikipedia. Wikipedia has no corners.

In fact, the original draft by Brian Chase misspelled the word "early" (it was ealry) and it was caught almost immediately by one of Wales' "expert" editors.

His "expert" didn't have the intelligence or sense to correct the error identifying me as a suspected assassin and defector. Had my friends not found it, odds are that it still would have missed Jimmy's "experts."

In fact, a third friend of mine, Eric Newton, an executive of the Knight Foundation in Miami, saw the original before I called Wales and diverted it to the history page. It was from there that Jimmy archived it when I phoned him.

The fact that he moved it from the history pages to his archives leaves no doubt in my mind that he recognizes that what appears on the history page represents defamation.

It all demonstrates again that Wikipedia is beset by flaw and fraud.

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Peter Damian
post Sun 27th November 2011, 4:31pm
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QUOTE(Daniel Brandt @ Sun 27th November 2011, 4:20pm) *

If you have an occasion to mention John Seigenthaler


I understand your point about Jimbo's dismissal of the incident and blame for Seigenthaler, and there will be a place for this. However, wiki-apologists like Andrew Lih claim that Wikipedia has been tidied up since then.

I still need concrete proof that Wikipedia is just as vulnerable to BLP abuse as it was then. (Or rather, I have some, but I need more, particular juicy examples).

I have put your email on file - I assume you are happy with my quoting it?

This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Sun 27th November 2011, 4:31pm
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Kelly Martin
post Sun 27th November 2011, 4:42pm
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There is an article in the press about once a month describing how some public figure or another has had his or her biography "defaced" on Wikipedia. A perusal of this site's Media forums should reveal dozens of such.
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Peter Damian
post Sun 27th November 2011, 4:57pm
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Here is a transcription of the Fanning interview.

QUOTE

Fanning: Let's look at a more serious example. There's a man called John Seigenthaler snr. Now for 132 days Wikipedia's entry on him stated, quote, "For a brief time he was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations: both John and his brother Bobby. Nothing was ever proven" unquote. Now Seigenthaler in fact worked for Robert Kennedy, he was a pallbearer at his funeral. That's an extraordinary inaccuracy isn't it.

Wales: oh yes it is and basically what happened there [was] someone came and created the article, ah, it slipped by the first line of defence which is the people who were checking new articles and recent changes. Ah, we're not sure exactly how it slipped through that defence but it did, ah, then it wasn't linked to from anywhere else on the site, it was a very obscure article off by itself in the corner. So, since it didn't get categorised as being Kennedy administration related, the kind of people who specialise in that area didn't see it and never got around to finding it and correcting it.

Fanning: You spoke earlier about newspapers. It's inconceivable that any newspaper would ever publish something like that, isn't it?

Wales: Ah ... yeah it probably is inconceivable that something like that would be published by a newspaper but, ah, you know given how obscure it was and that almost no one would have seen it, ah, due to the way that the error happened, you know we don't consider it really, ah, ah, you know sort of an indictment of the whole process.

Fanning: Mr Seigenthaler points out though that it's like a virus. What appears on Wikipedia spreads through the internet and it becomes very difficult to close that down. I mean, he was deeply wounded by it. So, in that sense, it was an indictment of the process.

Wales: Well, you know the interesting thing .. right ... so .. like.. the thing that in this case I always thought was sort of amusing about this was that basically nobody had heard of this and there was really no public talk of it. It was a very obscure article and if he was concerned about it being spread all over the internet then maybe he shouldn't have written an editorial in USA today because that's the only way the general public ever even saw it or heard about it. So, I always thought that it was, ah, a little bit of an odd critique to say "Gee, now it's all over the world and everybody knows about it. Well, yeah, you published it in USA today and so of course "

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thekohser
post Sun 27th November 2011, 7:30pm
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The "obscure" article about John Seigenthaler, by my estimation, was probably getting about 15 to 20 page views per day, for the 132 days it was sabotaged. So, at least 2,000 different people likely saw the defamation. Granted, while that's not a high-traffic article by Wikipedia standards, it still speaks to the fact that 2,000 people looking at something on a site with millions of pages is not exactly "obscure", either.
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Peter Damian
post Sun 27th November 2011, 9:25pm
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Thankfully, it appears that Wikipedia does have high standards.

QUOTE

The Charity Commission has approved WMUK's application, so they clearly feel that WMUK has sufficiently demonstrated that high standards are ensured. That involved explaining, and providing evidence for, what processes exist to ensure high standards (most of which are processes implemented by and performed by the volunteer community, with a few extra processes handled by the WMF over certain legal matters). I am unclear on why you feel a more formal discussion is required. WMUK's charity status is a matter between WMUK and the Charity Commission. You have no formal involvement in it. In the interests of transparency, I and the WMUK board are happy to answer your questions (as I believe we have now done here), but a formal discussion would suggest that WMUK has some formal duty to explain these things to you, which it does not. --Tango 19:34, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:2012_Act..._being_spent.3F


This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Sun 27th November 2011, 9:25pm
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dogbiscuit
post Mon 28th November 2011, 1:32am
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Could you run through Verifiability not Truth once more?
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sun 27th November 2011, 9:25pm) *

Thankfully, it appears that Wikipedia does have high standards.

QUOTE

The Charity Commission has approved WMUK's application, so they clearly feel that WMUK has sufficiently demonstrated that high standards are ensured. That involved explaining, and providing evidence for, what processes exist to ensure high standards (most of which are processes implemented by and performed by the volunteer community, with a few extra processes handled by the WMF over certain legal matters). I am unclear on why you feel a more formal discussion is required. WMUK's charity status is a matter between WMUK and the Charity Commission. You have no formal involvement in it. In the interests of transparency, I and the WMUK board are happy to answer your questions (as I believe we have now done here), but a formal discussion would suggest that WMUK has some formal duty to explain these things to you, which it does not. --Tango 19:34, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:2012_Act..._being_spent.3F


Hmm. With my experience of the Charity Commission, I doubt they'd see it as what is being suggested to be a private matter. If there is a suggestiion that the CC has been misled then it is clearly not only a matter of public interest but a matter of law.

...and as ever, information is only free when it suits the holders of the information.
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lilburne
post Mon 28th November 2011, 7:37am
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Perhaps they explained all about 'pending changes' and how that fitted into the process.
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EricBarbour
post Mon 28th November 2011, 7:48am
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QUOTE(lilburne @ Sun 27th November 2011, 11:37pm) *

Perhaps they explained all about 'pending changes' and how that fitted into the process.

Image
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timbo
post Mon 28th November 2011, 8:52am
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QUOTE

Narcs suck.

t


QUOTE

There were some great articles linked to on your page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Carrite about fires in New York garment district where the bosses kept the doors locked and many workers died as a result.

How terrible if someone had informed the authorities about these terrible working practices and those bosses were punished. How bad for the bosses. Narcs suck, indeed.


WHACK WHACK WHACK!!!

Beat that straw man!

How about this: "The Nazis murdered millions of Jews, Roma, Communists, and other enemies of the regime. How terrible if somebody hadn't informed the world community of their evil intentions years in advance. Untold millions would have been saved. Narcs suck, indeed."

Might as well go all the way with that false analogy, no sense pussing out with a handful of dead garment workers.

t

This post has been edited by timbo: Mon 28th November 2011, 8:53am
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lilburne
post Mon 28th November 2011, 6:48pm
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QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Mon 28th November 2011, 7:48am) *

QUOTE(lilburne @ Sun 27th November 2011, 11:37pm) *

Perhaps they explained all about 'pending changes' and how that fitted into the process.

Image


Wouldn't be the first time they've used that one.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10312095

The lead time from making an application for charitable status to getting registered is at least a year. If the application was in any way controversial it will have taken longer, with much toing and froing of clarifications etc. There are good odds that they used "pending changes" when the subject of accuracy, or reliability was brought up.

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