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> Letter to UK Charity Commission, Is this a big enough stick? I hope so.
Peter Damian
post Mon 28th November 2011, 10:37pm
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QUOTE(timbo @ Mon 28th November 2011, 8:52am) *

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."


That's a good analogy too. General principle: if something bad is going on, tell the world about it, and try not to be put off by bullies. It can be slightly bad, bad, very bad, very very bad. Same principle. Or are there bad things to which the principle doesn't apply? But in that case you need to qualify the principle. Perhaps it applies to all bad things except Wikipedia? OK. But then not really a principle, is it?
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dogbiscuit
post Mon 28th November 2011, 10:39pm
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QUOTE
The issues we consider to be serious or significant and unacceptable for any charity, its trustees, employees or agents to be engaged in are set out in the list below. The issues are not listed in any order of priority:

* significant financial loss to the charity;
* serious harm to beneficiaries and, in particular, vulnerable beneficiaries;
* threats to national security, particularly terrorism;
* criminality within or involving a charity;
* sham charities set up for an illegal or improper purpose;
* charities deliberately being used for significant private advantage;
* where a charity's independence is seriously called into question;
* serious non-compliance in a charity that damages or has the potential to damage its reputation and/or the reputation of charities generally;
* serious non-compliance in a charity which, left unchecked, could damage public trust and confidence in the Charity Commission as an effective regulator.

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Peter Damian
post Tue 29th November 2011, 6:58pm
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QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Mon 28th November 2011, 10:39pm) *

QUOTE
The issues we consider to be serious or significant and unacceptable for any charity, its trustees, employees or agents to be engaged in are set out in the list below. The issues are not listed in any order of priority:

* significant financial loss to the charity;
* serious harm to beneficiaries and, in particular, vulnerable beneficiaries;
* threats to national security, particularly terrorism;
* criminality within or involving a charity;
* sham charities set up for an illegal or improper purpose;
* charities deliberately being used for significant private advantage;
* where a charity's independence is seriously called into question;
* serious non-compliance in a charity that damages or has the potential to damage its reputation and/or the reputation of charities generally;
* serious non-compliance in a charity which, left unchecked, could damage public trust and confidence in the Charity Commission as an effective regulator.



However, WMUK says the Charity Commission has considered all of this

QUOTE

Thank you for sharing this with us. I believe your points are all either irrelevant to WMUK's charity status or have already been considered by the Charity Commission and deemed not to be a block to that charity status. I don't think there is any point in us trying to argue against the points you make, since they are generally factually accurate (albeit with a lot of spin on them) and the only thing we disagree on is the interpretation of them and their relevance to charity status under UK law. Therefore, I suggest you simply submit your thoughts to the Charity Commission and let them decide if they have merit. Please note, I do not represent WMUK and that is simply a personal opinion. The WMUK board may wish to engage in further discussion with you - that is their choice. --Tango 18:22, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

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timbo
post Tue 29th November 2011, 7:28pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Mon 28th November 2011, 2:37pm) *

QUOTE(timbo @ Mon 28th November 2011, 8:52am) *

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."


That's a good analogy too. General principle: if something bad is going on, tell the world about it, and try not to be put off by bullies. It can be slightly bad, bad, very bad, very very bad. Same principle. Or are there bad things to which the principle doesn't apply? But in that case you need to qualify the principle. Perhaps it applies to all bad things except Wikipedia? OK. But then not really a principle, is it?



Actually, it's a ludicrous and insane analogy, but maybe it's difficult to distinguish between genocide or the loss of life on the one hand, from the warts-and-all bureaucratic educational project called Wikipedia on the other...

Obsession does not become you, you're too smart for that.

t
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Peter Damian
post Tue 29th November 2011, 7:30pm
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QUOTE(timbo @ Tue 29th November 2011, 7:28pm) *

Actually, it's a ludicrous and insane analogy, but maybe it's difficult to distinguish between genocide or the loss of life on the one hand, from the warts-and-all bureaucratic educational project called Wikipedia on the other...


But it was you who first drew the analogy, by calling me a 'narc'. And what is this 'educational project' you are talking about?
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Peter Damian
post Wed 30th November 2011, 8:11pm
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I had some comments from HJ Mitchell ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:At_the_Foundation.JPG ) on my draft summary for the charity commission http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:2012_Act...rity_Commission .

Any thoughts on the points he raises? I don't know much about the OTRS system, except for reports that it is a joke.

He says “no BLP dispute (to the best of my knowledge) has ever got beyond the stage where it can be resolved through communication with the WMF or through OTRS” Is that true?

This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Wed 30th November 2011, 8:12pm
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Eppur si muove
post Wed 30th November 2011, 8:23pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Wed 30th November 2011, 8:11pm) *

He says “no BLP dispute (to the best of my knowledge) has ever got beyond the stage where it can be resolved through communication with the WMF or through OTRS” Is that true?

I don't know of any going to court but some do definitely involve communications from lawyers. See e.g. Tahir Abbas (T-H-L-K-D) where there has been a lot of discussion involving a critical article by the Times Higher Education Supplement which the publishers have withdrawn from the website and not retracted.
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Kelly Martin
post Wed 30th November 2011, 9:00pm
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QUOTE(Eppur si muove @ Wed 30th November 2011, 2:23pm) *

QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Wed 30th November 2011, 8:11pm) *

He says “no BLP dispute (to the best of my knowledge) has ever got beyond the stage where it can be resolved through communication with the WMF or through OTRS” Is that true?

I don't know of any going to court but some do definitely involve communications from lawyers. See e.g. Tahir Abbas (T-H-L-K-D) where there has been a lot of discussion involving a critical article by the Times Higher Education Supplement which the publishers have withdrawn from the website and not retracted.
In my days of using oversight, I definitely helped resolve defamation claims that were brought to the attention of counsel, by various ways. None of the matters I was involved in led to a suit being filed against the WMF, but as the WMF is almost entirely immune to prosecution in the US anyway (because of Section 230) most attorneys won't bother with the suit as the odds of a dismissal are so high that an attorney that files such a suit and does not provide a meaningful argument for why Section 230 does not apply risks sanctions. It is my understanding that several people have tried to sue "Wikipedia", in various actions, but as Wikipedia is not an entity that can sue or be sued such action will be dismissed on those grounds.

It should be noted that the WMF has not been so lucky outside the US; the German Wikipedia has had its domain name (wikipedia.de) temporarily seized on several occasions. Wikimedia is careful to avoid having property outside the United States that could be used as the basis for jurisdiction other than in the US, as Section 230 immunity only exists in the US.

There have been defamation prosecutions based on posting content to Wikipedia, against individually-identified editors; I believe some of those have resulted in judgments adverse to the defendants, including injunctive relief. There's also at least one case that I'm aware of where Wikimedia was made aware of an individual who was editing Wikipedia in contravention of a permanent injunction, resulting in Wikimedia being formally served with an order to prevent that individual from continuing to edit Wikipedia. The WMF responded that the court lacked jurisdiction to compel the WMF to do so, but agreed to voluntarily comply anyway. And of course Wikimedia is fairly routinely served with third party discovery motions seeking the identity of individual editors, to which WMF generally responds quickly and quietly. (Good luck getting them to tell you how many such motions they get, or how cooperative they are with respect to them.)
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lilburne
post Wed 30th November 2011, 9:23pm
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Of concern would be people from WMFUK interacting with children online.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/p...tatutory-checks
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SB_Johnny
post Wed 30th November 2011, 9:27pm
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QUOTE(timbo @ Tue 29th November 2011, 2:28pm) *

you're too smart for that.

As opposed to you... rolleyes.gif
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thekohser
post Wed 30th November 2011, 9:39pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Wed 30th November 2011, 3:11pm) *

He says “no BLP dispute (to the best of my knowledge) has ever got beyond the stage where it can be resolved through communication with the WMF or through OTRS” Is that true?


In most cases, probably because the victim becomes so frustrated with the process and with Section 230 that they just give up in despair. Then, at least some portion of them end up calling me on the phone or sending me an e-mail.

In the past two years, I've had no fewer than ten different clients whose frustration with Wikipedia's BLP dispute process could be described as ranging from "palpable" to "extreme". In this nitwit's head, that's still a "resolved" case. The victim went away, so it's "resolved".


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carbuncle
post Wed 30th November 2011, 9:55pm
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I wasn't trying to stay out of this, but the claim of "no BLP lawsuits" is one that can be easily shown to be false. They turn up all the time in the news feed here. Here's the one from the first page of my Google search: Grebner files libel suit over Wikipedia edits. Here's another (this one quite recent): Billionaire Louis Bacon Wins Wikipedia Defamation Suit, Will Go After Names.

This post has been edited by carbuncle: Wed 30th November 2011, 9:57pm
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Cla68
post Fri 2nd December 2011, 6:28am
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Another example you might could use to show that the Wikimedia UK's charity status application was fraudulent is to highlight the abuse inflicted last year on the Christopher Monckton article, as discussed in this thread. In this case an editor was trying to add negative information to the article sourced to a university professor's slide show. The editor in question, now known as Prioryman, at that time was editing under ChrisO, an abbreviation of his real name. ChrisO's sneaky conversion to Prioryman and the way he was assisted by one of the arbs is detailed, I believe, in one of the "Arbcom-L leaks" threads, although it didn't come up when I searched for it. The edits in question show as being done by "Vanished User 03", which is ChrisO.

Make sure you explain that Chris was violating not one, but two Wikipedia policies, Reliable Sourcing and BLP, by using a self-published source (actually, one is a guideline but I doubt the UK government will understand or care about the difference). Point out that WP's admin corps did not spring into action to stop what ChrisO was doing. I think this example would be especially useful since you can put a real name to the editor who was doing it, who lives in the UK, and the person he was defaming is a peer in the British government.

This post has been edited by Cla68: Fri 2nd December 2011, 6:42am
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Eppur si muove
post Fri 2nd December 2011, 7:58am
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QUOTE(Cla68 @ Fri 2nd December 2011, 6:28am) *

Another example you might could use to show that the Wikimedia UK's charity status application was fraudulent is to highlight the abuse inflicted last year on the Christopher Monckton article, as discussed in this thread. In this case an editor was trying to add negative information to the article sourced to a university professor's slide show. The editor in question, now known as Prioryman, at that time was editing under ChrisO, an abbreviation of his real name. ChrisO's sneaky conversion to Prioryman and the way he was assisted by one of the arbs is detailed, I believe, in one of the "Arbcom-L leaks" threads, although it didn't come up when I searched for it. The edits in question show as being done by "Vanished User 03", which is ChrisO.

Make sure you explain that Chris was violating not one, but two Wikipedia policies, Reliable Sourcing and BLP, by using a self-published source (actually, one is a guideline but I doubt the UK government will understand or care about the difference). Point out that WP's admin corps did not spring into action to stop what ChrisO was doing. I think this example would be especially useful since you can put a real name to the editor who was doing it, who lives in the UK, and the person he was defaming is a peer in the British government.


Actually, if his wikibio is only slightly misleading, he is a peer in a minor opposition party. But wikipedians seems to regularly misunderstandard what "the government" means in the UK. See e.g. C.P. Snow (T-H-L-K-D) where he had only one government position (parliamentary secretary to the minister of technology which is not really important in the scale of things) and several civil service ones. The terminology seems to be borrowed from the Columbia Encyclopedia which opens "(Charles Percy Snow, Baron Snow of Leicester), 1905–80, English author and physicist. Snow had an active, varied career, including several important positions in the British government." The Wikipedia article reeks of close paraphrase opening "Charles Percy Snow, Baron Snow of the City of Leicester CBE (15 October 1905 – 1 July 1980) was an English physicist and novelist who also served in several important positions with the UK government". Not very good in a an article on one of the major 20th century British novelists.
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Peter Damian
post Sat 3rd December 2011, 9:40am
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QUOTE(Cla68 @ Fri 2nd December 2011, 6:28am) *

Another example you might could use to show that the Wikimedia UK's charity status application was fraudulent is to highlight the abuse inflicted last year on the Christopher Monckton article, as discussed in this thread. In this case an editor was trying to add negative information to the article sourced to a university professor's slide show. The editor in question, now known as Prioryman, at that time was editing under ChrisO, an abbreviation of his real name. ChrisO's sneaky conversion to Prioryman and the way he was assisted by one of the arbs is detailed, I believe, in one of the "Arbcom-L leaks" threads, although it didn't come up when I searched for it. The edits in question show as being done by "Vanished User 03", which is ChrisO.

Make sure you explain that Chris was violating not one, but two Wikipedia policies, Reliable Sourcing and BLP, by using a self-published source (actually, one is a guideline but I doubt the UK government will understand or care about the difference). Point out that WP's admin corps did not spring into action to stop what ChrisO was doing. I think this example would be especially useful since you can put a real name to the editor who was doing it, who lives in the UK, and the person he was defaming is a peer in the British government.


I can't make any sense of the edit trail. It sounds good, but some questions:

1. In what sense was the information added 'negative'? Was it unsourced? Did it fail the balance test?
2. Which sources were not reliable?
3. Why actually didn't admins spring into action?
4. How was ChrisO aided in his return?

Thanks
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SB_Johnny
post Sat 3rd December 2011, 10:15am
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sat 3rd December 2011, 4:40am) *

QUOTE(Cla68 @ Fri 2nd December 2011, 6:28am) *

Another example you might could use to show that the Wikimedia UK's charity status application was fraudulent is to highlight the abuse inflicted last year on the Christopher Monckton article, as discussed in this thread. In this case an editor was trying to add negative information to the article sourced to a university professor's slide show. The editor in question, now known as Prioryman, at that time was editing under ChrisO, an abbreviation of his real name. ChrisO's sneaky conversion to Prioryman and the way he was assisted by one of the arbs is detailed, I believe, in one of the "Arbcom-L leaks" threads, although it didn't come up when I searched for it. The edits in question show as being done by "Vanished User 03", which is ChrisO.

Make sure you explain that Chris was violating not one, but two Wikipedia policies, Reliable Sourcing and BLP, by using a self-published source (actually, one is a guideline but I doubt the UK government will understand or care about the difference). Point out that WP's admin corps did not spring into action to stop what ChrisO was doing. I think this example would be especially useful since you can put a real name to the editor who was doing it, who lives in the UK, and the person he was defaming is a peer in the British government.


I can't make any sense of the edit trail. It sounds good, but some questions:

1. In what sense was the information added 'negative'? Was it unsourced? Did it fail the balance test?
2. Which sources were not reliable?
3. Why actually didn't admins spring into action?
4. How was ChrisO aided in his return?

Thanks

See here for the leak Cla was looking for.
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Peter Damian
post Sat 3rd December 2011, 10:28am
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I have the usual problem of making sense of this list of links to Wikipedia Review, Wikipedia, bits of leaked correspondence. Even the timeline is difficult given difference in timestamp conventions.

How do we make any sense of this interchange? Was it OK that Prioryman returned as a vanished user? What is the overall context?

----------------------
22:55, 16 December 2010 Avraham blocks Prioryman. Why?

23:01:05 16 Dec 2010 ChrisO writes to Arbcom saying "Would you mind please telling Avraham to stop blocking me? You reversed his previous block of my IP address and he has now blocked my replacement account again. Did nobody tell him not to do so?" Don't understand this.

6 Dec 2010 18:21:24 -0500 [not sure how to read the timestamp here] Avraham writes to ChrisO apologising for the block, saying "no one has informed me"

01:41, 17 December 2010 Roger Davies unblocks Prioryman
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Peter Damian
post Sat 3rd December 2011, 1:33pm
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Meanwhile I am struggling here http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:2012_Act...comments.2C_but to get anything meaningful from WMUK about their correspondence with UKCC. As soon as people say things like 'why do you want to know this', or 'trust us' or 'trust as, we know what we are doing' or 'that is between us and X', then I automatically question whether I trust them, or whether it should be between them and X, and so on.

Oh yes and they are trying the 'we have already answered your questions' bit.
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Cla68
post Sun 4th December 2011, 8:25am
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sat 3rd December 2011, 1:33pm) *

Meanwhile I am struggling here http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:2012_Act...comments.2C_but to get anything meaningful from WMUK about their correspondence with UKCC. As soon as people say things like 'why do you want to know this', or 'trust us' or 'trust as, we know what we are doing' or 'that is between us and X', then I automatically question whether I trust them, or whether it should be between them and X, and so on.

Oh yes and they are trying the 'we have already answered your questions' bit.


Did you also try asking the CC? The government agency involved should have kept a copy of the WMUK's application submission and associated documents. Anyway, I'll get you more details on ChrisO's antics with the Monckton article.
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Peter Damian
post Sun 4th December 2011, 8:37am
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QUOTE(Cla68 @ Sun 4th December 2011, 8:25am) *

Did you also try asking the CC? The government agency involved should have kept a copy of the WMUK's application submission and associated documents. Anyway, I'll get you more details on ChrisO's antics with the Monckton article.


That is the next step. If I am in dispute with a neighbour (or anyone) my principle is to take it up with the neighbour first and discuss amicably, rather than involve neighbours, authorities, whatever.

More details on the Monckton thing would be useful.
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