Mon 26th November 2007, 8:12pm
QUOTE(the fieryangel @ Mon 26th November 2007, 12:31pm)
2) In the absence of permission from the author (including of any included prior correspondence) or their lapse into public domain, the contents of private correspondence, including e-mails, should not be posted on-wiki. See Wikipedia:Copyrights.
1. It's worth noting that Foundation counsel endorses this position. Mackensen (talk) 14:21, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
2. Kirill 14:32, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
3. FloNight♥♥♥ 14:43, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmm....Looks like Godwin is looking at this pretty closely too....
I'm thinking that this sekrit mailing list, transacted by some electronic software on the Wikia.com server, may indeed have some degree of "private" characteristics.
However, we must always keep sight of the fact
that the communications effected on this list resulted in the real-world application and/or denial of access rights for a charitable, non-profit, donor-funded website that purports to be "open" and "free". Let me assure the "jury" of peers reading this particular thread -- when whistle-blowers uncover unjust or illegal acts, they often are forced (nay, encouraged
) by law and by society to temporarily violate certain laws pertaining to privacy or copyright, so that the larger injustice may ultimately be prosecuted.
In this case, User:Giano is hardly different from Cynthia Cooper
who uncovered over $3 billion in phony bookkeeping at WorldCom. Wikipedia seems to put it rather nicely:
In March 2002, an executive told <Cynthia Cooper> that the corporate accounting department had taken $400 million from the wireless division reserves in order to boost WorldCom's income. Cooper raised her concerns with Arthur Andersen, WorldCom's accounting firm, and she was told that it was not her problem. When she continued to raise her concerns, WorldCom's Chief Financial Officer, Scott Sullivan, told Cooper to back off.
Having seen Andersen's role in the Enron debacle, Cooper was worried that WorldCom could not necessarily rely on their audits. Cooper and her team decided to check the work done by Andersen. In late May 2002, Cooper and her team discovered a gaping hole in the books. In public reports the company had falsely categorised billions of dollars as capital expenditures in 2001. This allowed WorldCom to turn a $662 million loss into a $2.4 billion profit.
On June 11 2002, Sullivan asked Cooper to delay the audit and she refused. The next day Cooper told the head of the audit committee about her findings. Finally, Cooper and her team confronted WorldCom's controller David Myers who, according to an internal audit memo, admitted that he knew the accounting could not be justified. On June 20, Cooper and C. Glyn Smith, Jr. attended an audit-committee meeting of WorldCom's board of directors at which Sullivan was to explain his accounting strategy. Sullivan asked for more time to fully support his argument. When he could not justify his accounting strategy, he was asked to resign. Sullivan refused to step down and was fired on June 24. The next day, WorldCom came clean about its financial situation.
In August 2002, Sullivan was indicted on charges of securities fraud. WorldCom filed for bankruptcy and 17,000 employees were made redundant around the globe. Shareholders have lost some $3 billion. The California public employees' retirement system, the largest state pension fund in the United States, lost $580 million it had invested in WorldCom.
Cooper continued to work at WorldCom (which has now changed its name to MCI) before leaving to run her own consulting business. Despite the fact that WorldCom carried out many of her recommendations, Cooper was not personally thanked by any senior executive for her actions. However, she has received more than 100 letters and e-mails from strangers thanking her and offering encouragement.
It is our duty as watchful observers of Wikipedia to make sure that the WMF is duly aggressive in stamping out private back-channel lists that influence or dictate Wikipedia policy. And especially, that the WMF sever these remaining ties with Wikia, Inc. and its senior management who have been shown (time and again) to be unnecessarily meddling in WMF functions.I encourage every Wikipedia critic on this list to write a short letter to your local newspapers and to your representative politicians, briefly explaining what has happened this week. The following might serve as a core document of the points you should cover:
1. Wikipedia is the world's largest encyclopedia. It is managed by the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), and its mission is to provide free and open dissemination of knowledge to the world, in many languages.
2. Both the WMF and the for-profit enterprise Wikia, Inc. have personnel who serve on the Boards of both organizations. Wikia, Inc. -- a company financed with $14 million in venture capital -- has filed Form 990 documents with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service that maintain there are no conflicts of interest in the cross-management of the two organizations.
3. However, it was revealed this week that Wikia, Inc. was hosting a secret mailing list comprised exclusively of hand-picked Wikipedia administrators and certain representatives of the Foundation, including Wikipedia co-founder himself, Jimmy Wales.
4. This mailing list's secret activity centered on discussion of the identities and even IP addresses of various "questionable" contributors to the Wikipedia encyclopedia, in order to build "wiki sleuthing" cases against said contributors. This past week, the list's spurious findings prompted the indefinite blocking of a long-standing valuable contributor to Wikipedia's pages. When evidence of this list was exposed by a whistle-blower (one having a long record of writing "featured articles" on Wikipedia), that evidence was repeatedly suppressed or erased by a senior staff member of the WMF. Days later, the cited ownership of the secret list was even altered, to protect the guilty party.
5. Instead of thanking the whistle-blower, Jimmy Wales replied to him with this shocking remark, "...your behavior in terms of trolling and carrying on the way you do is unacceptable. You know this. And you will either change it or be banned from Wikipedia. You have caused too much harm to justify us putting up with this kind of behavior much longer."
6. No wonder the Wikimedia Foundation is falling far short of its fundraising objectives this year. Its management is too infiltrated with bankrupt ethics, which thoughtful people of conscience wouldn't dream of supporting financially.
Please. Your efforts are needed. Now is the time to bring the corruption to a head in the court of public opinion
. I am confident that a concerted letter-writing campaign at this time -- in the United States, in Canada, in the U.K., in Australia, and elsewhere (even Iowa) -- will have a palpable impact. Phrased in the above terms, any reader with an IQ of at least 105 will understand the core problem with Wikipedia.
I pledge that I will write TONIGHT
to four local and regional newspapers, and that I will contact my U.S. Senators and my state and federal Congresspersons. Will you pledge in kind?