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sbrown
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/a...5fI-KDU8uel_A9g

QUOTE

An anonymous policeman blogger who has targeted the force and Government ministers has been unmasked after the High Court ruled against keeping his identity secret.

Refusing a temporary injunction to prevent The Times from identifying the serving detective constable - who goes by the name of Night Jack - Justice Eady said that "blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity".

So is editing wikipeida a public activity? Admin? Functionary? Arbcom?
Eva Destruction
QUOTE(sbrown @ Wed 17th June 2009, 10:51pm) *

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/a...5fI-KDU8uel_A9g

QUOTE

An anonymous policeman blogger who has targeted the force and Government ministers has been unmasked after the High Court ruled against keeping his identity secret.

Refusing a temporary injunction to prevent The Times from identifying the serving detective constable - who goes by the name of Night Jack - Justice Eady said that "blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity".

So is editing wikipeida a public activity? Admin? Functionary? Arbcom?

Thankfully, David Eady and his increasingly nutty judgements (this is the judge who prompted a bill in the US specifically to exempt Americans from his judgements) have no power over the rest of the world.
UseOnceAndDestroy
QUOTE(sbrown @ Wed 17th June 2009, 10:51pm) *

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/a...5fI-KDU8uel_A9g

QUOTE

An anonymous policeman blogger who has targeted the force and Government ministers has been unmasked after the High Court ruled against keeping his identity secret.

Refusing a temporary injunction to prevent The Times from identifying the serving detective constable - who goes by the name of Night Jack - Justice Eady said that "blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity".

So is editing wikipeida a public activity? Admin? Functionary? Arbcom?

Unknown, I guess, until its tried (which will probably never happen).

From another source:
QUOTE
Rejecting the argument that all the blogger's readers needed to know was that he was a serving police officer, the judge said it was often useful, in assessing the value of an opinion or argument, to know its source.

"For so long as there is anonymity, it would obviously be difficult to make any such assessment".

…which, aside from the merits of the material in question, may tend to demonstrate how wacky the aversion to "outing" looks to people outside the bubble.



Adambro
If everyone had to be completely open and honest about their identity, whilst it would be good in some cases, I suspect overall it would be detrimental because there are a lot of subjects users may feel uncomfortable contributing to if they knew everyone was aware of their exact personal details. I don't think people keeping their real life separate from Wikipedia is a big enough problem to justify creating these potential issues.
EricBarbour
Eady is unbelievable. He tries to rewrite the defamation law, and then tries to
make it apply to the entire world. If this continues, he'll either cut off the UK
from the rest of the world legally speaking, or he'll create the evil One World
government that conspiracy nuts are always ranting about....
gomi
QUOTE(sbrown @ Wed 17th June 2009, 2:51pm) *
So is editing wikipeida a public activity? Admin? Functionary? Arbcom?

Ugh. We've been over this a hundred times. In U.S. jurisprudence, at least, as a citizen you have the right to try to "speak" anonymously, which includes editing Wikipedia, posting flyers, or mailing printed copies of any (legal) speech or writing. On the other hand, there is nothing to prevent any individual, or the government, from attempting -- and possibly succeeding -- in discovering who you are. If you say things that piss off important people, the resources that can be brought to bear to (retrospectively) strip that anonymity from you are substantial. There are important protections to prevent the government from preemptively prohibiting anonymous speech, but those don't bear here.

So, repeat after me: as an individual, you can try to be anonymous. Whether or not you succeed is a matter of your skill, not a matter of law or public policy. Bottom line as it applies to Wikipedia: there is nothing wrong with editing Wikipedia anonymously. There is also nothing wrong with exposing the identity of someone editing Wikipedia, whether or not they wish you to do so. Whether this applies to you as a public servant is more subject to the laws of your land.

Kelly Martin
QUOTE(gomi @ Mon 13th July 2009, 6:32pm) *
There is also nothing wrong with exposing the identity of someone editing Wikipedia, whether or not they wish you to do so.
I'll agree to this as a matter of law, and also as a matter of legal principle (that is, there is nothing illegal about trying to out someone, nor in my opinion should it be illegal). The broader question of whether it is moral or ethical to do so is somewhat grayer.
gomi
QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Mon 13th July 2009, 4:38pm) *
QUOTE(gomi @ Mon 13th July 2009, 6:32pm) *
There is also nothing wrong with exposing the identity of someone editing Wikipedia, whether or not they wish you to do so.
I'll agree to this as a matter of law, and also as a matter of legal principle (that is, there is nothing illegal about trying to out someone, nor in my opinion should it be illegal). The broader question of whether it is moral or ethical to do so is somewhat grayer.

Kelly is, as usual, correct. I should have said "there is nothing illegal with exposing the identity of someone editing Wikipedia". While almost anything can potentially be a tort, it is hard to imagine making that case either. Morality, well, that is whole 'nother can of worms.

Kelly Martin
There's some cases in which it might be illegal. For example, in California is it illegal to reveal that a person is a post-operative transsexual if they have not themselves publicized it. If in the course of outing someone you were to reveal this information, and either you or your target are in California, you risk being sued.

Many states have generalized right of privacy statutes or constitutional clauses that either directly establish or have been interpreted as establishing a cause of action for the unauthorized publication of information generally regarded as private when the subject has not publicized it themselves. However, I am not aware of any state that treats as protected private information the fact of one's participation in an online community where such participation would not tend to disclose membership in a protected class.

The interesting edge case here would be where a person is participating in an online community, such as Wikipedia, anonymously, but in the course of said participation voluntarily reveals membership in a protected class (such as post-operative transsexuals in California). Would linking our hypothetical individual's legal identity to a public persona amount to an actionable breach of privacy under the relevant precedent? I'm of the opinion that it should not, but I'm not aware of any decisional law on this issue.
gomi
QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Mon 13th July 2009, 4:56pm) *

There's some cases in which it might be illegal.

Kelly, we can come up with all sorts of "conflict of laws" situations. If the WP editor is an undercover CIA agent, then it is against U.S. law to expose them, etc, etc. The base fact is that one's participation in a public forum, even with the expectation of anonymity, is unlikely to create a crime or a tort if, through other legal means, the identity of the editor is discovered and exposed. Once the identity is exposed, you have two legal "persons" (*) (exposer and exposed) and then all sorts of crimes and torts can ensue, depending on what is said, but probably not until then. Of course this isn't all settled law, but the precedent that will ultimately bear is pretty clear.

(*) Yes, you can have theoretically have "John Doe" unknown persons as criminal or civil defendants, but for purposes of this discussion, if you can't ID them, then it is moot. You can't be a "John Doe" plaintiff!
Kelly Martin
QUOTE(gomi @ Mon 13th July 2009, 7:13pm) *
You can't be a "John Doe" plaintiff!
I've read at least one case in which the plaintiff was a "John Doe". The plaintiff was identified to the court, but only in camera, and the identity of the plaintiff was not disclosed to the defendant, to defendant's counsel, or to the public. The plaintiffs in the case were seeking injunctive relief against the defendant, although the nature of that relief escapes my memory at this time. I admit that this is an unusual situation.
Milton Roe
QUOTE(Adambro @ Mon 13th July 2009, 4:18pm) *

If everyone had to be completely open and honest about their identity, whilst it would be good in some cases, I suspect overall it would be detrimental because there are a lot of subjects users may feel uncomfortable contributing to if they knew everyone was aware of their exact personal details.


There's a cure for that. Don't put any edits in WP which you would care if your friends and family knew you made. tongue.gif

This rule might improve the place considerably, actually.
gomi
QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Mon 13th July 2009, 5:23pm) *
QUOTE(gomi @ Mon 13th July 2009, 7:13pm) *
You can't be a "John Doe" plaintiff!
I've read at least one case in which the plaintiff was a "John Doe". The plaintiff was identified to the court, but only in camera, and the identity of the plaintiff was not disclosed to the defendant, to defendant's counsel, or to the public. The plaintiffs in the case were seeking injunctive relief against the defendant, although the nature of that relief escapes my memory at this time. I admit that this is an unusual situation.
This would seem to conflict with the principle of a right to confront one's accuser, but I suppose there is one of just about everything. I'd be interested in seeing the case, though.
sbrown
There ought to be a distinction between editing it and being in a position of power. The members of the WMF Board do have to give their identities publically and even candidates for election do. Id like to see that applied to the Arbcom and checkusers who have to give their names to WMF anyway.
gadfly
QUOTE(sbrown @ Tue 14th July 2009, 7:29am) *

There ought to be a distinction between editing it and being in a position of power. The members of the WMF Board do have to give their identities publically and even candidates for election do. Id like to see that applied to the Arbcom and checkusers who have to give their names to WMF anyway.


"Position of power" means that if this were implemented, admins would have to disclose their identities. Now what interesting consequences might then happen, and would they be good or bad? (Can children below the age of consent in their jurisdictions consent to having their identities made public, for example?)
sbrown
QUOTE(gadfly @ Tue 14th July 2009, 7:46am) *

"Position of power" means that if this were implemented, admins would have to disclose their identities. Now what interesting consequences might then happen, and would they be good or bad? (Can children below the age of consent in their jurisdictions consent to having their identities made public, for example?)

Theres a lot to be said for identifying admins but Im just proposing Arbcom and checkusers at present.
A User
I agree with Milton on this. I also believe it would improve civility between users. It would be easy making juvenile disparaging remarks about another user behind a disposable anonymous account. Much harder to do it though using a real name without coming across as an ass in public.
gadfly
QUOTE(sbrown @ Tue 14th July 2009, 7:53am) *

QUOTE(gadfly @ Tue 14th July 2009, 7:46am) *

"Position of power" means that if this were implemented, admins would have to disclose their identities. Now what interesting consequences might then happen, and would they be good or bad? (Can children below the age of consent in their jurisdictions consent to having their identities made public, for example?)

Theres a lot to be said for identifying admins but Im just proposing Arbcom and checkusers at present.


May be you should include admins as well so that you have some slack in terms of concessions in any negotiation, to let the opposers think they have partially succeeded, as it may increase the chance that the proposal for Arbcom and checkusers gets through? Of course, I think admins should really be included with Arbcom and checkusers, and I think it would be well worthwhile if it brought about a real discussion regarding age of consent, maturity, and administrators' powers.

In reality, however, I suspect none of it will get through as the whole shebang seems to be terminally and possibly irretrievably dysfunctional, due to the crazy way in which wikipedia was set up and never modified. It needs someone or some bosy with sufficient power and insight to merely change the rules to something more appropriate, let those who object merely bugger off, and then remove themselves completely from the set-up to enable a proper structure to be implemented which deals with accountability and so on.
thekohser
QUOTE(Adambro @ Mon 13th July 2009, 7:18pm) *

If everyone had to be completely open and honest about their identity, whilst it would be good in some cases, I suspect overall it would be detrimental because there are a lot of subjects users may feel uncomfortable contributing to if they knew everyone was aware of their exact personal details. I don't think people keeping their real life separate from Wikipedia is a big enough problem to justify creating these potential issues.


I am so pleased you have ceased contributing to Wikipedia Review.
SB_Johnny
QUOTE(thekohser @ Tue 23rd March 2010, 11:39am) *

QUOTE(Adambro @ Mon 13th July 2009, 7:18pm) *

[blah, blah, blah]

I am so pleased you have ceased contributing to Wikipedia Review.

What he said. Unless he's mistaken.

But then again, I'm sure we'd all appreciate it if you would be so kind to send along the minutes from the next meeting of the We Luvs Jimbo Club. Just for laughs, of course.

And welcome to WR, adambro. wink.gif
Moulton
You did read Babel on Beta, right? smile.gif
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