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Daniel Brandt
Raul654 has needlessly put the Foundation at risk through a malicious abuse of his Foundation powers. He should be desysopped.

QUOTE
February 24, 2007

DEMAND TO CEASE AND DESIST

Mr. Brad Patrick
General Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
Fax: 727-258-0207

Dear Mr. Patrick:

Wikimedia Foundation maintains a "spam blacklist" at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Spam_blacklist that has listed six domains owned and operated by Public Information Research, a 501c(3) entity, since June, 2006 without justification.

This letter is a cease and desist demand to remove these domains from the spam blacklist.

The six domains were placed on the list because they redirected links coming from en.wikipedia.org from April 2006 to June 2006. None of the six has redirected since June 2006. But they remain on the spam blacklist under false pretenses, namely that "These sites are redirecting requests from Wikimedia sites to a third-party site."

Numerous editors have pointed out that they no longer redirect, but an authorized agent of the Foundation, Mr. Mark A. Pellegrini, has unilaterally kept them on this list. Mr. Pellegrini is a meta administrator and bureaucrat.

Mr. Pellegrini knows full well that they no longer redirect, but is prejudiced against Public Information Research and myself. In response to a challenge about listing these domains, he even libeled me:

"Request denied. Firstly, it's not "accidental censorship" - we are quite intentionally excluding his sites from being linked in Wikipedia. He's made it his mission to "out" as many administrators as possible by posting their personal information (in some cases, personal information of young children). I see no reason why we should allow his idiocy to be linked from Wikipedia. And yes, there's always the possibility he'll do it again. Raul654 18:35, 8 November 2006 (UTC)"

The libelous statement is contained in the false and malicious phrase, "personal information of young children."

It is clear that the spam blacklist is under the direct control of Wikimedia Foundation and its employees and agents. On the Talk page to this list, it is described as follows:

"The associated page is used by the Mediawiki SpamBlacklist extension, and lists strings of text that may not be used in URLs in any page in Wikimedia Foundation projects (as well as many external wikis)."

Our position is that substantial harm is being done to the reputation of Public Information Research by unjustifiably including these domains on the blacklist. Other non-Foundation websites are using this list as an indication of which sites need to be blocked, based on their estimation that the domains on this list are generating spam. None of our domains has ever carried a single advertisement. They are reputable sites, and cannot be accurately described as spam.

This situation has nothing to do with Section 230 of the CDA, and is actionable under the laws of the state of Florida.

We demand that these domains be removed from the list immediately.

Regards,
Daniel Brandt
President

Somey
Well, of course Raul654 should be desysopped - that's a given! But do you really think this could work? I mean, short of an actual libel suit?

If it doesn't, there's at least one consolation - those NOFOLLOW tags on all external links now make them worth a lot less than they used to be.
a view from the hive
QUOTE(Daniel Brandt @ Tue 27th February 2007, 3:49am) *

Raul654 has needlessly put the Foundation at risk through a malicious abuse of his Foundation powers. He should be desysopped.

QUOTE
February 24, 2007

DEMAND TO CEASE AND DESIST...



Wait a second. While the comment may be illegal, I don't believe the courts have any authority whatsoever to force someone to include content on their site or am I misunderstanding the nature of your complaint and it being related to the word "spam" in "spam blacklist"

It's private enterprise. Nobody forces Google to include anything in their index. Digg blacklists lots of sites if enough users "digg" it down.

The fact that other sites are using the blacklist does not apply here, nobody is being forced to use this list. The sites using it are well aware of what is blocked and have enabled the list. it does NOT ship w/ default mediawiki installs.

As for the "reputable sites" I would have to say that hive and hive2 by posting information about obviously private persons that could enable one to steal their identity could be seen as "harassment."

"intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person" - I would say that most of the Wiki admins do not classify under this category hence your point is moot.

I will give you credit for revealing your identity while YOU harass people on the internet but still, your claim is one of the most hypocritical I've seen.
Somey
QUOTE(a view from the hive @ Tue 27th February 2007, 12:49pm) *
As for the "reputable sites" I would have to say that hive and hive2 by posting information about obviously private persons that could enable one to steal their identity could be seen as "harassment."

How? That's absolutely ridiculous. All I see are names, professions, general locations, a few dates of birth maybe... To actually "steal someone's identity" you need bank account numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, street addresses, mothers' maiden names, things like that.

Brandt isn't doing anything that Wikipedia itself isn't doing on a vastly greater scale.

Are you going to remove peoples' names and birthdates from their Wikipedia biographies, so that people can't go to them and steal their identities that way?
a view from the hive
QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 27th February 2007, 10:55am) *

QUOTE(a view from the hive @ Tue 27th February 2007, 12:49pm) *
As for the "reputable sites" I would have to say that hive and hive2 by posting information about obviously private persons that could enable one to steal their identity could be seen as "harassment."

How? That's absolutely ridiculous. All I see are names, professions, general locations, a few dates of birth maybe... To actually "steal someone's identity" you need bank account numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, street addresses, mothers' maiden names, things like that.

Brandt isn't doing anything that Wikipedia itself isn't doing on a vastly greater scale.

Are you going to remove peoples' names and birthdates from their Wikipedia biographies, so that people can't go to them and steal their identities that way?


It's the date of birth that I find to be the sticking point. One can otherwise google someone's address, but without the DOB you won't even get past the first stage of credit card screening.

DOB's are mostly posted for public persons, (eg: it's on IMDB or another higher ranking mainstream site) If someone wishes this information to be removed, it almost always is, that is a most reasonable request.

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth never got anyone anywhere. Intentionally posting information to "get back at someone" is hardly a way for effective dispute resolution, it just makes everyone more angry.
gomi
QUOTE(a view from the hive @ Tue 27th February 2007, 10:49am) *

... I don't believe the courts have any authority whatsoever to force someone to include content on their site or am I misunderstanding the nature of your complaint and it being related to the word "spam" in "spam blacklist"


Note that last October, an Illinois court (for a while), entered a default judgement of over $10M against SpamHaus for falsely including a company in their "Spam Blacklist". This isn't exactly the same scenario, but clever lawyers can probably make it look so to the right judge. Here is a link to one article about the case. The judgement was ultimately stayed, but the precedent was nonetheless established.

Mr. Brandt does err in some ways, in my opinion, one of them looking to Florida for a jurisdiction. He would be far better off suing in his home state (I don't know what that is). But this may be a more fruitful course of action than the defamation suit, which would tickle all sorts of others to come to the defence of the Section 230 position.
JohnA
QUOTE(gomi @ Tue 27th February 2007, 7:24pm) *

QUOTE(a view from the hive @ Tue 27th February 2007, 10:49am) *

... I don't believe the courts have any authority whatsoever to force someone to include content on their site or am I misunderstanding the nature of your complaint and it being related to the word "spam" in "spam blacklist"


Note that last October, an Illinois court (for a while), entered a default judgement of over $10M against SpamHaus for falsely including a company in their "Spam Blacklist". This isn't exactly the same scenario, but clever lawyers can probably make it look so to the right judge. Here is a link to one article about the case. The judgement was ultimately stayed, but the precedent was nonetheless established.

Mr. Brandt does err in some ways, in my opinion, one of them looking to Florida for a jurisdiction. He would be far better off suing in his home state (I don't know what that is). But this may be a more fruitful course of action than the defamation suit, which would tickle all sorts of others to come to the defence of the Section 230 position.


Not so fast. Spamhaus were blocking a spammer who went to the court in Illinois because he was a legal spammer.
Somey
QUOTE(a view from the hive @ Tue 27th February 2007, 1:08pm) *
It's the date of birth that I find to be the sticking point. One can otherwise google someone's address, but without the DOB you won't even get past the first stage of credit card screening.

A person's birthdate is only useful to an identity thief if practically everything else about the person is already known. And if everything else is already known, chances are the DOB is too... I'll admit it's the "most personal" of the personal info that's up there, but it was all still obtained from public sources. And even if it was enough info to allow someone to do some damage, it still wouldn't be any more invasive than an unwanted WP-hosted biography.

QUOTE
DOB's are mostly posted for public persons, (eg: it's on IMDB or another higher ranking mainstream site) If someone wishes this information to be removed, it almost always is, that is a most reasonable request.

I'm glad to hear that at least, but then again, that's just the current direction of the wind, isn't it?

QUOTE
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth never got anyone anywhere. Intentionally posting information to "get back at someone" is hardly a way for effective dispute resolution, it just makes everyone more angry.

Maybe so, but at the risk of being annoyingly repetitive, how many AfD's has it been now? I've lost count! And I guess he's still banned, obviously... Number of responses from the Foundation to faxes and e-mails? Zero! Not to mention a nearly endless stream of invective, much of it obscene, pouring out of IRC and various talk pages, yada yada yada. And who started all this, by posting the article in the first place? User:SlimVirgin, no? Not Brandt himself.

Hardly a way for effective dispute resolution indeed!
LamontStormstar
I thought you had to use a lawyer to send a cease and decist letter. Can you do it all by yourself and it still counts?
omobomo
QUOTE(LamontStormstar @ Wed 28th February 2007, 12:17am) *

I thought you had to use a lawyer to send a cease and decist letter. Can you do it all by yourself and it still counts?


Yes.

Basic Law for Dummies 1.0: it's not the sender of the letter/subpoena/warrant, etc., that counts; it's the content.

Just as a contract can be written on a piece of toilet paper and still be legally binding (or even not be written at all, but oral).
Truth Man
QUOTE(LamontStormstar @ Wed 28th February 2007, 12:17am) *

I thought you had to use a lawyer to send a cease and decist letter. Can you do it all by yourself and it still counts?


Yep, pro se.
Joseph100
See this for basic outline procedures legal actions for a budding pro se
http://www.id.uscourts.gov/pro-se.htm
Jonny Cache
The entity that signs itself as "administrators, Jimbo Wales, and/or the Arbitration Committee" exericises control over content, interferes with the free speech of those who use its service, and publishes evaluative statements about those users. It does not operate a free speech forum, and it specifically states that it does not offer its services for that purpose. By doing any and all of these things, it becomes a content publisher, not a free speech protector, and it forfeits its rights to be protected under the same banner.

That is just plain common sense.

Jonny cool.gif
Mark Ryan
Looks like Brandt's complaint in that entire letter can be solved by simply renaming the "SpamBlacklist" to the "URL Blacklist".

QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Wed 28th February 2007, 2:56pm) *

interferes with the free speech of those who use its service


No, it just doesn't facilitate their free speech. There's an important distinction. TV stations aren't interfering with people's free speech by not allowing them on their TV shows. Same goes for Wikipedia. It isn't public.
Somey
QUOTE(Mark Ryan @ Wed 28th February 2007, 12:05am) *
Looks like Brandt's complaint in that entire letter can be solved by simply renaming the "SpamBlacklist" to the "URL Blacklist".

Y'know, that actually would be a major improvement. Connotative terminology is hardly the sort of thing WP ought to be using for something as contentious, and potentially lawsuit-baiting, as that... In fact, "URL NoLinkList" would be even better.

It's much more NPOV, even! smile.gif

QUOTE(Mark Ryan @ Wed 28th February 2007, 12:11am) *
TV stations aren't interfering with people's free speech by not allowing them on their TV shows. Same goes for Wikipedia. It isn't public.

Then they should change that highly-prominent "anyone can edit" slogan, shouldn't they?
Jonny Cache
QUOTE(Mark Ryan @ Wed 28th February 2007, 12:05am) *

Looks like Brandt's complaint in that entire letter can be solved by simply renaming the "SpamBlacklist" to the "URL Blacklist".


The uttering and publishing of evaluative statements by Wikipedia management is only the icing on the cake. It's the control and restriction of free speech on the part of its users that disqualifies it from claiming protection as a non-mangerial service provider.

Jonny cool.gif
Mark Ryan
QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Wed 28th February 2007, 3:22pm) *

The uttering and publishing of evaluative statements by Wikipedia management is only the icing on the cake. It's the control and restriction of free speech on the part of its users that disqualifies it from claiming protection as a non-mangerial service provider.

Jonny cool.gif


What's Daniel Brandt's letter got to do with free speech? Maybe I'm missing something...
Jonny Cache
QUOTE(Mark Ryan @ Wed 28th February 2007, 1:11am) *

Looks like Brandt's complaint in that entire letter can be solved by simply renaming the "SpamBlacklist" to the "URL Blacklist".

QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Wed 28th February 2007, 2:56pm) *

interferes with the free speech of those who use its service


No, it just doesn't facilitate their free speech. There's an important distinction. TV stations aren't interfering with people's free speech by not allowing them on their TV shows. Same goes for Wikipedia. It isn't public.


I'm going to give you a couple of days to think on that one. You've obviously been losing waaaaay too many gray cells to Wikipedia exposure.

Jonny cool.gif
Mark Ryan
QUOTE(Somey @ Wed 28th February 2007, 3:15pm) *

Then they should change that highly-prominent "anyone can edit" slogan, shouldn't they?


Maybe. It's not used as much now as it once was, anyway.
Jonny Cache
QUOTE(Mark Ryan @ Wed 28th February 2007, 1:26am) *

QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Wed 28th February 2007, 3:22pm) *

The uttering and publishing of evaluative statements by Wikipedia management is only the icing on the cake. It's the control and restriction of free speech on the part of its users that disqualifies it from claiming protection as a non-mangerial service provider.

Jonny cool.gif



... Maybe I'm missing something ...


Vide previous remark about gray cells.

Jonny cool.gif
Mark Ryan
QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Wed 28th February 2007, 3:26pm) *

I'm going to give you a couple of days to think on that one. You've obviously been losing waaaaay too many gray cells to Wikipedia exposure.

Jonny cool.gif


He's complaining that we libelliously describe his sites as 'spam', and as a result, other sites using our list assume they are spam, and prevent him from exercising his free speech there. He complains about the reputation hit from being labelled a spammer. I don't see him demanding the ability to place links to his sites on Wikipedia itself.
Somey
QUOTE(Mark Ryan @ Wed 28th February 2007, 12:11am) *
TV stations aren't interfering with people's free speech by not allowing them on their TV shows. Same goes for Wikipedia. It isn't public.

Actually, let's examine that statement a little more closely. At least in the US, the airwaves are treated as public property - TV and radio stations are only supposed to be licensed to use various frequencies by the government. (Admittedly, the distinction is becoming less and less... er, distinct, given the fact that most broadcasters are being bought up by a small number of powerful media companies, but that's perhaps best argued elsewhere.)

The point is, radio and TV stations in the US are, in fact, required to do things like give equal time to opposing political candidates, run public service announcements, test the emergency broadcasting system, and so on... Also, if they deny paid access to their broadcast frequencies (usually in the form of ads), they have to have a fairly good reason, or they can get sued for it.

Wikipedia isn't really doing any of those things, of course, but internet sites aren't regulated the same way as broadcast entities, to the extent that they're regulated at all. This, to me, is why Wikipedia is so dangerous - the more people complain about it, the more likely it is that governments will try to regulate not only WP, but everybody else too. And that would be a much worse blow to online free speech, and probably online privacy, than deleting a few biographies or whatever - at least until someone can come up with a better and more secure network that's completely resistant to any and all outside interference. (Of course, that presumably takes lots of money, meaning that the open-source/free content types won't have anything much to do with it, but that's perhaps best argued elsewhere too...)

Anyhoo, I just think that a lot of people who think they're defending free speech on WP, by allowing all sorts of irresponsible and libelous crap to be posted all over the place, are basically just painting a big target on it. One of these days, somebody's going to take aim and open fire... It may seem like I'm singling WP out unfairly, but of all the major "collaborative" websites, it's the only one that tried to pretend to consensus-based objectivity - which, quite frankly, really pisses people off in a lot of cases.
Jonny Cache
QUOTE(Mark Ryan @ Wed 28th February 2007, 1:31am) *

QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Wed 28th February 2007, 3:26pm) *

I'm going to give you a couple of days to think on that one. You've obviously been losing waaaaay too many gray cells to Wikipedia exposure.

Jonny cool.gif


He's complaining that we libelliously describe his sites as 'spam', and as a result, other sites using our list assume they are spam, and prevent him from exercising his free speech there. He complains about the reputation hit from being labelled a spammer. I don't see him demanding the ability to place links to his sites on Wikipedia itself.


Really, take a couple of days to familiarize yourself with the history of the issues. I have already pointed out the pertinent features of the case a couple of times now, and so have many others. I realize that being oblivious is a good way to win arguments in Wikipedia, but it will only win you your own personal subforum here.

Jonny cool.gif
Mark Ryan
QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Wed 28th February 2007, 3:42pm) *

Really, take a couple of days to familiarize yourself with the history of the issues. I have already pointed out the pertinent features of the case a couple of times now, and so have many others. I realize that being oblivious is a good way to win arguments in Wikipedia, but it will only win you own personal subforum here.

Jonny cool.gif


I'm well aware of the background, so you don't need to treat me like I don't know. But I was under the impression this thread was about his letter copied above, which is quite clearly about reputation rather than rights. Whilst it's quite clear Brandt is unhappy about not having his sites linked to in Wikipedia, his expressed complaint there doesn't talk about that; it talks about his damaged reputation (and, potentially, hurt feelings) resulting from his presence on a list of spam domains. He doesn't demand the right to edit Wikipedia once more and doesn't demand that his links be reinserted, both of which would be logical actions if he were first and foremost addressing issues of his right to freedom of speech.
Jonny Cache
Look, read the subtitle of the thread ...

G'nite ...

Jonny cool.gif
Daniel Brandt
The bottom line is that Brad probably won't even see the fax plus letter. If he sees it, he probably won't read it. My impression is that he has not been given the authority to perform the normal functions of a general counsel. He's been hired to keep Jimbo happy. And Anthere (Florence Nibart-Devouard) isn't in a position to overrule Jimbo. I doubt that she's even in a position to know what the hell is going on.

So why do I bother? It's conceivable that someday I'll be asked, probably by a judge or a lawyer, if I ever tried to make it clear to the Foundation that I don't want my sites on the spam blacklist. Throwing up an anti-Raul web page is one thing, making snide remarks on Wikipediareview is another thing, and I've done both. But those don't count for much. I cannot claim to have exhausted my remedies until I make it clear in a formal, straightforward manner that I feel that listing six of my domains on the spam blacklist is unjustified, and also harmful to the reputation of Public Information Research.

As Kurt Vonnegut would say, it's "for the record."
dtobias
I, personally, oppose the use of the "spam filter" for anything other than blatant spam (e.g., sites selling "herbal Viagra" that are getting spammed onto unrelated articles), so if it were up to me, I wouldn't have Brandt's sites in the filter list. I also don't like the draconianly-enforced ban on linking to Encyclopedia Dramatica anywhere in Wikipedia regardless of context (which has been enforced even on discussion pages). I'm not such a "Wikipedia cheerleader" that I agree with everything its admins, ArbCom, Jimbo, etc., ever do. I'd rather err more on the side of freedom over control-freakishness.

On the other hand, I fail to see how Brandt has the slightest basis for making a demand (rather than a polite request) that they take his sites off the list. It's purely a free-speech issue on the part of the Wikipedia editors, admins, etc., involved in maintaining that list; which sites they choose to designate as unsuitable for linking on Wikipedia is a matter of opinion, and can't be forced on them by an external authority. This is similar to a recently decided case where a lawsuit was dismissed against Google, Yahoo (and some others) by an individual (who filed pro se, without a lawyer) who claimed that their refusal to let him purchase ads on search-result pages for his rant-laden personal Web sites was a violation of his free speech; the court didn't take long to come to the conclusion that the search engine operators' freedom to choose what sorts of speech to allow on their sites trump the free speech of outsiders wishing to get their own sites linked. A relevant quote: "Section 230 provides Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft immunity for their editorial decisions regarding screening and deletion from their network."

Making demands on Wikipedia will only serve to anger Wikipedians some more and make it even less likely that anything he wants will ever be done.

Also, it is undisputed that Brandt did at one point redirect people who followed links from Wikipedia to his sites to a different site, so as a result, it is understandable that people regard links to his site as inherently unstable and vulnerable to ideologically-motivated redirection targeted particularly at Wikipedia; thus, he has no business complaining if Wikipedia takes action in retaliation for this.
LamontStormstar
Another legal question. Do cease and decist or DMCAs require you to put your phone number or mailing address on them? I notice Dan didn't put his personal info on it.
Somey
QUOTE(dtobias @ Thu 1st March 2007, 6:47pm) *
...I fail to see how Brandt has the slightest basis for making a demand (rather than a polite request) that they take his sites off the list... (snip)

Dan, you're actually starting to make some sense here. I agree - he has no legal basis for making such a demand (which is really just pro forma anyway, looks like - covering all the bases and that sort of thing). And I, for one, probably wouldn't blame them for listing those sites - at least if I weren't personally involved and all that rubbish. He might have a case for libel against Raul654, but that's not quite the same thing.

As for angering Wikipedians some more, etc., you're in a better position to judge that than I am... Do you feel that if Brandt were to make a few gestures to, shall we say, "de-escalate hostilities" in the near term, it might help get the article deleted once and for all? Would you, for one, vote to delete it? And if this is the case, what would he have to do, in your opinion? How far would he have to go? I'm asking sincerely. mellow.gif

QUOTE(LamontStormstar @ Thu 1st March 2007, 7:24pm) *
Another legal question. Do cease and decist or DMCAs require you to put your phone number or mailing address on them? I notice Dan didn't put his personal info on it.

You'd either have to put your own contact info on there or your lawyer's, and I'd have to assume he faxed it on some letterhead, which I believe is a pro forma standard thing to do. What he posted here was obviously not a bitmap image of the actual document... Besides, that's not the sort of thing one would post on a public website anyway, if trying to protect one's own privacy in the first place.
gomi
QUOTE(LamontStormstar @ Thu 1st March 2007, 5:24pm) *

Another legal question. Do cease and decist or DMCAs require you to put your phone number or mailing address on them?

This is not a DMCA C&D, as it does not cover a copyright issue. A C&D does not require the address of the compainant, but normally there is a response address (e.g. a law firm).
Jonny Cache
QUOTE(Somey @ Thu 1st March 2007, 8:37pm) *

QUOTE(dtobias @ Thu 1st March 2007, 6:47pm) *

I fail to see how Brandt has the slightest basis for making a demand (rather than a polite request) that they take his sites off the list ... <snip>


Dan, you're actually starting to make some sense here. ...


Oh, that cuts it ...

One gets so tired of having to explain no-brainers to Wikipedians that I gave it up a while back -- but when they start spreading their brain damage beyond their WikiPorchesian shores, then I have to protest.

SPAM has a legal definition somehere -- unsolicited mass mailings of a particular type -- so the term SPAM cannot be applied to links inserted in an article except by way of a pejorative metaphor.

There may be reasons for blocking some links, but we are not talking about that here. We are talking about Admins with personal axes to grind who abuse their powers on behalf of their purely personal grudges and their desire to block readers from having access to independent sources of information that may reflect critically on Wikipedia itself.

The other thing that people are forgetting is that putting valid subjects of discussion and valid sources of information on various types of censorship status violates Wikipedia's so-called policies and interferes with the freedom of every user to refer to those subjects or sources. It even prevents users from editing articles that have blacklisted links anywhere in them.

All of these things violate the spirit of the wiki medium and the letter of Wikipedia guidelines.

Like that's anything new ...

Jonny cool.gif
Daniel Brandt
Eloquence took my domains off of the spam blacklist today by adding a "comment" hash in front. Will Raul654 react? Is Eloquence turning into a good guy? Eloquence also called for Essjay to step down from his positions of authority today.

How much drama can we fit into a single week at Wikipedia? Stay tuned.
dtobias
QUOTE(Somey @ Thu 1st March 2007, 8:37pm) *

As for angering Wikipedians some more, etc., you're in a better position to judge that than I am... Do you feel that if Brandt were to make a few gestures to, shall we say, "de-escalate hostilities" in the near term, it might help get the article deleted once and for all? Would you, for one, vote to delete it? And if this is the case, what would he have to do, in your opinion? How far would he have to go? I'm asking sincerely. mellow.gif


There may be some cases in which "reverse psychology" would work on Wikipedians... there's a tendency among many editors to favor the opposite of whatever is being demanded in a really strident, obnoxious, and pushy way, in cases of marginal notability that could go in either direction. That is, if somebody is arguing to keep the article about themselves (or their blog, webcomic, or garage band), editors want to delete it, and if they're demanding it be deleted they want to keep it; the more annoying the manner of argument the stronger this effect would be. If editors were truly objective, this would carry no weight, but they're human and don't like to be pushed around. Thus, if, theoretically, Brandt had actually wanted his article kept and given maximum publicity and traffic, then he'd be playing a near-perfect game so far with his actual actions. As somebody who actually wants it deleted, however, he's doing a really poor job. If he'd been arguing from the start to keep the article, carrying on in the style of somebody who'd just gotten a friend to create a vanity article about them and is really offended that anybody would dare to say they're non-notable, then perhaps it would have been deleted long ago. Unfortunately, it's way too late for him to change his strategy in this manner; it's necessary to present a consistent face, both within Wikipedia and anywhere else editors might notice you (outside forums, blogs, news media, etc.), or else they'll realize you're gaming the system and discount you altogether.

Since that strategy is out for Brandt already, the next best thing could be to "de-escalate" as you noted. This wouldn't, however, guarantee deletion. When things calm down and people no longer have axes to grind on the issue, they might eventually make rational, objective decisions about the fate of the article that are not clouded by emotion as the issue has been so far; however, I'm still not sure the objectively correct decision is not to continue to keep the article. Brandt has, in fact, been covered repeatedly by the media, and the harder he fought Wikipedia the more such coverage he got, so it's rather difficult to successfully argue non-notability. On the other hand, there has been a growing tendency lately to delete articles on subjects of minor notability that attract storms of controversy, as "more trouble than they're worth", so maybe that'll finally lead to the article's deletion (in which case, both "forward" and "reverse" psychology would end up working, if deletion is your end, since anything that causes a big fuss would ultimately lead in that direction; ironically, "de-escalation" could work against that).

So far, I've favored keeping the article, and am not really motivated to change; it would just be a bad precedent to give anybody such "veto power". Already, more-notable people such as comic book artist John Byrne have made similar demands regarding their own articles.
Jonny Cache
QUOTE(dtobias @ Fri 2nd March 2007, 7:56am) *

There may be some cases in which "reverse psychology" would work on Wikipedians ...


Please try to understand, it is not our job to cater to the psychology — arbnormal, reverse, or otherwise — of Wikipedians. It does fall within the purview of this Review to point at some of its more serious or more ridiculous deviations from normality, but that does not mean that we have any intention of trying to work within its nut's'hell. Some of the participants in this forum do appear at times to hold out hopes for curing the condition, but I think that it's fair to say that more and more Reviewers will content themselves with alerting the public to the dangers of a potentially viral Wikipandemic, and also with helping to maintain the quarantine.

Jonny cool.gif
Alkivar
One should also point out that this blacklist doesnt just affect wikipedia, but all of the major wiki foundation sites, wikia, and most MediaWiki installs use that blacklist by default.

So we're talking hundreds if not thousands of sites...
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