Wikipedia wins

The German Wikipedia has admirably demonstrated that the Internet just routes around attempts to censor it. The German parliamentarian who tried to shut down the German Wikipedia (which is just a page that then links to the servers in the US and elsewhere) has apologized and said that he didn't think far enough ahead what this action of his would have as consequences.

Duh. Many pundits have pointed out that this rather summarizes German politicians in a nutshell. They just do, and worry about the consequences later. At least he did apologize and not just go into hiding.

The German Wikipedia is extremely happy to note that we managed to collect half the money we need for new servers (to be kept as mirrors in Germany in case any US courts try the same trick) just over the weekend. Many in the Verein have suggested that we take a tithe - 10% - of this money and earmark it for figuring out how to sort out the entries on living people, which seem to be the ones that get us into the most trouble. A very fine suggestion, in my opinion.

At the Stammtisch in Berlin we were joking about taking bets on how many people will try and get the politician kicked out of his party this week. Petra Pau, a member of the party ruling committee, came out sharply against the actions of the parliamentarian without actually mentioning his name. She speaks of Maschinenstürmerei (Luddites), quite a funny name for someone who toys with the Internet.


Jim Horning said...

"Censure" and "censor" are both good words, but they don't mean the same thing.

I think you were censuring an attempt to censor the Internet.

Jim H.

brainerror said...

Lies and knowingly published false statements are neither covered by freedom of opinion nor freedom of press. Also, since many people falsely trust wikipedia's content ("everyone and her mother checked it, it must be true!"), we really *need* some judicial ways to stop such liars. It's not acceptable to fight hours and hours with the common wikipedia trolls just to remove a note which claims that you're operating an online sex shop and lost your "Bundestagsimmunität". It's also not acceptable that wikipedia's liars don't have to fear real consequences (except losing their wikipedia account, maybe).

WiseWoman said...

Thanks, Jim. I was too quick to believe the spelling checker there. Should be correct now!