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Old 05-29-2009, 01:51 PM   #1
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Default Wikipedia bans Church of Scientology

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05...s_scientology/


Wikipedia bans Church of Scientology



Wikioperating Thetan Level Zero

By Cade Metz in San Francisco • Get more from this author

Posted in Music and Media, 29th May 2009 00:23 GMT

Hitachi IT Operations Analyzer - 30-day free trial

Exclusive In an unprecedented effort to crack down on self-serving edits, the Wikipedia supreme court has banned contributions from all IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and its associates.

Closing out the longest-running court case in Wikiland history, the site’s Arbitration Committee voted 10 to 0 (with one abstention) in favor of the move, which takes effect immediately.

The eighth most popular site on the web, Wikipedia bills itself as "the free encyclopedia anyone can edit." Administrators frequently ban individual Wikifiddlers for their individual Wikisins. And the site's UK press officer/resident goth once silenced an entire Utah mountain in a bizarre attempt to protect a sockpuppeting ex-BusinessWeek reporter. But according to multiple administrators speaking with The Reg, the muzzling of Scientology IPs marks the first time Wikipedia has officially barred edits from such a high-profile organization for allegedly pushing its own agenda on the site.

The Church of Scientology has not responded to our request for comment.

Officially, Wikipedia frowns on those who edit "in order to promote their own interests." The site sees itself as an encyclopedia with a "neutral point of view" - whatever that is. "Use of the encyclopedia to advance personal agendas – such as advocacy or propaganda and philosophical, ideological or religious dispute – or to publish or promote original research is prohibited," say the Wikipowersthatbe.

Admins may ban a Wikifiddler who betrays an extreme conflict of interest, and since fiddlers often hide their identity behind open proxies, such IPs may be banned as a preventative measure. After today's ruling from the Arbitration Committee - known in Orwellian fashion as the ArbCom - Scientology IPs are "to be blocked as if they were open proxies" (though individual editors can request an exemption).

According to evidence turned up by admins in this long-running Wikiland court case, multiple editors have been "openly editing [Scientology-related articles] from Church of Scientology equipment and apparently coordinating their activities." Leaning on the famed WikiScanner, countless news stories have discussed the editing of Scientology articles from Scientology IPs, and some site admins are concerned this is "damaging Wikipedia's reputation for neutrality."

One admin tells The Reg that policing edits from Scientology machines has been particularly difficult because myriad editors sit behind a small number of IPs and, for some reason, the address of each editor is constantly changing. This prevents admins from determining whether a single editor is using multiple Wikipedia accounts to game the system. In Wikiland, such sockpuppeting is not allowed.

The Wikicourt considered banning edits from Scientology IPs only on Scientology-related articles. But this would require admins to "checkuser" editors - i.e. determine their IP - every time an edit is made. And even then they may not know who's who.

"Our alternatives are to block them entirely, or checkuser every 'pro-Scientology' editor on this topic. I find the latter unacceptable," wrote one ArbComer. "It is quite broad, but it seems that they're funneling a lot of editing traffic through a few IPs, which make socks impossible to track."

And it may be a moot point. Most the editors in question edit nothing but Scientology-related articles. In Wikiparlance, they're "single purpose accounts."

Some have argued that those editing from Scientology IPs may be doing so without instruction from the Church hierarchy. But a former member of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs - a department officially responsible "for directing and coordinating all legal matters affecting the Church" - says the Office has organized massive efforts to remove Scientology-related materials and criticism from the web.

"The guys I worked with posted every day all day," Tory Christman tells The Reg. "It was like a machine. I worked with someone who used five separate computers, five separate anonymous identities...to refute any facts from the internet about the Church of Scientology."

Christman left the Church in 2000, before Wikipedia was created.

This is the fourth Scientology-related Wikicourtcase in as many years, and in addition to an outright ban on Scientology IPs, the court has barred a host of anti-Scientology editors from editing topics related to the Church.

Many Wikifiddlers have vehemently criticized this sweeping crackdown. Historically, the site's cult-like inner circle has aspired to some sort of Web 2.0 utopia in which everyone has an unfettered voice. An organization editing Wikipedia articles where it has a conflict of interest is hardly unusual, and in the past such behavior typically went unpunished.

But clearly, Wikipedia is changing. In recent months, the site's ruling body seems far more interested in quashing at least the most obvious examples of propaganda pushing.

Scientology's banishment from Wikipedia comes just days after the opening of a (real world) trial that could see the dissolution of the organization's French chapter. ®
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:16 PM   #2
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the muzzling of Scientology IPs marks the first time Wikipedia has officially barred edits from such a high-profile organization for allegedly pushing its own agenda on the site
Lawsuit.


tick... tick.... tick.....
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“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”
— Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 2 May 1935.


Price history
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:05 PM   #3
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Based on what?
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:12 PM   #4
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sciento...e_legal_system

According to a U.S. District Court Memorandum of Decision in 1993, Scientologists "have abused the federal court system by using it, inter alia, to destroy their opponents, rather than to resolve an actual dispute over trademark law or any other legal matter. This constitutes 'extraordinary, malicious, wanton, and oppressive conduct.' ... It is abundantly clear that plaintiffs sought to harass the individual defendants and destroy the church defendants through massive over-litigation and other highly questionable litigation tactics. The Special Master has never seen a more glaring example of bad faith litigation than this."
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“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”
— Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 2 May 1935.


Price history
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:16 PM   #5
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Based on the fact that the Church of Scientology spams critics with numerous frivilous lawsuits until they relent. While the lawsuits have no merit, they are still expensive and time-consuming to counter. Scientologist lawyers will file every possible motion, dragging out the frivilous suit as long as humanly possible, running up the greatest amount of billing hours for their critic's lawyers. They keep filing new suits until they silence the critic or stop what they see as discrimination against them. This legal extorting method is SOP for them. It has worked quite well in most cases.
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:44 AM   #6
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Default Wikipedia Blocks Scientologist From Editing Pages

Wikipedia Blocks Church of Scientology From Editing Pages

Friday, May 29, 2009


In an unprecedented move, Wikipedia has banned edits from an entire religion — the Church of Scientology.

After four months of internal discussion, Wikipedia's top administrators decided Thursday to block Scientology-affiliated computers from changing items on any part of the free online encyclopedia, reports the British tech blog The Register.

Wikipedia famously lets almost anyone make changes to almost any article. Troublesome individuals have been blocked from editing — among them virulently anti-Scientology activists who altered pages relating to the religion — but this is the first time a religious organization has been blocked.

The encyclopedia's administrators found that Scientology computers had been repeatedly changing more than 400 pages related to the Church, deleting negative references and adding positive ones. The volume of changes was overwhelming administrators' ability to reverse them, hence the block.

Representatives of the Church of Scientology did not reply to FOXNews.com's requests for comment.

Wikipedia matches specific Internet Protocol (IP) addresses — every device on the Internet has one — with certain users, and tweaks its servers to prevent those machines gaining edit access. Every IP address linked to the Church of Scientology is now banned from editing.


"All IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and its associates, broadly interpreted, are to be blocked," read a statement on Wikipedia, according to WikiNews. "Individual editors may request IP block exemption if they wish to contribute from the blocked IP addresses."
A previous mass block was levied against Overstock.com for repeated troublesome edits, reports the Register. For half a day in January 2008, the entire nation of Qatar was blocked because many troublesome edits were coming from the country's only ISP, CNET reports.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,523238,00.html
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:46 AM   #7
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Re: post above

One wonders why they don't block entries from all religions. Unless it's a entry of faith, a faith based entry is by definition erroneous.
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Old 05-30-2009, 04:51 PM   #8
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c:
Quote:
"Unless it's a entry of faith, a faith based entry is by definition erroneous."
This is false logic. People believing in something solely on the basis of their religious faith does not automatically make it false. As an example, Jews believed pork was 'unclean', and thus would harm you. We now know about trichinosis, and why that was perfectly true. One obviously cannot take faith as a logical proof of anything, but neither can one take faith as a logical disproof of anything.
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* I have the right to live, thus I have the right to defend my life from attackers who would take it from me.
* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
* I have the right to self-determination, thus I have the right to defend my liberty from tyrants who would take it from me.
* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:19 PM   #9
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The Church of $cientology isn't a religion. It's a money-making cult and nothing more.

Kudos to Wikipedia for c-ck blocking the Co$.

http://www.xenu.net/
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
c:This is false logic. People believing in something solely on the basis of their religious faith does not automatically make it false. As an example, Jews believed pork was 'unclean', and thus would harm you. We now know about trichinosis, and why that was perfectly true. One obviously cannot take faith as a logical proof of anything, but neither can one take faith as a logical disproof of anything.
If unclean means full of parasites (especially 3000 years ago), then the Jewish belief was certainly fact based. You don't need the internet to spot the worms in your pork chops.

Very poor example.
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:39 PM   #11
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Um, can't they just get themselves an AOL account?
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:13 AM   #12
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Um, can't they just get themselves an AOL account?
I know what you mean. Is Wikipedia only block ideas that appear to be from that Church? Why don't the block all faith-based entries? Seems like only a Scientogist could accurately block only Scientology entries.
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:23 AM   #13
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c:
Quote:
"If unclean means full of parasites (especially 3000 years ago), then the Jewish belief was certainly fact based. You don't need the internet to spot the worms in your pork chops. Very poor example."
Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with you.

If you had a clue, you would know that trichinosis exists in meat in the form of tiny cysts not visible to the naked eye. The tiny parasitic worms do not hatch out of these cysts until they reach the digestive tract of the person eating the undercooked infected meat. The true cause of trichinosis remained unknown until after the invention of the microscope.
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* I have the right to live, thus I have the right to defend my life from attackers who would take it from me.
* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
* I have the right to self-determination, thus I have the right to defend my liberty from tyrants who would take it from me.
* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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