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Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the citation-needed dept.

Wikipedia 268

New submitter Andreas Kolbe writes: "Businessman, philanthropist and musician Yank Barry and the Global Village Champions Foundation are suing four Wikipedia editors for defamation, claiming they have maliciously conspired to keep Barry's Wikipedia biography unduly negative. The Daily Dot article includes a copy of the legal brief and quotes Barry as saying, "My page was so ridiculously false and made me sound like a terrible person and people believed it causing deals to fall through. I finally had enough."

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Well, this won't backfire! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47312819)

No, not at all.

Re:Well, this won't backfire! (5, Funny)

able1234au (995975) | about 2 months ago | (#47312865)

Calling Barbara Streisand...

Re:Well, this won't backfire! (5, Interesting)

Mr. Somey (1200447) | about 2 months ago | (#47313263)

I'm not sure the Streisand Effect applies in this case. He's not actually trying to hide unpleasant or embarrassing aspects of his past - what he seems to want is for the article to reflect his own version of those events, or at least to contain his version (or "spin" if you prefer) in some way. And since he's a marginal figure to begin with, he's really in one of those "any publicity is good publicity" situations.

And these days, among the people whose allegiance Barry seems to value most (i.e., former professional boxers and their fans), attacking Wikipedia is hardly seen as a bad thing to do - just the opposite in fact, and you could probably say that for a wide range of people and professions, especially celebrities. Wikipedia has always been seen by many of them as an illegitimate, irresponsible, self-appointed power-grab by anonymous nobodies - because after all, it is - and the passage of time (and the continued unctuous malfeasance of Wikipedians) has only cemented that impression in their minds.

It's all rather unfortunate, but also inevitable, given the way Wikipedians often behave.

Re:Well, this won't backfire! (3, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | about 2 months ago | (#47313691)

I really don't know enough about this case to know whether the guy has a leg to stand on or not. I mean, sometimes blatantly false stuff is added on Wikipedia - remember the John Seigenthaler [wikipedia.org] incident way back when? Of course, even that had its backlash [wikia.com] . ;)

Re:Well, this won't backfire! (4, Funny)

hax4bux (209237) | about 2 months ago | (#47312939)

Or that attorney who tried to sue "the oatmeal" I forget his name...

Re:Well, this won't backfire! (5, Funny)

Jesrad (716567) | about 2 months ago | (#47313141)

I forget his name...

And that's the punchline.

Re:Well, this won't backfire! (2)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | about 2 months ago | (#47313317)

Or that attorney who tried to sue "the oatmeal" I forget his name...

You mean that carrion dude right? Witha a name like that, perhaps there is some connection to Barry's VitaPro textured protein meat replacement?

Re:Well, this won't backfire! (4, Informative)

JosKarith (757063) | about 2 months ago | (#47313319)

I'm sure you can just look it up on Wikipedia.

Re:Well, this won't backfire! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313511)

See what happens when you don't play.

Re:Well, this won't backfire! (4, Funny)

Rei (128717) | about 2 months ago | (#47313433)

"The Wikipedia page said said I was an oversensitive litigious bastard!"

goodbye Wikipedia (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47312829)

It was informative while it lasted.

Falun Gong / Falun Dafa (5, Insightful)

bumba2014 (3564161) | about 2 months ago | (#47312851)

I'm not sure about the English version, but the German version about Falun Gong / Falun Dafa contains a lot of negative lies, spread by the CCP. Every time someone corrects it, someone from china will change it back. At the end they didn't allow any changes anymore, and put half the truth and half the lies in it. Unfortunately a lot of people believe what is written in those articles. I can imagine this happening to a lot of subjects.

Articles about Catholicism are even worse (-1, Flamebait)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | about 2 months ago | (#47313229)

Especially in the Italian Wikipedia pretty much any article about the catholic church is written from the point of view of someone that believes in that religion. Edits that try to follow the NPOV (neutral point of view) rule are immediately reverted, any negative information, even when well-referenced, is deleted or hidden in a brief mention inside a long paragraph at the end of an article.

Unfortunately the people that keep these articles in such bad state seem to have far more free time than the volunteers that want to improve them following the rules, so wikipedia's gradual improvement model fails for these articles about religion.

Re:Articles about Catholicism are even worse (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313261)

Wikipedia is a MMORPG where the guy with most free time always wins. Anybody who takes it seriously is a victim of either ignorance or zeal.

Re:Articles about Catholicism are even worse (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313355)

It's not free time. It's just that these organizations already have a PR department.
If Wikipedia starts to generate what they consider bad publicity it becomes a priority and suddenly they have several 8 hour/day positions available to maintain the page.
In between the forum posting and Wikipedia editing they can continue to write press releases and other things that doesn't require immediate response.

Re:Falun Gong / Falun Dafa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313403)

This is why absolute free speech is so vital to a free society. This is why JEWS have taken away our right to free speech in many European countries, and your boss will fire you in the USA, even though you have 'freedom of speech', if you tell the truth about the Jewish stranglehold on your country, because your boss's boss will fire HIM if he doesn't fire you, because your boss's boss is beholden to the Jew bankers and the Jew media.

http://balder.org/judea/Hate-Speech-Laws-Immigration-Jewish-Influence-Britain.php

Re:Falun Gong / Falun Dafa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313571)

No matter how many times I add my carefully researched change about the exploding elephant population, somebody always reverts it.

Who is that? (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47312857)

And why does he matter?

Seriously, has anyone here even heard about this guy before today? Yank Barry sounds more like an invitation to some ribbing than a name...

And, and here's the next question, how could this lawsuit fly? Anything short of outright libel is pretty much in the "don't care" area. Last time I checked Wikipedia was a privately owned entity. So, if push comes to shove, whatever is expressed there is an opinion. And last time I checked you're entitled to one in the US, and also to saying it.

Re:Who is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47312875)

> And why does he matter?

The case won't magically have merit one way or the other. The question isn't "why does he matter?" but "why hasn't this gone to court before?" - it's common enough and wikipedia's been selling themselves as a source of verifiable data for many years.

Re:Who is that? (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 2 months ago | (#47313583)

Re:Who is that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313607)

Except hes not suing Wikipedia, hes suing the editiors of the page alleging a conspiracy to make him look bad.

Wikipedia's disclaimer about accuracy is irrelavent, where the content is, is less important than what the content is, as far as the suit is concerned.

What the suit is though should worry you a lot. This has potential chilling effects for a lot of online sites.

Re:Who is that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47312877)

What makes you think this isn't libel?

Re:Who is that? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47312897)

Seriously, has anyone here even heard about this guy before today?

You jealous bro?

Re:Who is that? (5, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 months ago | (#47312921)

I don't think it can be considered opinion, WP advertises itself as an encyclopedia, it goes out of its way to base its claims on citations. I'm a strong supporter of WP and this guys sounds like a "flim-flam man", however that doesn't mean he is wrong and it does appear that at least one editor was hell bent on causing him financial damage. OTOH $10M is a ludicrous exaggeration of any real damages, or it would be were it not happening in the US.

Re:Who is that? (2, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 2 months ago | (#47313351)

From day one I've said that WIkipedia is a fools' encyc. With the ability for any jerk to edit, it is inevitable that this happens. The worst articles involve persons, beliefs and governments. Even the scientific articles are not immune. It's only good for a jumping off place.

Re:Who is that? (-1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 months ago | (#47313379)

Kind of like how climate change activists erased the Medieval Warm Period off of Wikipedia a few years ago.

Re:Who is that? (3, Funny)

Smallpond (221300) | about 2 months ago | (#47313613)

There were no US scientists who believed in the Medeival Warm Period at the time (800 - 1300).

Re:Who is that? (0)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 months ago | (#47313539)

Almost all the scientific stuff on Global Warming and Evolution is constantly defaced by extremist republican nutjobs.

Re:Who is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313509)

The simple solution is for WP to hand over the details of those that created the alleged lies to the proper authorities and let Barry sue them directly.

Once a few shysters have been caught out, people will shy away from using WP as a tool against people they do not like.

Re:Who is that? (4, Insightful)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | about 2 months ago | (#47312961)

Oh good, I'll just print up a bunch of fliers saying you torture kittens and set fire to orphanages and post them around your home town. Because nobody has heard of you and I'm not a publicly listed company, it will be 'opinion' rather than 'libel'.

I have no idea whether this guy's claims are justified, but neither do you. My liking Wikipedia does not therefore mean that the facts or the law are on the side of Wikipedia.

Re:Who is that? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47313183)

Go ahead. Those that know me will know better and the rest can kiss my shiny metal ass.

Re:Who is that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313239)

That attitude will work so well when you try and get a job and they only thing they know about you are that you are the kitten killing peado. Defamation laws serve a real purpose, sure you friends might know that you kill kids and fuck kittens and not vice versa but that is only a very small subset of the world you need to interact with.

PRO TIP TIME! Free speech is not 100% free, nor should it be. It becomes grey when my freedom to speak interferes with your freedom (that said I should be free to speak the truth about you).

Re:Who is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313245)

I should also be free to engage in satire about you as long as the satire is obviously satire. Thus the kid killing, kitten fucking statement is fine (I'm taking the piss out of your stupid attitude to defamation laws).

The Truth? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313491)

Problem is, Wikipedia isn't trying to portray the truth. Instead, it just repeats what "credible sources" report. So if this was 1984 and all the sources reported 2+2=5, Wikipedia would have no choice but to do the same, citing the sources, no matter how obvious it is that it's wrong. Fortunately though, the Western world generally has freedom of the press, so going by credible sources generally comes pretty close to the truth.

Of course, determining which sources are credible is a challenge, especially on controversial issues like global warming or for things like urban myths that are often reported by "credible" sources without doing research.

Re:The Truth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313559)

I'm curious to know what "The (closest we know to being the) Truth" is if not 'what "credible sources" report'. Is it magical knowledge known only to you? What the oil industry want you to think? What the bible tells you to think? What is posted in peer reviewed journals?

Plus Wikipedia does include untrue insanity like Creationism.

Re:Who is that? (3, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47313373)

I'm interested if you still think this would be the case if you were on the verge of a multi-million dollar deal which suddenly fell through because the other party thought that you actually do kill kittens.

See complacency depends only on how much you have to lose. Now what if the lie cost you your reputation, and your job, and damaged your standing with other people?
Doesn't happen? Just look at how peoples lives are absolutely ruined by an accusation of being a sex offender even if they are subsequently found innocent.

To say that your horrible kitten massacre won't come back to hurt you is incredibly naive.

Re:Who is that? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 months ago | (#47313543)

Mix the two.

He set's fire to kitten orphanages! and goes on a yearly baby seal clubbing expedition!

Re:Who is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47312999)

> And why does he matter?

He matters because he is suing Wikipedia for TEN MILLION DOLLARS, you fucktard.

> Seriously, has anyone here even heard about this guy before today?

How does it matter in the slightest whether you have heard of him before? What is this, tmz.com or something?

Thank you for helping make the place suck.

Re: Who is that? (2)

osiaq (2495684) | about 2 months ago | (#47313023)

He's suing an editor, not Wikipedia, you know...

Re:Who is that? (2)

Urkki (668283) | about 2 months ago | (#47313073)

The news is about Wikipedia editors getting sued, not about the person who sues them. So it doesn't matter if he matters or not.

If Wikipedia editors getting sued is "Stuff that matters" in /. or not, I don't know, but it sounds like it might fit.

Re:Who is that? (4, Informative)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 months ago | (#47313259)

Who is that?

Yank Barry? He's a convicted extortionist who worked for the Mafia in Montreal in the '80s. After being released from prison, he founded a company that sells fake food to (sometimes fake) clients, through which he conned celebrity endorsements by promising to donate food via his fake charities.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/15/yank-barry/ [nationalpost.com]

Re:Who is that? (1)

higuita (129722) | about 2 months ago | (#47313479)

and now slashdot will be sued too!! :)

Re:Who is that? (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 2 months ago | (#47313625)

I won't believe it unless you link to the Wikipedia article.

Re:Who is that? (3, Interesting)

oobayly (1056050) | about 2 months ago | (#47313689)

What was more interesting was reading the comments for that article. Out of the 9 comments, one commented on the Nobel Peace Prize, one commented on show business (I didn't really understand the comment). The remaining 7 were scathing about the journalism, used the standard "well what have you done" argument and questioned the journalists motives. Interestingly enough, all 7 users have only made a single comment each. Clearly that article hit a nerve.

Re:Who is that? (4, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47313365)

So, if push comes to shove, whatever is expressed there is an opinion. And last time I checked you're entitled to one in the US, and also to saying it.

Actually you're not. That's the whole basis of libel laws. If you spread false or misleading information that could tarnish the reputation of another person you are most definitely not entitled to an opinion as far as the law is concerned.

Re:Who is that? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 months ago | (#47313557)

"If you spread false or misleading information that could tarnish the reputation of another person you are most definitely not entitled to an opinion as far as the law is concerned."

I think you do not understand what "OPINION" means.

"I think thegarbs is killing kittens in blenders" That is opinion and you can not be sued for it and I am entitled to that opinion as far as the law is concerned.
"thegarbs is killing kittens in blenders" That is not opinion and therefore not protected speech.

If it is not conveyed as a personal opinion, then you can sick your lawyer dogs on the person. If it is conveyed clearly that it is personal opinion, you can still sick your dogs, but all you will do is lose horribly in court over two words.

But is it false? (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47312867)

I know that defamation suits can be filed (and sometimes even won) even if the information being published is true (if it's false, then one could further sue for libel) but it's my understanding that in the case where the published information is true, the onus is on the person who is suing to show that the *intent* of the publishers was to actually defame them... which of course is quite difficult to do in court. They would have to, using factual evidence, show how it was somehow considerably more probable that there was actually any malicious intent on the publisher's part than any claim the publisher the might make to contrary being true. Unless the publishers actually confess that this is the case, this will not be easy... no matter how good their lawyers are.

Re:But is it false? (1)

BeerCat (685972) | about 2 months ago | (#47312967)

I know that defamation suits can be filed (and sometimes even won) even if the information being published is true... but it's my understanding that in the case where the published information is true, the onus is on the person who is suing to show that the *intent* of the publishers was to actually defame them... which of course is quite difficult to do in court. They would have to, using factual evidence, show how it was somehow considerably more probable that there was actually any malicious intent on the publisher's part than any claim the publisher the might make to contrary being true.

Or, in short, to prove defamation, [citation needed]

Re:But is it false? (1)

lucm (889690) | about 2 months ago | (#47312983)

I know that defamation suits can be filed (and sometimes even won) even if the information being published is true (if it's false, then one could further sue for libel) but it's my understanding that in the case where the published information is true, the onus is on the person who is suing to show that the *intent* of the publishers was to actually defame them... which of course is quite difficult to do in court. They would have to, using factual evidence, show how it was somehow considerably more probable that there was actually any malicious intent on the publisher's part than any claim the publisher the might make to contrary being true. Unless the publishers actually confess that this is the case, this will not be easy... no matter how good their lawyers are.

All wrong. Defamation means that the information is false. Libel means written defamation (it's slander when spoken). And since this is civil law, intent is not relevant, only alleged damages.

I didn't noticed if the lawsuit takes place in US or Canadian jurisdiction but it's basically the same rules in both countries on this kind of civil matter.

Re:But is it false? (4, Interesting)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 2 months ago | (#47313055)

Defamation means that the information is false.

No, it refers to speech that unfairly harms the reputation of someone. Truth is a *defence*, but its not the same thing.

In most countries a statement being true is usually enough for the complaint not to stick but often a truth being used in a deceptive way can also qualify as defamation. Conversely often "Genuinely held belief" can be a defence for it (although often couple with an injunction to fix the error)

Heres an example. Lets say Barack Obama has Asthma. I dont know if he does, but lets just pretend for the sake of this example. Lets also say that he really doesn't listen to his doctor and instead of using a preventitive he instead huffs on a ventolin puffer all day. Its something doctors consider poor asthma management and even counterproductive.

Now heres a defamatory statement: Barack Obama abuses drugs. Assuming the "puffs ventolin all day" fact is true, then this statement is true.

But its also defamatory, because a "reasonable person" (the usual standard in law) would deduce from the he's smoking blunts and blowing lines of coke. In other words I've unfairly hurt his reputation and created a false representation by telling the truth. And in Britain, and many other countries that would be defamation. But in the US? Judge probably won't even hear the case.

Re:But is it false? (4, Interesting)

crossmr (957846) | about 2 months ago | (#47313301)

They should be glad they aren't in South Korea.
After moving here and giving the laws a good read, it's quite interesting.

Truth isn't a defense here. Simply saying something negative about someone is sufficient for defamation, and the only defense is "public interest". If you can prove it was in the public's best interest to know that information you're okay.

Further defamation is part of criminal law here. 2 years for defaming someone with a true statement, 5 years for a false statement. There is a separate law for defaming the dead with a false statement.

Korea also has public insult laws on the books. So if you insult someone publicly so that others can hear it, that's also a criminal offence.

To a certain extent, the laws are somewhat interesting. they have a "keep your nose in your own business" kind of quality about them. I'm not sure what would happen to a thing like wikipedia if it was hosted here.

Re:But is it false? (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 2 months ago | (#47313443)

If you think where it is hosted makes any difference, then you would be wrong.

The person that starts the lawsuit can basically pick any country he likes out of at least these jurisdictions and more:
- where it is hosted
- where the domainname was registered
- where the domainname is hosted
- the country of the country top level domain: .to anyone ?
- the country of the person or company being sued
- the country of the person or company that is suing
- whatever ever else you can think off.

These can all be different countries.

And a judge makes a the decision if he will or will not take the case.

Re:But is it false? (2)

bsolar (1176767) | about 2 months ago | (#47313485)

It' not something that uncommon, Italy has basically the same situation: truth can be used as defense only in very specific cases. The idea is protecting "honourability", so whether you are telling the truth or not doesn't matter. The fundamental question is whether your main intent is to harm someone's honourability, no matter the validity of your claims.

Re:But is it false? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313547)

Sounds like the US should copy South Korea's laws with regards to its political campaigns. Maybe that would shut up the super pacs....

Re:But is it false? (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | about 2 months ago | (#47313037)

If he tried to use the wikipedia procedures to correct some information and the editors would put the false facts back in, sounds like text book libel. If someone keeps fighting him on corrected information that sounds malicious to me...

Anything to make wikipedia factual and not opinion of a few editors is good, sad it takes a lawsuit. Too many editors are using wikipedia as a political tool and not an encyclopedia. I have no love lost for the shenanigans going on over there by some editors.

Re:But is it false? (4, Informative)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 months ago | (#47313285)

There's nothing in the Wikipedia article that hasn't been printed in the press about Barry. And the page is actually pretty tame compared to what they could add. (Putting fake clients on the website for his fake-meat company, for example. His phony "nominations" for a Nobel Peace Prize. Etc. None of those things are mentioned in the article, yet they meet Wikipedia citation standards.)

Re:But is it false? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313353)

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/defamation

Is what he's saying really true? (2)

BlkRb0t (1610449) | about 2 months ago | (#47312869)

Because to find about him, I'd naturally go to his Wiki page, which he alleges paints a wrong picture of him. I don't know anything about this person, so it would be good to hear from experienced commentators what the fuss is all about.

Re:Is what he's saying really true? (4, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 months ago | (#47312883)

I suspect he isn't half as famous as he thinks he is, and wants to blame Wikipedia for the lack of business opportunities banging down his door.

Re:Is what he's saying really true? (1)

freeze128 (544774) | about 2 months ago | (#47313027)

Plus, this should revoke his philanthropist status.

Re:Is what he's saying really true? (2)

Raumkraut (518382) | about 2 months ago | (#47313151)

He's famous enough to have a Wikipedia page, which IME is a reasonably high bar for someone who isn't an anime character.

Re:Is what he's saying really true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47312949)

Because to find about him, I'd naturally go to his Wiki page..

Wait, what? oh, I see, sarcasm....very good, you almost had me there.

Re:Is what he's saying really true? (2)

Panoptes (1041206) | about 2 months ago | (#47312981)

My first reaction to this Wikipedia entry is that it's well (and very carefully) written; the content is supported by 29 detailed references to mostly legal and media sources. I cannot see any reasonable peg for Barry or his legal advisors to hang a lawsuit on. An accusation of bias would, I think, be problematic - several celebrities who like and respect him are mentioned (and quoted) at the beginning of the entry, without editorial comment.

Re:Is what he's saying really true? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313105)

That's what it looks like today -- after months of editwarring, followed by 2+ weeks of people trying to "fix" it, because of the bad publicity brought by the lawsuit.

On 7 May, it looked like this [wikipedia.org] .
On 15 March, this [wikipedia.org] is how it looked.
All because of the four people Barry is now suing.

Re:Is what he's saying really true? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313305)

I see nothing in those prior versions that justifies a lawsuit either. The current version is certainly better written, and contains a few more of the accusations against him (such as conning celebrities), but there's nothing in any of the three that justifies a lawsuit.

Given what's written in some of those cited newspaper articles, the WP article (and the two you link to) is quite tame.

A prime example (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47312887)

Of why all the lawyers should be shot. And then a stake to their heart, and heads cut, just in case...

Re:A prime example (1)

meerling (1487879) | about 2 months ago | (#47312943)

Don't forget to cremate the remains, and mix the ashes with concrete and use it to make blocks that are then dumped into several different deep ocean trenches.

Re:A prime example (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 months ago | (#47313565)

Desecration of those remains BEFORE they are cremated are not only important but also good for the soul.

The addition of Urea to the remains is good for you.

RTFA (5, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 months ago | (#47312899)

Reading the Wikipedia article, it doesn't seem all that negative.
There are some negative details in there, but these are simple facts, stated in a short and factual manner.
If you don't want people to know of your extortion practices, then either don't extort people or do a better job at it so you don't get convicted for it in a public court.

Re:RTFA (2)

lucm (889690) | about 2 months ago | (#47312991)

If you don't want people to know of your extortion practices, then either don't extort people or do a better job at it so you don't get convicted for it in a public court.

Maybe you should have posted that as an AC...

Re:RTFA (2, Informative)

gavron (1300111) | about 2 months ago | (#47313119)

...don't get convicted for it...

If you read the original article... the daily dot says "Collins and Barry were acquitted in 2005, the AP added."
If you read the AP article the headline "Former Prisons Chief, Viapro Exec Acquitted" gives you a clue that
the content includes "A federal judge acquitted a former Texas prisons chief and a Canadian businessman..."

Acquitted is LIKE convicted only just the exact opposite.

E

Re:RTFA (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313321)

Try again. He was convicted then acquitted of bribery . He was convicted and served time for extortion . Two different cases.

Reading comprehension is like stupidity, only just the exact opposite.

Re:RTFA (1)

Shag (3737) | about 2 months ago | (#47313601)

Try again. He was convicted then acquitted of bribery . He was convicted and served time for extortion . Two different cases.

I was a little baffled by the "convicted then acquitted" construct at first - I presume this means convicted, then acquitted on appeal?

/IANAL (thank $deity)

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313345)

...don't get convicted for it...

If you read the original article... the daily dot says "Collins and Barry were acquitted in 2005, the AP added."
If you read the AP article the headline "Former Prisons Chief, Viapro Exec Acquitted" gives you a clue that
the content includes "A federal judge acquitted a former Texas prisons chief and a Canadian businessman..."

Acquitted is LIKE convicted only just the exact opposite.

E

Random news article:
Link [apnewsarchive.com]

Wikipedia:
"After a trial in 2001, he was initially declared guilty, but the verdict was thrown out by U.S district court judge and a new trial was ordered in 2007.[26] He was then acquitted in 2008 after a bench retrial."

I don't see what you're going at? The extortion case was from 1982, and doesn't seem connected to the 2001 corruption charges.

The wikipedia article seems quite to the point and non-emotional, of course reading it fully you do get the feeling that the man is still of a questionable moral character, even if he hasn't been convicted of anything after extortion. This doesn't really mean to me anything except he's a ordinary businessman with big ambitions, but not quite enough charisma or skill to follow through.

RTFA (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313135)

Once again......

That's what it looks like today -- after months of editwarring, followed by 2+ weeks of people trying to "fix" it, because of the bad publicity brought by the lawsuit.

Use the "History" tab yourself. It was an ugly war, and no one else noticed it until Barry made legal threats.

And oh, BTW, Wikipediocracy people discovered [wikipediocracy.com] that a couple of the guys trying to attack Barry had also been doing COI editing of other Wikipedia articles. In addition, UC Berkeley's "official Wikipedian-In-Residence" Kevin Gorman has been taunting Barry on Twitter. All petty, small-minded bullshit. But typical Wikipedia.

Re:RTFA (5, Informative)

kactusotp (2709311) | about 2 months ago | (#47313231)

Well digging through some of the other pages I image it is stuff like this that he objects to http://en.wikipedia.org/w/inde... [wikipedia.org]

Re:RTFA (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 2 months ago | (#47313665)

Good find. It's hard to call that an objective article. Both IP addresses in the edits belong to Bell Canada. Sounds like he may have a case.

Re:RTFA (2)

quantaman (517394) | about 2 months ago | (#47313341)

I heard about a guy who went through multiple marriages and divorces, did multiple stints in prison, and eventually got some political offices.

I'm naturally talking about Nelson Mandela.

Even if the facts are true and presented impartially the selection of which facts to present or emphasize can give an inaccurate total picture.

I don't know enough about libel law or the guy in question to know if the case is legit, but you seem to have already formed an opinion of him as a scam artist based on the Wikipedia article which may not be a reliable source.

Obvious campaign slogan for his pursuit (3, Funny)

Alef (605149) | about 2 months ago | (#47312905)

Obvious campaign slogan for his pursuit: "Yank Barry from Wikipedia!"

booo (1)

lucm (889690) | about 2 months ago | (#47313003)

Obvious campaign slogan for his pursuit: "Yank Barry from Wikipedia!"

Don't quit your day job... unless you're a comedian!

I know him well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47312917)

I know Yank Barry well; he can't be trusted.

I know him well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313021)

In 1982, Barry was convicted of extortion from and conspiracy against John Royden McConnell, and served 10 months of a 6-year prison term.[4][23]

In a 1982 civil case, a separate court ruled that Barry had extorted money from McConnell in record company dealings, requiring a financial award of C$285,000.[10] In 1987 he declared bankruptcy, voiding the award.[24][1] Barry said in an October 2013 Larry King interview that he had been a cocaine-addicted, twenty-something rocker at the time and credited the extortion conviction for changing his personal life.[25]

In 1998, Barry was indicted on corruption charges related to a VitaPro contract worth US$34 million with the Texas prisons.[26][27] In 1999, the Texas Supreme Court ruled the VitaPro contract with the Texas prisons was invalid.[28] After a trial in 2001, he was initially declared guilty, but the verdict was thrown out by U.S district court judge and a new trial was ordered in 2007.[26] He was then acquitted in 2008 after a bench retrial.[26] Barry said the charges were politically motivated.[24][27]

If it is true, is it defamation? (3, Insightful)

Camembert (2891457) | about 2 months ago | (#47313013)

In principle, I can imagine that wilfully wrong wikipedia information can ruin someone's business and career opportunities, and in that case a defamation suit seems appropriate, very similar to spreading defamation through other publication channels. Wikipedia, as much as I love it, should not be above the standards by which books or magazines are judged.
However, in this case, if the negative information checks out true (and there are plenty of references), such as the convictions he received, then there is no good reason for him to sue. If he weren't convicted, it would not be in the article. As others have mentioned he should rather look up "Streisand Effect" before sueing.

If it is true, is it defamation? (2)

metasonix (650947) | about 2 months ago | (#47313187)

Well, well, well, I don't suppose you're really Lee "Camembert [wikipedia.org] " Pilich, one of Wikipedia's earliest administrators and arbitrators, are you?

If so, why did you more-or-less give up on Wikipedia in 2010? Did you finally realize that Jimbo Wales wasn't an "Internet Hero" or some bullshit like that, and that he had installed some very dishonest people in the admin ranks, and thence at the WMF? When did it dawn upon you that Wikipedia was declining?

If it is true, is it defamation? (2)

lilburne (648606) | about 2 months ago | (#47313311)

You do know that he was acquitted on appeal in 2005 don't you? Or did you read the WP page and get a false impression. There maybe 100 links to references about legal issues, but if you keep deleting the final outcome ...

This is brilliant!! (4, Informative)

snero3 (610114) | about 2 months ago | (#47313029)

" I made a deal with God that whatever I save in tax, I give to kids.”[16]" I nearly chocked when I read that.

Re:This is brilliant!! (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about 2 months ago | (#47313575)

Sounds a bit like Kent "there's no fucking carbon in it" Hovind's ethics - lie, cheat and commit fraud [wikipedia.org] as long as it's for God.

For anyone who doesn't get the reference - Potholer54: "Carbon dating doesn't work -- debunked" [youtube.com] . I'd normally link to the actual time-stamp (4:51), but the video is good enough to watch on it's own. I go back to that clip whenever I need a laugh.

Say it ain't so. (2)

steeleyeball (1890884) | about 2 months ago | (#47313131)

So, are you saying that the Wikipedia article on Metal Alloys is all Lies too? Say it ain't so...

Progress (3, Insightful)

Bazman (4849) | about 2 months ago | (#47313137)

He's suing the editors, the people who wrote the stuff. A few years back, people would have sued wikipedia for showing the page, the hosting company for hosting the page, the company that maintain the DNS record for WIkipedia and Dell (or whoever) for running the site on their servers.

Not really news.

Re:Progress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313197)

That is a very good point.

Re:Progress (5, Interesting)

retroworks (652802) | about 2 months ago | (#47313225)

Agreed. I have no problem with Wikipedia editors being sued. I recently ran across a Wikipedia biography of El Salvador ex-presidente Jose Napolean Duarte which was written atrociously, basically accusing him of being a dictator behind a military coup. I corrected the article, noting he was actually popularly elected (a mayor of San Salvador, not a military coup leader), ousted in a coup, and then brought back in a counter coup, and then again popularly elected. Had to repost it twice, it kept getting "reverted" (it did get fixed but someone has since added "His military regime is noted for large-scale human rights abuses and massacres amongst the civilian population, supported by the Reagan Administration and the Central Intelligence Agency" to the first paragraph). Sure, Duarte was criticized for accepting the invitation of the second coup, but most people feel the human rights abuses were the work of the first junta and those opposed to the Salvadoran land reforms proposed by Duarte. But who has time to fight an idiot editor?

This could get modded "off topic", I guess, but IMHO Wikipedia should encourage defamation lawsuits against its volunteer editors. The main problem is that people with extremely hostile views edit more perniciously, and moderate editors don't have time to fight about it. Unfortunately, that's a remedy of the rich, not for people who don't have the means to sue for defamation.

Move to Europe (2)

Markus Tenghamn (2919309) | about 2 months ago | (#47313219)

Maybe he should move to Europe and ask Google to remove his wikipedia entry from the search results (Right to be forgotten)

Re:Move to Europe (2)

crossmr (957846) | about 2 months ago | (#47313293)

Doesn't that only apply to old irrelevant information?

Re: Old and irrelevant (1)

Shag (3737) | about 2 months ago | (#47313611)

Seems appropriate.

Re:Move to Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313669)

Doesn't that only apply to old irrelevant information?

Yes, but the law doesn't specify what that is, so assuming you can't get Google or Wikipedia, or whoever to agree with you on whats no longer relevant, you get to try to convince a Judge to side with you.

Wikipedia Editors (2)

gantry (180560) | about 2 months ago | (#47313281)

I have given up contributing to Wikipedia. My contributions are invariably reversed by an editor. Collectively, editors seem to spend their time annotating pages with [who?], [reference needed], etc, but then they revert any attempt to fill in the missing information.

Re:Wikipedia Editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313367)

It is a common misconception that Wikipedia is a website on which you can write anything you like w/o any scrutiny from others. It seems you are suffering from exactly that. Remember Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and demands contributions to be neutral, verifiable and relevant.

It is *not* a free-for-all.

Legit suit or not? (1)

quantaman (517394) | about 2 months ago | (#47313297)

I'm really curious if this guy is a legitimate businessman with a valid suit or some shady character trying to whitewash his reputation.

*goes to check his bio on Wikipedia*

Whoa! That guy looks pretty shady! The lawsuit must be a scam!!

Well, one thing is sure ... (5, Interesting)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 months ago | (#47313335)

Yank Barry is a fucking asshole, and the "Global Village Champions Foundation" is a bunch of retarded morons.

You may quote this entry on Wikipedia in case you need a citation.

die wikipedia die (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47313639)

someone kill wikipedia with fire i've had it with whiteguy nerds having a monopoly over information f### wikipedia!!!

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