Editors have repeatedly added details about superinjunctions taken out by four celebrities in Britain to the stars' articles, according to reports last week. The information on the four articles has constantly been reverted and the diffs hidden for BLP reasons; the pages have either been protected or the pending changes system has been implemented. A superinjunction is a legal injunction which prevents all media from broadcasting both the allegation the person has chosen to hide, but also the fact they have taken out an injunction.
According toThe Daily Telegraph, one of the celebrities (whose identities are known to The Signpost) is a high-profile actor who reportedly had an extramarital affair with a prostitute, and one is a Premier League footballer accused of having an affair with reality-show contestant, Imogen Thomas. The other two are television presenters: one allegedly had an affair, and another, according to the Daily Mail, took out a superinjunction to quash photographs described as showing him "intimate" with a woman.
While the revisions in the history of the articles have been deleted by administrators, it is evident that on one of the pages the reports of the superinjunction were added ten times by various users. The names of the four celebrities are readily available on the social networking site Twitter. The Telegraph quoted a spokesperson for Wikipedia who said that administrators will continue to remove content that violates superinjunctions. However, Wikipedia's servers are based in the US, outside the UK jurisdiction. "People have tried to sue the foundation for libellous content but it's been thrown out. Our material has to be really well referenced or it is chucked out immediately", according to the spokesperson.
The debate over the moral ethics of superinjunctions has become more intense in Britain in recent months. This week, BBC political presenter Andrew Marrrevealed he had taken out a superinjuction in January 2008 to prevent the media reporting an affair he had with a national newspaper journalist. Marr came forward only after Ian Hislop, the editor of Private Eye, threatened to take legal action to expose his superinjunction; Hislop this week celebrated his disclosure of what he termed a "Kafkaesque" and "absurd" court order. David Cameron, the British prime minister, has also spoken out against superinjunctions: "The judges are creating a sort of privacy law, whereas what ought to happen in a parliamentary democracy is [that parliament] should decide how much protection do we want ... so I am a little uneasy about what is happening." Campaign group Index on Censorship welcomed Marr's confession about the superinjuction, which he has now dropped. John Kampfner, the chief executive of the organisation, said: "While there may be exceptional circumstances in which injunctions may be necessary, we are seeing gagging orders being used to hide the wealthy from embarrassment and even commercial damage. We are in danger of creating a secret network of secret rich man's justice."
In January, there was a similar case on Wikipedia after a New Zealand court had issued a name suppression order concerning a sports broadcasting journalist's short-time arrest and minor "disorderly behaviour" charge (Signpost coverage). The information was likewise reverted at first, but was eventually reinstated after the person in question self-identified.
Indonesian language Wikipedia: An article in The Jakarta Post ("Writing culture on the web: Are we still better at talking?") said the Indonesian Wikipedia suffers from relatively low activity compared to other language versions such as the Vietnamese Wikipedia. Among the possible explanations, it cited the belief by some sociologists "that Indonesians have long been living in a verbal culture and the shift to a writing culture did not necessarily happen after the arrival of the Internet", or that most of them have a traditional language as their first language, instead of Bahasa Indonesia. The Indonesian Wikimedia chapter has received a US$40,000 grant for a program to increase volunteer participation, parts of which are focusing on the Javanese and Sundanese language Wikipedias.
WMF summer research fellow announced: The Information School at the University of Washington announced that one of its PhD students had been selected for a summer research fellowship at the Wikimedia Foundation, a Wikimedia Foundation Summer Fellowship, "participating in an interdisciplinary team seeking to gain a deeper understanding of why the active editor base on Wikipedia is not replenishing itself at the same rate it used to — and what to do about it."
Did Wikipedia article on pejorative expression contribute to unfair racism charges?: Slate magazine stated that former US senator George Allen "was unfairly branded as a racist" after calling an Indian-American college student "macaca" in 2006, partly due to the Wikipedia article macaca (slur) (created after the incident and according to Slate over-emphasizing the racist connotations of the term).
Ohio biotech industry finds itself covered on Wikipedia: The creation of the article Ohio bioscience sector was welcomed by US website MedCity News ("Wikipedia website meets Ohio biotech. Why didn’t it happen earlier?"), who called it "a well-sourced – albeit quirky and a little dated – summary of the state’s biotech community", appeared surprised that it seemed to have been written by a hobbyist rather than someone from the bioscience industry, and contacted local biotech trade groups, finding out that they "had no idea about the site".