14 March 2006

A writes:

I disliked your article on Justin Berry, Jimbo Wales, and Wikipedia. As far I can tell, all you did was vandalize a few Wikipedia pages. If you were really concerned about censorship, you would have published the last revision before the wipe. Or if a copy of the original article could not be found, offer to host a new article on Justin Berry.

The censored original Justin Berry article (via Justin Berry;Talk):


A2 writes:

Amazingly, when the censorship of the Berry article was discussed on "WikiProject Wikipedians against censorship", the entire Wikipedians Against Censorship project was nominated for deletion from Wikipedia by Nicholas Turnbull, one of the admins who has been banning people trying to edit the Berry article.


A3 writes: Another instance of Wiki censorship:


12 March 2006. See Wikipedia Justin Berry revison history and Cryptome revision history to track editing; both entries are now locked against revisions.

12 March 2006

From: Eric Cordian <emc@artifact.psychedelic.net>
Subject: Justin Berry, Jimbo Wales, and Wikipedia
To: cypherpunks@jfet.org
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 02:38:04 -0800 (PST)

A few weeks ago, a NY Times reporter named Kurt Eichenwald wrote a series of articles on a 19 year old young man named Justin Berry, who made hundreds of thousands of dollars starting at age 13 performing sexually in front of his webcam, and subsequently ran a number of pay teen sites with sexual content.

There used to be a fairly lengthy article about Mr. Berry on Wikipedia, but it was summarily deleted, along with its entire revision history, by Wikipedia's owner, Jimbo Wales, and it is represented that Mr. Berry called Mr. Wales and expressed displeasure at his portrayal.

Since that time, the article has been reduced to a 2-sentence stub, and all attempts to add any additional information to it, no matter how well sourced, have resulted in the additions being reverted, usually accompanied by various incomprehensible mutterings by Wikipedia admins, who, when asked specific direct questions about what was wrong with the original article, or why specific information can't be added to the current one, become non-responsive and stonewalled.

To the best of my knowlege, no one has successfully added any information to the article since Jimbo deleted it, and discussion amongst admins about the article is taking place out of band, and not on any of the Wikipedia pages where such discussion usually takes place.

Now of course, Wikipedia is a private organization, which can do anything it wants on servers that it owns.  Nonetheless, the actions which are taking place are in direct contravention of stated Wikipedia policy, and there seems to be a deliberate attempt to not be forthcoming with any information on the subject.

Everyone who has pressed the issue has gotten banned for various contrived excuses like "uncivility" and "trollishness", and even comments about the situation on peoples private talk pages have been edited by admins.

While Wikipedia is a private organization, they are attempting to create a reputation for themselves as an unbiased source of truthful information.  Clearly they have a choice of being truthful and being respected, or of censoring, violating their own policies, and not being taken seriously.

When things like this happen, our respect for them, and our view of them as an authoritative source of information, need to be adjusted accordingly.

I found an interesting quote by Jimbo Wales about Wikipedia and the truth.

"If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it doesn't belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it's true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not."

Wikipedia, in the propaganda it writes about itself, represents itself as not censoring even offensive material, and arriving at article content entirely through consensus.  The reality, at least in this case, seems to be a lot different than the officially stated policy.

I invite Jimbo Wales or someone else who can speak for the Wikimedia Foundation, to respond to this post, and give us all a straight answer about exactly what is going on with this particular article.

If nothing can be added to Justin Berry's article because Justin or his handlers would be displeased by it, do we apply the same standards to George Bush's article, or Scott Peterson's?

One wonders why a teenage male sex performer merits such personal attention from Wikipedia's owner, allegedly a wealthy married heterosexual.


Eric Michael Cordian 0+
O:.T:.O:. Mathematical Munitions Division
"Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law"

Cryptome posted the comments above to Wikipedia, four minutes later they had been deleted. Note date and time of the bottom of these screenshots.:

Cryptome added another entry, and five minutes later it too was censored:

So a comment was added to the Cryptome entry on Wiki: