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Wikipedia vs Congressional Staffers [Update] 433

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the waiting-for-an-arbitrary-smackdown dept.
There has been quite a bit of recent reporting on the recent troubles between Wikipedia and certain Congressional staffers. In response, abdulzis mentions that "an RFC, Wikipedia's mediation method to deal with 'disharmonious users', has been opened to take action against US Congressional staffers who repeatedly blank content and engage in revert wars and slanderous or libelous behavior which violates Wikiepdia code. The IP ranges of US Congress have been currently blocked, but only for a week until the issue can be addressed more directly."
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Wikipedia vs Congressional Staffers [Update]

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  • by the-amazing-blob (917722) on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:37PM (#14601833) Journal
    And now Congress will vote to make freely-editable online encyclopedias illegal. Freedom of speech loses in a landslide. :D

    Or perhaps we can come to an agreement where no one edits other entries for the purpose of skewing information. That would make me smile.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:47PM (#14601971)
      And now Congress will vote to make freely-editable online encyclopedias illegal. Freedom of speech loses in a landslide. :D

      After their IPs posted on slashdot? They'll vote to make port scanning illegal...:p
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:59PM (#14602091)
      Tis the season to reform i guess.

      What might be more interesting to acknowledge is that Wikipedia is giving the public a glimpse at some of the ugliness of politics. Juvenille name calling, re-inventing the truth, hiding criticism, libel, slander, etc. Some may say that the majority is by junior staffers and even high school level pages and wash it under the rug. More than likely this is just a reflection of the atmosphere that exists in these offices. I say we consider wikipedia a honey pot for catching dishonorable officials :)

      • by fferreres (525414) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:24AM (#14604760)
        Maybe artciles could come in versions, especially when facts are disputed, or several "biased" sources want to tell a different story. That would be good enough I believe. Especially for political or controversial facts. Wikipedia has no specific bias, so they could easily accommodate different versions of "facts"...

        Just like in trials, you would be allowed to present your side of the story, but not to silence another version, ... unless (maybe) you can factually prove, and there are no opinions involved (just facts). This last I would guess would be problematic...more than one point of view would be best.
    • by plover (150551) * on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:02PM (#14602133) Homepage Journal
      Unfortunately, your second statment is the epitome of the "Tragedy of the Commons." There is ALWAYS another troll, someone who wants to maliciously sow dissent just to provoke a reaction. In some of these congressional cases it's a blatant attempt at a "revisionist history", while in others it's been purely "vandalism" -- the posting of the goatse trolls is a good example of that.

      But the problem is that one man's troll is another man's political statement. Google for "santorum" some time, and hit "I'm feeling lucky". Some people consider that a political statement, and some consider it a troll. Both are right! So how do you include both points of view on a description of "santorum"? If you include the gross description, you've trolled Senator Santorum's supporters. If you censor the description, you're invalidating the political position of his opponents. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. And the third choice, eliminating mention of both santorum and Senator Santorum, does an even worse disservice to history by removing his legitimate accomplishments as well as the voice of his opposition.

      While it would be nice to think otherwise, it's an impossible fantasy to hope that there will never be web vandals.

      • by drDugan (219551)

          There is ALWAYS another troll, someone who wants to maliciously sow dissent just to provoke a reaction


        I disagree on "always" ... under our current society rules, yes, but humans will stop making trolls when the purpose for our lives is to create a good and happy life for all people, and not "get all we can for ourself" ruleset we follow now.

        • by geminidomino (614729) * on Monday January 30, 2006 @10:57PM (#14603972) Journal
          I disagree on "always" ... under our current society rules, yes, but humans will stop making trolls when the purpose for our lives is to create a good and happy life for all people, and not "get all we can for ourself" ruleset we follow now.

          Right. Shortly after Doctor Donut perfects cold fusion in his Licorice Lab on Lollipop Lane.

          Pardon me if I don't hold my breath waiting for the overthrowing of human nature.
          • by elucido (870205)
            Human nature is both self destructive, and self healing.

            Right now, death is better than life for the majority of our grandchildren, so we simply will cease to exist as we use up all the earths resources.

            The other option is if we decide to exist and live in a utopia, but this is not going to happen unless people choose that, and right now people would rather die than live like that. Sad but true.

            Humans enjoy being miserable slaves. We like working 40 hours a week, and more importantly, we like making someone
      • by jacoplane (78110) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:20PM (#14602316) Homepage Journal
        Some would disagree [catb.org] with you that the tragedy of the commons applies in this case:

        "When people reflexively apply this model to open-source cooperation, they expect it to be unstable with a short half-life. Since there's no obvious way to enforce an allocation policy for programmer time over the Internet, this model leads straight to a prediction that the commons will break up, with various bits of software being taken closed-source and a rapidly decreasing amount of work being fed back into the communal pool.

        In fact, it is empirically clear that the trend is opposite to this. The trend in breadth and volume of open-source development can be measured by submissions per day at Metalab and SourceForge (the leading Linux source sites) or announcements per day at freshmeat.net (a site dedicated to advertising new software releases). Volume on both is steadily and rapidly increasing. Clearly there is some critical way in which the ``Tragedy of the Commons'' model fails to capture what is actually going on."
        -- Eric Raymond [wikipedia.org]
        • Without having looked to deeply into the depth of his methods an increase in the volume of new open source projects does not nessesarily imply that the overall ammount of work being fed into the communal pool is increasing. If everyone is writing their own web browser from scratch, that would be less work overall than everyone working on a few web browsers. Tragedy of the Commons must be applied to an individual common, that is any one project at a time.
      • Google for "santorum" some time, and hit "I'm feeling lucky". Some people consider that a political statement, and some consider it a troll.

        Someone thinks this [senate.gov] is a political statement? Shocking!
      • by sbrown123 (229895) on Monday January 30, 2006 @07:37PM (#14602895) Homepage
        Some people consider that a political statement,

        Yes, it is a political statement. But it's by some guy who doesn't like Sen. Santorum. Stopping that page would be like taking away his right to free speech.

        eliminating mention of both santorum and Senator Santorum, does an even worse disservice to history by removing his legitimate accomplishments as well as the voice of his opposition.

        Wikipedia is meant to represent a non-biased view of people, places, and things. The anti-Santorum page you mentioned does not even try to make you believe that it is a fair and balanced view of Sen. Sanotorum. If I were to research Sen. Sanotorum for some reason, I would not use the page you mentioned but rather expect to find honest, non-biased information about him in Wikipedia: good and bad. Removing truthful information about Sanotorum that could be seen as negative by him or others is attempting to revise history or hide the truth.
      • by CyricZ (887944) on Monday January 30, 2006 @10:18PM (#14603793)
        The Tragedy of the Commons has nothing to do with what you're talking about, and vice versa.

        The Tragedy of the Commons has to do with the inefficient allocation of common resources. We're talking about people not having any incentive to limit their consumption of fish from a lake, for instance. Not only do they not have any incentive to limit the number of fish that they catch, but they may actually be better off if they catch more fish before everyone else does.

        Your talk about there always being "trolls" has nothing to do with a purely economic situation.

        • You're right in saying that he's misapplied the Tragedy of the Commons. However:

          "Not only do they not have any incentive to limit the number of fish that they catch, but they may actually be better off if they catch more fish before everyone else does."

          That's not quite right either. They do have an incentive to limit their own catch -- the problem is that the risk of others not limiting their catch makes that incentive negligible. For sustainable sharing to not succumb to the tragedy of the commons,
    • by hackstraw (262471) * on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:18PM (#14602296)
      And now Congress will vote to make freely-editable online encyclopedias illegal. Freedom of speech loses in a landslide.

      Although it is becoming more the norm to go against the constitution, I believe the system will prevail or there will be a revolution and government overthrow.

      How long did it take for the Supreme Court to figure out that black people and women were people? A long time, but it did eventually take place.

      Or perhaps we can come to an agreement where no one edits other entries for the purpose of skewing information. That would make me smile.

      Wikipedia will always have issues like this, especially with "controversial" content.

      "There's no right, there's no wrong, there's only popular opinion."

      -- Jeffrey Goines, 12 Monkeys

      Popular opinion always rules. Maybe the Wikipedia code can be modified so that a "hot" article can only have X lines of changes per user per period of time. If congressman X edits a file and others are watching, the others will dominate and keep the popular opinion alive.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:24PM (#14602360)
      Glad I'm not the only guy to think the blocking could back-fire. Theoretically (and I'm sure someone will correct me), now members of Congress have standing to sue Wikipedia for an equal rights violation (you give everyone rights to edit information, to even possibly slander the politicians, but do not give those people who are theoretically best able to judge the accuracy that right.)

      If they don't watch out, they could find themselves in a free-speech shoot-out with Congress passing laws that wiki owners are responsible for all content posted online, or that hey have a responsibility to get rid of "slanderous" information within a certain period of time.

      So far the whole ISPs being protected because they're only allowing the info to go through them protection is, AFAIK, common law and if Congress starts passing laws saying "nope, that's not true... passing along 'bad content' is just as bad as posting 'bad content', printing it in a pamphlet, going on TV and spreading false information..." and then, if you believe in slippery slopes (I don't, but some people do) then before you know it allowing pirated media to pass through your Wifi connection makes you subject to copyright infringement suits because the argument gets made that you're responsible for whatever harm you allow to go live. Yeah, right now it's got protection in the courts, but passing a law could kill that protection.

      I'm not saying steps shouldn't be taken, but how about a compromise with perhaps an Official Content seal? The Congressman and his aides are able to add a little icon or whatever to indicate that their changes came from them and is accurate or at least endorsed by them. Then the burden is back on the public: Trust what 3rd parties are saying or trust what the politician says it true. It's not going to change anyone's beliefs one way or the other, but at least the politicians will be happy knowing they can put on a PR campaign warning their knowledgable constituants not to trust Wiki content without their endorsement
    • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:50PM (#14602573)
      And now Congress will vote to make freely-editable online encyclopedias illegal.

      "We'd love to fight this blatantly un-Constitutional law," a spokesman for the ACLU said, "but we're all too busy defending child molesters' right to ban school prayer in the womb."

      There, now we've got two ludicrious misrepresentations out of the way. Is that enough that we can move on to relevant discourse instead?
  • by bigtallmofo (695287) on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:37PM (#14601841)
    Do we need any further evidence that congress people and their staff have too much time on their hands? I hope in the contentious atmosphere that plagues Washington these days that people from all sides of the political spectrum can agree that Congress is given too many resources to accomplish too little.

    Next they'll be wasting all their time on Slashdot.

  • by Niartov (727073) on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:38PM (#14601846)
    Well children if you cannot play nice we are just going to have to take this away
  • by Council (514577) <rmunroe.gmail@com> on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:38PM (#14601847) Homepage
    Congressional trolls. This idea amuses me deeply.

    I wonder if any of the trolls we've got on here are working for Congress.

    Perhaps, somehow, Natalie Portman is a matter of national security.
  • by IAAP (937607) on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:39PM (#14601863)
    nor do I condone such behavior from my staff, myself, or anyone. This was done by some rogue elements that were too aggressive in their desire to set the facts straight. There will be a thorough investigation into this matter and the appropriate action will be taken.

    --[insert congresscritter's name here]

    • This was done by some rogue elements that were too aggressive in their desire to . . .

      rid me of that meddlesome priest. Now, where did I put those two, adorable little princes?

      KFG
  • by nweaver (113078) on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:42PM (#14601910) Homepage
    Just look at this past entry for "Beaver" (now corrected, but Wikipedia's history allows us to see it in the full glory)

    Beaver [wikipedia.org]

    "Beavers explosively attack people with their menacing teeth. They are the most deadly animals alive."
  • White House (Score:2, Funny)

    by graystar (223824)
    In other news, it seems The White House I.P addresses will remain unblocked as users there are still struggling to find wiki. Allegedly there have been unconfirmed reports of a "white out" scandal, where public money has been frivolously spent on white out and computer screens. No one has yet named the culprit.
  • escalation? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by usrusr (654450) on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:46PM (#14601956) Homepage Journal
    so, does this mean the cia will sooner or later deploy botnets for distributed editwars?

    wikipedia might end up as the surprisingly unglamorous battleground of the long-awaited "cyberwarfare"... i mean it's such an inviting target for groups who are out to mess with people's opinions and there's no group that fits that description as good as a gouvernment at war.
  • by Otter (3800) on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:47PM (#14601968) Journal
    DC underlings all hang out together, drink together, live together and brag incessantly to each other about who is the most important. My guess would be that this has nothing to do with the legislators themselves and everything to do with with interns generating ammunition for trash-talking at Lulu's. The Senators themselves aren't organized enough to be doing this in such large numbers, nor do they know what Wikipedia is. It's the 19-year-olds doing it.
    • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:31PM (#14602420) Homepage
      Yeah I dunno about that "disorganization" part. I know my local reps for senate and congress, and they each have weekly video conference meetings with all of the other staffers and the senator/congressman. Each rep gets personally asked what they are up to, and what their constituents are talking about.

      Further, one of the reps is wired to her Blackberry and is always getting pages about issues that relate to the congressman, so that she is "in the know" when talking to people. They use the Blackberrys to communicate moreso than email itself, and if they shut off their BB for more than an hour or so, people start wondering where they went.

      Gone is the day where our politians know nothing about technology. They may not understand DRM or security or IP or TLDs like we do, but they certainly are "in the loop" when it comes to communicating and collaborating using tech.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2006 @05:59PM (#14602092)
  • by P0ldy (848358) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:01PM (#14602107)
    TFS:
    The IP ranges of US Congress have been currently blocked, but only for a week until the issue can be addressed more directly.

    The main offending IP in question [wikipedia.org] is no longer blocked as of 30 January, this morning:

    06:36, 30 January 2006 Michael Snow unblocked User:143.231.249.141 (Not consistently used by the same person; we shouldn't block people just because they work for Congress, and some people using this IP address are making commendable efforts at complying with our culture and policies)

  • Is anyone suprised? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by plopez (54068) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:01PM (#14602111) Journal
    Really, politics have always been mean dirty and sometimes life threating. I cannot find the reference but there was a US congressman beaten to death on the floor after making an anti-slavery speech, no suprise that it was done by a southern congressman.

    And do you think it is just coincidence that in the British House of Commons the government and the opposition sit 2 sword lenghts apart and the Speaker carrys a mace?

    We are dealing with politicians here. They are not the result of some miraculous virgin birth (not even the Republicans or the President). One side has something and the other wants it. It is just going to be interesting to see how far they will go to get it or protect it.
    • by pohl (872)
      It was Charles Sumner [wikipedia.org]. He did not die from the beating.
    • by rco3 (198978) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:24PM (#14602347) Homepage
      No one died. Senator Charles Sumner was caned [senate.gov] into unconsciousness on the floor of the Senate Chamber, but recovered and continued to serve thereafter. Additionally, it's worth noting that the senator in question was attacked, not for speaking against slavery, but for his personal (very personal, and fairly ugly) verbal attacks against the other two Senators.

      I'm sure that you would love to be able to point to this as being an example of how rabid Southern senators were about keeping slavery, but really it's an example of the fact that some people can only be insulted so much before they react irrationally. Seriously - I don't think it matters whether you're a senator or not, I think that if you call enough people "noise-some, squat, and nameless animal . . . not a proper model for an American senator" that sooner or later one of them (or one of their friends) is going to beat the shit out of you. Does that excuse the attack? Of course not. But it wasn't about slavery, it was about pride - and no one died.
  • quarantine? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nietsch (112711) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:04PM (#14602148) Homepage Journal
    Maybe instead of banning them outright, the ip's involved in this matter (or any serious breach of the rules) should not just be banned, but silently rerouted to a server running a different copy of wikipedia. They could make all kinds of 'mistakes' etc there, but only similarly banned ip's would ever see that content. They keep wasting time (and taxpayers money) while the rest of the world would have a chance to do without their contributions to humanity.

    Does anybody know of such a system implemented in any forum/community software? I think it would be quite effective.
  • double standard (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:06PM (#14602170) Journal
    Look, I think the political creatures in Washington are essentially pork-feeding, selfish, backbiting wh0res generally, but let's be honest - they are not alone.

    The IP ranges of US Congress have been currently blocked, but only for a week until the issue can be addressed more directly.
    This is simply WRONG. I'd wager that a HUGE number of people posting in Wiki are self-interested, or are grinding some sort of political axe.

    Just because John Smith isn't actually EMPLOYED by the DNC doesn't mean his revision about President G.W. Bush is automatically based on an altruistic desire to post the truth. One minute reading any intarweb forum will tell you that much.

    Roberta Johnson could be posting a revision to the Ted Kennedy article because she's an ardent Republican that hates him. Her edits are somehow more 'valid' than that of a staffer in Cheney's office?

    Wikipedia is an open document. The revisions are clear and publicly visible. Why is it all right to censor and prohibit posters whose motivations are obviously suspect, while completely (naively?) ignoring the gazillions of posters whose motivations are probably no less base, but not obviously so?

    This is wrong.
    • Re:double standard (Score:3, Insightful)

      by interiot (50685)
      There's biased material, and then they're outright vandalism [wikipedia.org]. Calling someone a douche? Are congressional staffers adults, or middleschoolers? [2] [wikipedia.org]
    • Re:double standard (Score:3, Informative)

      by E++99 (880734)

      Wikipedia is an open document. The revisions are clear and publicly visible. Why is it all right to censor and prohibit posters whose motivations are obviously suspect, while completely (naively?) ignoring the gazillions of posters whose motivations are probably no less base, but not obviously so? This is wrong.

      They're not ignored. It's called "POV Pushing" and it's removed no matter who does it. The standard for objectivity comprises neutral language and verifable facts. Anything that deviates from t

    • Re:double standard (Score:3, Insightful)

      by npsimons (32752)


      Roberta Johnson could be posting a revision to the Ted Kennedy article because she's an ardent Republican that hates him.

      So when she does, she can be blocked as well.


      This is wrong.

      No, this is exceedingly fair and open-minded, considering that the blocks will be removed in a week's time. They abused the system; therefore their access to abuse that system has been denied. It happens all the time, and not just to congress, but to most of the idiots abusing the system [wikipedia.org]. Besides, it's their toy, they can d

  • Is it just me? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kevin.fowler (915964)
    Am I the only person who avoids Wikipedia like the plague because of these skewed entries and slanderous edit wars? I know I'm missing out, but after an entry I collaborated was "attacked" by someone who held a different opinion (read: blanked the article until Wiki delete minions got at it) I lost faith in its general ability to harbor legitimate information. I know it's there, but I don't want to have to sift through it. That's what the internet is for.
    • Re:Is it just me? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:24PM (#14602353)

      Am I the only person who avoids Wikipedia like the plague because of these skewed entries and slanderous edit wars? I know I'm missing out, but after an entry I collaborated was "attacked" by someone who held a different opinion (read: blanked the article until Wiki delete minions got at it) I lost faith in its general ability to harbor legitimate information. I know it's there, but I don't want to have to sift through it. That's what the internet is for.

      I added a contentious bit of information to an extremely contentious article once. It was outright deleted, reverted, spell checked, deleted, grammer fixed, reverted, opened up an enormous discussion with rabid opponents on both sides. Eventually it was split into a separate article that was renamed a few times, with the original article linking to it.

      The quality of the article improved quite dramatically over time, and the POV portions that I didn't even realize I was bringing to the table were quickly killed off. The facts were *heavily* cross-checked and what's left now, despite being nothing like what I originally posted, is a satisfying contribution, even though none of what I wrote exists today.

      Wikipedia rules.

    • So you added something that was later modified or deleted, because it was a copyright violation, or didn't have any reputable sources to back it up, or it wasn't notable enough to be in an encyclopedia. But how does this indicate that it's easier to sift through the rest of the internet instead?
      • Re:Is it just me? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DuranDuran (252246)
        > because it was a copyright violation, or didn't have any reputable sources to back it up, or it wasn't notable enough to be in an encyclopedia

        Of course those are the formal reasons for reversion or removal. But in reality, the removal reasons extend to:

        "I don't agree with that"
        "This is *my* article, not yours"
        "I am a Wikipedia editor, and hence it is my job to edit"
        "I need to make my 5,000th edit so I can get another star on my user page"
        "I could verify this claim...or I could just remove it"
    • Wikipedia seems to bring out the worst in some people. My favourite example is this [wikipedia.org]. Do these people have nothing better to do?
  • by dtfinch (661405) * on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:15PM (#14602270) Journal
    FTA: 156.33.*.*
    Maybe this'll come in handy someday. Can't imagine what I'd use it for though.
    • by fafalone (633739)
      156.33.0.0 - 156.33.255.255 -> senate
      143.228.0.0 - 143.228.255.255 -> house

      ...
      207.132.0.0 - 207.133.255.255 ->DOD
      198.81.128.0 - 198.81.191.255 ->CIA
      149.101.0.0 - 149.101.255.255 ->DOJ

      ...plus dozens of other netblocks owned by various departments. It's useful when you want to IP deny as much of the government as you can from your site.
      • That's a very partial list. Some work on ARIN.net gives me this slightly less partial version:

        Central Intelligence Agency CIA (NET-162-45-0-0-1) 162.45.0.0 - 162.45.255.255
        Central Intelligence Agency CIA2 (NET-162-46-0-0-1) 162.46.0.0 - 162.46.255.255
        Central Intelligence Agency CIA3 (NET-192-189-141-0-1) 192.189.141.0 - 192.189.141.255
        Central Intelligence Agency CIA4 (NET-192-189-142-0-1) 192.189.142.0 - 192.189.142.255
        Central Intelligence Agency CIA5 (NET-192-189-143-0-1) 192.189.143.0 - 192.189.143.255
        Cen
  • .. that used to go around with spray cans an do grafitti.. and now instead do stupid edits in wikipedia.. (and become congressional aides apparently)
  • how about creating 2 separate pages in the wikipedia, one for autobiography and one for biography. The autobiography page would be edited only by that person the page is about (or by those authorized by the said person). The biography would be collaborated by others.
  • by j_f_chamblee (253315) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:22PM (#14602334) Homepage Journal
    Between this article and previous articles concerning the locking of Wikipedia pages [vnunet.com], I can't help but wonder if what is happening amounts to some kind of evolution. Depending on how Wiki solves this, what we may see is the system evolving to include some form of the old fashioned, but sometimes maligned [slashdot.org] model of peer review. Maybe I'm wrong, but it is an interesting process to watch -- especially for somebody (like me) who thinks peer review is good thing [slashdot.org].
  • Sad of Affairs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cal Paterson (881180) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:27PM (#14602387)
    It's a sad state of affairs when we have to block our own goddamn house of government for vandalising public property.
  • wikipedia should just lock all subjects that seem to be eliciting frequent editting. it's a sure sign partisan hacks are out and about

    incidently, about the ip range block: there is no technological fix for this. that is, there is no technological fix for a creative human with malicious intent. the only antidote for this sort of problem is vigilance by well-meaning humans

    wikipedia needs some sort of triage center for controversial subjects where all sides of the issue are heard and nothing gets changed/ adde
  • founding parents (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sebastopol (189276) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:34PM (#14602449) Homepage

    This gonna sound kinda sappy, but reading this RFC, or an EFF suit, or a book by Lessig, or even the GPL, really makes me feel like I'm observing a "Founding Fathers Moment," like when the Constitution was drafted. I'm glad there are large, DIVERSE, collectives of rational people trying to define fair rules.

  • by ka9dgx (72702) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:37PM (#14602475) Homepage Journal
    Can we add the IP blocks to the real-time blackhole list? The Internet Death Penalty for people who can't play nice, if I understand it.

    Refusing to route their packets would be a good corrective measure, and even patriotic!

    --Mike--

    Don't tread on my IP

  • Block IP address? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:53PM (#14602594) Homepage Journal
    I guess none of them know how to use TOR.
    You can not have it both ways. You can not everyone edit and contribute except?
    If you look several of the senators pages where vandalized. If data was wrong or flat out lies why shouldn't a member of staff or the person themselves edit?
    Wikipedia is great for a lot of things but as soon as opinion and not facts come into play it falls apart.
  • by rdmiller3 (29465) on Monday January 30, 2006 @06:53PM (#14602595) Journal
    Any system which depends upon unrealistic expectations will doom its maintainers to an endless, futile battle.

    Wikipedia has some really cool content, but the more generally appealing it becomes, the more it will attract the attention of vandals, propagandists, scammers, spammers, compulsive liars, and other pushers of misinformation.

    The takers far outnumber the makers.

  • Let them try (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 99luftballon (838486) on Monday January 30, 2006 @07:21PM (#14602806)
    Wikipedia is a valuable resource, but its value will increasingly become tied to the credibility of its authors. Traceability is key to this credibility, and if that means authors must stand or fall on what they write. That may mean authors lose a right of privacy but so be it.
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Monday January 30, 2006 @08:02PM (#14603050)
    Blow up congress.

    Wikipedia should just ban all content reguarding active politicians because they cant behave themselves.

    Simple. Children should be spanked.
  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Monday January 30, 2006 @10:05PM (#14603722) Homepage Journal
    The IP ranges of US Congress have been currently blocked
    Who hasn't wanted to bitch-slap the entire US Congress?
    It simply doesn't get more righteous than that.
  • by SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @12:31AM (#14604478)
    One of the Congressman involved in this, expressing my displeasure. Here's the reply I got:
    Thank you for writing. I appreciate your taking the time to express your views.

    In July of 2005 an intern in my office responsible for updating my personal biography also updated it in my Wikipedia entry. I did not know that this change was being made at the time and only became aware of it when asked by the news media. Though the actual time spent making the update amounted to less than 11 minutes (according to our server logs), I do not consider it time well spent or approve of it. The internet is a place for the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions. Part of being an elected official is to be regularly commented on, praised, and criticized on the web. Whatever temptation there may be to get involved, this activity is best left to the general public.

    Thank you again for writing. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.

    Sincerely,

    Marty Meehan

    I suspect they've heard a lot about this and have learned their lesson!

  • Business as usual (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Associate (317603) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @01:43AM (#14604852) Homepage
    Congress declares trolling illegal.
    Congress trolls internet.
    Congress breaks the law.
    Profit.
    It's business as usual in the swamp known as DC.

UNIX is hot. It's more than hot. It's steaming. It's quicksilver lightning with a laserbeam kicker. -- Michael Jay Tucker

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