Superinjunctions lose power as Wikipedia names and shames

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The identity of the gentleman with which Big Brother star Imogen Thomas has had an affair is hidden away behind a superinjunction, meaning no UK media outlet is allowed to breathe a word of it. But if you google it, the name of a certain athletic fellow will be presented to you in a matter of seconds.

While Twitter and Facebook has been ripe with rumours of the details of these indiscretions, Wikipedia provides perhaps a more direct link to the information – some industrious contributors have gone ahead and added it to the relevant people’s sites.

The site of Imogen Thomas’ former boyfriend has been littered with references, and even when Wikipedia administrators go in to clean up, the information remains in the logs. Among other targeted sites is that belonging to the actor who allegedly paid Helen Wood for sex.

There isn’t much that can be done about this, it seems, as these sites are located abroad. A spokesman for Wikipedia told the Daily Telegraph that if the allegations were posted repeatedly, it was possibly to restrict editing access to the pages. But still, Wikipedia is not breaking any laws by exposing the information:

“The servers are based in the US so Wikipedia is not liable. … 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.”

We’re not going to get into how the information on Wikipedia is backed up – but one thing’s for certain: no court of law can keen an industrious googler down. Those celebrities better stay on the straight and narrow, then.

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  • Its really very good information. Thanks for sharing this info.

  • I’m the Wikipedia spokesman referred to 🙂

    I must note that, although it’s a matter of established law that the Wikimedia Foundation is not liable, (a) the individuals who add stuff may be personally liable (b) Wikipedia volunteers don’t want rubbish added, so we keep it out unless the material is thoroughly well-referenced.

    That is – we keep the rubbish out not for reasons of legal threat, but because it’s the *right thing to do*. Wikipedia is highly imperfect, but we do care about *trying* to do a good job, and I think people understand we all put in our best efforts. Particularly on anything to do with living people.

  • Wikipedia is a disgrace. It has become a gossip rag, not an encyclopedia. Their rules controlling biographies have failed.

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