[Air-l] wikipedia and defamation

Barry Wellman wellman at chass.utoronto.ca
Mon Dec 5 19:45:34 PST 2005

the current AOIR debate about wikipedia highlights another problem.
It is quite easy to make legally defamatory statements on Wikipedia.

Normally, the remedy is a law suit for civil damages.

But if the author is anonymous, whom does one sue?

And yes, I know that defamation law suits are expensive and hard to do.
But at least the legal remedy is there in principle -- when the author is
known. But the Wikipedia approach is like someone flooding the mail with
anonymous defamatory photocopies.


  Barry Wellman         Professor of Sociology        NetLab Director
  wellman at chass.utoronto.ca  http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman

  Centre for Urban & Community Studies          University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue    Toronto Canada M5S 2G8    fax:+1-416-978-7162
	     To network is to live; to live is to network

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