[Foundation-l] Wikinews - not so much a state of the wiki

Brian McNeil brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org
Tue Dec 4 17:40:03 UTC 2007

Thomas Dalton wrote:
>Brian McNeil wrote:
>> Moving on from that, and on to a related item; one that has probably been
>> asked by 1 in 5 of every new Wikinewsies that sticks around. "Why aren't
>> listed on Google News?" The simple answer is we have no editorial

>>One reason we don't have editorial control of any kind is because with
>>editorial control comes editorial responsibility. At the moment, any
>>libel (or whatever) is solely the responsibility of the person that
>>added it (at least, until WMF is formally notified). If someone takes
>>editorial control, by my understanding, they would also be liable for
>>anything illegal on the site.

I am aware of this. I do not see how something illegal and unflagged would
become the responsibility of an editorial committee or board. The point
would be to say, "Here is *raw* Wikinews", or "Here is editorially checked
Wikinews". The latter being the default for Google and all anonymous
visitors. Registered users should get a choice which to view. (I am not
aware of technical details of FlaggedRevs).

>I'm surprised the current workaround works - if the blog just reposts
>every story without any editing, then I can't see why Google accept
>it, if the person running the blog is taking editorial responsibility,
>then they are putting themselves at significant risk (unless they do
>verify every article they post, which is a hell of a job).

Not every story gets posted; lead stories usually go up, and they generally
have more eyeballs paying attention to them. However, the process is manual,
and impractical for rapidly developing stories.

As I mentioned I am aware that anyone who took on the responsibility is at
risk and many, if not most, of our contributors would be bankrupted were
they taken to court over an article. However, I do not believe that a
significant portion of other contributors are fully aware of this.
Personally? I'd take on the responsibility. Here in Belgium you have to
first convince a judge there is a case to hear. I've fought that on behalf
of my partner as the libelled party - so I'm not completely clueless.
Someone sues or tries to get me prosecuted in absentia? I don't think it is
an extraditable offense. I just have to keep a list of countries not to
visit or transit through and hope I don't suffer an extraordinary rendition
for approving something nasty about the current U.S. regime.

Brian McNeil

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