[Wikipedia-l] German anti-free speech law and Helga

Daniel Mayer maveric149 at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 25 19:19:17 UTC 2002

On Sunday 25 August 2002 05:33 pm, you wrote:
> Apart from this being utter nonsense (see e.g.
> http://www.nizkor.org/features/qar/qar11.html for a discussion of these
> arguments), this most probably violates
> German Law (Paragraph 130(3) of our penal code, denial of genocide
> performed by the nazis).
> It's time to stop her.
> JeLuF

As a red blooded American I think that law is well intentioned but just ranks 
with anti-free speech totalitarian newspeak and probably does more to 
encourage Neo-Nazis and their ilk than to discourage them (punishing people 
just because they have certain views tends to make other people with similar 
views get the "us vs. them" mentality; which just strengthens their resolve 
and encourages ideas about "conspiracies" to "get them" that "must be 
stopped" = the law inadvertently creates a class of people actively opposed 
to the government when there were only various unrelated people with similar 
ideas before). We should therefore /not/ even begin to consider banning 
anyone just because they are breaking such a law. 

However, we are trying to build a fact-based and neutral encyclopedia, so if 
we do /temporarily/ block Helga then the /only/ reason why is because she is 
a major drain on contributor resources and she is therefore harming the goals 
and progress of the project. 

BTW, people should be able to say whatever they want in everyday life or 
their personal websites but if any of that is to be in a neutral and 
fact-based encyclopedia then it must be backed-up with evidence or highly 
qualified ("such and such says this, but others say that and yet others say 
the first two are wrong because...").

> Oh, I didn't want to suggest to denounce her, I just don't want
> Jimbo to be arrested when occasionally entering Germany ...
>         Regards,
>                 JeLuF

Well intentioned reasoning -- the last thing we need is Jimbo behind bars ;). 
Is this at all a possibility in German law? In the US Jimbo is protected by 
the fact that he is technically the ISP of wikipedia and therefore has 
limited liability on what users of his ISP do (not to mention 1st Amendment 
protections that protect both him and users of his ISP). There is also the 
German Wikipedia to consider -- I somehow get the feeling that the German 
Wikipedia is just filled with her nonsense propaganda (smaller project = 
fewer contributors who can successfully confront and debunk her "work" = 
Helga has much more power to get her way).   

-- Daniel Mayer (aka mav)

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