Church of Scientology Banned from Editing WikipediaMay 29, 2009
Wikipedia has decided enough is enough. After too many self-serving edits by the Church of Scientology, Wikipedia has decided to ban edits from IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and its associates.
Here’s a word for the church though: proxy server. At any rate, regardless of whether or not the Church manages to get around the ban, this is an unprecedented move.
The “trial,” played out on an arbitration page, took more than five months. The Arbitration Committee voted 10 to 0 (with one abstention) in favor of the ban, which took effect immediately.
Wikipedia is known as “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.” There are limits to that, however, and abuse is not tolerated. That’s where this arbitration case came in.
Individuals have been banned for gaming the system before, but according to The Register, which first broke the story of the “court decision,” multiple Wikipedia admins indicated that the barring of Church of Scientology IP addresses marks the first time Wikipedia has officially barred such a high-profile organization.
Additionally, The Register adds:
According to evidence turned up by admins in this long-running Wikiland court case, multiple editors have been “openly editing [Scientology-related articles] from Church of Scientology equipment and apparently coordinating their activities.” Leaning on the famed WikiScanner, countless news stories have discussed the editing of Scientology articles from Scientology IPs, and some site admins are concerned this is “damaging Wikipedia’s reputation for neutrality.”
Moreover, Tory Christman, a former member of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs who left the Church in 2000 told The Register:
“The guys I worked with posted every day all day. It was like a machine. I worked with someone who used five separate computers, five separate anonymous identities…to refute any facts from the internet about the Church of Scientology.”
Christman also runs a site, “30 Years Before I Woke Up,” which is “dedicated to all of the many critics who have spent years helping to expose the abuses of the organization known as the Church of Scientology and to those who have helped people wake up and see the light.”
It’s not as though, besides this new ban by Wikipedia, that the Church of Scientology doesn’t have other critics on the Internet. A group of hackers calling themselves Anonymous has waged a cyberwar against the Church of Scientology for quite some time.