super-injunctions on wikipedia

Super-injunctions are an affront to freedom of speech and the right to a free press etc etc. the case has already been extensively been made.

The traditional media in what I expect is an attempt to get the courts to give up on the things has been gleefully reporting super-injunction names being posted on wikipedia, twitter and at this point anywhere on the internet that accepts text entry.

However from the point of view of wikipedia it’s just the AACS encryption key controversy all over again. Remember the heady days of 2007 when for a brief time it seemed that half the posts on the internet started 09 F9? Having that spammed all over wikipedia was tiresome to say the least.

Super-injunctions however produce new problems. To start with some of the so called revelations are not actually true. At least with the 09 F9 mess the truth of the matter was pretty clear.  This is not the case with Super-injunction claims. We’ve been hit by the false accusations about Jemima Khan and been hit by claims about a statistically improbable number of actors. One of the upshots of super-injunctions is that you can now libel any vaguely respectable married footballer by claiming they are the one with the super injunction and have people believe you and recycle the claim. From a legal point of view this is just an unintended downside. From the wikipedia community’s point of view this is extremely annoying. This wider range of targets is also a problem. With the 09 F9 mess we could just drop the hexadecimal number in the spam filter. These days we would probably use the slightly different abuse filter (allows for smarter filters) but that doesn’t work so well when so many random names keep turning up. It would also potentially make that particular filter off limits to UK editors.

Ultimately the issue is covered by wikipedia’s reliable source policy which means that the only super-injunctions we can actually mention are Trafigura’s, Andrew Marr’s and Fred Goodwin’s. The rest are at this point spam. Oh so much spam.

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