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German Politician Thinks Better Of Blocking Wikipedia

Protests solve weekend issue

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German Left Party politician Lutz Heilmann didn’t like some of the claims printed in a Wikipedia article about him.  As a result, Heilmann filed an injunction against the German version of the site, caused a massive outcry, and has now backed down in the face of all the attention.

Put this rather action-packed story in the "whoops" file.  Heilmann’s move made Wikipedia inaccessible to German users for over two days.  Spiegel Online reports that, during this period, "The German Web site received 16,000 in donations over the weekend, more than quadruple its usual rate.  Wikipedia users also flooded the Left Party with angry e-mails."

Lutz Heilmann
 Lutz Heilmann

So Heilmann withdrew his injunction, allowing access to be restored.  But from at least some perspectives, the damage was done.  All sorts of people who didn’t know Heilmann existed have now heard the allegations that he didn’t complete his law degree and was involved with a porn business, for example.  And Heilmann’s (confirmed) work for the Stasi is being reexamined.

Furthermore, Wikipedia fans have been given something to fear.  It seems that other politicians (or random attention-seekers) could file injunctions similar to Heilmann’s any time they please, blocking local access to the site again.

Heilmann, meanwhile, has adjusted his defense strategy by going after three individuals instead of Wikipedia.

German Politician Thinks Better Of Blocking Wikipedia
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    Well he certainly is living up to his stasi past!! What an idiot.

    It is worrying if this can be done if certain people in power don’t like what it being said about them, at least it will backfire if done so openly like this, what is more worrying though is if certain people contact Wikipedia and threaten with legal action and they have to make amendments to prevent this without telling anyone.

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