WorldNetDaily has long waged battle against Wikipedia, a battle marked by a serious misunderstanding on WND's part about how Wikipedia works.
That fundamental misunderstanding continues in a Dec. 30 article by Chelsea Schilling detailing all the upsetting things that have been posted about WND and editor Joseph Farah on their respective Wikipedia pages.Schilling describes it as a "Wikipedia campaign of hurling smears at WND's founder, Joseph Farah." One of those claims is that Farah was called a "noted homosexual" -- and we know how touchy Farah is about anything regarding Teh Gay. (But Farah's anti-gay paranoia didn't keep WND from publishing Molotov Mitchell's gay-baiting smear, did it?)
There is, however, one little hitch to Farah's pending litigiousness: There's no evidence of the existence of a "Wikipedia campaign" against Farah or WND. Wikipedia users -- not any official operator of Wikipedia -- are the ones who made those changes and, therefore, should be the primary target of a libel lawsuit.
Nevertheless, Farah comments further: "Wikipedia has now demonstrated a long pattern of defamatory attacks on me and my work. We are very close, I believe, to being able to make a strong libel case against this phony 'free encyclopedia' viewed by hundreds of millions of people." Again, Farah should be directing his ire at those users, not Wikipedia itself.
the funny thing is, WND has previously defended such behavior. A June 16 article by Bob Unruh complained that a federal prosecutor, citing death threats, was seeking "newspaper readers who participated in a forum about a tax protest case" -- even highlighting an ACLU chapter's statement that it "always fought for the fundamental right to engage in anonymous political speech and we want to protect the rights of anonymous commenters."
Really, what those anonymous Wikipedia editors are doing is nothing more than political speech protected by the First Amendment. If newspaper commenters -- and death threat-hurling WND commenters -- are protected, why not Wikipedia? If Wikipedia is to be held responsible for the actions of its commenters, shouldn't WND be getting a visit from the Secret Service right about now?
Farah has no libel case because he has no evidence that Wikipedia itself or anyone directly employed by it has a policy of deliberately or recklessly maligning WND or Farah -- unlike, say, the case Clark Jones had against WND, which WND abruptly settled after seven years of litigation.
Further, the fact that WND lies about or libels people -- mostly President Obama, but the list of WND's victims includes us as well -- seemingly on a daily basis also pretty much negates any whining about libel by WND, not to mention highlights the rank hypocrisy of WND's little anti-Wikipedia jihad.