Submissions/History of the Murder of Meredith Kercher Article
After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.
- Submission no. 1043
- Title of the submission
- History of the Murder of Meredith Kercher Article
- Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
- Author of the submission
- PhanuelB and others
- E-mail address
- PhanuelB and others
- Country of origin
- Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
- Personal homepage or blog
- Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
- This proposal will involve a combined Presentation/Panel Discussion of about 45 minutes about the Murder of Meredith Kercher (MoMK) Article. The submitter is one of about a dozen editors blocked since 2010 for their participation in the topic. All those blocked had argued that the article did not treat Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito fairly.
- The Murder of Meredith Kercher article is probably the most troubled entry in Wikipedia’s history and one that has caused profound harm to living human beings. This presentation will include discussion by three reliable sources not included in the article and a UK based university professor who has authored an academic paper about the MoMK Wikipedia coverage.
- The case involved the highly publicized trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the 2007 murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy. The case has been the subject of nearly 20 books, a dozen television documentaries, thousands of news segments, and one made-for-TV movie with another on the way. Many reliable sources have criticized the fairness of the proceedings against Knox and Sollecito, a fact not reflected in the current article.
- As noted in the article today, Knox and Sollecito were demonized in the European press. For much of this time Wikipedia became a central player in the dissemination of false and misleading information about the case. It is submitted here that the BLP implications for a “highly biased” (exact words of Jimmy Wales) article about a heavily disputed murder conviction are grave.
- By early 2011, all editors who believed the article did not treat Knox and Sollecito fairly had been summarily blocked by a group of EU/UK based administrators who were convinced of Knox and Sollecito’s guilt. The resulting article was later described by Jimmy Wales as, “highly biased because one side was taken out.” Jimmy also talked of “systematic exclusion of reliable sources” and “censorship to promote and agenda.” He had taken an interest in the article following an Open Letter to him that was eventually signed by 454 people including seven reliable sources and the authors of six different books about the case.
- At a recent congressional briefing in Washington DC, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) brought in three experts to brief the US Congress on the case. The panel included Seattle area judge Michael Heavey, and retired FBI agents Steve Moore and John E. Douglas. To this day all three of these reliable sources have been excluded from the Wikipedia article or portrayed in a negative light. Other reliable sources banned from the article include Peter van Sant (Emmy Award winning CBS correspondent), Paul Ciolino (private investigator placed in Italy by CBS), Douglas Preston (bestselling author who has written two books about the case), John Q. Kelly (legal commentator on CNN), S. Michael Scadron (retired attorney for the US Dept of Justice), and Bob Graham (Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph).
- Panel members
- Judge Michael Heavey: Recently retired Seattle area Superior Court judge who has spoken extensively about the case to the media and to the US Congress. In a May 2013 presentation to a Rotary Club, Judge Heavey stated:
- “This four year Italian opera is a farce; it is a fiction. The criminals are those who perpetrated a false accusation against two good young people. These police and prosecutors lied, cheated, and stole the innocence of two good young people. They are the criminals.”
- Steve Moore: Retired FBI agent who has made nearly two dozen television appearances on all the major news outlets about the case and who also spoke before congress with Judge Heavey. During his 25 year FBI career he was involved in the investigation of white supremacist organizations, violent crime, and terrorism. At the time of his retirement he was a Supervisory Special Agent. In his numerous media appearances he has repeatedly stated his opinion that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are completely innocent. He has also heavily criticized the Wikipedia coverage here.
- In November 2012 the sentiment against Moore on the talk page became so heated that a Wikipedia editor with over 400 edits on the topic issued this threat against Moore’s daughter:
- “that’s right Steve Moore, I’m talking about your daughter. [Redacted] plays for keeps.”
- This incident along with a comprehensive summary of the Wikipedia dispute was recounted by the bestselling author Douglas Preston in his recent Kindle single Trial by Fury: Internet Savagery and the Amanda Knox Case. It has also been clearly identified to the Arbitration Committee who chose to take no action in the matter.
- S. Michael Scadron: Retired attorney for the US Dept of Justice. In 2010 he authored this editorial in the Christian Science Monitor that compared the case to the Salem Witch Trials.
- Dr. Ruth Page: University of Leicester professor who has authored this paper about the controversy surrounding the Murder of Meredith Kercher article.
- The above panel members have all been contacted and have indicated an interest in participating. Travel arrangements of course represent a significant challenge but they probably will be able to make it. Jimmy Wales has deep knowledge about the topic and would of course be an honored guest on the panel if he would like to participate.
- As envisioned the presentation will in part explain why the Wikipedia content is flawed but it will also address the larger topic of contentious material. The proposal will undoubtedly be criticized as a simple content dispute. I beg to differ. Content disputes are inextricably linked to larger topics and may rise in importance in future Wikimania events.
- The presentation will include significant criticism of the English Language Wikipedia Arbitration Committee.
- Wikipedia has of course done more to further the education of those children in the world who want to learn than any innovation in our lifetime, all at no cost to the taxpayers. That is an impressive accomplishment. It should come as no surprise that some articles will have problems and a very small number will have big problems. Wikipedia has done so much good for the world but in a handful of areas they may need to do a better job of listening to responsible voices of dissent.
- WikiCulture & Community
- Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
- 45 Minutes
- Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
- Slides or further information (optional)
- Special requests
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