Gili Bar-Hillel, Wikipedia: Kinnernet Israel Internet Conference Not Notable
By Joel Leyden Israel News Agency
Jerusalem ---- March 8 ...... Have you ever doubted the credibility of Wikipedia?Look no further. As more than 200 of the Internet's most influential global players prepare to visit Israel for the annual, exclusive by invite only Internet and Hi Tech Kinnernet conference, Wikipedia wants to delete the event from their Website.
The Wikipedia entry for Kinnernet reads as follows: "Kinnernet is an annual, exclusive networking event which brings the most powerful Internet and hi-tech gurus to Israel. Kinnernet takes the form of a techie geek camp which is organized and operated by Yossi Vardi, cofounder of ICQ. Vardi is one of Israel’s hi-tech veterans, with 38 years of founding over 40 hi tech companies in Internet, software, telecommunications, electro-optics, energy, environment and other areas. Kinnernet serves as a think tank for the Internet's major players. Much of what they discuss and conclude is revealed after Kinnernet at the Globes Marker two day Internet business conference in Tel Aviv. Over 250 Internet professionals attend a wide array of forums and workshops at the Ohalo Resort for three days on the Sea of Galilee. Kinnernet copies Tim O'Reilly's Foo Camp, as the exclusive by invite only reaches out to "net and technology addicts, nerds, geeks, thought leaders and other creative people."
The Times of London states that Kinnernet's mission is to provide like-minded individuals the opportunity to gather informally and discuss topics and concepts that are of interest to them in fields such as software development, Internet culture, site building, blogs, forums, social networks, chat rooms, instant messages, P2P, search engines, web services, Wi-Fi, open source and email. Even though Kinnernet is an invite only power conference which strives to stay under the radar its importance, interest and popularity by the global Internet community can be witnessed by over 64,000 pages on Google."
So in essence what Gili Bar-Hillel and Wikipedia are saying is that Internet pioneer Yossi Vardi, the global participants and such sponsors as Cisco Systems, Netvision, Genesis Partners, Giza Venture Capital, SanDisk, Alvarion, Elron, Globes - Marker newspaper and several other sponsors are "not notable."
Now you ask, well there must be a good and enlightened reason for this vote to delete Kinnernet Israel from Wikipedia. Right?
Gili Bar-Hillel, who started and suggested to delete Kinnernet from Wikipedia as a Wikipedia user known as Woggly, must be an intelligent and well informed administrator at Wikipedia. Someone who really knows the Net and the professional players who form it?
Bar-Hillel is an English to Hebrew Israel translator who resides in Tel Aviv and specializes in translating "Harry Potter" books into Hebrew. She has been responsible for joining those from Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah in censoring several Israeli Websites, including the Israel News Agency from the pages of Wikipedia. Bar-Hillel has no professional experience nor knowledge of Israel or global hi-tech and Internet. Though she can enlighten one on "Alice In Wonderland" and the "Little Blue Train That Could."
Bar-Hillel censors and even goes as far as personal attacks and slander with the direct and explicit consent of Wikipedia management - Jimbo Wales and Danny Wool.
Wikipedia, which has been criticized by almost every academic institution and leading news organizations including Reuters, USA Today and the BBC as one of the least reliable sources on the Internet (except for the latest clothing and hair styles of Britney Spears) lists thousands of entries including high schools and the characters of Pokemon, but deems Kinnernet as not notable.
As recent as this week Wikipedia users discovered that a poster going by the screen name "Essjay" and claiming to be a professor of theology was really a 24-year-old college dropout named Ryan Jordan. The New Yorker brought the fraud to light in an editorial note admitting that its 2006 magazine profile of the community had misreported Essjay's academic credentials. According to The New Yorker, neither the reporter nor Wikipedia could confirm Essjay's true identity. At issue, critics say, are thousands of articles contributed under false pretenses and Wikipedia's apparent lack of due diligence to verify the credentials of one of its trusted arbitrators. Perhaps ironically, arbitrators have the power to block contributors who abuse the site or overrule edits to posts.
Perhaps the worst case of Wikipedia libel, slander and censorship centered around former USA TODAY editorial page editor John Seigenthaler. Wikipedia for four months carried an article falsely linking him to the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and John F. Kennedy. But as angry as Seigenthaler was, and as untrue as the article had been, it's unlikely that he has a good court case against Wikipedia, according to legal experts interviewed by CNET News.com.
Seigenthaler himself acknowledged as much in a USA Today op-ed piece. A case in which a man was falsely linked on Wikipedia to the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and John F. Kennedy has led some to question the online encyclopedia's libel liability. Bottom line: While Wikipedia is most likely safe from legal liability for libel, the issues raised by the Seigenthaler case should be carefully considered, some legal experts say.
More stories on Wikipedia thanks to section 230 of the Federal Communications Decency Act (CDA), which became law in 1996, Wikipedia is most likely safe from legal liability for libel, regardless of how long an inaccurate article stays on the site. That's because it is a service provider as opposed to a publisher such as Salon.com or CNN.com. In his scathing, Nov. 29 opinion column in USA Today, the 78-year-old Seigenthaler wrote that in the original Wikipedia article, "one sentence was true. I was Robert Kennedy's administrative assistant." The article was written by an anonymous Wikipedia user traceable only to a BellSouth Internet account, but Seigenthaler added that the giant ISP wouldn't reveal the author's name. And despite his protestations, Seigenthaler wrote, Wikipedia's only action prior to removing the offending article on Oct. 5 was to change a misspelling on May 29, just three days after it was originally posted.
"I have no idea whose sick mind conceived the false, malicious "biography" that appeared under my name for 132 days on Wikipedia, the popular, online, free encyclopedia whose authors are unknown and virtually untraceable. I phoned Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder and asked, "Do you ... have any way to know who wrote that?" "No, we don't," he said. Representatives of the other two Websites said their computers are programmed to copy data verbatim from Wikipedia, never checking whether it is false or factual. Naturally, I want to unmask my "biographer." And, I am interested in letting many people know that Wikipedia is a flawed and irresponsible research tool." "When I was a child, my mother lectured me on the evils of "gossip." She held a feather pillow and said, "If I tear this open, the feathers will fly to the four winds, and I could never get them back in the pillow. That's how it is when you spread mean things about people." For me, that pillow is a metaphor for Wikipedia."
For many to be listed on Wikipedia is said to be cursed. It's referred to as the Wikipedia curse.
According to one marketing professional who recently commented on Microsoft recently planting stories in Wikipedia, said that companies should monitor what's being said about them on blogs and wikis, and transparently combat lies with the truth. "There's a joke among bloggers that if you want to say something bad about a corporation, then you say it on Friday night because there isn't anybody there doing reputation management on the weekend," she quipped. "They won't even know you are talking about them until Tuesday."
As for Kinnernet's entry into Wikipedia perhaps its a far better, healthier thing for Kinnernet not to be listed in Wikipedia.I am sure that the many global sponsors, respected Internet, Hi tech participants and venture capitalists will discuss Wikipedia and its "contributions" to society in one of their forums. It is worth a laugh and perhaps that's what Wikipedia is all about. Not facts, but Hollywood entertainment.
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