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Wikipedia Forced To Reveal Identity Of Blackmail Author

The Wikimedia Group, which runs the popular online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, has been ordered by a British court to reveal the identity of one of Wikipedia’s editors as a woman has accused the said editor for posting "sensitive" material about her and her child on her Wikipedia page.

The court decided to rule in her favour as the woman had complained that the same person was also threatening her about revealing her business information to the press.

The Judge, Mr Justice Tugendhat said that "in ordinary language", the mother is of the opinion that she is the victim of blackmail and information provided by her has shown that the blackmailer has also edited her Wikipedia page about her child and has posted sensitive information about the said minor in it.

However, he also added that it was not clear whether the same person who sent the blackmail letter and edited the page or not. Some journalists have also reported that a person had approached some of them and tried to sell them a story about the mother and her child.

Wikimedia Group said that it was not involved in the writing or the editing of the page concerned. It also pointed out that the company was protected by US laws and British courts had no jurisdiction on it. But it had also added that the IP address will be made available if the company was ordered.

Our Comments

This could potentially open a flood of similar requests from legitimate and parties with less scrupulous intentions. Still, the fact that Wikipedia has acknowledged that some of its editors might not be as trustworthy as the site itself shows the limit of the endeavour.

Related Links

Wikipedia ordered to disclose IP address of contributor (opens in new tab)

(Computer Weekly)

Wikipedia ordered to reveal ‘blackmail’ editor (opens in new tab)


Wikipedia to reveal identity of 'editor' who allegedly blackmailed mother and child (opens in new tab)


Wikipedia ordered to reveal identity of 'editor' accused of blackmailing mother and child (opens in new tab)


Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.