Monday, December 20, 2010

ALA Pushes Net Neutrality on Wikipedia; Political and Pecuniary Interests Promoted Anonymously by ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom May Violate Ethical and Tax Codes

Deborah Caldwell-Stone
Deborah-Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director of the American Library Association's [ALA] so-called "Office for Intellectual Freedom," has secretly used Wikipedia to propagandize in support of "Net Neutrality."  The ALA is directly involved in promoting net neutrality, so the ALA's surreptitious means to sway public opinion should be roundly criticized.  Deborah Caldwell-Stone may have violated ALA Ethics and IRS 501(c)(3) rules, and exposed how political interests are promoting this pending loss of free speech rights that FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell has called the "long winter's night for Internet freedom."  Do read his entire opinion.

The ALA is a member of the Open Internet Coalition and SaveTheInternet.com that both support net neutrality.  A Google search on "net neutrality" pulls up Network Neutrality on Wikipedia as the top hit.  (The second highest hit is SaveTheInternet.com.)  On that most visible of all web sites on the subject, a site that is the eighth most popular site, the ALA has anonymously made self-serving statements about net neutrality on the Internet Censorship discussion page and added therein promotional links to SaveTheInternet.com as well.  Here is what the ALA Deputy Director wrote as "Anon":

Net neutrality, or the lack of it, enables internet censorship; it permits corporations that control access points to the Internet to extract additional costs from those wanting to publish on the Internet or face loss of access; if a corporate access provider decides that it doesn't like a particular publisher's message, it could block access to that website if there isn't an obligation to provide common carriage without discrimination. In particular, minority voices are often silenced; note that not only so-called liberal groups are concerned with this threat, but also conservative Christian groups, who fear that their message may be silenced if net neutrality is not preserved. -- Anon.

Source:  Talk:Internet censorship, 03:39, 30 April 2007, by 68.21.2.202.

What she said is not true, but that's the essence of propaganda. 

That edit was made by "68.21.2.202," the disguise that day for Deborah-Caldwell Stone, Deputy Director and former Acting Director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.  Yes, the Office for Intellectual Freedom.  The Office has few members but it has a huge effect.  "More than any other activity, ALA's work on intellectual freedom ... has captured national attention and given ALA and librarianship huge prestige throughout the world."  Deborah-Caldwell Stone's actions should give it a huge black eye.

Here is the ALA anonymously promoting SaveTheInternet.org, again and again.

She knows this is wrong because an "edit summary" of hers says, "one need only look at LAEC's own safelibraries.org to discover the definition of conflict of interest when it comes to this topic."  She is fully aware of the significance of conflicts of interest, and even excoriates "LAEC," although LAEC disclosed his potential conflicts or she would not have known of them.

I'm LAEC, short for LegitimateAndEvenCompelling, and I'm a Wikipedia editor with years of experience and almost 10,000 edits.  I call myself that name in respect of US v. ALA where the US Supreme Court said, "The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree."  The ALA does not agree.

The ALA leader's actions to hide behind a shield of anonymity on Wikipedia are intentional.  She wrote her name as "Anon," as shown above.  Also, when I exposed her true identity on Wikipedia, something I learned later I should not have done, she remarked: 
The association between my user name, my real name and workplace was not known at all until he posted it in the edit summary.  It is not published elsewhere, and I have taken pains to keep it that way.  I ... would like the association between my user name and my actual identity/workplace to remain private.

Source:   User talk:Dcs47, 22:37, 1 November 2005, by Dcs47.

Note it is expected that people wish to remain private on Wikipedia, but it is not expected that they use Wikipedia to promote their own soapbox.

Deborah Caldwell-Stone, aka Dcs47, then began or continued a pattern of editing under Dcs47 for certain things and under dozens of other names or numbers to propagandize in favor of net neutrality, etc.  One more example?  Here she is adding links on Wikipedia to the ALA Store.

There is extensive evidence tying Deborah Caldwell-Stone to dozens of anonymous Wikipedia identities addressing more dozens of ALA and politically-related Wikipedia pages.  The evidence to support these claims is a matter of public record in the possession of Wikipedia and is available to anyone with a web browser.  My role would be in connecting the dots in the public record.  Connecting the dots is too voluminous for this blog post, but here are the dots to be connected:

User: Anonamaus
User: Dcs47 (DCS are the initials for Deborah Caldwell-Stone)
User: 24.12.70.227 - Geolocate
User: 66.72.99.191 - Geolocate
User: 66.72.101.17 - Geolocate
User: 66.158.92.4 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.0.128 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.1.253 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.2.4 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.2.202 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.3.199 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.5.18 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.8.112 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.160.32 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.161.170 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.166.176 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.168.169 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.170.18 - Geolocate
User: 68.22.196.241 - Geolocate
User: 68.22.205.81 - Geolocate
User: 68.22.205.150 - Geolocate
User: 68.22.206.96 - Geolocate
User: 68.251.48.182 - Geolocate

The ALA must look into whether Deborah Caldwell-Stone has violated the ALA Code of Ethics or jeopardized the ALA's 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.  If it takes no action or simply applies a slap on the wrist, that would reflect on the ALA generally.

If the ALA takes no action in response to this blog post (that I know it reads), then the ALA itself may be just as guilty as is Deborah Caldwell-Stone.  Indeed, promoters of net neutrality should consider distancing themselves from the ALA if the ALA does not take appropriate action.

I am sending a copy of this to the FCC Commissioners.

Please comment below on my opinion above.


NOTE ADDED 22 DECEMBER 2010:

Apparently, the ALA's actions described above are more sinister than I originally thought.  Recall how the ALA surreptitiously promoted SaveTheInternet.org of which it is a member.  That's a Free Press creation.  Take a look at this:

"The Net Neutrality Coup; The Campaign to Regulate the Internet was Funded By a Who's Who of Left-Liberal Foundations," by John Fund, Wall Street Journal, 21 December 2010.

The ALA is complicit.


NOTE ADDED 28 DECEMBER 2010:

This just in:

"Tech at Night:  Net Neutrality Reactions Continue, ALA, Copyright, Trademark, the New Madden Curse," by Neil Stevens, RedState, 28 December 2010.

Excerpt:

It turns out the fraud behind the Net Neutrality movement runs ever deeper than we knew: The ALA has been astroturfing for Free Press and its front group Save the Internet, over on Wikipedia.  Can we please just make Wikipedia run ads already, forcing the site to bend to the will of market forces instead of its army of astroturfers and shills?

NOTE ADDED 29 DECEMBER 2010:

As a result of the publication of this blog post, apparent ALA supporters, if not ALA members or the OIF itself, have initiated action at Wikipedia that resulting in efforts to stop my editing there or to have me remove this blog post.  Self-censorship, as the ALA would call it.  At this moment, I have been indefinitely blocked from editing, likely in part because I have not removed this blog post.  It is claimed I "outed" Wikipedia editor Deborah Caldwell-Stone, although the actual "outing" I discussed above occurred over five years ago.

But my main reason to write this note is that information I linked in this blog post is being, what, censored?  Look at the struck out language from this page that I had linked above to see the Dcs47 name and her edit summary removed:

Text Struck From Wikipedia Following Publication of This Blog Post


While it may have been the right thing to do, its being done five years after the fact and only after I linked to it is unusual enough for me to bring it to your attention, particularly since it occurred as a result of what seems like an ALA censorship attempt.  (Perhaps people should archive SafeLibraries.org and this SafeLibraries blog before the ALA gets them removed.)

Let me be clear Wikipedia itself is in no way responsible for this incident (and neither am I sure the ALA is).  The volunteer editors like myself may be, but not Wikipedia.  Certainly Wikipedia would not condone censorship to protect guilty parties (but the ALA would and has—Robert Spencer and Scott Savage come to mind).


SECOND NOTE ADDED 29 DECEMBER 2010:

As of now, additional information has been removed from Wikipedia.  For example, the graphic above now contains censored material no longer visible at the site.  Go look and compare.


NOTE ADDED 30 DECEMBER 2010:

This just in:

"Tech at Night:  ALA, Wikipedia, Astroturf, Net Neutrality," by Neil Stevens, RedState, 30 December 2010.

Excerpt:

On the heels of this story about ALA astroturfing on Wikipedia, the ALA is attempting retaliation.  They are attempting to block the Safe Libraries author from having any further access to edit Wikipedia unless his article is censored.

...

And in case the core issue is lost:  Wikipedia is helping cover up political activities by the ALA that could constitute illegal activity for a non-profit like the ALA.  Whether this is conscious bias by Wikipedia, or a case of the ALA duping good faith Wikipedia administrators, it's not yet clear.


SECOND NOTE ADDED 30 DECEMBER 2010:

This is unbelievable.  Free Press is now directly advertising on this very blog post!  In a Google Ad!  The Google Ad links to SaveTheInternet.com, the very site the ALA, a member of the site, was anonymously pushing on Wikipedia in possible violation of federal tax code!  Here's a screen shot, with surrounding material for context:

Free Press Advertisement on SafeLibraries!
The Link Went to Site ALA was Astroturfing!

NOTE ADDED 18 MAY 2011:

Since the ALA has anonymously astroturfed for Free Press, the following about government takeover of the Internet may be of interest, especially since this goes against the very free speech the ALA claims to support (and watch Seton Motley explain why "Net Neutrality" is "terrible"):


NOTE ADDED 10 SEPTEMBER 2013:

Regarding the ALA's continued political activity to promote net neutrality, and recommending unconstitutional action, no less, I wrote this:



And that was cited here:


.

13 comments:

  1. I accidentally deleted someone's comment (Local_MLIS_Student) because he has been a serial harrasser in the past and it initially appeared his harassment was continuing. It's not friendly, but it's not harassment. Typically, though, it completely avoids the substantive issues raised. So I'll repost it now.

    And no, there is nothing wrong with advertising with Google on multiple web sites, including mine. And I realize along with everyone else the ad was placed randomly on my site by Google. But calling it "Net Neutrality 101" is at least slightly misleading under the circumstances as described, for example, in John Fund's Wall Street Journal piece I linked above.

    Here is the comment by Local_MLIS_Student:

    HI. I've been following this, and while I think much of what you say is just paranoia and unfounded speculation, your recent note that FreePress is "now directly advertising on this very blog post!" is completely and utterly wrong, and as such, quite misleading.

    You, sir, use AdSense on your blog -- thus you have those random "Ads by Google" links. Those get placed automatically by Google's algorithms, based on keywords present on your blog site. Companies bid to have their ads placed by Google based on those keywords. Thus, some word on your blog post (probably "net neutrality") triggered the placement of the Free Press ad.

    Sir, this is not some direct and specific placement by Free Press on this specific blog posting. Please calm down and learn your facts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, do you suggest that I am doing things for the ALA at wikipedia?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Siglind, thanks for writing. I don't recognize your name from Wikipedia. Are you one of the editors involved in any way? If so, who? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh! No, you are in no way connected to the ALA of which I'm aware.

    When I said, "apparent ALA supporters, if not ALA members or the OIF itself, have initiated action at Wikipedia that resulting in efforts to stop my editing there or to have me remove this blog post," that only says those people "initiated" action that snowballed into what happened to me. That said, making such complaints is intended to cause some kind of restriction of speech.

    The total newbies who initiated the complaint about the alleged outing of Dcs47 could not possibly have the power you have to block my access to Wikipedia.

    And for people reading this, KimvdLinde is the Wikipedian who actually severed my ability to write on Wikipedia. She's quite an interesting person whom I respect--go read about her at the link I provided. She's an example of why Wikipedia has some excellent content.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ha, in that way. Well, that could be true, I have no way of knowing. Wikipedia is its own community, and the rules that have been established is to keep the community functioning. To extrapolate internet wide initiatives to individual websites misses the point of the net neutrality discussion as far as I can tell. Net neutrality if not about how individual websites govern themselves, but how the internet as a whole cannot be controlled by companies or governments. In that way, this post is missing the point all together. Wikipedia is not the internet.

    The Internet is a collective of all people. Rules for how to act on that scale have to be established at that level. Wikipedia is a collective of editors, and they as a group have to establishes their rules. Those website level rules in no way have to reflect the rules of the internet at large. And under those rules, blog posts like this result in blocking of editors. It is up to the individual editors to determine whether they do or do not want to play by those rules. You obviously have chosen not to play by those rules. That is your right but I think it is also unfortunate.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think the Wikipedia rules are fine and I have been in compliance, especially as of late, as some of my defenders have repeated. I think how the Wikipedia rules have been applied by the very limited subset of volunteer Wikipedia editors who participated in my being blocked is the problem.

    It's like CIPA, the Children's Internet Protection Act. The US Supreme Court found it constitutional despite the American Library Association/ACLU effort to kill it. However, the manner in which it is applied may not be constitutional and may result in an "as applied" challenge. None has happened since the 2003 decision, but that's besides the point.

    If I am not unblocked voluntarily, I will bring an "as applied" challenge to the Wikipedia rule in question to ArbCom. I have good reason to believe that I have a legitimate and even compelling argument.

    In addition, there may be even more egregious activity in the logs of those IP addresses that I have not yet revealed. Certainly no Wikipedia rule requires people not to report criminal activity or to be blocked if they do.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, see you at ArbCom then. BTW, you keep confusing your activity with those of others. The activities of others do not justify yours.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Actually, it does. I am under an ethical obligation to report criminal activity. Besides, it's common sense.

    Since you banned me from Wikipedia then helped the person in question to remove some of the evidence or just removed it on your own, you are not in a good position to continue to cast blame on me, now here on my own blog as well as on Wikipedia where you blocked me from defending myself. Besides, there remains other evidence you have not yet removed likely because you are not yet aware of it.

    I also find this post of yours interesting: "Pedophilia Whitewash at Wikipedia." It seems you have trouble on Wikipedia with possible self-promoters as well and also write about it on your blog. Except the guy does not act anonymously or make potentially illegal edits.

    And I love this: "Disclaimer: I tried to change some things for the better, but one editor specific, and several more in general pretty much block any improvement of the article that is not in line with the medical operationalization of the term."

    Exactly.

    ReplyDelete
  9. And you keep missing the point. Nuff said.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What "criminal activity" among the Wikipedia edits are you referring to, exactly?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Local_MLIS_Student, thanks again for writing. That information, if any, may be revealed in the proper forum. The comments to this blog post is not such a forum.

    ReplyDelete

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