Lomax v. WikiMedia Foundation, Inc. et al

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Graaf Statler
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Re: Lomax v. WikiMedia Foundation, Inc. et al

Post by Graaf Statler » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:49 pm

Fram yes.
What absolute has fuelled my pure hate agains you guys is the way you all have listened to the roddel en achterklap, gossip and rumors of Fram. And the way you basters have treated Guido afterwards.

And I even don't blame Fram for it, but you guys! Yes you, the wikipeeps, Juicy.

And special because they are to much chicken to say sorry to Guido when it got clear is was all complete bullshit.

That is where I blame you the guys the most of all for, Sweety.

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Abd
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Re: Lomax v. WikiMedia Foundation, Inc. et al

Post by Abd » Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:03 pm

JuiceBeetle wrote:Karen Brown (T&S) referring to Abd. https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Office_actions/Community_consultation_on_partial_and_temporary_office_actions/09_2019&curid=10880126&diff=19500731&oldid=19499707
... we must publish all evidence in all cases onwiki? I'm afraid that's not possible, largely due to the legal obligations I mentioned earlier. Most notably, we have been sued for things like defamation in the past in retaliation for placing global bans, and that is without our publishing anything negative about the person we banned. If we were to publish evidence or allegations, we could very easily find ourselves in a situation where we did not have enough time or money to do anything other than defend ourselves in court over and over from people suing us.

Of course, the reason why people are banned or blocked is publicly available, so this is BS to justify the secret evidence for Fram.

To my knowledge, that is indeed a reference to my lawsuit, because I'm not aware of any other suit arguably over "placing" a global ban, but in fact, I'm not suing them for placing the ban, itself, but for publishing it, which is a distinct matter.

The argument she makes is, however, straw man, because it is not necessary to "publish evidence or allegations" to provide due process for the accused, and the community does not appear to be buying their argument. They are, no surprise, incompetent or worse.

If my suit survives dismissal, and if complaint mails are demanded in discovery, there are ways that the identity of complainants can be reasonably protected (complaints are not generally protected speech, though, because private complaints to an organization like the WMF can be libel, and there is no professional/client privilege applying. Nevertheless, the WMF may be able to claim a level of protection, where material it is "attorney eyes only," or even where a judge looks at the material and decides. A neutral third party accepted by both sides could be appointed. It can be done, but not with no intention to be fair and balanced, recognizing the possibility of their own error.

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Re: Lomax v. WikiMedia Foundation, Inc. et al

Post by Abd » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:16 pm

There has been continued discussion of the lawsuit on Wikipediocracy. As I cannot respond there without using a sock -- something I don't do, contrary to many lies being spammed all over Reddit at this point by troll socks and Vigilant -- I'll respond here, then possibly archive this and reduce it. Opinions solicited.

Dysklyver wrote (Aug 05, 2019)[responding to blatant lies from "Jelly," admittedly Oliver D. Smith:]
I think this is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the lawsuit actually entails ... Mr. Smith. :B'
Dysklyver wrote (Aug 21, 2019
[responding to bloviation from Mendaliv, a Wikipedian, also a lawyer, which boils down to "OMG! He's not a lawyer!"]Well he got it filed and the case is still going, notwithstanding the fact that it's technically one private citizen fighting an entire organisation's legal team plus additional lawyers brought in especially just to hammer him down properly. I am not saying he isn't going to "win" the case in a legal judgment sense, but what exactly counts as a "win" as far as Abd is concerned isn't necessarily a 200k payout. You could say he has got a "win" already simply based on publicizing the facts surrounding his ban and showing the WMF as both corrupt and incompetent. It's certainly better for him than the situation before he filed.
Dysk is one of the few wiki users who actually read my blog about Oliver Smith, so, as a RatWiki tech, he was not deceived by Oliver's socks on RationalWiki, neither he nor Emblyn Kerensa, and so Oliver attacked them in his typical insane fashion and got himself thoroughly banned there. He is apparently a lawyer, but what that means where he lives is unclear to me. He has generally shown knowledge of law. And his analysis is right on. He meant to say, I think, "I am not saying he [isn't] is going to win." No lawyer would predict the outcome either way at this point, unless they are not responsible and have not researched the particulars. I do consider whatever outcome a win because I refused to take the ban -- used widely for defamation -- without some kind of appeal, and since the WMF will not allow any kind of appeal NO MATTER WHAT -- I'm demonstrating that it might be possible to appeal publication.

Precedent is at this point quite clear that a "service provider" may ban anyone without explanation or justification, that has been tested, but that is not the central claim of the lawsuit. It is rather, based on the fact of publication -- which has not been tested -- and with the context generating reasonable suspicion that the ban was motivated by malice, as carrying out a conspiracy involving WMF users to defame and harass, or, if not, at least negligent malice may have been present. In fact, I'm sure of it. Did they realize there was a conspiracy to defame? Maybe not, but I'd rather see discovery on that.

Vigilant Aug 21, 2019 trolls with irrelevant lies I did not notice until now, I won't quote. For him, every fact is a coatrack for trolling.

Poetlister » Wed Aug 21, 2019quote]It depends on whether he ends up having to pay substantial costs. That could of course ruin him. And how much publicity is this case getting? Will it be enough to dent the credibility of Wikipedia?[/quote]
Sensible remark. First of all, at this point I have no costs, other than the original filing fee of $400. Vigilant and some others have claimed I could be on the hook for the WMF's costs, but that is a risk I willingly undertook. This is connected with filing pro se. I did check with defamation attorneys and did general research on the issue. It would be rare for a defamation attorney to take a case on contingency. And just to talk to one established firm, $500 per hour. Without some sort of fundraising, not possible unless some attorney offers pro bono or cost-based and contingency services. The real costs will start if the case goes ahead, moving into discovery. At that point, fundraising becomes much more possible. My crystal ball is broken. So I just depend on trusting reality.
mendaliv » Aug 21, 2019
I think it's not likely WMF goes for fees unless Abd does something particularly egregious. It's not like they'd collect on it. He'd probably just declare bankruptcy.
Even though he is a lawyer and a Wikipedian, I agree with him. Stopped clock, twice a day, right. :P

Dysklyver » Aug 21, 2019 points to some realities, worth reading.

Vigilant » Wed Aug 21, 2019 This is nonsense so many ways I'm not gonna bother. No lawyer would advise a client to spend a million dollars to avoid a small risk of imitation lawsuits, from a very limited pool of potential plaintiffs. But Vigilant loves arrogance. Yes, this is why they are fighting now instead of negotiating settlement. Spending maybe $5-10,000, okay.

Poetlister » Aug 21, 2019[responding to more Vigilant irrelevancy]
Abd hasn't violated WP:NLT (T-H-L). "Do not make legal threats on Wikipedia. A legal threat, in this context, is a threat to engage in an external (real life) legal or other governmental process that would target other editors." He said nothing about it on Wikipedia. Anyway, he didn't threaten legal action; he took it.
To be clear, I did send a registered demand letter to the WMF, which they ignored. That appears to be policy. But, yes, I did not violate policy (neither before nor after the office ban). Vigilant, of course, will continue to argue even after the cows have come home.

Vigilant » Aug 21, 2019
Given that legal threats are such a pervasive problem on en.wp that they have to have an explicit policy about them, the deterrent value of nuking Abd from orbit as an example to all of the other potentially litigious net.kooks that inhabit wikispace would be well worth the additional expense and effort.
And jolly good fun into the bargain!
(1) Legal threats on Wikipedia are rare compared to other issues.
(2) My lawsuit would only be a precedent for office-banned users, a relatively small group, and a far less expensive way to fix the problem if my suit moves forward would be to fix the policy, which could be done in several ways. It could be practically cost-free, and an improvement, handling at the same time possible abuse of Trust and Safety by complainants.
(3)Remarkable. Vigilant is aligning himself with Wikipedia and against critics, whom he freely calls net.kooks. And what is Vigilant, focused as he is on all the "shitheels" for over a decade?
(4)If there is a corporate officer who thinks of litigation as "fun," fire them immediately!

Mendaliv Aug 21, 2019
I kind of doubt it'd make a difference in practice, but people on Wikipedia are fond of asserting things about the law without any real understanding or appreciation of it. At the very least, if I had a Wikipedia case land in my lap involving a block for making legal threats, I'd probably look into whether a claim of retaliation could make a difference.
Okay, Mendaliv++. This is a lawyer who thinks creatively instead of reductively, like Etherman on Reddit. Whether or not there would be a case would depend on many details. If a user threatened an administrator and that administrator blocked them for NLT violation, possible case against that person. If a friend of the admin blocked, maybe, maybe not. Civil conspiracy might be possible. The community cannot be sued, probably, and NLT is a community policy. The WMF probably office-banned Chris DeGoia for making legal noises, and that indeed could be considered retaliation. And Mendaliv makes it clear that he's just speculating, but he goes on to make a brilliant observation:

Mendaliv Aug 22, 2019
. . . an incredible amount of Wikipedia dispute resolution occurs because of the behavioralization of content disputes. That is, because conduct dispute resolution is so much more advanced than content dispute resolution (which isn’t saying much; conduct dispute resolution on Wikipedia is awful, but at least it exists), people have an incentive to exploit any behavioral dimension of a dispute in order to bring it to a noticeboard.
:!:

Dysklyver » Aug 22, 2019 Arguably most non-vandal blocks are because of conduct so it would make sense that Wikipedia's dispute resolution focuses on it. But the system is woefully lacking. One could say Abd's entire case is an example of how once you get blocked/banned there is absolutely no proper procedure to deal with it.[/quote]My long-term theme has been that Wikipedia dysfunction is a result, not of bad people, as such, but of defective structure, which began as an experiment and which "worked" and became as if written in stone, even though incredibly inefficient and quite unreliable. It was efficient only from a point of view that assigned no real value to editor time, and only respected the time of those with advanced tools, and even them, not much. Wikipedia burns out admins and editors, except for a certain class with qualities that become, over time, concentrated in positions of power.

In theory, the community could regulate this, but the structure guarantees that there is no actual voice of the full community, and The Community is blocked. Any questions?

Poetlister » Aug 22, 2019
It would be virtually impossible to have content dispute resolution on Wikipedia. That would require a subject expert trusted by both parties. Content disputes almost by definition are nearly always in controversial areas, so at least one party would decry the expert as biased.
Poetlister never understood Wikiversity, I suspect, and, like many Wikipedians, apparently had little experience with consensus process, how it works. It famously takes a lot of discussion, and it takes facilitation, by facilitators with a goal of maximizing consensus. It would not require "an expert trusted by 'both parties'" which assumes two sides, etc. What full-on process would do would be to create documentation of the dispute. What sources exist? Who has credentials to provide expert opinion? Experts in legal tribunals do not decide resolution, they provide evidence, which is then weighed by representatives of the community or ownership or sovereign. In full consensus process, it actually becomes obvious, ordinarily, who is blowing smoke. If not, there is a genuine controversy among experts, which is then reported -- and for an encyclopedia, text will be based in reliable sources without assuming that one POV or another is correct. And what is a reliable source? Wikipedia mostly depended on profit or reputational motives. It was one way of doing it, and does make some kind of sense. But the real power on Wikipedia is editorial consensus, and how is that formed?
"Wiki,' meaning "quick" meant "we don't have time for this."

Wikipedia was incredibly naive.

Vigilant » Sep 06, 2019
New docs

DEFENDANT WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION, INC.’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A REPLY MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF ITS MOTION TO DISMISS

REPLY MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION, INC.’S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF’S AMENDED COMPLAINT
... And then excerpts with selected tidbits bolded ...
Stick a fork in it, it's done.
Yet in context, this filing indicates weakness in the WMF case. I did file an opposition, which, of course, Vigilant doesn't notice. The judge gave leave to the WMF, which was not at all surprising, and I did not comment more, because I have a strategy which is attempting to keep things quite simple, and I suspect that the judge will understand this. I'd appreciate knowledgeable comment on that opposition.

But the weakness. As pointed out in the Opposition, it adds nothing new that is not obvious if valid. So why did they delay matters by filing it? I think it is reasonably clear. The WMF was worried that the court would reject the Motion to Dismiss, following certain precedents, so they demanded of Jones Day, "DO SOMETHING!!!" Jones Day told them something like, "we could file a request to reply which would probably be granted and emphasize the main points in it. It will take maybe six hours [$500 per hour] And the WMF told them to go ahead.

It could backfire. Judges dislike tendentious argument. They really want parties to communicate and settle, or at least treat each other with respect.

Earthy Astringent » Sep 06, 2019
For anyone who’s reading, this is almost a textbook example of why you shouldn’t go “pro se”.

Additionally (for you paid lawyers) when you construct a motion, always start with your strongest argument first, to your weakest last. Don’t jump all over the fucking place. You’re trying to convince the judge why he should do what you want. Make his life easy by blasting the opposition with both barrels from the start. Don’t make him plod through your motion multiple times looking for gold.
Well, no. Yes, there are many hazards of filing pro se, and I've read many cases. However, one common pro se error is writing far too much, attempting to "blast the opposition" with a mountain of evidence and allegations and claims. This case, unfortunately, is complex, though there are elements that are simple. So I wrote more than I would have like, and possibly not enough to satisfy all the legal necessities, but . . . the courts claim to provide extra facility to pro se litigants, and thus I expect that if my Amended Complaint is legally insufficient I will be given opportunity to amend, according to specifics in the ruling, which I would expect would conditionally dismiss if the requirements are not met by an amendment. An amendment moots the Motion to Dismiss, deja vu all over again. If anyone has questions about my strategy, read the Opposite linked above.

Another error of pro se litigants is to argue with the judge. Bad Idea. Many pro se litigants are obsessed and obsession creates dysfunction. If I do request a reconsideration of something, I would be extremely careful to fully understand and accept what the judge has written, to incorporate it, and then suggest some additional consideration. I do not anticipate needing to appeal a ruling, which could entail expenses and legal difficulty even if success could be expected. What I expect is to be treating fairly by the court.

Someone is only a fool for going pro se if the matter is of high importance and using a lawyer is an option. But I've represented myself in court and always prevailed. Always, maybe a half dozen times. But I never filed as a plaintiff before, I only was defending. The defense was skillful enough to create advice from opposing attorneys, I'm sure, to settle, which was my goal in the first place. Here, there was no option, it was either file pro se or walk away.

Vigilant » Oct 05, 2019 [after more quotation from defendant's reply]
More lubeless, legal anal rape for Dennis "my head is filled with sawdust and feral cats" Lomax.
classic Vigilant content-free trolling. Suppose the suit is dismissed. I am not therefore "raped." I merely filed a dismissed case, and it cost me nothing but my time (since the fee was later donated to me, and a little more). Vigilant is simply assuming that the defendant's lawyers, obligated to present their client's position as strongly as possible, have succeeded in blowing the suit out of the water. He is taking the position of a judge, who assesses the arguments. But there is a real judge, who will assess, and Vigilant is entirely unaccustomed to that, since he is the Witchsmeller Pursuivant, who is always right, and if you suggest that he's a troll, beware! He will go after you hammer and tongs. (Recent Reddit activity proves this.)

Vigilant » Jan 27, 2020
It's been over 4 months since the last filing.

Is it dead yet?
Vigilant demonstrates his legal cluelessness. (The same basic question was asked on Reddit by a Smith sock. I'll look for a link).

Beeblebrox » Jan 28, 2020
Since there's no chance at all of it succeeding, and it probably won't ever even make it to open court, it's probably in WMFs best interest out drag it out as long as possible. More effective when the plaintiff is paying for their own lawyer, but probably still plays in their favor.
Again, prominent clueless Wikipedian. At this point, the WMF can do just about nothing to hasten or impede the next phase of the case. I might be able to do something. I could, for example, file a motion to permit amendment, which, if granted, would blow the motion to dismiss out of the water. While I have a basis for it, I explain in my opposition why I'm waiting for a ruling on the arguments presented so far. But nobody can hasten that ruling, to my knowledge. I could only delay it. Maybe. If permitted. We are waiting for a U.S. Federal Court judge to issue a ruling on an MTD. I infer something from the delay, but that is speculation.

Dysklyver» Jan 28, 2020
Ah, Dysklyver. Appears to be in his early twenties. People like him and his apparent relation, Emblyn Kerensa, give me hope for the future of humanity.

Now, my speculation. If the matter were as open and shut as a pile of wishful thinkers -- and haters -- seem to believe, judgment would have been simple and easy. Instead, the judge may be aware that there is possible precedent here, and so may be taking time to carefully review and consider claims and arguments. I reported extensively on a $200 million lawsuit, Rossi v. Darden, over a contract involving a "cold fusion" invention -- fraudulent, my opinion --, and attended the trial in Miami, supported by donations. Fun trip. Jones Day was counsel for the defendants. And I saw the judge speculate on meanings in the complaint and reject a Motion for Dismissal based on that. The standards for an MTD are very high. There must really be nothing alleged and possibly verifiable through discovery that could confirm the plaintiff's case.

This page covers the timing of decisions. And as pointed out there, a motion to attempt to speed up decision is a Bad Idea. Generally, courts like to clear their docket, but it is entirely up to them how long they take. It is not respectful to try to rush them. (The question there is from a pro se plaintiff where a Motion to Dismiss was filed, and no decision for four months, the plaintiff "moved the court to decide on the pending motion to dismiss, but still no ruling." Impatient cow. Waited two more months to ask about it. If you want to file a motion and you can find no examples, it's a bad sign. This was a personal injury case, apparently. If you can't find an attorney to take the case on contingency, if money is the issue, it's a bad sign. It may not be a fatal error. The attorneys there were nice to him, but clear. There is no clue that the plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion. Sometimes a judge will nudge a party. Or not.

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