Monday, September 04, 2006


GOP opponent of Barney Frank upset over WikiPedia entry defacements


Candidate eyes suit against Wikipedia

By Evan Lehmann
North Adams Transcript Washington Bureau
(part of MediaNews Group Inc.)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

WASHINGTON -- A write-in candidate for Congress is considering suing Wikipedia after anonymous users branded his campaign "inept" and inserted slurs into his biography on the worldwide encyclopedia.Chuck Morse, a Republican who hopes to unseat U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Newton, in November, said he'll meet with a lawyer to determine if the Wikipedia article "damaged my reputation" and if he can sue. "We're exploring it," said Morse, who failed to submit enough certifiable signatures to get on the primary ballot, but will run as a write-in candidate.

He has to receive 2,000 votes, via sticker, in the September primary to appear on the general election ballot in November.

Anyone on the Internet can add, delete or alter Wikipedia content. The encyclopedia entry on Morse claimed that Morse wrote in his book that the Oklahoma City bombing was a "federal plot." It also said Morse switched political parties to raise money. Morse denies those assertions, and Wikipedia removed them from the entry. Morse stopped short of blaming Frank for altering the Wikipedia entry, but said, "perhaps his very zealous followers did."

"It's almost like the mob, when the Don wiggles his finger and a body comes floating down the East River," Morse said, suggesting Frank may have been a silent participant.

Frank's office dismissed Morse's claims. "Certainly, Congressman Frank himself is not involved," said Dorothy Reichard, Frank's district director in Newton.

Brad Patrick, general counsel for Wikipedia, did not respond to a request for comment.


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