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Old 12-07-2009, 10:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Actor sues over wikipedia article which says he is gay

If this is true the guy strikes me as some kind of crook who's on the make. If he was that upset that some website said he was gay (and that insecure in his sexualit) clearly his actions are just spreading the rumours around people who had never even heard of him before

But if he could win (is it possible, even in America youd think not) It would kill wikipedia. Anyone could just get their mate to go on their, write an article with some lies about them in, then sue wikipedia for slandering them.

Whether he's gay or not, the guy seems like a complete asshole and a cheat.



Quote:
Ron Livingston, best known for roles in Office Space and Sex and the City, is suing over continual Wikipedia edits claiming the actor is gay and in a long-term relationship with a man.

Livingston married a woman named Rosemarie DeWitt earlier this year, but a dedicated Wikipedia editor changes the entry frequently with claims that Livingston is being totally gay with someone named “Lee Dennison.” A claim filed this weekend in L.A. County Superior Court indicates that the “false and malicious” allegations appear almost immediately on Livingston’s Wiki when his reps correct the information. (Could the editor be… a scorned Lee Dennison?)

TMZ says the culprit also created fake Facebook profiles for both Livingston and Dennison, listing the two alleged gay homosexuals as “in a relationship.” Livingston is suing for libel, invasion of privacy and unauthorized use of his likeness. The fact that controversies like this imply being gay is a horrific allegation aside, Queerty points out that now Livingston’s page is guaranteed to devote a section to gayness regardless of the outcome of the case. Which is kind of a total win for the “hacker.”
Ron Livingston sues Wikipedia over gay rumors
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, this is assuming that the constant suggestion of his being gay and having had a relationship isn't of any consequence on his marriage.

Strange, why are you so angry at Livingston instead of the guy who's instigating this?
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i think SF secretly wants his Burger
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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He's basically suing a charity run website because someone called him names on it... you dont think thats dispicable?
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't know the details of the case, but it would make sense to sue them in order to get the IP from which the edits had been made.

It may well be that the only way to stop the postings is to find out who is doing them and sue that person, but organisations like wikipedia and facebook don't hand that information out without a concrete reason.

I don't know, but it might not be as bad a story as it's being painted.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Here's why I think Livingstone was absolutely right to sue Wikipedia - they knew about what their editor was doing and didn't stop it. If they didn't know, they should have. And they won't tell him who the bozo is.

The guy was purposefully spreading lies about Livingstone in a manner that could endanger is marriage and (possibly) his career.

And, oh yeah, kind of important here Strange Famous, he's suing Wikipedia to tell him who this person is, not for monetary damages. He's suing to be given the details on who this jackass is.

Kind of an important detail not in your original story, right?
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange Famous View Post
He's basically suing a charity run website because someone called him names on it... you dont think thats dispicable?
Wikipedia is comparable to an encyclopedic publication.

You don't think what this "hacker" is doing should be stopped?

Without knowing much about the case, from what I see, there is nothing despicable about what Livingston is doing. It's his life, his reputation, and his career.

I withhold final judgement considering we only have TMZ to go on. Seriously.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel_ View Post
I don't know, but it might not be as bad a story as it's being painted.
In my experience, things rarely are.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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at least he's not a Dick.....yet
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If I were a celebrity and someone kept posting false allegations about me, you bet I would sue. I think it would be completely stupid not too.

To think this guy is an asshole for protecting his reputation is simply moronic.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Livingstone is positioning himself has a romantic lead--has been since "Sex And the City". A rumor about him being gay could have very direct impact on his ability to land leading-man roles. If I were him, I'd be going after this pretty vigorously too. I don't see it as gay panic, so much as a necessary business move.

And relax, SF. Wikipedia protects contributor's identifiable info against everything but a court order. What's happened here is, the suit calls on them to release that information so the real rumormonger (which could be compared to online vandalism) can be pursued. None of this is outside Wikipedia's policies.
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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wait..wiki is a charity run org?

since when? i new they were non-profit that employed people.

if i posted something about you online that had the potential to ruin your reputation, career and marriage, then i'm sure you'd wait for me outside the pub to punch me into oblivion.

this is just the way normal people usually look after their interests.

anyways...what jazz and bastid said ^^.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Wikipedia is charity-run in the same sense that this place is: it's still around because of the donations of its users and contributors.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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They need a "jump to conclusions" mat.
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaniFaye View Post
at least he's not a Dick.....yet
I <3 U!! Bookmarked that page ... I especially like the Condi Rice entry!

OP, yeah I think he should sue for the info. I know I would.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:55 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Why's everyone calling him Livingstone? Is he trying to discover the source of the Nile?

I really think the OP got the story twisted. First, He's not suing for money. He's suing for them to release the identity of the person defaming his reputation It's not about him being sue happy or anti-gay. Far from being a dick imo.
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:16 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxys View Post
I <3 U!! Bookmarked that page ... I especially like the Condi Rice entry!

OP, yeah I think he should sue for the info. I know I would.
I totally love that site, I cant wait for more entries
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reese View Post
Why's everyone calling him Livingstone? Is he trying to discover the source of the Nile?
I presume he is.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:16 AM   #19 (permalink)
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What's interesting to me (in legal terms) is whether or not saying someone is gay is legally considered "slander". Is it slanderous to say ANYTHING untrue about someone?
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:18 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derwood View Post
What's interesting to me (in legal terms) is whether or not saying someone is gay is legally considered "slander". Is it slanderous to say ANYTHING untrue about someone?
I think it merely has to be a false claim. Whether being called gay is or isn't malicious is beside the point I think. There are possible damages that could result out of these actions.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:33 AM   #21 (permalink)
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If he has asked Wiki numerous times to cease and desist with these rumors and they haven't for whatever reason... then he has no other alternative.

I like Wiki, but when it comes to people, they truly need editing and fact checking and allow the person some control as to what is in their bio. Otherwise, they deserve lawsuits, they become no better than the National Enquirer, Star, etc., a checkout gossip rag.

To me this hurts Wiki's rep. more than his, I applaud his standing up for himself.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:13 PM   #22 (permalink)
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This clearly isn't a case of someone who works for Wikipedia doing the editing. Since anyone with web access can edit these pages (and there are now hundreds of thousands of entries there), it's impossible for the staff there to keep up. To disallow user created content/editing is to destroy what makes Wikipedia unique. It's a lose/lose situation for celebrities.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:30 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derwood View Post
This clearly isn't a case of someone who works for Wikipedia doing the editing. Since anyone with web access can edit these pages (and there are now hundreds of thousands of entries there), it's impossible for the staff there to keep up. To disallow user created content/editing is to destroy what makes Wikipedia unique. It's a lose/lose situation for celebrities.
Then I see him winning the case and more suits coming. You have to have safeguards, plain and simple. These people aren't Irving Schnieder, who lives down the block and no one is ever going to truly wiki for him.

These people have fans, family, friends, business people, etc. from all over the world. Some people use Wiki and have no idea it's user based and anyone can add anything. If it affects their lives and they have repeatedly asked it to be stopped and Wiki refused and allowed it to continue, then he has a good case.

If WIki cannot somehow protect people and organizations from false attacks like this then they'll eventually be sued out of existence and rightfully so. You can't slander, libel and just tarnish someone's good name and then say, "well we allow anyone to put anything in there." That's negligent.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:35 PM   #24 (permalink)
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As I understand libel has to be damaging and misleading.

The person who put this up (if he is traceable, which is unlikely) can argue it is both a joke and not damaging. Clearly to assert that being called a homosexual is insulting or damaging is outrageously homophobic. As to damaging his relationship - it must already be shot if his wife believes wikipedia over him in regards to him being in a gay marriage.

Perhaps a case that "the lady doth protest too much"?
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:45 PM   #25 (permalink)
 
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i wonder if the lesson of this kinda peculiar little affair has more to do with the unintended consequences of trying to stop infotainment on this order from being posted to a space like wikipedia than anything about wikipedia proper. i mean, there's a whole lot more attention directed at the in itself pretty uninteresting matter of ron livingstone's sexual preferences than there would be had he not tried to sue to get the name(s) of the writer(s) of the relevant infotainment, presumably so he could either stop (restraining order of some kind) or sue them.

typically, wikipedia is not a bad information source--i know that the skeeves some people out because it is a collectively edited affair, which for some reason is assumed to undercut reliability, as if publishing something under your own individual name guarantees the infotainment (trust me, it doesn't necessarily)...typically, the check against that in an academic context anyway is peer review, which you'd think wikipedia has covered.

this sort of infotainment circulates all over the place, just as often (it seems) floated by press agents as by "malicious" Others.
so it's hardly a matter of anything particular to wikipedia.

but yeah, if this sort of infotainment were to appear about me, after this, i'd probably opt for pretending it wasn't there.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:53 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I can't believe this actually evolved (de-?) into a debate of sorts.

I don't have much to add, but would like to see if this goes anywhere.

It brings back to mind a short blurb I read about two years ago nearly along the same lines: There was an article featuring the rise in popularity of Wikipedia at the time, yet they also forewarned that it is entirely user-contributed, and not everything there should be taken as canon. As a hilarious example, they mentioned a wiki article of some member of the British Parliament, where in his biography, it stated that he was a "(delicious libertarian) rhubarb pie".
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:58 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I have nothing to add other than I loved him (in a non gay way) in Band of Brothers as Captain Lewis Nixon, he did a great job.
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Old 12-08-2009, 01:35 PM   #28 (permalink)
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This is a non-story.

Wikipedia is doing what's necessary to protect their users by refusing to divulge personal information without a court order, and Mr. Livingston is doing what's necessary to protect his reputation (and by extension his career as an actor) by obtaining the court order.

Wikipedia logs IP addresses for every edit made to the site. Once Mr. Livingston's lawyers have received that, the next step I believe is to file the lawsuit for libel and request a subpoena of the ISP that owns the address for the user's personal information. How far it goes from there depends on when the last edit is made, how far back the ISP keeps logs for, and whether or not the subpoena is granted. This is my understanding of how it works from observing similar cases in the past, though I'm not a lawyer and can't claim any expertise.

Up to now all parties are acting exactly as expected, and nobody has done anything that can be considered in any way unethical.

Let me know if something actually interesting happens.
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Old 12-08-2009, 01:56 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Well, and Livingston's actions are entirely consistent with Wikipedia's policy for dealing with issues like this. They don't release editor's info without a court order, but happily do when ordered by the courts. Livingston is following WIKIPEDIA'S own procedure here.

This is entirely a non-story.
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:04 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Agreed. Non-story.
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:29 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I think i'm going to sue Gucci and World's King for calling me (noun)fag everyday.

*****

If something like this was effecting my business or personal life, you damn well better believe I will put a stop to it anyway I can.

Agree non-story.
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