Executives at the New York Times managed to say they believed that publicity around the case of a journalist kidnapped in Afghanistan would make him more valuable to his captors, and increase odds that he would die in captivity. To this end, they worked with news organizations to enforce a news blackout on the case -- and they did the same with Wikipedia. Seriously, guys? There's a slippery slope for you.
A dozen times, user-editors posted word of the kidnapping on Wikipedia's page on Mr. Rohde, only to have it erased. Several times the page was frozen, preventing further editing -- a convoluted game of cat-and-mouse that clearly angered the people who were trying to spread the information of the kidnapping.
Even so, details of his capture cropped up time and again, however briefly, showing how difficult it is to keep anything off the Internet -- even a sentence or two about a person who is not especially famous.
The sanitizing was a team effort, led by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, along with Wikipedia administrators and people at The Times.
Keeping News of Kidnapping Off Wikipedia (NYT)
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