Arnold Buzdygan (photo) – sometime wannabe presidential candidate, and a regular on usernet sites in Poland – went to court in Wroclaw, southwestern Poland, last week, to sue Wikpedia Polska for deformation of character.
Is the victim/litigation culture entrenching itself in Poland, as it has done in the United Kingdom? Let’s hope not.
Buzdygan claims that his fiancée’s mother refused to let the marriage go ahead because of an entry on the Polish version of Wikipedia, which, in the ‘controversies’ section, calls him ‘a troll’ for his vulgar interjections on blogs and forums. thenews.pl reports:
Buzdygan claims that calling him a “troll” is offensive. “This is a very grave offense among Internet users. Something like a paedophile elsewhere”, says Buzdygan, quoted by the tvn24.pl news portal…
“Mr. Buzdygan’s claims are ridiculous. Wikipedia is not our product, it is being created by Internet users. Basically, anyone can contribute. The administrator’s role is solely to prevent vandalism”, said a Wikipedia editor…
However, Andrzej Malicki, at the Circuit Bar Council in Wroclaw, disagrees: “Internet media should adhere to the same rules as newspapers, for instance. If offensive material is published, the editor should bear in mind the possible consequences.”
Troll? ‘Offensive material’?
Wikipedia’s own entry on the word says:
Someone who intentionally posts controversial or contrary messages in an on-line community such as an on-line discussion forum or group with the singular intention of baiting users into an argumentative response. It often has a broader meaning referring to any shady trouble making Internet activity.
So, it is possible to waste precious Polish court time – and it is precious: cases can take years to get as far as court – by claiming that saying someone is a ‘troublemaker’ on the internet is 'offensive'. LOL, as troll-types say.
It is bad enough when big business use the courts to shut people’s opinions up which they don’t like, but when internet users go to the same lengths, then it is about time we called cranks like Buzdygan something worse than a ‘troll’. How about 'dickhead timewaster'?
His fiancée’s mother is a very wise woman, indeed.