Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that allows to edit its content, has implemented a ban contributions that come from computers owned by the Church of Scientology, saying it’s a punishment for repeated and deceptive editing of articles related to the controversial religion.
According to a report by the Register, the arbitration against the church, the longest in Wikipedia's history, ended this week with a 10 - 0 ruling, the last abstained from voting.
The ruling also further banned a number of editors by name.
In one of the longest-running disputes in Wikipedia's history, the Web site's arbitration committee said, All IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and its associates, broadly interpreted, are to be blocked as if they were open proxies. An IP address is a code that identifies a computer's location on the Internet.
The committee said online contributors, using computers apparently owned by the church, were coordinating to change articles about Scientology and advance a single, specific viewpoint.
You could imply that there is a conflict of interest, said Dan Rosenthal, a media contact for Wikipedia. Rather than two unrelated people getting together, he said advocates of scientology were getting together, saying, 'Let's work together to make this a more pro-scientology article.'
The Church of Scientology, founded by sci-fi writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1953, has had a long and controversial history online— dating back to Usenet groups, where critics maintain that Scientology is a cult that brainwashes its members and drains them financially.
The Church, which teaches that humans are reincarnated and lived on other planets, says it is a legitimate religion. Many celebrities have been linked to Scientology, namely Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Lisa Marie Presley.