According to the main Italian press agency ANSA, the major of the beautiful city Florence, Leonardo Domenici, has just filed a complaint to take in court Wikipedia, accused of defamation.
Reason: the encyclopedic entry about him, currently obscured as a legal precaution*, reported a story about his wife being favored by the city administration in public contracts. In a note, major Domenici states that this is “a slander”, as already ruled in a trial.
Question: since Wikipedia is open to public editing and discussion, did Domenici try to rectify the story, possibly abducting the aforementioned ruling as a reference, before trying to take this case in a court? And, most important, who’s legally responsible for editorial content which is freely editable by anyone and whose authority is supposed to derive by external references and editing history/discussion?
*March the 1st, a couple hours later…
A previous version of the article dating to August 2007 has been restored, removing the whole “Criticisms” section as shown by this chronology diff.
For those who can read Italian, here’s the Wikipedia editors discussion about this case: at the core, they’re raising same question I asked myself this morning: couldn’t he simply click the “Edit” button?