Floyd Landis Tries The Wikipedia Defense

from the wikis-against-doping dept

In his ongoing bid to retain his Tour De France title, alleged doper Floyd Landis has taken to the web. Earlier this week, he announced he would put his complete defense online for all to see and mull over. But simply posting some documents online isn’t in itself all that impressive. What’s interesting is that in addition to this, Landis has been engaging with online communities and message boards comprised of people who are interested in the case. These include avid cyclists, as well as people who are experts in forensic chemistry, law, statistics, and other fields that might relate. It’s his hope that the internet will provide a mechanism for people with disparate knowledge to craft and articulate a strong defense for him. Landis himself calls it the “Wikipedia defense”. Obviously, executing the Wikipedia defense might have some challenges, and online message boards might not be the best way for people to work together (perhaps he should actually put up a wiki). But it’ll be an interesting experiment nonetheless into how an argument or legal defense can be a developed by a loose-knit group with a common interest.

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Comments on “Floyd Landis Tries The Wikipedia Defense”

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Jo Mamma says:



I am extremely annoyed when little whiny, bitchy adolescent types post to boards, WITH oveously n0 brians in they’re h3ad but I think ragging on an intelligent person because English is not their primary language is a little harsh.

As long as they can form understandable sentences and make good points, I personally welcome the contribution.

You should probably consider going back to your mom’s basement and back on /.

Aaron says:

Just like the Netflix story a few days ago, this speaks to the power of the crowd, even if they don’t necessarily have a direct stake in the outcome.

Small contributions from a lot of people work just as well (if not better) than large contributions by a few. This is the idea behind many open source software projects, that even if somebody’s not getting paid, they can and will contribute in thier field of expertise.

There’s absolutely no reason for it to be confined to the software model, and it really never has been. Mastercard used it in advertizing. That it can go into the legal/PR field is not surprising at all.

Daniel (profile) says:

Specialists and specialized knowledge.

It’s a novel idea and certainly should produce a lot of good suggestions for directions he can take for his defense, but I would look for a REALLY good attorney to head up and guide my defense if I were in his position. While Wikipedia is a great reference overall, once you go in depth, you need to get past the crowd and go with someone who lives the process.

Another analogy to this would be in the world of chess. Kasparov has – on occasion – played “the world vs Kasparov” chess games, where the collective knowledge of everyone goes against him. Although they typically produce good games, he STILL wins.

trust but verify (user link) says:

Actually relevant...

Linked this into my roundup of Landis stuff at trust but verify. I disagree about setting up a ‘real’ wiki compared to reusing daily peloton forum. There is an existing, vital community there that would be hard to replicate at a new site.

He has real legal help. This is both an extra set of input, and a way of working out how to explain the (eventual) story to the public. The battle is 1/2 legal, and 1/2 public relations (assuming he wins). Engaging the internet folks at a grassroots level is part of a long-term PR strategy that makes sense to me.


Donald Duck says:

I can waste my time on you D*** H**D

I’ve read many of your stupid post before Anonymous Coward and it seems to me that you want to be the first poster in all of these techdirt blogs.

Since you were not this time you found a spelling error and made fun of me. You have all kinds of grammar problems I can point them all out but that would waste my time.

One post you typed in ADVISE instead of the word ADVICE.
Where was your proficiency in that sentence?

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