06/08/2014 Newsnight


Will the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas be extended? Boris Johnson's ambition to stand as a MP; Isis; an interview with Wikipedia's founder; and loom bands.

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Tonight confusion about whether the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas


will be extended. Peace talks are under way in Cairo. While in Gaza


the true cost of the four-week conflict can now be counted. We


report from the rubble. This neighbourhood and the


destruction here is immense. He was certainly creative when


dodging the issue. It might be that I wanted to have a career in writing


romantic fiction, for instance! No matter how many times he was asked.


This is a now super mass at thiscated subject. Masticate a bit


more, spit it out, spit it out. Today, finally he spat it out. I


will try to find somewhere to stand in 2015. Thank goodness for that.


Censoring history, Wikipedia's founder talks about his fears for


the Internet after the EU's rite right to be forgotten. Do you like


my loom bands, this has earned millions in the last few years, we


thought it was time to make a film about them. The ceasefire in Gaza


has moved into the second day. By halt in the bombardment will be


greeted with relief from both sides. There seems little hope of the peace


talks producing a definitive conclusion to hostilities. We have


been in Gaza assessing both the scale of the destruction so far and


the effect on the lives and loyalties of the people there. The


ice-cream shop in Gaza City has re-opened. A cup or cone costs two


shekels, that is 35p. The wait is worth it. It is a small reward for


surviving four weeks of air strikes and explosions. It is good to see


the stopping of the bombardment. It is good to see everybody go to the


market, go to his work, go to his job. It is very bad to see a lot of


men in hospital without hands, without their legs. This


four-year-old in the red shirt wants to make sure his order is not


forgotten. He holds his ground and gets his ice-cream. It is the


family's first outing since the truce. Mousa has had leukaemia, he


still gets treatments in a hospital in Israel. His parents find


themselves depending upon the same country that bombs their land.


TRANSLATION: The Israeli doctors are professional and humane. They even


call us during this war to ask how our son was. But the Israeli army is


different. What they have done to our children is barbaric. How do you


even begin to clean up here in Gaza? The neighbourhood was torn up by


Israel's offensive. I want to give you a sense of where we are and of


what's happened here. Israel itself is in that direction, where the


fields are, and for almost a month the Israeli air force and then the


Israeli army carried out strikes across the border here into Gaza.


And this is the Shajia neighbourhood and the destruction here is immense.


Wherever you look buildings have been either hit or they have got


bullet holes in them, windows have been blown out, and there is rubble


all around me. Israel's army says it went against this neighbourhood


because it believed that Palestinian militants were digging tunnels from


here to go across the border Israel and the militant groups led by Hamas


were also carrying out rocket strikes from here. Of course the


militants were hit, but when you stand here you realise that many,


many civilians would have been hit as well. This was their home. This


woman shows us around the remains of her house. She has eight children.


She has to find them a new home. Israel says that she and her


neighbours should blame Hamas for the war. But they don't.


TRANSLATION: God be with them, they are stronger now. I hope that God


will help the resistance to win and declare victory. The armed men of


Gaza see themselves as winners. This afternoon gunmen from Islamic Jihad


buried one of their commanders. No-one here is pressing the militant


groups to give way. For the first time in almost a month people here


are able to take some steps back towards a normal life. Here they are


getting money to buy things for their families. But they want so


much more than that. They want the ability to come and go from Gaza,


the ability to get things in from the outside world. They want Israel


to end its restrictions. And that is the same demand that Hamas itself is


making of the Israeli Government in indirect negotiations. In the


harbour fishermen are slowly getting back to work. TRANSLATION: There are


a lot of fish here now, because fishing was banned for a long time.


It was very dangerous for fishermen. So we hope that the calm will


continue. For now fishermen and swimmers enjoy the quiet. But recent


history of Gaza teaches a simple lesson, calm is eventually followed


by another war. Back Back in Britain the political


reverbations continue. Yesterday Jose Manuel Barroso resigned over


what she -- Baroness Warsi resigned over what she called the politically


indefensible policy of the Government towards the conflict.


Today the former International Development Secretary, Andrew


Mitchell has called for an arms embargo on Israel. The Liberal


Democrats have also been outspoken in their desire to see an arms


boycott. I'm joined now by our diplomatic editor.


Is there now a sense of gathering political momentum behind these


calls for an arms embargo? There is, undoubtedly. But still the Prime


Minister has not made his decision. Today there was a bit of a flurry in


Westminster because it was believed that Philip Hammond, the Foreign


Secretary was about to make a statement, and it was widely


believed it was to announce an embargo, but it didn't happen. I'm


told Downing Street is still holding this on a tight rein, we haven't


moved forward from their position stated last night that the whole


matter is under review. That is keeping their options open. It could


be that tomorrow they do take that step and announce it. What about


outside the realms of military supply, are there any signs of


businesses disinvesting or curtailing activity in or with


Israel? You can grade this by different types of business. On the


military front, yes. There has already been controversy about G 4 S


and security contracts in the West Bank, the company saying it has to


step back from those in three years time when they are gone. There is a


boycott and disinvest movement that has been highlighting products


produced in the Occupied Territories. We have also been


hearing about other things today, interestingly a entity called ABP, a


Dutch public sector pension fund, it has been engaged in conversations by


activists about stopping its connections with three Israeli


banks. It is the third-biggest pension fund in the world. Things


like this may well be happening and it may well be grassroots pressure.


It is things to look out for over the next few months at annual


general meetings and shareholders meetings, at pension fundholders


meetings, those types of things where we might see a change in


underlying public attitudes influencing the pattern of


investment and trade. Thank you. The row over Gaza goes beyond trade and


politics, spilling tonight into the arts as well. For the past eight


years the Tricycle Theatre in London has played host to the UK Jewish


Film Festival, partially funded by the Israeli Embassy. Now the theatre


has said that due to the sensitivity of the conflict the theatre's board


had taken the decision not to host the festival under its current


sponsorship arrangement. They are not saying no to the festival or


Jewish films, they are just saying no to Israeli Government funding.


But the move has brought a wave of criticism. The lawyer with me is a


board member of the Tricycle, and we have the chief executive of Jewish


leadership council. If I may begin with you, the conflict has been


going on for years on and off and the festival itself has been running


at the Tricycle for eight years. What is different today and this


year? It is not this year, it was the moment at which it came to deal


with the publicity which arose in the midst of this current conflict.


The Tricycle is deeply proud of the association with the Film Festival.


We hope the UK Jewish Film Festival will be held this year at the


Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn. Why did this happen. I don't know if you


have been to the theatre, it is in Kilburn, a mixed community. We have


all views, and the situation had arisen last year that already there


were protests. We were willing and happy to tough it out. We want the


festival to continue at the theatre, but this year we took the view that


right now putting a logo, for example, of the Israeli Embassy in


London on the festival material would be taken by some people as an


incitement and provocation. We asked that the issue of Israeli Government


funding be reviewed. We have offered ourselves to make up the shortfall


as a sign of our commitment to have the festival and the view was taken


by the Jewish Film Festival they did not wish to do that. They have


adopted a position of principle, you accept that the Jewish Film Festival


is supported by the Israeli Government or we don't come. Me.


That was the situation we found ourselves in. Simon is that a


position of principle to you? The Jewish Film Festival is a bonderful


sell -- wonderful celebration of Jewish culture. It is a major


bridge-builder towards positive interfaith relations within London.


No-one is trying to stop the festival? By the Tricycle Theatre


giving the Jewish Film Festival a "ditch the embassy" ultimatum is


putting itself in the way of deciding what is or isn't Jewish


culture, unless they are going to take exactly the same approach to


any Government that funds any particular film or event that is put


on at the Tricycle theatre, I am afraid this looks to most people in


our community as though it is a discriminatory boycott. Can you


crith another Government-fund -- scythe another Government-funded


project? What the Tricycle Theatre has done here is try to look at


Jewish culture through the prism of its opinion of Israeli Government


policy. It is as though if you are holding an Islamic Film Festival you


would look at it through the prise. M of perhaps the Syrian Government.


Only if the Syrian Government was funding the festival? They have


effectively given an ultimatum and said if you will ditch the embassy


then you can continue, but the indelible link between Jewish


culture and the nature of Israel is the point of principle. It is not


for others to decide what is Jewish culture. So you can't criticise


Israel without maligning Jewish culture? But what I want to know. Is


that what you are saying? Of course you can criticise Israel. I'm


wondering what they are trying to achieve? I think what is happening


is they are trying to adopt their opinion of the position of a foreign


Government on a foreign conflict and trying to interpose it into


multifaith, multicultural Britain. The only people who suffer through


this, because this is the Jewish Film Festival, it is not some


propaganda arm of the Israeli Government. There are films that


hugely critical of Israel that show all sides of the argument, that by


boycotting in this way, or threatening to boycott in this way,


what they are doing is they are interposing their view of the


conflict and trying to impose that on the project. I think the Tricycle


gets ?725,000 off the Arts Council, the British Government, which arms


still Israel, why don't you ban any involvement of productions at the


Tricycle that are paid for by the British Government? Let me answer


that in a moment, first let me say this, Simon I think is a lawyer,


facts are important. He has made allegations that don't exist. What


is the Tricycle doing. It has simply said whilst this conflict is in the


current situation and we have made very clear to the Jewish Film


Festival the situation may be different in three weeks or five


weeks or eight weeks, it is not a never deal with this Israeli Embassy


issue. We will revisit the situation. What have we actually


done? We have said on the Tricycle board we won't take funding from any


party involved in the conflict. If there was funding from the


Palestinian Authority or Hamas we would, hang on, we would also not


accept our association with that. But more to the point, we have drawn


a distinction between associating with the political arms of the


state, the diplomatic representation, embassies on the one


hand, and film funding. We have said the films you want to play it is up


to you, if something is funded by the Israeli film fund that is a


different thing an artistic thing. What the Jewish Film Festival is


trying to do is associate, and just confirmed by Simon, with the


political arm of Israel. Jewish is one thing, Israel is another, and


they have mixed it, that is unfortunate, but not discriminatory,


and almost certainly not a boycott. There is a Jewish gentleman on the


board of the Tricycle and the artistic of the National Theatre who


is Jewish and come out in support of the Tricycle's decision, it is not


as simple as saying this is an take on Jewish culture when Jewish people


are involved in the decision to reject the funding? It is not clear


to me what they are trying to achieve by doing this? I will tell


you, Artistic Director has stated that no money from any Government


agency involved in the current conflict will be used to stage


productions at this theatre and the cinema? If that is applied to all


funding from all Governments of any type. She's categorical it is, in


the current conflict? That is fine, all funding at any time from any


Government, if that is what they are prepared to do it is not


discriminatory. But it isn't. If they believe it will have any impact


on the ability to achieve a just, lasting and permanent agreement


between Israel and the Palestinians, which people in the Jewish community


fervently want to achieve. Accept the ones in favour of the Tricycle's


decision? Then highlighting and trying to put conditions upon the


way that Jewish culture is expressed is not the way. Thank you very much.


He said he wouldn't do it, he said he didn't want do t but he's done


it. Boris Johnson today set his sights on a speedy return to


Westminster, and so unleashed the flurry of furious speculation that


routinely accompanies his every move. What does this most mercurial


of politician's search for a safe seat mean for David Cameron's


leadership and even Britain's relationship with the European Union


which, is afterall what today's big speech was supposed to be all about.


We have been finding out. The thing I love is being Mayor of


London, it is the most wonderful job anyone can have, I'm getting on with


that. Boris Johnson has always denied having grander ambitions.


Would you like to be Prime Minister? Well I would like to be the lead


singer of an international rock group. You want to be Prime


Minister? What I want is to spend the next, my time remaining as mayor


to do as well as I can as Mayor of London. But the Mayor of London has


announced today that he wants to be an MP again after next year's


general election. And in doing so he has kicked off the next Conservative


Party leadership contest. Now you might be thinking why are we talking


about leadership elections afterall David Cameron's personal ratings are


better than those of Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, and the Tories


are only a few points off Labour, which, all things considered, at


this point in the cycle not that bad. Well, that's because people


anticipate that there might soon be a vacancy. David Cameron may not be


Prime Minister in a year's time, he may, he may not. If he isn't and Ed


Miliband is in Downing Street instead, there will be a Tory


leadership election and we know from today if that's so Boris Johnson is


likely to be in the Commons and will be a contender. Johnson already has


a clang of supportive MPs, they say that unlike the Prime Minister's a


proven winner. He's worth 5% in the polls one of his backers told me


today. Boris Johnson is Britain's most popular politician, all the


polling we find he outstrips and outrates all the other politicians


far above David Cameron a Nigel Farage and all the rest. In fact his


popularity Railtrackings are in line with those of Prince Charles and we


know that the Royal Family is untouchable when it comes to the


public's opinion of them. But it won't be an easy stroll to higher


office. Johnson is a man with skeletons that have already escaped


the closet. Making up quotes, lying to your party leader, wanting to


part of someone being physically important, you are a nasty piece of


work aren't you? I think all three things I would dispute. Johnson's


current popularity may have something to do with the fact that


few people actually know his views. His mixed record in London is very


little scrutinised. Can a man who once had to apologise to the City of


Liverpool cut it as a national politician? I'm apologising


obviously for all the offence I have caused and any hurt that people feel


as a result of the article. I must apologise for that because I think


people do feel very, very strongly about that. Can he relate to


ordinary voters? Which helps every household. Do you even know the cost


of a pint of milk? About 80p or something like that. No it is about


40-something pence. One of the biggish ones. This is classic Boris,


I said a pint of milk. OK, OK, well there you go. Can you convince you


that he's the man that you want facing Vladimir Putin? Although


Britain is a country that likes to laugh at itself, it is not a joke


country, therefore it doesn't want a joke Prime Minister. When you are


involved in serious negotiations, there is a certain gravity that


comes with the position. The real vulnerability for Boris Johnson is


he can't cope with that. He's not up to it. And the joke wears really


very thin. So, yes, the Mayor of London has a uniquely popular


political brand, one that slightly annoys other senior Tories. But it


is not yet clear that he's got what it takes. And here with me now are


the Times columnists and Polly Toynebee from the Guardian. I think


it was Cole Porter who wrote "all the world loves a clown" will they


still love Boris if he gets serious? That is the big question, he's not


standing for leadership of the Conservative Party, that is the


future. What David Cameron has is an uphill struggle to win the next


general election, and he wants the most popular politician in Britain


beside him on the campaign trail. The next election is poply described


as -- popularly described as a battle between David Cameron and Ed


Miliband. But the Conservatives have a wider ambition, they don't want it


the two men against each other, they want it as a choice, you have


Osbourne, Hague, May and Boris, you have a strong Conservative team


against Ed Miliband, the discredited Ed Balls, and who else? In tough


times the Tories want to say we have the team to lead Britain, and Boris


helps that. What position does he play? Sort of role that you remember


in 2005 when Gordon Brown and Tony Blair went on a campaign together


and had that famous ice-cream photo opportunity. He's still the jester


in the court of Cameron? Youth Not a jest e but someone alongside David


Cameron who shows that someone who has run one of the biggest cities in


the world is alongside David Cameron making the pitch for re-election.


Are you convinced by the Boris bonhomie? Not at all, I would have


thought behind the scenes that the Conservatives would have been very


angry indeed, the fact that Boris is pretty much announcing to the world


that he doesn't think David Cameron will win the next election. He's not


a team player and never has been. He's a team of one. His entire


endeavour is about promoting Boris. There isn't anything else to his


agenda. To step forward now he could easily wait until after his mayoral


term is over, get himself a seat then. It is because he thinks


Cameron won't win, why now? David Cameron has invited him back, he has


made it clear repeatedly behind the scenes and in front of the cameras


that he wants Boris back. It is a nice spin. It was a nice tweet from


Portugal, but the grinding and gnashing of teeth. Conservative


candidates in marginal seats will think it is very unhelpful indeed


for Boris to step forward and thinking about what will happen when


the Conservatives lose the next election. I bet they want Boris to


visit their constituency because he's a vote winner. I'm sure they


will. Could David Cameron have said anything other than welcoming him


back into the fold, he couldn't have stated a desire not to see him back


on the Conservative benches in the Commons could he? That is what he


had to today, but previously in a very important interview he has


said. At no point could he have said he doesn't want him in the


parliamentary party could he? Of course if you asked him and he said


that, but he volunteered it and proactively said he wants Boris


back. Where Polly is right, the Tories have an uphill struggle at


the next general election. We have to find one million more votes from


somewhere. Here is someone who won in a Labour-voting city, twice, once


in the middle of a very difficult austerity period. Not to have this


guy helping you win the next election, an incredibly important


election, that would be David Cameron's failure. It will be


difficult if Boris is there after the next election and David Cameron


is elected. Suddenly there is an alternative to Cameron in the


Commons. Before then he is an asset. Has he got his eyes on the big prize


of leadership? Absolutely, Boris wants to be Tory leader. He has


denied it many times and you reminded us he would not seek a


return to the House of Commons? He lives by different rules to most


people. How does he get away with that? I think we knew when you asked


him and others asked him that he would run for office in the future


we knew he would want to do it. Does it matter very much, Ed Miliband is


MP for Doncaster and leader of the opposition. You can do two jobs and


Boris can do two jobs. Because Boris keeps lying, he keeps saying he's


not doing something and then he does it. For the time being he is such a


buffoon it is acceptable. People laugh, it is Boris, we have seen all


the funny pictures of him. When it comes to a serious position. Mayor


of London is a pretty serious position? It doesn't have a lot of


power. Transport yet. He has brought CrossRail one of the biggest


investments in Europe, working with the Chancellor. That is a pretty


significant achievement. The Conservative Chancellor was always


going to give it to a Conservative mayor, fair enough. Boris has only


ever wanted one thing and that is to promote himself. I can't think of


anything where Boris has passionately committed himself to


something he really cares about that isn't about a Boris's bus, Boris's


bike, Boris's zip wire, whatever it is, if it is some sort of gimmicky


Boris thing. Where is his passionate conviction about house anything


London. Very little done. The things that really matter that London


really needs. Polly Toynebee we can continue this conversation until the


election, I suspect. Many thanks to both of you. Events in Gaza have, of


course, largely overshadowed conflicts elsewhere in the Middle


East this month. But today in Iraq more than 30 people were killed in a


series of car bombs in districts of Baghdad. Meanwhile outside the Iraqi


capital ISIS has been consolidating its control of northern parts of the


country since their capture of Mosul in June. We can reveal the first


evidence that British Jihadists that had previously joined ISIS in Syria


have also been fighting in Iraq. We're joined now. What more can you


tell us? There has been a lot of focus placed on the issue of British


Muslims travelling to Syria to joined the conflict there. We know


some have joined this group ISIS. We know in the recent months ISIS have


been expanding in their base in northern Syria across the border


into northern Iraq. Concerns have been expressed that British Muslims


would be fighting with ISIS in Syria but also in Iraq. We have seen no


evidence of this taking place until now. I however have been speaking to


a man called Abu Abdullah, he is a 20-year-old British Eritrean man


part of ISIS, a convert to Islam. Now he says that he at the moment is


in Raqqab, he has returned from fighting in Ramadi across the border


in Iraq. He has posted photos on his social media site. This is one of


them. This is purportedly him in front of a tank in Ramadi, this is


another image of him posing with a gun in Ramadi. We can't be 100% sure


they are from Ramadi, but his account of being in Iraq has been


coroborated by other British foreign fighters in ISIS. And we know that


this man Abu Abdullah is part of ISIS, he featured in one of his plop


Ganda -- propaganda videos featured this weekend. I'm from the UK, I'm


Abdullah, there is nothing better than living in the land, the rights


and the, you know you are not living under oppression, we don't need any


democracy, we don't need any communism, we don't need anything


like that, all we need is Syria. Some insight there into his thinking


what do we know about his actions, what has this character been up to?


I have been speaking to him via an instant messaging service. He went


to Syria nine months ago but he moved on to Iraq to be at the


forefront of the fighting. I asked him to describe the situation in


Ramadi whilst he was there. He said it is the best fighting and the


hardest fighting. You are in a city made of concrete and everything is


blowing up. But Iraq is also the place associated with some of the


most shocking images released by ISIS. For example the execution en


masse of a group of Iraqi Shia army soldiers. I asked him how he could


justify these types of actions even if he isn't involved in themselves.


He said ISIS treats his enemies the way they would treat them. I asked


why fight in Syria and Iraq surely they are different conflicts. He


said in his opinion Shia are Shia, it doesn't matter what sect it is,


if people knew their belief it disgusts me to be honest. To show


you how hardcore, I will show you a shocking image, it is very


distressing. This is from his social media account. It is back in Syria,


he's posing in front of a decapitated body of an army member


from the Syrian President Assad. I asked how and why thought it was


acceptable behaviour. He said to me the people love to see the heads of


Nusayris on spike, and I feel no sympathy for them because they are


enemies of Allah. Indeed, what more do we know about him and his


background? He told me his family are Christian but he converted


around the age of 16. He told me his family do know where he is. That


they have been in contact with him. He said that this is what they say


to him, that like any parents they say to him come back, you are crazy.


He says he's here for the sake of Allah and nothing else, there is no


going back. He went on to say that he's happy there and that why would


he go back to somewhere, to the UK and make himself unhappy and in


Barz, in prison for example. He clearly doesn't want to come back to


the UK. But this case will raise concern about the spread of British


fighters from Syria to other parts of the region. Thank you. Where he


hear tonight of a fresh crisis on the ground in northern Iraq. Human


rights groups have reported that 40,000 people are trapped on a


mountain without water or aid. Some 25,000 of them children. They face a


stark choice, if they descend they risk being massacred by the Jihadi


group Islamic State, known as ISIS, but if they stay it could mean death


by dehydration, aid agencies are warning it could be a humanitarian


disaster on a grand scale. We have our guest from amnesty international


talking to us from Iraq. How much do we know about how this situation has


arisen, how it has happened? Well it has happened because those who fled


on Sunday when ISIS militants took over the town and areas around it,


some of them did not manage to flee on time, so they could only get to


the mountain. The road accessing the mountains were then blocked by ISIS,


so since then it has not been possible for them to leave. It has


not been possible to get any humanitarian aid to them by road. So


only in the last couple of days there has been a little bit of


humanitarian aid getting to them via air drops. But really most of the


people that I have been speaking to of those who are trapped on the


mountain and I have been speaking to many of them have not received any


aid. How much do we know about the specific conditions that they are


currently enduring? The conditions are absolutely horrific. Today I was


speaking to a man who has lost two young daughters. One was killed on


the spot as they were fleeing, the other one had an injury which could


have probably been easily treated if she had been able to get to some


sort of medical facility. Obviously that's impossible where they are


trapped in the mountain so the little girl has died. We are hearing


other horrendous stories, the lack of food is bad enough, but it is


bearable for a few days, the lack of water when it is more than 40


degrees, it is not. And especially for the very little, for the


elderly, for people who are sick and there are many out of the tens of


thousands of those who are trapped on the mountain. Many thanks indeed.


Students, pub quiz masters and quite frankly most journalists would be


lost without it. But the Wikipedia project is almost infinate in its


cope and ambition. Now in its 13th year the on-line encyclopaedia


written by unpaid contributors and invites you to imagine a world where


every single human being can share freely in the sum of all knowledge,


currently registers over 21 billion hits a month. Its founder joins us


shortly. But first we have this report from the annual Wiki-mania


event in London for the first time this week.


Wiki-mania is the annual gathering of the Wikipedia community. This


year for the tenth bash they have come for the first time to London,


or at least the sub-tropical-like jungle bit of London inside the


Barbican centre. It wouldn't really be in the spirit of the


collaborative nature of Wikipedia for this report to be the product of


a single voice. We need to throw it open to the Wiki community. Where


shall we start? We could first find out what the point of this event is?


Wikipedia is an enormous project, there is something like 100,000


regular contributors and 20 million since it started. And this is a


chance for them to come together and talk face-to-face and talk about the


global strategy and the future. This was an opportunity to announce a


response to the "right to be forgotten", this refers to a


European Court of Justice that Google and other search engines must


delete articles about individuals that are out of date, irrelevant and


no longer relevant. The ruling in itself is unworkable. The Internet


is vast, information that stays on it stays on for a very long time. We


don't believe the promise taking down one link makes it hard to find,


just because it is harder to find a person's information, doesn't mean


the information is missing. Wikipedia will publish a list of


every entry on the site that search engines no longer link to as a


result of compliance with the ECJ ruling. It is not like Wikipedia


isn't used to some big rows over content. Real world battles rapidly


turn into Wiki battles. The on going conflict between Israel and


Palestine has become one of the many contests to own history. It is


interesting to see how for example the recent Gaza conflict, even more


who doesn't speak English, Hebrew or haric about, you can see the --


Arabic, you can see how the illustrations over those three


languages can tell the same story with different perspective. They


could be seen as bias, but it is equally an attempt by the world to


tell their story and interact with each other. Wikipedia is now such an


established and important source that it is on the frontline of many


propaganda struggles. For example many edits of the article about the


crash of the Malaysian airliner MH17, were traced to Russian


Government computers. So does this render the site on reliable?


Wikipedia is a series of eventualism, eventually the truth


will out. And when people have contentious things, especially when


they have conflicts of interests, or in this case the Russian example,


what happens is those are checked and taken care of and removed if


they are not true. If they are true they might stay. Especially if it is


verifiable. And if we catch up with Wiki-mania what will this vast,


sprawling and amazing project look like? As we start to reach 4. 5


million articles and start to get a lot of the easy articles to write,


what happens to the harder articles to write. And maybe Wikipedia has to


start engaging in so types of original reporting or original


gathering of information that it didn't have to do before. So for


example should it fund what might look like a National Geographic-type


of exploration of certain areas to get more information to put into


Wikipedia, or does it just rely on information you can find on the


internet. Perhaps the biggest challenge going forward for


Wikipedia is whether its collaborative, egalitarian, idea


listic eloss can survive. -- idealistic ethos can survive. We're


joined by the cofounder of Wikipedia, I will begin by asking


what the European Court of Justice has got wrong, they judge it is a


right to be forgotten, what is wrong with that? The biggest problem with


that is the rule something not about private information, it includes and


indeed was about a link to a legal low-published newspaper article and


a reputable newspaper, the article is still up, it is not the accuracy


of it is not contested. And that doesn't seem to me like the very


best place to start thinking about issues around privacy. It is already


Public Information for many years. It is not exercised frommiesry --


from history, it is just you need to know where to look? It is like


deleting the index to a book, or deleting the card catalogue on from


a library. The biggest issue is Google is mandated to become the


decider on these things. There is no process of judicial oversight. There


is no possibility of appeal, there is no transparency. So the way we


look at this is this is not something that should be handed off


to private companies. Who should it be handed off to? If we want to go


to the very extreme step of banning a link to a legally published news


story, at the very least there needs to be judicial oversight. It is not


just about legally published news stories, it is about indiscretions,


regretful interactions over the Internet. If I was to Google you or


use any search engine there would be millions of things about you and it


would be almost impossible to sort them. But an ordinary mortal might


only have three or four references and if one is regrettable, damaging


and ancient history, why should it be brought straight back to the stop


of the pile at the click of a button? The thing is it is a false


promise. The idea that you will get it out of Google and it will go away


is simply not true. For ordinary people they are not really worried


about random people over the globe Googling their name, they are


worried about friends and neighbours who will know about T the idea that


you can some how erase history is not valid. The flood of requests


that Google is getting are not primarily from those kinds of


things. The one that is we are seeing, the links they have told us


about. You have had five requests, and yet still for you it is an issue


of epic importance? It is, yeah, these are the first five. Google is


just now getting under way, we expect to see hundreds of these.


They are very questionable. This is history, history is a human right in


my view. So is truth, and you speak as if Wikipedia is a sacrosanct


institution and a portal where everything is printed and true? I I


could go on there and describe you as a believer in fairy and other


things, but it is neither history or truth but it could be on Wikipedia?


Not for more than a few seconds. I have experienced that, it is not


funny if you are a public person and have a public profile and people


have deleted your Wikipedia page? I spoke of my children being born by


fertility treatment, and my page had that I wasn't man enough to have my


own children, and was there for months until my wife found it. Isn't


that the sort of thing? That is the type of thing. That is neither truth


nor history and yet it was on there? We have an aggressive community, and


biographies of living persons, it is all about that sort of thing. As


soon as we know anything like that it is immediately taken down.


Immediately. It is hard to get the message to Wikipedia, there is no


phone number? It is the easiest thing to contact. Send us an e-mail,


click "edit", leave us a note. You need to know it is there, and check


your page on a regular basis to know what everyone else is seeing unless


you see the problem? It is a good idea to check your page from time to


time, and let us know if there is a problem. This is routine work for


us. On the question of who writes the entries, there is some disbute


about the figure of 9% or 14% of Wikipedia's editors are women. You


can detect that imbalance in some of the copy on the site, do you


recognise the criticism? Definitely, it is one of the things we are


interested and concerned about. We know that when we look at the topics


covered in Wikipedia it definitely reflects the interests of the


contributors, we want to diversify the contributor base so our coverage


of all kinds of articles is improve. This is something that is really a


central focus for the organisation, there will be a lot of session about


this at the conference this week. It is something that for us is not


acceptable. Quick peepedia will never be finished will it? It will


never be finished. There is always more to learn and improvements to


make. Are you happy with it or do you still see it as an unfinished


project, and a work in process? I'm happy with it, it is definitely


unfinished. Thank you. Time now to have a look at some of the front


pages of the newspapers. The Independent leading:


Just before we go, time has beaten us again this evening in order to


bring you that story about the humanitarian crisis in northern


Iraq. We have sadly had to postpone our item on loom bands, however I


will be back tomorrow, which gives me another opportunity to wear mine


as the loom bands return. Since the dawn of history farmers have called


across the field for their cattle to come and feed, but have they ever


used a trombone, well they have now. Here is Kansas farmer Derek


Klingenberg. Good night.