Somebody Keeps Censoring Ronnie Segev’s Wikipedia Entry, Reputation Defender Perhaps?

Somebody keeps censoring Ronnie Segev‘s wiki entry, could it be Reputation Defender?

After our post, “Ronnie Segev & ReputationDefender Can Eat A Dick,” Alex, a Consumerist commenter updated Ronnie Segev’s Wikipedia entry to reflect his arrest and his hiring of Reputation Defender to delete all internet traces of that arrest.

Then, two anonymous IP users came along and deleted Alex’s additions. They marked Alex’s edits as “slander.” Their username’s only actions have been to revert Ronnie Segev’s wiki entry.

What’s interesting is that “slander” is a favorite word of Reputation Defender, appearing repeatedly in their About page.

The revision comments seem to escalate in anger, as Alex keeps replacing the text they undo, so far peaking at, “slanderous bloggers are not a valid source.” Ouch!

Alex writes, “If anyone wants to help me keep the page updated to its most accurate version, I’d appreciate it.”

UPDATE: Reputation Defender denies any responsibility for Wikipedia deletions.



How’s this for a valid source? A direct copy of the original NYPOST article, which seems to be missing from their archives for some reason…

PIANIST THROWN IN PEN FOR HARPING

A meek but persistent concert pianist was tossed in jail after repeatedly demanding a refund from Priceline.com .

In a bizarre tale of “extreme customer service,” Juilliard-trained Ronnie Segev sued Priceline earlier this month alleging the corporate giant billed him for a $953 plane ticket he never purchased, then had its top lawyer call the cops after he phoned 215 times to ask for his money back.

Segev, who has played Carnegie Hall, was handcuffed and hauled out of his Hell’s Kitchen apartment building early one morning in May.

The cops hit him with 215 counts of harassment — one for each call he made to Connecticut-based Priceline from January until his arrest.

“I tried to talk to them,” he said, shaking his head. “Now I get the chills every time I see a Priceline commercial.”

A judge later dismissed the charges, but not before Segev spent 40 hours in a Manhattan holding cell with hardened criminals who laughed at him, threatened him and tried to steal his fancy watch and sneakers.

[via Comedian]


Ronnie Segev’s recent wiki edit history:

22:58, 12 January 2007 Dogooder021 (Talk | contribs) (

Life – rev back. additions were not helpful, and libelous)

15:35, 12 January 2007 Hearty000 m (

Life – reverted…prev changes were not relevant, and were potentially slanderous (also not well sourced))

08:19, 13 January 2007 DanteComedy (Talk | contribs) (Undo revision 100322844 by Dogooder021 (talk) Revisions were acurate and well documented, therefore neither unhelpful nor libelous.)

14:44, 13 January 2007 Hearty000 (Talk | contribs) m (

Life – rev back to long-term content. slanderous bloggers are not a valid source.)

15:17, 13 January 2007 24.239.152.19 (Talk) (Added in history that Reptuation Defender keeps trying to delete and mark as slanderous.)


UPDATE: Just got this note from Reputation Defender, defending their reputation:

    “We are writing to you with the aim of clearing up a few things. ReputationDefender does not delete content from Wikipedia. If and when ReputationDefender contributes to Wikipedia, we do so only by adding factually accurate and independently vetted information. We have not edited or sought to edit the Wikipedia entry for Ronen Segev in any way at any time. We are updating the FAQ on our site to state more clearly our policy on Wikipedia content. Again, no one on our staff has attempted to edit the Wikipedia article in this case.”

— BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. phloighd says:

    The pure unadulterated schadenfreude of watching a company calling itself “Reputation Defender” cause their customer’s reputation to worsen is a glorious sight to behold.

  2. Scazza says:

    Can’t you contact a wiki mod to lock the page if they see a conflict?

  3. homerjay says:

    He got himself in too deep when he contacted those tools at ReputationDefender and instead of defending his reputation, they smeared it beyond belief. He SO stood up for himself by harassing priceline. He should let those actions stand for themselves.

    I’d say he should call it a big ol’ “whoops” and walk away from those ‘tards at ReputationDefender.

  4. Ookseer says:

    His arrest should be public record that you can cite.

    If they then try to remove it, the shills can get locked out.

    FYI: The best way to fix a bad reputation is to make a new good one, not try to undo what you’ve done.

  5. biggeek says:

    With all of the cross-linking of this story, his wikipedia page is probably going to end up being first on a google/yahoo search on his name.

    Looks like that entire history of the edits has been deleted and the arrest portion has been added back on.

    Though with 215 phone calls to Priceline, Someone with Segev’s level of OCD will probably be re-editing that page the rest of his life.

    Segev, sweetie, either sue Priceline in civil court or let it go. Nobody actually gives a fuck.

  6. humphrmi says:

    Yeah, so I was right. In the previous post about this, some folks were saying “But they asked so politely!” Is this polite? Are they harmless, just asking a favor? Or are they evil revisionist censors, out to make a buck off of censoring the Internet?

  7. I am proud to have incited this entertaining disagreement.

    The best part, of course, is that when you have a fight with Wikipedia about something, the fact that you have had that fight can become a notable fact about you all by itself.

    This can obviously be unfair if the original claims about you that started the argument were indeed incorrect; it’s a parallel to the situation where discussion about the truth of an issue mutates into discussion about the controversy, which is often encouraged by the side of the debate who know their arguments don’t actually hold much water.

    But in situations like this where the claims are (apparently) grounded in fact, this provides a handy workaround.

    Case in point: Daniel Brandt.

  8. Keter says:

    It occurs to me that Segev may have come to some kind of off-the-record settlement with Priceline, and one of the conditions of that settlement is to make the incident “go away.” If he doesn’t, he loses his compensation and might even become liable for a penalty. That would explain the belligerent tone, but again, the smart thing would be to ‘fess up and say that’s the deal.

    BTW, insistently fact-correcting a person’s wikipedia entry could be considered pretty compulsive, unless they are a person of historical importance for future generations. Sorry, Segev, you don’t qualify, but then that means you’re not in the same bucket with Hitler.

  9. Sudonum says:

    The current Wiki entry has a link to another website that received a letter from Reputation Defender. Going to that site http://comedian.blogspot.com/2007/01/received-in-todays-em
    they hypothisize that Priceline might be doing this to get rid of some negative material.

  10. Hoss says:

    The over/under on the number of calls Ronnie aka Ronan makes to ReputationDefender aka ReputationBender for a refund is now at 352.

    Good luck all!

  11. Morgan says:

    The letter from Reputation Defender says they’re writing on behalf of Ronnie Segev. If they had actually been hired by PriceLine, that would be libel :)

  12. timmus says:

    What amazes me is that Reputation Defender thinks it can go in and manhandle Wikipedia under an anonymous IP username. You’d think that if they knew what they were doing they’d deal with the various websites in a very judicious, crafty, and skilled manner.

  13. matrixhax0r says:

    You know wikipedia has a three revert rule:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Three-revert_rule

  14. slapshot24 says:

    They at least claim that it’s not them in the FAQ:

    “What is ReputationDefender’s policy on Wikipedia?
    ReputationDefender does not delete content from Wikipedia. ReputationDefender is only involved with Wikipedia when our clients request that we add factually accurate and independently vetted information to provide context to a client’s entry. Such efforts on behalf of our clients fall well within established Wikipedia norms and we are proud to be a contributor to this important online community.”

    https://reputationdefender.com/FAQ.php#18

  15. buthidae says:

    Ronnie, you need to get the hell over it and move on with your life. You cannot change facts, you cannot change the past, you cannot make this disappear.

    Give up.

    Do something constructive.

    Like burning down the offices of ReputationDefender.

  16. comedian says:

    Wow, the first story that I ever submitted to Consumerist, the submission that lead to me getting a commenter invitation, certainly has some legs!

    Here’s a less excerpted version of the article I tracked down on Digg.

    January 22, 2006 — A meek but persistent concert pianist was tossed in jail after repeatedly demanding a refund from Priceline.com.

    In a bizarre tale of “extreme customer service,” Juilliard-trained Ronnie Segev sued Priceline earlier this month alleging the corporate giant billed him for a $953 plane ticket he never purchased, then had its top lawyer call the cops after he phoned 215 times to ask for his money back.

    Segev, who has played Carnegie Hall, was handcuffed and hauled out of his Hell’s Kitchen apartment building early one morning in May.

    The cops hit him with 215 counts of harassment – one for each call he made to Connecticut-based Priceline from January until his arrest.

    “I tried to talk to them,” he said, shaking his head. “Now I get the chills every time I see a Priceline commercial.”

    A judge later dismissed the charges, but not before Segev spent 40 hours in a Manhattan holding cell with hardened criminals who laughed at him, threatened him and tried to steal his fancy watch and sneakers.

    A tough-looking cellmate asked him, “So, what are you in for?”

    “Priceline refund,” the musician sheepishly replied. It went downhill from there.

    The NYPD and Priceline declined to comment on the lawsuit.

    In a sworn statement, Priceline’s general counsel had told police that Segev’s persistent calls forced the company to switch to an automated customer-service system.

    Segev’s strange odyssey began in January 2005, when he bid $500 for a ticket to Haifa, Israel, to play a concert. The bid was rejected, but Priceline offered him the ticket for $953 and asked him to check a “yes” or “no” box on-screen. Segev said he clicked neither box and closed the screen instead. When he got an e-mail confirming his purchase, he dialed customer service.

    “I said this is some sort of computer glitch, please take a look,” he said. “I tried to reason with them . . . They’re so heartless. They don’t care.

    “The only thing I could have done was give up, and I didn’t feel that was right.”

    On May 2, four months after his first call, two plainclothes detectives knocked on Segev’s door.

    A startled Segev said he didn’t understand what was happening and called 911. More officers arrived, and he was marched past his neighbors in cuffs.

    The pianist said he won’t be calling Priceline anytime soon, but hasn’t played his final note in the dispute.

    His lawyer, Thomas Guiffra, accused Priceline of “corporate thuggery.”

    Segev filed suit Jan. 12 in state court in Manhattan, accusing Priceline of malicious prosecution and other offenses. He also is suing the NYPD, which he claims didn’t investigate the charges before arresting him.

    “I still would like to get that refund,” Segev said.

  17. homerjay says:

    I love how we’re all referring to ReputationDefender as “They” and “Their Offices” like its some kind of multinational corporation.

    I think this section in the “Contact Us” of their website speaks VOLUMES:
    “Why don’t we have a phone number?
    We will soon. But we are in Beta and we are keeping our costs low, which allows us to keep our prices low. Go ahead – please try us through this message form. You will hear from us fast. And you will know we are exactly as honest as you would like us to be!”

    Something tells me that there’s a 17 year old community college stundent living in moms attic behind this.

  18. homerjay: I would tell you to just whois the domain but that didn’t work out so well for the PSP fiasco. :>

  19. 24fan24 says:

    The page is now semi-protected which should keep the reputation defenders out, at least for a while.