Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 13:39:50 +0100
From: Mark Donfried <>
To: "'Benj. Mako Hill'" <>
Cc: "'Benj. Mako Hill'" <>
Subject: Subject: Your Activities concerning the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy
        (Wikipedia and other Internet Outlets)

Berlin, February 26th, 2013


Benjamin Mako Hill

265 Elm Street, Apt 4

Somerville, MA

02144 USA


Subject: Your Activities concerning the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy


Dear Mr. Hill,


Following our communications during 2012, I am writing to you today in order to inquire regarding your activities concerning the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. Representatives of the ICD and my colleagues have been following and documented your activities throughout 2012/13 and have noticed that you are taking an active role in publicly posting information about the ICD, discussing the ICD in the “talk” pages of Wikipedia and are responsible for the deletion of the ICD Wikipedia page both in June 2012 as well as in January 5th 2013.


Please note that the ICD is completely in favor of fostering open dialogue and discussions, even critical ones, however some of your activities are raising serious questions about the motives behind your actions and some even seem to be motives of sabotage, since they resulted in ICD not having any Wikipedia page at all.


We are deeply concerned regarding these actions of yours, which are causing us considerable damages. As the person who initiated these actions with Wikipedia and member of the board of Wikipedia, we would therefore request your answer regarding our questions below within the next 10 days (by March 6th). If we do not receive your response we will unfortunately have to consider taking further legal actions with these regards against you and other anonymous editors.


1. Information and Knowledge about the ICD As you have been serving as an active critic of the ICD for some time now, I would like to know from where you receive your information about the ICD and on what basis you make your decisions, judgments and opinions about the ICD and then make them public.


2. Information Offered by the ICD – As you may recall, the ICD offered to give you an open and thorough overview of the ICD during your last visit to Berlin in July 2012, however you did not show up. We would like to know why you refused to come by our offices and did not take the opportunity to receive reliable information from us for your use, as we offered several times to you.


3. First Deletion - The ICD has concerns that your actions, decisions, and postings, are not adhering to Wikipedia’s definitions and criteria for deletions (mainly concerning notability - - which was the former basis for the initial deletion decision) and are discriminatory against the ICD.


We find this to be particularly true once the ICD page is compared to other existing articles on Wikipedia, which in our opinion, provide far less notable references. We found numerous examples of Wikipages of organizations, institutes, individuals, and even restaurants, which have much less Notability then the ICD (a long list of examples can be provided upon request).


You yourself even have a long and detailed page in Wikipedia, which is clearly found to be notable enough to be published.


We would kindly ask for a response on the above mentioned issues.


4. Second Deletion of ICD Wikipedia Page – As clearly the article was significantly improved (also through adding a numerous sources for Notability), we believe that the deletion was not according to G4 Criteria for speedy deletion.


On January 5th, you have suggested to delete the ICD Wikipedia page about the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, which was posted on November 2012 in another ICD Wikipedia page, (which was created in February 2012 before the first deletion of the ICD Wikipedia page in June 2012).


Two hours after your suggestions were posted, the article was then deleted by the editor “Arthur Rubin.” From a fast check of this article, one can clearly see that the text of this page was completely different from the text used in the first deletion of the articles.


In addition, contrary to your claim that by this article the ICD is not notable and there are not enough reliable sources, many references to the ICD were in fact added and mentioned by reputable institutions such as for example the German Ministry of Education, NPR, Associated Press, the US State Department, Babeș-Bolyai University, Euro-Mediterranean University of Slovenia and the Prime Minister of Slovenia’s office, which you can find via the following hyperlinks:



See also a new article:


Despite these reputable references and completely new postings, you explain in the ICD talk page that this was the same article that was deleted in June 2012. 


At this point the ICD would like to understand why you initially suggested to have the article deleted as well as how come you found the ICD not notable, despite the fact that it has over 100 reputable members on its Board (who are all world leaders and celebrities with an active Wikipedia Page) and has already managed to achieve considerable achievements in promoting the field cultural diplomacy around the world.


See a short list of our accomplishments here:


5. References to NPR - During the discussion about the first deletion of the ICD page you have made the accusation in the ICD talk page (on June 12, 2012) that the NPR reports about the ICD are not objective; You can find the article below (it shows in your wiki page):


“The most convincing coverage from a reliable source on the list is definitely the work from NPR. That said, I'm a little worried by issues with conflict of interest here as well. All of the NPR pieces are written by one person -- Monika Mueller Kroll. Monica herself has her work hosted and promoted by ICD [40] and NPR Berlin (presumably, through Monica) has hosted events with/at the ICD. —mako 06:59, 12 June 2012 (UTC)”


My question here is on what basis you have determined this accusation and why you have made your personal judgment here public. As the NPR and Ms. Kroll might be interested in getting involved in this case as well, it would be advised to receive from you here a detailed answer.


I’m looking forward to receiving your response.


With kind regards,

Mark Donfried



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Mark C. Donfried
Director & Founder

Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD)
Ku´damm Karree (3rd Floor/Hochhaus)
Kurfürstendamm 207-8 Berlin, Germany-10719
Phone: 00.49.(0)30.2360-7680
Fax: 00.49.(0)30.2360-76811

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