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  • We exist to shine the light of scrutiny into the dark crevices of Wikipedia and its related projects; to examine the corruption there, along with its structural flaws; and to inoculate the unsuspecting public against the torrent of misinformation, defamation, and general nonsense that issues forth from one of the world’s most frequently visited websites, the “encyclopedia that anyone can edit.”
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Press Releases

  • Please click here for recent Wikipediocracy press releases.

The definition of a “Digerati”

by E. A. Barbour

The “digital culture” world that reached a peak during the dotcom boom of the late 1990s was an atrocity. The unhinged propagandizing and glorification of “being digital” became an embarrassment. It also resulted in the creation of endless reams of stupid jargon, not least of which was the ugly portmanteau word “digerati”, supposed to refer to people who “live their lives digitally”, meaning basically those who flop around on the Internet, smearing their massive egos into every nook and cranny in the online landscape. Usage of this word has declined in recent years, but the people it was applied to continue to spew comical “transhumanist” and “Singularity” propaganda everywhere today.

Not surprisingly, the “digerati” quickly discovered that Wikipedia was amenable to ego-smearing, if one used a few simple tricks — tag-teaming with friends, sockpuppetry, and lying about it later. The Jimbo Way of manipulation became the SOP of Wikipedia by 2005, thanks partly to BLP [Biographies of Living Persons in Wikipedia jargon — ed. ] abuse of this type. (Don’t forget that Jimbo repeatedly tried to make himself the Sole Flounder of Wikipedia…)

To begin, consider the case of Metafilter. It is a moderately-popular group blog, which has existed since 1999. I say “moderately”, because despite being one of the earliest group blogs on the Net, it never achieved the massive popularity of competitors such as Reddit, Digg, and Fark. For the first few years of its existence, Metafilter was a quiet little nerdy corner of the web, run by its founder. In 2004, responding to increasing traffic and interest, the founder started to hire co-moderators and give them administrative powers.

 

Jessamyn West

Jessamyn West, librarian/blogger and believed to be the first Metafilter co-moderator, shares

…continue reading The definition of a “Digerati”

Wikipedia reveals Top 10 most contentious people

By Gregory Kohs What do Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, and Miley Cyrus have in common? They, along with other famous and not-so-famous personalities help round out the Top 10 Most Contentious people list, as calculated from underlying Wikipedia data.

We engaged the volunteer services of Wikimedia Toolserver expert MZMcBride to uncloak a very interesting discovery — which English-language Wikipedia biographies of living people have generated the most back-and-forth discussion on their article “Talk” pages? As most Wikipedia insiders know, while the Wikipedia biography articles can be temporarily stocked with misinformation and libel, if you want a historically preserved glimpse at the really ugly stuff about notable people, you head to their Wikipedia Talk page. Because article Talk pages are where Wikipedia contributors publicly discuss their editing disagreements, these pages are a clear indicator of how contentious is the subject of the discussion.

So, Wikipedia’s data reveal that the Top 10 biographies generating the most protracted editorial battles are, in order:

Barack Obama (37,532 edits to Talk page) Sarah Palin (27,932 edits) George W. Bush (22,070 edits) Prem Rawat (18,575 edits) Ann Coulter (7,832 edits) Glenn Beck (6,964 edits) Queen Elizabeth II (6,530 edits) Miley Cyrus (6,446 edits) Stephen Barrett (6,406 edits) Jimmy Wales (6,215 edits)

Most of these personalities are household names, so it’s not terribly surprising to imagine how much contentious discussion they might generate. It gets very messy trying to create a biography with a “neutral point of view” when Wikipedia volunteers with embattled opinions duke it out with each other, even while paid agents with their own covert agendas are attempting to

…continue reading Wikipedia reveals Top 10 most contentious people

What should we do about Wikipedia’s porn problem?

By Larry Sanger (see Wikipedia’s forgotten creator)

 

I want to start a conversation.

I. Problem? What problem?

Dr. Larry Sanger

Dr. Larry Sanger

So, you didn’t know that Wikipedia has a porn problem?

Let me say what I do not mean by “Wikipedia’s porn problem.” I do not mean simply that Wikipedia has a lot of porn. That’s part of the problem, but it’s not even the main problem. I’m 100% OK with porn sites. I defend the right of people to host and view porn online. I don’t even especially mind that Wikipedia has porn. There could be legitimate reasons why an encyclopedia might want to have some “adult content.”

No, the real problem begins when Wikipedia features some of the most disgusting sorts of porn you can imagine, while being heavily used by children. But it’s even more complicated than that, as I’ll explain.

(Note, the following was co-written by me and several other people. I particularly needed their help finding the links.)

Here is the short version:

Wikipedia and other websites of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) host a great deal of pornographic content, as well as other content not appropriate for children. Yet, the Wikimedia Foundation encourages children to use these resources. Google, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and many other high-profile sites have installed optional filters to block adult content from view. I believe the WMF sites should at a minimum install an optional, opt-in filter, as the WMF Board agreed to do [*] in 2011. I understand that the WMF has recently stopped work on the filter and, after a period of community reaction, some Board members have made it clear that they do not expect this filter to be finished and installed. Wikipedians, both managers and

…continue reading What should we do about Wikipedia’s porn problem?