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Wikipedia Roulette

by Zoloft

.

Sometimes I evaluate how Wikipedia is faring by playing a little game. You like games, don’t you? Let’s play a game…

Go to Wikipedia and just click on the ‘Random Article’ link—it’s on the left side of the page.

*CLICK*
Iranian Directorate (THL)
Out-of-date, poorly sourced stub about a shadowy office in the Pentagon purportedly created in 2006 to undercut the government in Iran.

Following the links, it’s difficult to tell if this office even existed. The actual State Department office on Iran (which really is influential) is a redlink). [Editor’s note: a redlink on Wikipedia is a link that leads to page that is deceased or non-existent.]

Created by user Boud (TCL) in 2006, smacked around by other editors and bots, POV never approaching neutral.

*CLICK*
Battle of Pirano (THL)

A good article about a naval engagement, if a bit wordy, except for a glob of nationalism in the lede from Slovenian activist Eleassar (TCL):

“This was the only battle ever fought in the sea nowadays belonging to Slovenia.”

The battle occurred in 1812. Slovenia did not exist until 1918.

*CLICK*
Antthony Mark Hankins (THL)

Tagged for sounding like an advertisement and for having poor references for more than a year, uncorrected by anyone.

It’s a puff piece about a third-tier clothing designer, mostly referenced by the subject’s own book.

External links are to the subject’s website and to the Home Shopping Network.

Article creator Retrac77 (TCL)‘s edits are only to this page. Paid editor?

*CLICK*
Das Antas River (Tibagi_River) (THL)

“The Das Antas River (Tibagi River) is a river of Paraná state in southern Brazil.”

That’s the whole body text of the article.

Created three years ago and never touched again by user Ser Amantio di Nicolao (TCL).

*CLICK*
Narcisse Fournier (THL)
A single-sentence lede, a single-paragraph section titled, ‘Life’ and the only source the Internet Archive. Oh well, it could have been worse, he could have been lost on the Das Antas River (Tibagi River).

Created four years ago by editor Neddyseagoon (TCL) and since then, only bots and gnomes and one vandal (swiftly rverted) have edited.

*CLICK*
Table of years in LGBT rights (THL)

A tidy box with links inside: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights by time period

Created by Wikid77 (TCL) “to allow year-navigation by Template:Year_nav_topic”

Like many parts of Wikipedia, not an article, but one of the bolts showing.

*CLICK*
Broadway Bound (THL)

It’s a Neil Simon Play! I know this one, I can even identify with one of the protagonists!

Hrmf. No playbill picture. No infobox. No pictures at all?

May contain sentence fragment: “Until Ben goes to follow his wife to Miami.”

Created by Shadowolf (TCL) seven years ago, touched by dozens of hands since then, but not finished.

*CLICK*
Jeremy Allerton (THL)

*Cricketers chirping*

*CLICK*
Zajas Municipality (THL)

Zajas Municipality
From Wikipedia, the free atlas, er I mean encyclopedia
Just a little slice of home, if your home is in western Macedonia.

A short, detailed entry about the location of what is undoubtedly a nice part of the Southwestern Statistical Region.

*CLICK*
Angus McDonald (United States Army major) (THL)

My favorite parts:

  • “For other people named Angus McDonald, see Angus Macdonald.” It’s important to remain disambiguated when you exercise.
  • “Even though McDonald was primarily a farmer, he engaged in a number of other business and leisure pursuits.” You know, stuff… and things.

Infobox, no picture, not even of Glengarry in Virginia. That estate will probably hold still long enough for you to take a pic.

Overall, not a terrible article. Created by user Caponer (TCL) in 2012.

A nice external link would have been the family history cited in the article…link

*Game Over*

If you think I actually clicked on the ‘Random Article’ link a few hundred times, and then cherry-picked the worst articles, think again, and then try ‘the game’ yourself.

There were only two articles of any length in that selection. For an encyclopedia that is supposed to strive towards containing the “sum of human knowledge,” there are a lot of incomplete articles often many years old. There is ‘no deadline’ to finish Wikipedia, but perhaps there should be for individual articles.

Don’t play Wikipedia Roulette… you will surely lose.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 2.0, Yadda yadda yadda

5 comments to Wikipedia Roulette

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