by Nathalie Collida and Andreas Kolbe With research contributions from Delicious carbuncle and Eric Barbour
Amanda Filipacchi’s New York Times article about Wikipedia’s ghettoization of female novelists finally shone the spotlight on some of the rampant sexism that pervades almost every corner of the online “encyclopaedia”. Filipacchi said she had “noticed something strange on Wikipedia”:
It appears that gradually, over time, editors have begun the process of moving women, one by one, alphabetically, from the “American Novelists” category to the “American Women Novelists” subcategory. So far, female authors whose last names begin with A or B have been most affected, although many others have, too. The intention appears to be to create a list of “American Novelists” on Wikipedia that is made up almost entirely of men.
So in Wikipedia, US-born female writers were no longer listed in the “American novelists” category, but instead confined to a pigeonhole labelled “American women novelists”. Until Filipacchi’s article
…continue reading Wikipedia’s culture of sexism – it’s not just for novelists.
by Roger Hogsky
UPDATE: There has been a response to this story from the Wikimedia Foundation, which is reproduced at the bottom of this piece.
Many businesses and organizations operate their offices from a central Internet connection that establishes just one IP address for all of its employees (and visitors) to use. However, by doing so, it can lead to situations where one employee or one visitor is up to no good on the Internet, leaving behind the IP address breadcrumbs that incriminate the whole organization.
You would think that an advanced technology juggernaut like the Wikimedia Foundation would be very careful and secure about how it allocates its publicly-viewable IP addresses to employees and visitors to their headquarters, but perhaps this is not the case. Let’s juxtapose some activities taking place within or regarding
…continue reading Busy day at the Wikimedia Foundation office?
By Edward Buckner
Despite the acknowledged shortcomings of Wikipedia’s governance, the strongest argument against reforming it is its apparent extraordinary success. Editing Wikipedia is like making sausages, they say: it’s a nasty process that you really don’t want to see . As long as the end product is nice tasty sausages, does it really matter how it ended up on our plate?
Even when you do find mistakes, Wikipedia tells us that it doesn’t matter in the long run. Anyone can edit Wikipedia, and so there is a quasi-Darwinian process which ensures that only the fittest edits – i.e. the good ones – will survive, and the final result will be perfect. Wikipedia doesn’t need experts, or an editorial board, any more than natural selection needs a design committee. As Kevin Kelly of Wired once said, the crowdsourced wiki is like an invisible hand which emerges from its ‘very dumb members’. Why then would it
…continue reading Duns Scotus and Jennifer Lopez: Why can’t Wikipedia make better sausages?