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Confessions of a Living Person

By Frank Sanello, Living Person and subject of a Wikipedia biographical article

Editor’s note: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to read is true. Only the names have been changed (to WikiPseudonyms) to protect the guilty.

One of the many arenas of battle at Wikipedia is the question of “notability” of public figures; are they sufficiently “notable” (i.e., have they attracted enough media coverage) to merit the glorious distinction of a Wikipedia biographical article? There have been many puerile debates at Wikipedia over whether to “keep” or “delete” such articles.

This guest post by a Wikipedia biography subject provides an insight into how the Wikipedia sausage is made. Opinions expressed are those of the author.  

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In 2011, Wikipedia editor Bonadea nominated my bio on Wikipedia for deletion because it was only a stub. I got my college boyfriend, now 64 and terminally ill with pancreatic cancer, to use his Wiki username to cut and paste my Wiki article that makes me sound like a Nobel laureate! The decision in 2011, after I pumped up my bio via my dying friend, was KEEP.

It says that at the top of my Wiki bio! But a week or so ago, Mlpearc, a high school dropout and blue-collar worker, nominated my Wiki bio for “speedy deletion” despite the fact that once the decision to KEEP has been made, the article can no longer be nominated for speedy deletion.

Mlpearc obviously didn’t bother to read the 2011 post about the KEEP decision when he (re)nominated my Wiki bio for deletion. I contacted one of my few allies/Wiki editors, REVENT.

I went into the help chat room and hysterically begged REVENT to stop my speedy deletion. He “talked me down” by informing

…continue reading Confessions of a Living Person

Wikipedia’s new editing software gets failing grade

By Gregory Kohs

This article first appeared at Examiner.com

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If you’re not one of the 34,000 or so people who edit the English Wikipedia at least five times per month, you may not have noticed the change that has taken place on the massive encyclopedia, but a highly controversial change has indeed been implemented by Wikipedia’s management team. In the past two weeks, a new “Visual Editor” has been deployed on Wikipedia, which purportedly enables users who want to change text in the encyclopedia to do so more easily and directly, without diving into the arcane “wikitext” markup language that has stymied many users for years. The problem is, the new software is riddled with flaws, and as of yesterday (July 19), the Wikimedia Foundation employee in charge of the deployment, Oliver Keyes, is apparently trying to hide the fact that the “old” platform was more effective at engaging editors than the new platform. Keyes rejects calls from the community to take down the Visual Editor until it can be fixed properly.

For anyone following the Wikimedia Foundation’s management over the past few years, it is clear that reversing the slow decline in editor engagement on the various language Wikipedias has been the top priority. Without volunteers beavering away at Wikipedia’s mountain of information, the Foundation knows that cash donations could be the next thing to suffer. However, rather than admit that the hostile personality culture that permeates the back pages of Wikipedia may be the thing most eroding editor retention, the Foundation has instead fixated on the editing software interface as the key problem. It was believed that a “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) document interface would fatten the ranks of people willing to dive into Wikipedia and

…continue reading Wikipedia’s new editing software gets failing grade

Meet the editors: Kintetsubuffalo

By Delicious carbuncle Another in a series of blog posts highlighting lesser-known Wikipedia editors.

Recently there was a discussion going on at Wikimedia Commons about whether or not to delete “Symbol of Girllove.svg”. It is an image of a symbol used by pedophiles with a predilection for female children to identify one another. There used to be a version of that file on the English-language Wikipedia, but it was recently deleted (with a comment in the deletion log of “strongly, strongly inappropriate”). I referred to that image in an earlier blog post. It was hidden on the userpage of For An Angel. That user is now blocked (although not by Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee). Ultimately, the image was deleted from Commons.

Man and His Symbols

The girllover symbol under discussion on Wikimedia Commons was used in only one place there – in Kintetsubuffalo’s gallery entitled “Favorite images”.girllove It appeared in the section called “Other”, sandwiched between the emblem of the Ku Klux Klan and something called the “Heart symbol vulva shape hypothesis illustration”.

Kintetsubuffalo’s “favorite images” gallery is not a random collection of images. It is organized into four sections: Scouting, Photos, Other, and National Emblems. The Scouting section contains images, insignia, and maps relating to Scouting (i.e., Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts). The Photos section starts with the image of a gun. It contains mainly images of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. The Other section contains not only the aforementioned KKK emblem, but other symbols associated with the White Power movement – the Celtic cross, the flag of the white supremacist Afrikaner Resistance Movement, and the Civil War-era flags of several Southern US states. In the National Emblems section, it is hard to

…continue reading Meet the editors: Kintetsubuffalo