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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.

No Voice for Men on Wikipedia?

by James P. Persica

From the Wikipedia article on "Men's Rights movement" - Two protestors from UK-based fathers' rights group

Super! From the Wikipedia article on “Men’s Rights movement” – Two protestors from a UK-based fathers’ rights group

How much do Wikipedia articles influence the way in which their corresponding topics are perceived by the general public? The Wikipedia article for the men’s rights movement seems to be well referenced, with 155 sources in total. This is not far from the 236 sources used in the article for the feminist movement, a considerably older civil rights movement that certain Wikipedia editors often compare to the men’s rights movement. There are problems with this particular comparison, namely that their theories, methods, and history, are entirely different. Still, it is the criticism of the article that comes up most frequently. However, there have been complaints within websites associated with the movement that articles such as this are biased against them. Writing for A Voice for Men, a publication considered to be particularly influential within the movement, Canadian men’s rights activist John Hembling referred to Wikipedia moderators and admins as “censors”, claiming that a “rewriting [of] reference material to obscure and minimize the topic of that reference material” had taken place. Similarly, Dean Esmay, managing editor of A Voice for Men, again attacked Wikipedia, referring to it as “Orwellian” in an article titled “Fighting Wikipedia Corruption & Censorship”.

He went on to write:

One of the areas where [censorship] is an acute problems [sic] is Wikipedia’s grossly discriminatory practices on men’s rights issues; they tromp the Men’s Human Rights perspective whenever possible, while bending over backwards to accommodate Gender Feminist ideologues. These feminist

…continue reading No Voice for Men on Wikipedia?

How pranks, hoaxes and manipulation undermine the reliability of Wikipedia

By Andreas Kolbe

On Reddit last week, an anonymous user said, It’s time for the truth to come out. The post, made in the AdviceAnimals subreddit and garnering over 2,700 upvotes, linked to the following memegenerator image:

Me and my friend used to make fun of an Arabic classmate called Azid. We edited the Wikipedia page for Chicken Korma so that his name would appear as an alternate name for the dish or an optional ingredient. Four years on, it has been cited by many cooking sites and publications.

It turned out that it wasn’t quite four years ago that the edit was made, but otherwise, the poster’s claims were found to be correct. A Wikipedian checking the history of the Korma article in the world’s foremost reference source traced the first insertion of the term Azid to this edit made on May 8, 2012. The change attracted no attention from other volunteer editors whatsoever, and there was no further activity in the article until over a month later.

The rise of Azid

Over time, editors apparently innocent of any involvement in the joke ensured that the spurious term Azid made it into the lead sentence of the article where it was listed as a synonym for Korma. The edit that moved the term into the lead section was made in August 2013 by a ten-year veteran of Wikipedia, an editor who has made close to 20,000 contributions to the site; in this edit, the Wikipedian added etymological detail about the word “Korma” to the article, citing no lesser authority than the Oxford English Dictionary, as well as a reference for the term Azid: a post on an amateur cookery blog named namitaskitchen.com which had copied the vandalised paragraph from Wikipedia.

This is

…continue reading How pranks, hoaxes and manipulation undermine the reliability of Wikipedia

Media Viewer fails the grade

Wikipedia volunteers at war with the Wikimedia Foundation over new software feature

By Andreas Kolbe

The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) is facing yet another community backlash over the introduction of a major new software feature, the Media Viewer. One month after implementation, volunteer administrator Pete Forsyth unceremoniously switched the new feature off, only to find his change reverted by none other than the Wikimedia Foundation’s Deputy Director and VP of Engineering and Product Development, Erik Möller, who threatened to remove Forsyth’s administrative privileges. Möller in turn has now been hauled in front of Wikipedia’s arbitration committee, accused of overstepping his authority.

The spat follows similar controversies over other new software features the Foundation has tried to deploy in recent years, such as the now-defunct “Article Feedback Tool” and the “VisualEditor”, both of which were met with concerted resistance from the international volunteer community. The VisualEditor, too, was disabled by a volunteer administrator last year. Faced with massive community rebellion, the Wikimedia Foundation backed down then, allowing the change to stand. But this time, fearing a complete loss of authority, the Foundation seems to want to stand its ground.

The Media Viewer

Media Viewer zoom prototype

Media Viewer zoom prototype

The Media Viewer, a Facebook-like feature enabling users to view larger versions of images included in Wikipedia articles, had been in beta testing since November 2013. According to the Foundation’s 8-strong Multimedia team led by Fabrice Florin, the rate of favourable feedback had been “increasing across all languages over time”. This changed rapidly, however, when the tool was finally launched on June 3, 2014, becoming the English Wikipedia’s default image viewer.

Four days later, the English Wikipedia community began an “RfC” (Request for comment)

…continue reading Media Viewer fails the grade