Why this Site?

  • Our Mission:
  • 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.”
  • How you can participate:
  •  Visit the Wikipediocracy Forum, a candid exchange of views between Wikipedia editors, administrators, critics, proponents, and the general public.
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Press Releases

  • Please click here for recent Wikipediocracy press releases.

Why do people contribute to Wikipedia?

By Andreas Kolbe

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The other day, a contributor to question-and-answer site Quora asked: “Why did people create huge, comprehensive websites like Wikipedia for free?”

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, a frequent and well-loved commenter on Quora (as well as an investor in the site), left a short reply that had no difficulty establishing itself as the most popular answer: “Because it’s awesome.” It was an astute piece of cheerleading from Wales – and it worked. His one-liner received over 1,800 upvotes.

Wikipedia is funded by donations from the public (nearly $50 million in the last accounting year, an almost ten-fold increase over takings five years ago), and much of its PR work relies on feel-good messages. Wales has made a living from supplying them. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement: Wales makes a good income from his speaking fees – typically over $70,000 per event, according to the New York Times – and Wikipedia benefits from the publicity he generates.

However, Wales’ throwaway answer masks a far more complex reality.

Wikipedia’s Google footprint

In January 2004, the English Wikipedia had just 277 contributors making more than 100 edits a month. One year later, it was 801; by January 2006, it was 3,051, eventually peaking at almost 4,800 in March 2007. What happened?

By 2005, people noticed that Wikipedia had begun to dominate Google search results, with many searches featuring a Wikipedia article among the top Google hits (see e.g. Wikipedia Ruling in Google Search Results? from 2006, and Google offers to help Wikipedia from 2005).

The fact that anyone researching a subject online would be directed to Wikipedia made Wikipedia articles an obvious vehicle to influence public opinion. The site became an attractive outlet to anyone who had a stake in how a particular

…continue reading Why do people contribute to Wikipedia?

Wikipedia: a Bot’s-Eye View

By Hersch

As the Twenty-First Century drags on, more and more aspects of our daily lives are dominated by digital gizmos, and more and more common tasks are automated. So, then, why not Wikipedia? In recent years, automated programs, also known as robots or “bots,” have demonstrated that they can sign comments left on talk pages, revert vandalism, check for copyright violations on new pages, add or remove protection templates, and archive talk pages more expeditiously, with fewer errors, and with more civility and less drama than the human editors. Should we be looking forward to the day when Wikipedia will be fully automated, where bots will trawl the net for news sources and automatically include every last tidbit of gossipy trivia about celebrities or fictional television characters, rendering Wikipedia’s human editors entirely unnecessary?

Ah, but I can hear the objections already. Can bots be programmed to be snarky and disingenuous? Will they be able to upload sexually explicit photos of themselves? I know that some of you are prepared to argue that there are some aspects of human behavior which can never be successfully duplicated by what some like to call “artificial intelligence.” And most importantly, from the standpoint of a crowd-sourced online neo-encyclopedia, can a bot push POV?* Does a bot even have a POV?

These are questions which demand answers. In order explore the topic further, we present these YouTube videos where the bots themselves grapple with the most fundamental questions about what it means to be a Wikipedian.

 

 

 

* [for the novice reader, to “push POV” is WikiSpeak for the practice of slanting Wikipedia articles so that they conform to one’s own set of biases, or “point of view.”]

(This blog post was originally published September 2, 2012)

Video

…continue reading Wikipedia: a Bot’s-Eye View