When asking for donations, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales likes to refer to the site as “a temple for the mind” and “a place we can all go to think, to learn, to share our knowledge with others.” And when reflecting on what makes Wikipedia contributors want to share their knowledge with the world, current Executive Director Sue Gardner claims that “Wikipedians do it for love. Really.” That may well be so for some of Wikipedia’s more casual and idealistic writers, but many of the regular editors of the encyclopedia flock to it not so much for love but out of a desire to promote their political views, advertise their websites and novels, plump up their Wikipedia biographies and damage the reputations of people they don’t get along with in life.
Wikipedia is the sixth most-read site on the Internet, yet anyone with a computer and an internet connection can change its entries at any time while hiding
…continue reading Anonymous revenge editing on Wikipedia – the case of Robert Clark Young aka Qworty
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 appeared, there
…continue reading Wikipedia’s culture of sexism – it’s not just for novelists.
The new Wikimedia project Wikidata is set to become the latest battleground over who controls what is and is not considered part of the “sum of human knowledge” that the Wikimedia Foundation is keen to collect and present.
The idea behind Wikidata is a simple one: to classify and categorize essentially everything in the universe. Well, not everything: with a few exceptions, it must be “notable” according to one or more of the Wikipedias (English Wikipedia, of course, being its biggest – but not exclusive – source.) Don’t expect your plumber or mechanic to become a data point on Wikidata… at least not in Phase 1. The front page of the site describes Wikidata as “a free knowledge base that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike.”
Unlike Wikipedia, where prose rules and nuances can be explored if the writers choose to explore them, Wikidata is structured in a colder, more robotic
…continue reading Wikidata: Is Jimbo More Popular Than Jesus?
by E. A. Barbour
Despite being a world-famous bosomy lad-magazine model, Ms. Milani is not permitted to have a Wikipedia biography. Formerly from the Czech Republic and currently residing in Los Angeles, she is unquestionably notable. Typing Milani’s name into Google gives 10,300,000 results, including links to her personal website and her fan-saturated Facebook with 309,000 followers, as well as thousands of photos of her “assets” online. Yet Wikipedia has declared her a “non-person”. For the manchild-dominated Wikipedia, the contempt for a famous pinup model is inexplicable. Evidently her articles were created by either lovestruck fanboys or by paid editors, thus making them appear to be advertisements, and thus “evil”. Even a beautiful face and a magnificent pair of breasts, plus massive media coverage, is not sufficient to keep Ms. Milani from being consigned to the seekret Paid-Editor Dungeon. Thus making her Wikinvisible. Articles about Milani can be found in the Czech Wikipedia,
…continue reading Why doesn’t Wikipedia have an article about Denise Milani?
Once upon a time, Gomi of the late great Wikipedia Review compiled an introductory survey of criticism that is intended to provide the public with a range of different reasons to shun Wikipedia as an authoritative source of information.
1. Wikipedia contains incorrect, misleading, and biased information. Whether through vandalism, subtle disinformation, or the prolonged battling over biased accounts, many of Wikipedia’s articles are unsuitable for scholarly use. Because of poor standards of sourcing and citation, it is often difficult to determine the origin of statements made in Wikipedia in order to determine their correctness. Pursuit of biased points of view by powerful administrators is considered a particular problem, as opposing voices are often permanently banned from Wikipedia. Wikipedia’s culture of disrespect for expertise and scholarship (see below) makes it difficult to trust anything there.
2. Wikipedia’s articles are used to spread gossip, abet character assassination, and invade the privacy of the general public. So-called “Biographies of
…continue reading A Compendium of Wikipedia Criticism