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The tragedy of Wikipedia’s commons

By Gigs

This article appeared originally in the Wikipedia Signpost, June 12, 2013.

I’ve long thought that we should get rid of the Commons as we know it. Commons has evolved, through the actions of a tiny group of people, into a project with interests that compete with the needs of the various encyclopedias that are the primary users of Commons, and the reason it was created. It’s also understaffed, which results in poor curation, large administrative backlogs, and poor policy development.

First, some background information. Commons was primarily created so we could share media between various wikis, with a secondary goal of being a free media repository. When Erik Möller proposed the idea of Commons, he also proposed an inclusion criteria, “Material would be eligible for inclusion in the Commons if it is useful to at least ONE Wikimedia project [including potential future use].”

At no point during initial discussions was it proposed that

…continue reading The tragedy of Wikipedia’s commons

Child Pornography on Wikimedia Commons

by Delicious carbuncle

 

Let’s be very clear about this – in my experience, the Wikimedia Foundation (who own Wikipedia and the site’s image repository, Wikimedia Commons) takes the issue of child pornography very seriously. The WMF has no tolerance for explicit images of people who are underage. This may be simply because hosting child pornography is illegal in the jurisdictions where the Wikimedia servers are, but whatever the reason, my reporting of child pornography to WMF employees has always resulted in swift and decisive action. The trouble is that Wikimedia projects are not administrated by WMF employees, they are administrated by volunteers. And some of those volunteers do not share the WMF’s concerns about hosting child pornography.

Meet Matt Buck

Matt Buck is an admin on Wikimedia Commons, where he goes by the clever pseudonym Mattbuck. He’s not the Matt Buck who is a talented illustrator, or the Matt Buck who is a bodybuilder

…continue reading Child Pornography on Wikimedia Commons

Meet the editors: Meco

By Delicious carbuncle

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

So far, I’ve introduced you to Wikipedia editors For An Angel (AKA Ospinad) and Crakkerjakk without revealing their real-life identities. This time I will be introducing you to Meco, who tells us on his Wikipedia user page that he is 48 year-old “Halvor aka Halvor Raknes aka Halvor Raknes Johansen aka Halvor R. Johansen” from Oslo, Norway.

Some background

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You probably won’t remember this, but in 2010 it was revealed that Amazon.com had been selling an ebook entitled The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure. It made a great topic for discussion on the news networks. Faced with the predictable outrage, Amazon quickly pulled the book and everyone moved on. Of course, someone wrote an article about the book and its author in Wikipedia. As I recall, it was an excuse to

…continue reading Meet the editors: Meco