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  • 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.”
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Press Releases

  • Please click here for recent Wikipediocracy press releases.

Wikipedia’s struggles with harassment and criticism: past and present

by Kingsindian

Introduction Early in October, Buzzfeed published a expose, titled “Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream”, based on leaked emails of Milo Yiannapoulos, a former writer for Breitbart News.

Milo Yiannopoulos

Milo YiannopoulosImage Credit: KmeronLicense: CC BY 2.0

The story is long and complicated and covers lots of areas. Among the revelations in the story were some email exchanges between Yiannopoulos and journalists in the “liberal media” which Breitbart News frequently rails against. Some of the emails exchanged between Yiannopoulos and David Auerbach, then a journalist at Slate, were about governance issues at Wikipedia. Auerbach has broadly denied Buzzfeed’s claims, saying: “Inasmuch as the story concerns me, it is utter bullshit”.

The story which follows spans several areas including harassment, politics, anonymity, and the nature of online discourse. Like in the Buzzfeed story, one theme connecting many of these areas is a long-running and ever-evolving saga called Gamergate, which started in mid-2014. The issues discussed here go beyond Wikipedia and affect the lives, politics, and culture in the “real world” as well. While we will touch on the real-world issues as appropriate, our focus will be on how these issues affect and are affected by, the mechanisms and personalities on Wikipedia.

…continue reading Wikipedia’s struggles with harassment and criticism: past and present

What can fact checkers learn from Wikipedia — how not to do things, perhaps? (Part 2)

After investigating whether Wikipedia works in theory, Kingsindian looks at whether Wikipedia works in practice.

…continue reading What can fact checkers learn from Wikipedia — how not to do things, perhaps? (Part 2)

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?