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.”
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  •  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.

Wikipedia – the new ministry of truth

By Andreas Kolbe

Wikipedia, the crowdsourced online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, has often been credited with “democratising knowledge”. But it’s a strange sort of democracy. Wikipedia has a near-monopoly online: almost any search engine query will return a Wikipedia article as a top result. Most internet users only read the first search result. And in fact, users often do not even have to click through to Wikipedia. More and more material from Wikipedia is displayed on Google’s own search results pages, thanks to the Google Knowledge Graph panel and Google’s new snippet overlay. No wonder that there is such great interest from the most diverse parties to influence Wikipedia’s content.

News from Azerbaijan

A case in point is the government of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is an oil- and gas-rich former Soviet republic that has for more than two decades been ruled by the Aliyev dynasty. Likened in leaked US diplomatic cables to a mafia don, its current president Ilham Aliyev is seen as “increasingly authoritarian and hostile to diversity of political views.”

The 2014 Human Rights Watch report on Azerbaijan reads as follows:

The Azerbaijani government’s poor record on freedom of expression, assembly, and association dramatically deteriorated during the year. The authorities arrested dozens of political activists on bogus charges, imprisoned critical journalists, broke up several peaceful public demonstrations, and adopted legislation that further restricted fundamental freedoms. This crackdown was the backdrop for the October 2013 presidential election, in which incumbent President Ilham Aliyev was re-elected for a third term with 84.5 percent of the vote.

So when in September of last year an obscure news item about the Azerbaijani Wikipedia was raised for discussion in our forum, it seemed worthy of a second look. Published by Azeri business news portal abc.az, it told the world, in somewhat broken English:

…continue reading Wikipedia – the new ministry of truth

Wikipedia’s Balkanisation

By Andreas Kolbe, with input from Eric Barbour

Wikipedia is the encyclopedia anyone can edit – anonymously, under an assumed name. Credentials are unnecessary. The Wikimedia Foundation does not even make any provision to verify the credentials of actual subject matter experts who are happy to edit under their real names. As a result, such experts have no more standing in Wikipedia than any other anonymous contributor. At the same time, contributors are free to claim qualifications they do not have – sometimes with amusing (or terrifying, depending on your point of view) results.

Wikipedia is also one of the top Google links for almost any topic under the sun. Enter anything at all in Google, and a Wikipedia article is usually found near the top of the search listing – a reflection of the site’s top-10 Alexa ranking. This visibility, combined with the ease with which anyone can change content at any time, makes Wikipedia an irresistible magnet for social entrepreneurs, activists and extremists of all kinds.

Politically motivated Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik famously exhorted his sympathisers to edit Wikipedia to create new truths in support of his right-wing agenda. He even edited it himself (as did Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedell and Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza). Advice on how to edit Wikipedia can be found on white supremacist website Stormfront.

According to the Wikipedia myth, the presence of extremists among its editor base poses no problem. Opposing activists, so the thinking goes, will balance articles. At best, however, this adversarial approach produces articles dominated by duelling extremist sources, with moderate and mainstream opinions underrepresented; moderates simply don’t care enough to engage in daily wars over article wordings. At worst, as the number of Wikipedia administrators continues to dwindle and the number of articles rises to

…continue reading Wikipedia’s Balkanisation