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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,

…continue reading Wikipedia – the new ministry of truth

Jimmy Wales, Kazakhstan, Tony Blair and Wikipedia: A Timeline

For an overview of this story, please see last week’s post, Jimmy Wales in: The Dictator and I.

The following timeline, compiled by a group of Wikipediocracy site trustees, chronicles some less-well-known facts about the development of the Kazakh-language Wikipedia, its ties to the Kazakhstan government, the Wikimedia Foundation, Jimmy Wales, Tony Blair, and other related persons and entities. We hope that this raw data will aid further discussion of this topic in the New Year. To view or participate in a forum discussion on this topic, please click here. If you have additional relevant information not included here, please contact us at media@wikipediocracy.com.

2007 16 January 2007 – Jimmy Wales is named a Young Global Leader by The World Economic Forum in Davos, as is his eventual wife, Kate Garvey, formerly Tony Blair’s diary secretary. Tony Blair also speaks at the event, his third consecutive annual visit. (Blair will become co-chairman of the World

…continue reading Jimmy Wales, Kazakhstan, Tony Blair and Wikipedia: A Timeline

Jimmy Wales in: The Dictator and I

Wikipedian of the Year runs wiki organisation funded by an authoritarian regime

 

By Andreas Kolbe

 

[To view or participate in a forum discussion on this topic, please click here.]

The other day an obscure news article caught my eye online: Wikipedia founder to visit Kazakhstan in 2013. Underneath one of Jimmy Wales’ favourite pictures of himself – the one where he is wearing a blue business shirt, nonchalantly leaning against a wall, his famous blue eyes smiling at the reader – the text said, “Wikipedia founder is expected to visit Kazakhstan in 2013, according to Rauan Kenzhekhanuly, founder of WikiBilim Foundation [an NGO to develop the Kazakh Wikipedia].” A little further below, the article said that the project to expand the Kazakh Wikipedia was supported by Karim Massimov, until recently the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, and today President Nazarbaev’s chief of staff.

This piqued my curiosity. Supported by whom? Expanding the various language

…continue reading Jimmy Wales in: The Dictator and I