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  • 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.

From Wikipedia poster woman to black sheep. The Sarah Stierch story.

By Nathalie Collida and friends

The recent firing of Wikimedia Foundation employee Sarah Stierch, over her creation of Wikipedia articles for pay, highlights the Wikimedia movement’s inconsistent and often hypocritical attitude towards so-called “conflict-of-interest” editing and the way Wikipedia insiders and outsiders are held to different standards. L’affaire Stierch led our editorial team to uncover how some of the Wikipedia community’s more prominent members engaged in promotional activities that are nominally considered unethical among the encyclopaedia’s volunteer contributors. It also raises the question just how much the Wikimedia Foundation’s actions are governed by PR considerations, rather than a genuine desire to promote responsible curation of its sites.

A very Wikipedia career

Sarah Stierch has been a popular Wikipedia participant and administrator. As one of the site’s few high-visibility women, she managed to forge a career out of her Wikipedia-related activities. A contributor since 2004, Stierch became the foremost and most successful advocate for improving Wikipedia’s coverage of prominent women in the sciences, arts, and politics. Her efforts to reverse the “gender gap” on the male-dominated site have been widely recognized. Stierch has also held various remunerated positions as the “Wikipedian in Residence” with respected institutions such as the Smithsonian and the World Digital Library.

Stierch’s unpaid work for Wikipedia was not without perks either. Her CV states that she received $6,400 in travel grants and scholarships from Wikipedia-related organizations in 2011 alone. For 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation awarded Stierch a one-year community fellowship “to support her commitment to encouraging women’s participation in Wikimedia projects”. She gained a spot as a one-off blogger for the Huffington Post. Her January 2012 piece, entitled “SOPA Blackout: Why Wikipedia Needs Women”, elaborated on the premise that women would never be fully represented on the Internet unless they became contributors to that most influential of

…continue reading From Wikipedia poster woman to black sheep. The Sarah Stierch story.

Wikipedia’s new editing software gets failing grade

By Gregory Kohs

This article first appeared at Examiner.com

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If you’re not one of the 34,000 or so people who edit the English Wikipedia at least five times per month, you may not have noticed the change that has taken place on the massive encyclopedia, but a highly controversial change has indeed been implemented by Wikipedia’s management team. In the past two weeks, a new “Visual Editor” has been deployed on Wikipedia, which purportedly enables users who want to change text in the encyclopedia to do so more easily and directly, without diving into the arcane “wikitext” markup language that has stymied many users for years. The problem is, the new software is riddled with flaws, and as of yesterday (July 19), the Wikimedia Foundation employee in charge of the deployment, Oliver Keyes, is apparently trying to hide the fact that the “old” platform was more effective at engaging editors than the new platform. Keyes rejects calls from the community to take down the Visual Editor until it can be fixed properly.

For anyone following the Wikimedia Foundation’s management over the past few years, it is clear that reversing the slow decline in editor engagement on the various language Wikipedias has been the top priority. Without volunteers beavering away at Wikipedia’s mountain of information, the Foundation knows that cash donations could be the next thing to suffer. However, rather than admit that the hostile personality culture that permeates the back pages of Wikipedia may be the thing most eroding editor retention, the Foundation has instead fixated on the editing software interface as the key problem. It was believed that a “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) document interface would fatten the ranks of people willing to dive into Wikipedia and

…continue reading Wikipedia’s new editing software gets failing grade