In the media
Johann Hari; bandishes and delicate flowers
Johann Hari offers apologies for malicious Wikipedia editing
The radio show Little Atoms, broadcast weekly on London's Resonance FM, featured a lengthy conversation with journalist and author Johann Hari on its January 20 episode about his new book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. In 2011, it was revealed that Hari had engaged in a spree of pseudonymous edits maligning other British journalists, accusing them of being anti-Semitic, homophobic, alcoholic, and supporters of Sarah Palin (see previous Signpost coverage). This, coupled with revelations of plagiarism, prompted Hari to return his prestigious Orwell Prize and leave The Independent. Before the book discussion, Hari and host Neil Denny briefly discussed the issue. Hari said
||I did two things that were really awful things to do; one was when I interviewed people sometimes I would use material they had spoken elsewhere or written down and acted as if it had been said directly to me. And also on Wikipedia sometimes I would edit other people's entries under a pseudonym and I was horrible and nasty about some of them. Those are both awful things to do.
Denny asked if he would offer an apology specifically to two of his targets, Nick Cohen and Francis Wheen. Hari, who has previously published a public apology, and privately contacted some of his specific targets, asked Denny to deliver private letters of apology to the two men.
- Studying Wikipedia: V3 reports (January 21) on Jimmy Wales' appearance at BETT 2015, an annual UK technology trade show. He said that students should be taught how to properly use Wikipedia. "A hundred percent of all students are using Wikipedia. This debate that we used to have five years ago about should students use Wikipedia or not is frankly irrelevant. They are using Wikipedia. It's just a fact of reality. What we need to do is teach students how to use Wikipedia. It has its strengths and it has its weaknesses. It's really crucial that we educate this next generation on those strengths and those weaknesses."
- Speaking Wikipedia: Fusion sings the praises (January 21) of Spoken Wikipedia, a series of audio recordings of Wikipedia articles read by editors, and singles out five of them for particular praise. One of them is the recording of the article death erection by Wikipedian and freelance voiceover artist Jules Ismail (Theroachyjay). Fusion compares Ismail's style to that of a "movie theater announcement" and in the recording Ismail performs a small section of Waiting for Godot that was quoted in the article. Another one, Bhutanese passport, has received significant social media attention because the reading, in what may be Bhutanese-accented English, is widely perceived as comic. The resulting attention has prompted article protection and a talk page debate about the appropriateness of the recording.
- Give me Liberty: The West Liberty Index reports (January 21) on efforts by town librarians and members of a non-profit local development organization to improve the article for West Liberty, Iowa as part of an effort to enhance the city's online presence.
- Preserving musical heritage: The Times of India reports (January 20) efforts to preserve and make accessible traditional Indian musical compositions using projects like Telugu Wikisource. These include the works of musicians of centuries past like Annamacharya and the bandishes of current musicians like Neela Bhagwat.
- Editathon:The Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) announces (January 20) a February 7 Black Life Matters Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture with METRO's Wikipedian in Residence Dorothy Howard (OR drohowa).
- Papal vandalism: The Lancashire Evening Post reports (January 18) on the vandalism to the article for Holy Cross Catholic High School, which included the claim that the school was visited by the Pope.
- In the greenhouse: A profile (January 18) of citizen journalist Eliot Higgins in The Independent mentions the frequent vandalism of his Wikipedia article. Higgins said "I've been using the internet since 1997 – it's not like I'm some delicate flower."
- Net neutrality: In the New York Daily News, Professor Tim Wu, who coined the phrase network neutrality in 2003, writes (January 17) that non-profit websites like Wikipedia would slow down in the absence of net neutrality.
- Genetic sexual attraction: In an article (January 17) about incest and rape, The Daily Beast notes the contentious discussions on Wikipedia regarding the article genetic sexual attraction due to the few scholarly references to the concept.
- On failure: On January 16 at Maastricht University, Jimmy Wales gave a speech called "Understanding failure as a route to success".
- College editing: On the blog of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory), Alicia Pileggi offers her experiences (January 16) editing Wikipedia for a Feminist Theory course at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
- Penn State: Penn Live reports (January 16) that the wins of former Pennsylvania State University coach Joe Paterno were quickly restored in several Wikipedia articles following the news of a settlement in a lawsuit against the NCAA. The settlement restores Paterno's 111 wins that were vacated by the NCAA in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. Wikipedia editing in relationship to this lawsuit has been the subject of prior Signpost coverage.
- Slums and suburbs: The Watford Observer reports (January 16) that the Wikipedia article for South Oxhey, a suburb of Watford, described it as a "slum of Watford". The newspaper reports that the vandalism remained for two days, but according to the edit history, it remained for a week.
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