In the media
The Sydney Morning Herald reports (May 30) that the Wikipedia article of Australian rules football player Adam Goodes was the target of racist vandalism after he performed an Indigenous Australian war dance after scoring a goal during a May 29 game. The game was part of the Indigenous Round, an annual event celebrating the contributions of Indigenous football players, Goodes, whose mother is of Adnyamathanha and Narungga descent, said he was inspired by the Flying Boomerangs, the Indigenous under-16 AFL team, and it was "just a little bit of a tribute to those guys ... proud to be Aboriginal and represent." Despite this, many reacted negatively to the display. Goodes said: "Is this the lesson we want to teach our children, that when we don't understand something we get angry and put our back up against the wall [and decide] that's offensive?". Goodes, who has been in the AFL since the 1997 AFL draft, has previously been the target of racist remarks from fans and even other sports figures.
The Brisbane Times reports (June 1) that IP addresses assigned to the Victoria Police have edited the article Death of Tyler Cassidy 17 times. Cassidy was a teenager shot by the Victoria Police in 2008. The edits removed and altered material which appears to cast the Victoria Police in an unfavorable light, such as the sentence "The incident was blamed on a lack of training and information gathering performed by Victoria Police." A spokesperson initially denied the IP addresses belonged to the Police, but they later confirmed the edits were made from their IP addresses and said they were considering a policy regarding Wikipedia editing. In March, a news story revealed a similar pattern of editing from IP addresses belonging to the New York Police Department (see Signpost coverage).
- Wikimedia profile: The Hindu talks with (June 4) Wikimedian and scientist Shyamal Lakshminarayanan.
- Mapping the metro: CityMetric favorably compares (June 1) a map of the London Underground found on Wikipedia to the official map, of which it writes "it's cramped, it’s unclear, and it just isn't very pretty." The Wiki map, which it calls "far better than the real thing", was created by Sameboat and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons in August 2014. Sameboat has also created maps of a number of other transit systems for cities around the world.
- Picture puzzle: The Guardian claims (May 31) that the Wikipedia article for English journalist Rod Liddle actually featured a picture of MP Michael Fabricant. An examination of the edit history of Liddle's article for the last two years reveals no image of anyone in the article.
- Minding the gender gap: The May 28 episode of the Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4 discussed gender bias on Wikipedia. The episode featured journalist Jenny Kleeman, author of a recent New Statesman article on the topic (see previous Signpost coverage), and Daria Cybulska, Programme Manager at Wikimedia UK. Kleeman said "This is not just about Wikipedia, this is also about Google, because Wikipedia quite often is the first result when you google something. It's where politicians, journalists, and academics go to first brief themselves even though they pretend that it's not. So this is about the most important portal to information in the 21st century. If it is skewed in this way, it has massive repercussions." Cybulska offered the Gender gap page on Meta-Wiki as a resource for those who wish to help address the issue.
- Building on Fire: The Sowetan reports (May 29) that the controversy regarding the cost of security upgrades to Nkandla, the private residence of South African president Jacob Zuma, has reached Wikipedia. The expensive improvements, including a helipad, amphitheatre, and swimming pool have cost millions of rand and attracted widespread criticism, including from Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Police minister Nathi Nhleko presented a report, also widely criticized, which justified the upgrades and cited the Wikipedia article amphitheatre. An editor later added to the article a statement about how the report noted an amphitheater's potential "use as a secure assembly meeting point." The swimming pool was dubbed a "firepool" from which water could be drawn for firefighting. This prompted the creation of a Wikipedia article for firepool, which is currently under discussion at Articles for Deletion. MyBroadband urges readers to "Save the Firepool Wikipedia page" (June 3).
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Check back for the next Signpost on July 30.