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Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2018-01-16/In the media

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The Paris Review, British Crown and British Media: Wikipedia manipulated and copied – again

Brigid Hughes: The disappearing person

Disappearing into fog on Watlington Hill - - 298740.jpg

Brigid Hughes was a success story. She had graduated from Northwestern University, and taken a job at The Paris Review as a lowly intern. She rose astronomically, to managing editor, and then succeeded George Plimpton as the executive editor of the magazine. After a year, she was not rehired as the editor, and was succeeded by Philip Gourevitch. Gourevitch left, and was replaced by Lorin Stein. Stein was pushed out after several incidents of sexual misconduct were discovered. The New York Times was one of those who criticized Stein heavily, and wrote that Stein was the third editor to "hold the title in the magazine's 58-year history, and the second to follow George Plimpton, himself a legendary New York social figure." The Times, however – rather glaringly – forgot an editor. Julie Bosman (the author of the article) left out Brigid Hughes.

Antoine Wilson and others had written to Bosman, urging the correction to be made, but Bosman resisted the change, as at the time Hughes was not listed on the masthead of the Review at all. The correction to the article was issued in December 2017. However, Hughes was left out in The New Yorker, informative pieces, and, yes, even The Paris Review's Wikipedia Page. An anonymous editor, with an IP address registered to The Paris Review, removed any mention of Hughes from the Paris Review page, on at least one occasion. Hughes was not re-added to the page until November 2017, and an article did not exist on her until December 7, 2017.

In an interview of Stein, he himself ignores that Hughes was editor. When asked "You're following on the heels on some of the great editors of their day, This was a daunting task, I assume, stepping into those shoes." Stein responds "Well. Yeah. In a funny way, George Plimpton edited the magazine from 1953 until he died in 2003, and then Philip Gourevitch, uh, terrific reporter, did it for five years and then quit to write a book, so I’m number three, and Philip really, that was hard, what Philip had to do because George Plimpton — Norman Mailer called him the most loved man in New York, but he was not just in New York, people worship him, rightly so." (Adapted from a Longreads Story)

Copying from Wikipedia (again)

St Edward's Crown.jpg
St Edward's Crown has been stolen and returned. Unfortunately we can't say the same about Wikipedia's article.

The Daily Mail, which has a belligerent (to say the least) relationship with Wikipedia has just become the latest in a series of newspapers to copy from Wikipedia. In an article about a BBC documentary soon to come, they copied over six sentences.

"The present version of St Edward's Crown was made for Charles II in 1661. It was fashioned to closely resemble the medieval crown, with a heavy gold base and clusters of semi-precious stones, but the arches are very much Baroque."
– In this sentence, the only difference is that "decidedly" has been changed to "very much".
"In 1671, one Thomas Blood briefly stole the crown from the Tower of London, flattening it with a mallet in an attempt to conceal it."
– Only difference: "one" has been added before "Thomas Blood".
"After the coronation of William III in 1689, monarchs chose to be crowned with a lighter, bespoke coronation crown or their state crown"
– Word-for-word copy.
"Edward VII intended to revive the tradition of using St Edward’s Crown in 1902, but on coronation day he was still recovering from an operation for appendicitis, and instead he wore the lighter Imperial State Crown."
– Word-for-word copy.
"In 1953 Queen Elizabeth II adopted a stylised image of the crown for use in coats of arms, badges, logos and other insignia throughout the Commonwealth realms to symbolise her royal authority."
– Word-for-word copy.

In brief

Toby Young in 2011.jpg
Toby Young, avid Wikipedia editor
  • Toby Young: The Guardian reports that Toby Young, a British journalist and director of the New Schools Network, has edited his Wikipedia page over 250 times in the past ten years, under account User:Tyoung8 and others.
  • The case of razor blades: Poynter Institute reported that crowdsourced lists are analogous to Wikipedia wrapped in razor blades. By all means examine it—but do so carefully or there may be a lot of blood on your hands.
  • Erasing antisemitism: Tablet reported on attempts to manipulate, "obfuscate" by renaming, or outright delete the page Antisemitism in the Labour Party.
  • Cyborgs on Wikipedia: The Sun reported that the United Kingdom Commons Culture Committee suspects Russian "cyborgs" are planting fake news on Wikipedia. The Sun quoted an unnamed source as saying "It seems not enough checks are being done by Wikipedia to make sure the content on there is not fake."

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