An explosion of women's history
During March's Women's History Month articles on Wikipedia's role in recording this history exploded in the press. We can only give a sample:
- Fighting against gender bias The magazine Smithsonian highlighted prosopographies (the "study of the individuals in a group of people within a specific context and their relationships"), obscure collections of biographical materials, that can be used to fight Wikipedia's gender bias. Alison Booth, a professor at the University of Virginia has created an online database of more than 7,500 women chronicled in such collections.
- BAME scientists the journal Nature explains the importance of an edit-a-thon about black, Asian and minority ethnic scientists.
- Female scientist Jess Wade was profiled in TNW for her work as Jesswade88, creating over 500 biographies of female scientists
- The CBC covers an Art+Feminism edit-a-thon on women and non-binary people from Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Edit-a-thons included those held at the University of Arizona, Cornell University, the University of Connecticut, the Corning Museum of Glass, Ohio State University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts
Slate's Stephen Harrison discusses the gender gap's relation to Wikipedia's notability standards. Are the standards written in a way that allows the sexism of past generations to exclude articles on women?
Earlier this month Harrison wrote that Wikipedia has a citogenesis problem — websites copy uncited information from Wikipedia, and Wikipedia editors then cite those websites for the same information. Harrison notes that our list of citogenesis incidents includes the "facts" that Jar'Edo Wens is an Australian aboriginal god and that Mike Pompeo served in the U.S. military during the war in Vietnam.
Mike Vago's long-running Wiki Wormhole is a quirky column on some of Wikipedia's most quirky articles. Last week's column featured The Langley Schools Music Project about a 1976 elementary school band recording, re-released in 2001. What could be so fascinating about that? Listen to the linked YouTube video of Desperado. Vago claims the Wormhole will be a 5,664,405-week series.
Declared paid editing
Ashley Feinberg at the Huffington Post reports that "Facebook, Axios and NBC" used a declared paid editor, Ed Sussman (BC1278) from the firm WhiteHatWiki, to 'whitewash' their pages. Nevertheless she appeared to stop short of claiming that Sussman broke any Wikipedia rules, except perhaps that he badgered volunteer editors with "walls of text."
Breitbart News – which is not considered to be a reliable source on Wikipedia – repeated much of Feinberg's story and added some Wikipedia-bashing. A follow-up, which was written by banned editor The Devil's Advocate, adds some interesting details and takes a run at another declared paid editor, WWB. Breitbart links are not allowed on Wikipedia, but Donald Trump, Jr. has thoughtfully provided a link on Twitter.
- Community: /r/IAmA hosted a front page Reddit interview on 23 February with the Wikipedia community's own Ser Amantio di Nicolao. The conversation centered on his many Wikipedia edits and followed previous news coverage summarized in our January issue.
- Media archives: The Times of Israel reported on the uploading of 28,000 photos by Wikimedia Israel of life in the region before the modern state of Israel was formally established in 1948. The images are in the public domain as their copyright expired after fifty years. The Association of Israeli Archivists criticized Wikimedia for the move, saying that "Wikimedia's 'sting' operation involves a variety of legal and professional offenses, including concern of infringement of intellectual and property rights, breach of signed agreements with donors, blatant failure to give credit, and erasure of the archival context."
- Scientific American's 60-second science describes how Animal Migrations Track with Wikipedia Searches. The underlying academic article is A season for all things: Phenological imprints in Wikipedia usage and their relevance to conservation in PLOS Biology.
- The New Scientist reports on how 'Wikipedia's civil wars show how we can heal ideological divides online'.