In the Information Age, disinformation is all around us: photos in our encyclopedia meant to sell clothing, a spy possibly editing Wikipedia, company names that mean nothing, citogenesis. Is Wikipedia part of the solution or part of the problem?
Information and disinformation
- There's a lot Wikipedia can teach us about fighting disinformation in Wired discusses the case of Maria Butina – a Russian convicted in the United States of conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent of the Russian Federation – and how she possibly tried to edit the Wikipedia article about herself. Wired then compares the effectiveness of Wikipedia's methods to combat disinformation with the efforts of Facebook, YouTube, etc.
- The sad decline of the sensible company name in the Financial Times uses the "Wikipedia test" which asks whether finding out what a company actually does is easier to determine from its name, from its website, or from Wikipedia.
- 'The case of an iconic watch: how lazy writers and Wikipedia create and spread fake "facts"' a good case study of citogenesis from KSNV TV.
- DJBooth points out Wikipedia's errors in rap articles and how they spread across the internet.
- The battle for Craig Wright's Wikipedia page on Decrypt describes the Wiki-battle by possibly paid editors over the old, and likely irrelevant question of who is Satoshi Nakamoto.
- Using Wikipedia for medical research? What to watch for, American Medical Association includes a link to AMA Journal of Ethics How Should Clinicians Engage With Online Health Information?
- The New York Times crossword rewarded readers who know the answer to a tussle between Wikieditors. (7 letters starting with E)
- An edit war at Timothy Parker (puzzle designer) erupts according to Forbes after Parker is accused of plagiarizing crosswords from, among others, The New York Times.
The North Face vandalizes Wikipedia
In May 2019 The Signpost reported that The North Face, a global chain clothing store, paid their marketers to replace Wikipedia's photos of parks, mountains and other nature sites with their advertisements. Media coverage of the scandal continues.
- Of the dozens of articles covering the vandalism only Fast Company tells it exactly like it is: "This seemingly cheeky move is actually at the vanguard of a pernicious emerging movement that we’ll call asshole advertising."
- The North Face’s Wikipedia Stunt Goes South by law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips states "The North Face’s manipulation of Wikipedia images is a form of native advertising and may be subject to the FTC’s advertising disclosure requirements."
- Deseret News "If you want to market your product, don’t mess with Wikipedia to do it." We'd like to think so, but doesn't this kind of editing happen every day?
- Engadget states that "moderators and the site itself may have to be more prepared for surreptitious plugs like this, even if they're unlikely to happen again in the near future." How unlikely is that?
- Stephen Harrison on Slate gives a excellent summary of the hack itself, then focuses on a "highly meta" followup "a discussion taking place on Wikipedia about whether Wikipedia should include information within that subject’s Wikipedia article about how that subject covertly and unethically edited Wikipedia."
- A History of Brands Hacking Wikipedia in AdAge mentions Burger King, SeaWorld and NBC News and links to Conflict-of-interest editing on Wikipedia.
- PR Week quotes Francis Ingham, director general of the Public Relations and Communications Association, who packs so much right and so much wrong into so few sentences. "It is absolutely and always wrong for PR practitioners to break the PRCA Code of Conduct by posting fake pictures or fake facts on Wikipedia. Sadly, it is also the case that Wikipedia’s procedures are opaque, confusing, and often self-defeating. While the organisation is correct to ask that its customers abide by its rules, it is completely at fault for ensuring that those rules remain quite frankly so strange and so confusing. Wikipedia would be a more reliable source of factual information if it engaged more constructively with those offering to provide those facts." So who is completely at fault?
- Outdoors emphasizes that TNF Brazil – a licensee, not a subsidiary – ran the program.
- Travel Weekly quotes TNF Brazil's CEO Fabricio Luzzi's initial statement “Our mission is to expand our frontiers so that our consumers can overcome their limits. With the ‘Top of Images’ project, we achieved our positioning and placed our products in a fully contextualised manner as items that go hand in hand with these destinations.”
Adding and deleting women
- Video: The Wikipedia gender gap in the University of Washington's UW News
|Exploring the gender gap in Wikipedia editors, 3:09, June 11, 2019, University of Washington|
- appear in this video about UW research into the reasons for Wikipedia's gender gap. Rosiestep says "Amanda Menking and Wanda Pratt's work is important, so I was happy to participate in this project, and the follow-up video... I'd be interested in hearing feedback from members of the Wikimedia community as well as non-Wikimedians after they view the video."
- A Ridiculous Gender Bias On Wikipedia Is Finally Being Corrected on Refinery29 describes a women's football (soccer) project sponsored by Adidas. Bustle joins in with "Wikipedia Is Getting More Female Footballer Profiles, Thanks To This Much-Needed Initiative." The North Face could learn something from this.
- Male Wikipedia editors are deleting women, says Sandi Toksvig in The Times. Good try, but she gets a few facts wrong. "There are about 350,000 uber-volunteers and they tend . . . to be the same kind of guy . . . sitting in his pants. They are actively editing women out and women’s achievements are not being inputted."
- The Culture War Has Finally Come For Wikipedia is the first of many articles that will likely appear on the Fram-ban. It's got all the pieces in place, harassment, ArbCom, editor revolt, the WMF, though "culture war" seems a long stretch.
- Associations Now shows how linguists really know how to throw an editathon: “having snacks really helps.”
- Sacramento Report: The New Front in the SB 50 Battle Is Toni Atkins’ Wikipedia Page in the Voice of San Diego shows how California politicians know how to write an article, having money really helps.
- For further coverage of Wikipedia in the news see List of articles about Wikipedia