Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2022-03-27/In the media

Ukraine, Russia, and even some other stuff: Lenin did not say "Wow, check out those yachts"!

The ongoing 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine resulted in a considerable amount of coverage of Wikipedia's coverage of the war. But there were a number of other Wikipedia stories in the media on other topics, so if war articles aren't of interest to you, scroll on down and click away.

Russia and Ukraine

  • An opinion piece in the Financial Times by John Thornhill, entitled "The truth about war is messy — just read Wikipedia", was released March 18th. Thornhill, a former bureau chief in Moscow for the newspaper, generally lauds the work of Wikipedians during the war and concludes that "it may be far from ideal that an online encyclopedia carries ever-changing, contested and kaleidoscopic versions of reality in different language editions", but attributes this messiness not to Wikipedia, but to reality - "the truth is messy." (subscription required)
  • Russia can't catch a break: A deputy chairman of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation complained that Wikipedia (both Russian and others) was becoming a "bridgehead for informational war against Russia", and stated that Russian law-enforcement agencies identified 13 persons carrying out "politically engaged editing" of Wikipedia's articles, and about 30,000 bloggers, "participating in informational war against Russia". (rapsinews.ru – RAPSI, formerly RIA Novosti)
  • Russia and Wikipedia: According to Novaya Gazeta, pro-Kremlin structures related to Yevgeny Prigozhin are actively involved in doxing "coordinators of an informational attack on Russia" including Wikipedia's editors. Novaya Gazeta is one of the few Russian newspapers which do not bow down to the Kremlin. Last year its editor Dmitry Muratov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for work done at the newspaper. It also reports that Special Communications Service of Russia (the division of Federal Protective Service) employees are trying to disseminate pro-Kremlin propaganda through editing Wikipedia's articles.[1] B, G, S

Even their yachts have articles

People enjoy reading about the recent seizures of Russian oligarchs' yachts, according to the Washington Post. They mention in passing that some of these yachts "have their own Wikipedia pages", without mentioning which ones. The Signpost knows: see Eclipse, Dilbar, Nord, and a dozen more on the list of motor yachts by length, and A at list of large sailing yachts. S

Sexual Assault Allegations Vanished ...

The Intercept documents that "an IP address at the [State of Missouri] Office of Administration building" erased information from the biography of Steven Roberts on February 7. A spokesman for the state senator denied knowing about the edits and added, "As you are aware, Wikipedia is an unregulated, unedited, largely unsourced mass of information that is often inaccurate because anyone can post almost anything." -S

In brief

  • The Noosphere and Wikipedia: Human Energy, a group of academics, published an interview with Wikipedia user Risker on how the noosphere relates to Wikipedia.
  • Android & butts love Cleopatra: Input magazine reported on the mysterious phenomenon of Cleopatra's Wikipedia article being constantly trending, receiving high amounts of pageviews. The culprit appears to be Google Assistant: one of the suggested searches says "Try saying "Show Cleopatra on Wikipedia."
  • Lenin did not say "There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen," according to an occasional Wikipedian in Stuff. She goes on to explain how New Zealanders could better use Wikipedia. This includes History is written as it happens by Wikipedia
  • Things are looking brighter in Kashmir with a revival in editing the Kashmiri Wikipedia according to the English-language newspaper Brighter Kashmir. The Kashmiri language is spoken by seven million people in Kashmir – in both the Indian controlled area and the Pakistani controlled area. The article doesn't mention how many speakers live in the Chinese controlled area, but presumably they are blocked from reading or editing by the Chinese. There are currently 30 active editors. Kashmir language Makes it to Wikipedia
  • A history of Wikipedia since the 1960s: The student newspaper The Mancunion gives you everything you need to know about Wikipedia's history in 1,031 words. Starting with hacker culture in the 1960s, the article covers the broad strokes of the internet, the worldwide web, and even Nupedia before it gets to Wikipedia proper. Coverage after that is a bit sketchy, but the broad strokes are there and pretty much correct. If you want a history of Wikipedia that you can read in less than five minutes, this one is for you.
  • Loser.com: "It's unclear exactly when Loser.com first started pointing towards Putin's Wikipedia entry." Mashable (see previous Signpost coverage)
  • Vandalized biography of living person: A parliament spokesperson decried hoax editing to the biography of Jacob Oulanyah, the Speaker of the 11th Parliament of Uganda, saying he was dead. (The Monitor (Uganda))
  • Putting the nerd in "Nerdist": Nerdist found MetalBallStudios' infographic comparing the road networks of many nations, drawing its data from Wikipedia, "super compelling". You might have seen MetalBallStudios do starship comparisons and other graphics against a 3D model of Manhattan.
  • Molly's famous now: Fast Company is the latest to feature an interview with GorillaWarfare about her views on cryptocurrencies, DAOs and Wikipedia. here
  • Wiley opens up to editors: 22,000 books and over 1,600 journals will be available for free for high-frequency Wikipedia editors [1] through The Wikipedia Library (The Bookseller)

Notes

  1. ^ Kozlova, Darya (17 March 2022). "Правочный режим. ФСО редактирует статьи в «Википедии» об Украине, википедистов преследуют и угрожают блокировкой проекта — все из-за «спецоперации»" [FSO (Federal Protective Service) edits articles on Wikipedia about Ukraine, Wikipedians are being persecuted and threatened with block of their project – all because of a "special operation"]. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian).



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