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13 February 2024

 

Wikimedia Russia director declared "foreign agent" by Russian gov; EU prepares to pile on the papers

Man wearing a suit.
Kozlovsky in 2021.

Russian government declares Wikimedia Russia's director a "foreign agent"

Wikimedia Russia Director Stanislav Kozlovsky was declared to be a foreign agent according to Meduza. In December, Kozlovsky had been forced out of his job as associate professor at Moscow State University in anticipation of the official statement and he had already started the process of closing Wikimedia Russia. See previous Signpost coverage.

Oleg Orlov, the co-founder of Memorial – which was awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize – was also named a foreign agent by the Russian government, along with four other individuals:

In a subsequent interview with Worldcrunch, titled "Is Wikipedia The Last Hope For Free Speech In Putin's Russia?", Kozlovsky stated

I will remain in Russia; it's my country. I am not a "foreign agent", and I hope charges never come to that. If they do, it would impact my ability to teach at universities, write popular science articles, and engage in the popularization of science. There's uncertainty about job prospects with the status of foreign agent.

I've edited around 40,000 Wikipedia article, not all could have a label stating "material created by a foreign agent." But it's unclear whether fines will be imposed or how long such offenses will last. Fifteen years at Wikipedia, 25 years at Moscow State University, and, in one day, it could all come to an end.

Yet I am hopeful that a new stage will begin. Wikipedia is a brilliant project, crucial for global development, and Russian Wikipedia is something our country should be proud of, despite the lack of support. I hope common sense will prevail.

AK, Smallbones, H

New EU laws should help protect editors from abusive lawsuits, but might grant problematic on-wiki privileges to news media organizations

In its latest EU Policy Monitoring Report, published on January 30, Wikimedia Europe highlights some "really, really intensive" legislative work ongoing in the European Union (ahead of a de facto February deadline in advance of the upcoming European Parliament elections in June). Some of them raise hopes and concerns regarding their possible impact on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects:

The anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) proposal, which was published in April 2022, aims at protecting persons who engage in public participation from manifestly unfounded or abusive court proceedings that present a cross-border aspect. [...] As you may be aware, our projects and communities are facing SLAPP cases across Europe, including in Portugal and Estonia. [...] Overall, the agreement can be considered satisfactory as it introduces some common safeguards that until now the EU lacked [as opposed to various other jurisdictions, including many US states]. There are nonetheless a few aspects on which Wikimedia Europe wants to focus at national level when Member States will transpose the Directive. Indeed, Member States can decide to offer further protection, for instance, on the early dismissal mechanism, the possibility to introduce the right to ask for the compensation of damages or the possibility to take into account the ubiquitous nature of the Internet as a relevant element to determine the cross-border nature of a case. We will prepare “transposition documentation” and work with interested communities across the continent.

Secondly,

The European Media Freedom Act is intended to boost media and journalistic freedom [1] across the bloc. It is a bag of very versatile measures that are intended to help protect a pluralistic media landscape. Things like rules on government spending on public service announcements and enshrining the protection of sources at the EU level. For Wikimedia this law is relevant, because it also wants to limit how online platforms moderate content provided by media providers, which are defined as media outlets but also individual journalists. [...]

The agreed text of Article 17 would require online platforms to accept self-declarations from media service providers who identify as such and warn such users ahead of moderating their content and to allow them a fast-track channel to contest decisions. All this can be problematic, seeing that disinformation is sometimes produced by media providers.

For example, Signpost readers may recall the protestations of the (then still EU-based) British tabloid the Daily Mail against its "ban" by the English Wikipedia in 2017. Will the new law enable such news publications to interfere with their deprecation or blacklisting, or with other community decisions? The authors of the report appear to be optimistic (although not certain) that this won't be the case, thanks to a carveout:

Despite the fact that Wikimedia projects were exempted from this provision in the Commission proposal, and that Parliament introduced Recital 35a explicitly recognising the role of online encyclopaedias and excluding them from the scope of the Article [2], the final version of the text contains a less clear carveout. This means that Wikipedia is in scope, but the exact extent of the obligations likely won’t mess with the established content moderation practices.

As a third new legislative agreement of relevance to Wikimedia projects, the report names the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA), "a law for internet-connected products that is meant to improve the security and software maintenance of your smart toaster and AI-powered fridge (just random examples)." Here, the European Wikimedians "were involved [...] because the newly proposed obligations could have seriously messed up the free & open software ecosystem. In the end the CRA will not harm free software and is unlikely to cause havoc on the open source environment, as long as it is outside a commercial activity," thanks to added exceptions. However, they call it "still a terrible piece of law and we have to be honest, at best it won’t do much harm." – H

Brief notes

Steward elections open



Reader comments

How low can the scammers go?

A magician holding an empty bag
Can he pull off the trick?

In the previous Signpost issue this column described Elite Wiki Writers, a company that scams their clients who only wish to have an article about themselves posted on Wikipedia. A transcript of an actual online sales pitch showed that their supposed Wikipedia paid editors were totally ignorant of Wikipedia rules. But are there other companies running similar scams? Could their representatives be even more ignorant of our rules?

A long-time Wikipedia editor and former board member of the Wikimedia Foundation, Doc James, ran into a possible case of such a company at about the same time as he read the previous article. There is currently an article about him on Wikipedia. While the prices and some of the methods appear quite different than those of Elite Wiki Writers, the general scam looks similar.

Dr. J, as we will call him for short, was approached on LinkedIn, by a person we'll call GoLI. Besides changing the participants' names in the following transcript of his interaction on LinkedIn, we've deleted several other details in order to comply with Wikipedia's rules on outing and reformatted the transcript text to better fit this space. Spelling and grammar have been left as originally posted.

FEB 1

GoLI • 6:46 PM
Hi Dr. J.!
This is GoLI. I wanted to reach out, because I found out there is no wikipedia article about you. I've been a wikipedia Editor from last 3 years, l've edited and created, contributed many articles on wikipedia.
Having a dedicated wikipedia article about you is great for personal Branding.
I can create a wikipedia article about You, If that something excites you just - - - reply me here.
Here's my wikipedia profile:) [Link to Wikipedia user page removed] Looking forward to work with you...

I am Google Knowledge Panel / Knowledge Graph creator. I have 4000+ Google Panel make experience.
If you are Public Figure, Entrepreneur, Business Owner, Author, Artist, Photographer, Influencer, Model, Actor, Racer, Fashion Designer, Director, Producer, Doctor, Lawyer, Marketer, Fitness guru, Personal Trainer, Chef etc and You want your Digital Visibility, Google ranking, Social Media Verification, Market Placement, Boost SEO etc then This Knowledge panel service 100% perfect for you.
So why you will miss this google panel service?

No more waiting. Buy with Confidence, without any confusion.
If have any question about knowledge panel / knowledge graph, Don't forget for ask me.

I am waiting for your action.

Thanks for your time.

MONDAY
Dr. J. • 5:33 PM
So you offer this as a paid service?

GoLI • 6:33 PM
Yes
I'II charge 100$ for wiki page creation and 150$ for Google knowledge Panal

Dr. J. • 8:35 PM
Do you do lanquages other than English?

GoLI • 8:36 PM
Yes, I do

Dr. J. • 8:47 PM
But don't you require lots of references about the person?

GoLI • 8:47 PM
We need 3 4 References

GoLI • 10:09 PM
You have to create both Wikipedia and Google
Knowledge Panel right?

TUESDAY
Dr. J. • 5:32 PM
Sure, does one pay before or after completion?

GoLI • 5:36 PM
You need both wiki and knowledge panel?

GoLI • 5:40 PM
Don't worry, an invoice will be sent to you, after payment your wiki page and knowledge panel will be ready within a few days, I will share the link with you.

Dr. J. • 5:40 PM
Thanks
Both

GoLI • 5:42 PM
Great send me the information in email

  • Wikipedia Article Information
  • Your Photo for wiki
  • Full Name
  • Born
  • Citizenship
  • Alma mater
  • Occupation
  • Website
  • Organization
  • Awards
  • Short Introduction about you (Imdb intro will work)
  • Earl Life and education
  • Career
  • Personal Life
  • Awards and honours/Achievements
You have to follow above template and provide me with the info.
Google Knowledge Panal Requirements:
Name, Occupation, Birthday, Birthplace, Social media
Links and If you want send me your educational institution name.
Send me details here:- [email address removed]

GoLI • 5:59 PM
As soon as I get the info I'll start working on your wiki page and google Knowledge graph

WEDNESDAY
GoLI • 6:10 PM
Any update?

Dr. J. 6:20 PM
Ah so, I need to write the content in question? And then you just get it approved for publication?

GoLI • 6:40 PM
You just send me these details in short form, then I will write your content and submit it for approval.

GoLI • 6:40 PM
You just send me these details in short form, then I will write your content and submit it for approval.

THURSDAY
Dr. J. • 10:27 PM
Okay. By the way do you need to indicate it was me who paid you when you post the article?

GoLI • 10:29 PM
Nope

Dr. J. • 10:29 PM
What about the editor who does the positing? What is their position within Wikipedia? And do they indicate that they are paid? ... sorry does the posting.

GoLI • 10:31 PM
Yes you are right, all wiki editors can submit pages for editing and approval and are paid for that.

Dr. J. • 10:32 PM
Ah cool. Also your Wikipedia account says you started editing in April of 2018 but your linkedin profile says you started editing in Dec of 2020.

GoLI • 10:34 PM
I started editing my wiki from 2018. I have many editing wiki accounts under 'That's why'

Dr. J. • 10:34 PM
Your allowed to use more than one account? I though there was rules against that?

GoLI • 10:36 PM
Nope
I also have my own team, which also includes wiki administrators.

FRIDAY
Dr. J. • 11:01 PM
You have Wikipedia administrators working for you? I did not think that was allowed either?
Is what you are doing above board? Or is this sort of covert work you do?

GoLI • 11:03 PM
We work in a team, we know each other, I have been working as a Wikipedia editor for so many years, that's why

GoLI • 11:04 PM
We work under the same board but are familiar with each other.

Dr. J. • 11:07 PM
The question is, is what you are doing legit? Ie is it permitted?

GoLI • 11:07 PM
Yes, it is

I have written many articles for Wikipedia, including articles about [links to five articles, all related to television shows, removed.]

Dr. J. • 11:09 PM
I asked "And do they indicate that they are paid?" Wikipedia requires this from what I understand.

Your answers are not clear.

Additionally how does one pay your organization? And who exactly are you working for?

GoLI • 11:12 PM
Wikipedia doesn't need it and we work within Wikipedia as Wikipedia editors.

Dr. J. • 11:17 PM I googled and came across this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Paid-contribution_disclosure

Wikipedia:Paid-contribution disclosure - Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org • 5 min read

Dr. J.

GoLI • 11:21 PM
Sir, for creating your wiki page, I will charge a simple amount of $100 and after creating your page, I will submit your page for approval and your page will go live in a few days, simple.

Dr. J. • 11:22 PM
How does one pay?

You take credit cards?

And what is the guarantee for this service?

GoLI • 11:24 PM
I have been editing Wikipedia for five years. I have created many pages, and my credibility has grown over time; so it is very unlikely that a page I create will be deleted. So the process is simple: you provide me with information about you, and I'll make some tweaks if necessary, and your page will be up.

Yes, it is only one time payment, after that if you want to add something on the page, then separate charges will be levied.

Via PayPal?

Dr. J. • 11:25 PM
Okay. What is the paypal address?

Or do you send me an invoice?

GoLI • 11:26 PM
I'll send you invoice

Google knowledge panel also has to be made?

Dr. J. • 11:27 PM
Yes please

GoLI • 11:28 PM
Okay wait I'll send you invoice and also send me wiki details and knowledge Panal details in my email address [email address removed]

Your invoice is ready, send me the details in my email and in a few days your Google Knowledge Panal and wiki page will go live, I will share your link.

[Paypal account details removed]

[Invoice summary $100 for Wikipedia article, $150 for Google Knowledge Panal (sic), $250 total]

Dr. J. • 11:37 PM
Ah... Your profile says you are in [City 1, in North America]. Your name is stated as [name removed]. But the paypal invoice is from [City 2, in Asia]. And the email is [email address removed]

Seriously man what is going on?

GoLI • 11:39 PM
I live in [City 1], my team member has a PayPal profile, so I accept direct bank transfer and [a European bank name removed] payment, here's why

Dr. J. • 11:40 PM
So the company is out of [Asian city] than...

GoLI • 11:40 PM
Don't worry sir, your page and knowledge panel will be ready in 7 days, if not then I will refund you the full payment.

trust me

Dr. J. • 11:42 PM
Apologies need more verification. How do I know the account you listed on Wikipedia is even you? How do I know you dont just take peoples money and disappear?

GoLI • 11:45 PM
Sir, my profile is listed in Wikipedia and I will not work as a doctor on people's money, this is my work. Sir, I have to do genuine work because this is the source of my income.

GoLI • 11:46 PM
If I give you a chance, I will work for you and you will recommend me to others.

GoLI • 11:48 PM
If you are hesitant in paying me PayPal then please do bank transfer to me. I have a US Bank account sir.

If I was not in [City 1], how would I have that bank account?

Dr. J. • 11:57 PM
And what is the bank account info?

GoLI • 11:58 PM
Here are the USD account details for GoLI [detailed banking information removed]

[After further discussion of financial details and GoLI's identity]

SATURDAY
Dr. J • 8:31 PM
Okay so prove this account you claim is yours is in fact you. [Link to user account removed] Edit that page saying "Still editing in 2024"

Dr. J • 8:34 PM
I imagine you cannot as you are just pretending that is your account...

The picture used in the person's LinkedIn profile was not theirs, and the person to whom it belonged reported his impostor to LinkedIn. We'll update this page if GoLI responds on Wikipedia.




Reader comments

Before and After: Why you don't need to touch grass to dramatically improve images of flora and fauna

Inspired by Adam Cuerden's recent article on finding and improving photos for biographies, I wanted to write a quick guide to finding and improving images for biology using a tool called Wiki Loves iNaturalist. It has a lot of nice functionality that I encourage you to play with, but before we get to a mini-tutorial, let's do a round of before and after photos so you can see what it offers.

Yay, makeovers! Or at least a change from pinned insects to live specimens. All the updated photos came from iNaturalist, a platform that allows scientists to track ecosystems in real-time through crowdsourcing. Because iNaturalist allows users to release their observations under Creative Commons licenses (if they choose), it can be a great resource for finding biology photos for Wikipedia.

As an example for this tutorial, let's find a good photo on iNat to illustrate Bombus pauloensis, the Paulista bumblebee, which has lots of enwiki article text but not one image! Fair warning: I'm a mobile-only user, so this mini-tutorial is screenshots via iPhone. I trust that after you become a WikiLovesiNat addict you will create a much prettier tutorial.

1. Find the iNaturalist observations page for your creature.

The Paulista bumblebee has 2,026 observations on iNaturalist, so the chances are good we can find something that suits!

Adding the search filters gets us down to 132 potentially usable CC-BY-licensed photo sets.

2. Refine your search using the filters tool in the top right.

The most important filter is photo licensing. We can use CC0, CC-BY, and CC-BY-SA on Wikipedia. My default selection is CC-BY, since for whatever reason that one always yields me the most results. I also usually tick the box for research-grade observation, which means that at least two users agree on the identification to either species or genus, and that there are no ongoing disagreements about the ID.

3. Go image shopping.

This is where you get to make fun choices. You're now a photo editor who commands a global army of nature photographers working to bring you the world's most beautiful photos of bugs (or snakes or wildflowers or whatever). You can pick something bold that will look great on a thumbnail, or a dignified three-quarters-profile portrait, or something where the creature makes eye contact with the camera (to remind the reader that we are all part of a delicate web of life and even the smallest among us have value).

4. Find the observation ID of your selection.

Once you find something you like, click on the observation and snag the observation ID out of the URL, in this case number 102719185 from the URL https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/102719185 (Note that there are two distinct ID numbers involved with iNaturalist photos, the taxon ID and the individual observation ID. The individual observation ID is usually a 9 or 10 or 11 digit number, while the taxon ID is usually a 5 or 6 or 7 digit number.) Number in hand, make your way to the WikiLovesiNat site at https://wikilovesinat.netlify.app and:

If you've preselected an image via the iNaturalist browser platform, go directly to "find article using iNat observation ID".

5. Use WikiLovesiNat to effortlessly transfer the photo and key metadata from iNaturalist to Wikimedia Commons.

There's lots to play with on WikiLovesiNaturalist, but for the mission we're on today, we want to use the option labeled "Find an article using iNaturalist observation id". Enter the ID, verify that's your selection, click 'Upload to Commons', click submit again on Commons, and then as a mercy to us all, make sure to add a species category on that page, since that is not automated.

6. Add photo to article.

Congratulations. You now have fancy photos of your creature ready for use on the encyclopedia! You know the drill from here, but consider including the date and location of the observation in your image caption. (It's like citations but for real-world sightings.) You will also come to love observers who include little notes documenting what flower the bee was on, or what the weather was like when that mushroom popped up.

Finally, if you're already an iNaturalist user and want to release all your images under a CC license, adjust your iNaturalist preferences at Account settings > Content & Display > Licensing on the browser version of iNaturalist. You'd think as a dual user of Wikipedia and iNaturalist you'd have already uploaded anything valuable to Commons, but it's stuff like your inquiry into those aphids or lichens or that local species of spider (the one that you take for granted!) that will end up being clutch for some other editor.

Have fun exploring!




Reader comments

Speaking in tongues, toeing the line, and dressing the part

Three cases of Wikipedia in Post-Soviet states

Placeholder alt text
Moscow's Kremlin, site of an interview with Russian President Putin

Boris Johnson masticates Tucker, Putin

Former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson chows down on Tucker Carlson's two-hour interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an opinion piece published by the Daily Mail. Many reviewers found the interview to be boring, e.g. Masha Gessen writing for The New Yorker (paywalled). When asked what brought about the current "special military operation", Putin elaborates on Russia's origin myth (phrased as actual history) starting with Veliky Novgorod and Kyiv in the year 862, moving onto the baptism of the Rus in 988, and barely getting to Catherine the Great (who reigned from 1762 to 1796) in the first half-hour. The next hour, which goes up to the fall of the Soviet Union, is little better.
Johnson says that he:
Perhaps Johnson was irritated by Putin's claim, made two or three times, that Johnson had stopped truce negotiations in Istanbul early in the war. Otherwise, Johnson sticks to his main point, that Carlson showed "bum-sucking servility to a tyrant."
The mystery for Wikipedians is Johnson's claim that Putin's story had anything to do with Wikipedia. My review of Kievan Rus', Christianization of Kievan Rus', Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, and Dissolution of the Soviet Union gives little support to Putin's views.

Azerbaijani IT

Azernews reports: More than 600 articles related to ICT published on "Wikipedia" in Azerbaijani language. The Azerbaijan Information and Communication Technologies Industry Association (AICTIA), Azercell Telecom, the Azerbaijan I, and a government agency led a five-month-long project which created 600 articles on the Azerbaijani Wikipedia.
A major share of Azercell is believed to be owned by the ruling Aliyev family, according to a 2015 report from OCCRP. Ilham Aliyev, the president of the oil-rich former Soviet republic, is widely considered to be a dictator.
I don't claim that the Azerbaijani editors are effectively acting as paid editors for a dictator. What else are they supposed to do, if they want to contribute to Wikipedia in this field? But it does look like a clumsy and potentially problematic arrangement.

Kazakh knowledge is power (?)

As recently reported by Kazakhstan-based, English-language newspaper Astana Times, over 100 academic scientists and researchers attended a seminar in Astana, hosted by the Kazakh Ministry of Science and Higher Education, on building scientific content in the Kazakh language on Wikipedia.
In the past, the neutrality of the Kazakh Wikipedia was disputed due to its suspected ties to the national government; a controversy that notably involved (albeit indirectly) none other than Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales.
S, B

Wikimedians are key players in ongoing Yoruba orthography standardization reform effort

Members of the Yoruba Wikimedians User Group appear to be taking an active role in reforming the standardization of the Yoruba language, a language which is spoken by over 40 million people in West Africa. According to a post published on the Wikimedia Foundation's Diff blog, this effort comes as a collaboration between the user group and the International Centre for Yoruba Arts and Culture. The partnership has been ongoing for a couple of years, though the effort seems to have become increasingly organized and concrete in recent times.

Nigeria's The Nation reports that a group met at the University of Ibadan on January 12 in order to discuss this topic, describing the gathering as "a pivotal inaugural meeting". Nigeria's The Guardian reported in mid-January that a joint committee that seeks to "examine and harmonize the current orthography" of Yoruba had been formed and was partnering with Wikimedia. According to The Guardian, members of the committee contain representatives from a number of Nigerian and Yoruba civil society groups. The joint committee has scheduled a conference for the weekend of February 20, 2024, to continue the group's orthography standards reform efforts.

According to a 2013 paper published the Journal of Arts and Humanities, a standardization of Yoruba orthography was first published in 1875. The 1875 orthography remained the standard system for writing Yoruba for nearly 100 years, though reform efforts that began in the 1960s culminated in a committee of Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Education writing and approving of new standards for the language by June 1974. The 1974 orthography has remained the language's official standard through the present day. – R

In brief

Which is the most fashionable U.K. university?
  • People are interested in Oxford and Cambridge: The Tab, a British publication targeted at college students, published a list of the top 10 U.K. universities by Wikipedia page views during 2023. Oxford took first place with 1,353,397 views and Cambridge second with 995,733. The top Scottish university by page views, St. Andrews University, took fifth place with 349,988 views. No universities from Wales or Northern Ireland made the cut. (See also: WikiProject Higher education's popular pages list)
  • Which Wikipedia page this week: The Independent. "She obviously can't decide which Wikipedia page to copy this week." PM on shadow chancellor. (see prior coverage, "U.K. Shadow Chancellor accused of plagiarizing Wikipedia in her new book" from the November 6, 2023, issue of The Signpost)
  • Wikimedia CEO to speak at university: According to a release from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Wikimedia Foundation CEO Maryana Iskander will give a lecture at the university on the topic of "the future of the world's largest crowdsourced encyclopedia in an era of artificial intelligence". Iskander will speak at 6:00 P.M. Pacific Time on Thursday, February 22, in the university's Cowell Hay Barn. The lecture is free and open to members of the public, though organizers encourage prospective attendees to register ahead of time.
  • How should we use Wikipedia?: Euronews Bulgaria speaks with Sofia University professor Iglika Ivanova, who provides some guidance on how to use Wikipedia as an informed citizen.
  • Boston, we have a problem...: In a recent edition of Here and Now, Boston-based public radio WBUR-FM reported that conservative Wikipedia fork Conservapedia is "laced with falsehoods"; indeed, the site's views on several social and political topics have been under scrutiny since its very foundation in 2006.
  • Honey, how you grew!: Back in January, Andrea Daniele Signorelli reflected for la Repubblica on the 23rd anniversary of Wikipedia (in Italian), stating that "in a [digital] world that is usually based on the so-called surveillance capitalism, Wikipedia represents an unicum for its relevance, longevity and size". Fun fact: Signorelli also interviewed Gianluca Moro, an IT consultant for the University of Padua, who reportedly created the first article on the Italian Wikipedia, about communication.
  • Wikipedia's coverage of the Arab Spring causes uproar in Ghanaian treason trial: In Ghana, several individuals were recently tried for the capital crime of high treason, with the prosecution alleging that the defendants had plotted to engage in a coup d'etat in 2021. Two of those charged were acquitted, while six individuals were convicted of treason and sentenced to death. Part of the trial had focused on references to the Arab Spring that had been made by a high-ranking police official. During the trial, the Attorney General of Ghana attempted to rely on a definition of Arab Spring that had been taken from its Wikipedia article. The defendant, who had publicly argued that Wikipedia was not credible as a reference source in this context, provided an alternative definition in his defense. The judge, in issuing the final ruling in the case, agreed with the defendant.


Do you want to contribute to "In the media" by writing a story or even just an "in brief" item? Edit our next edition in the Newsroom or leave a tip on the suggestions page.




Reader comments

Is this guy the same as the one who was a Nazi?

"He was a Nazi" — never before had that statement filled me with so much satisfaction.

Bertil Anzén [sv] was born in 1912. He studied art and was part of the Young Artists exhibition at the Swedish National Museum of Fine Arts in 1938. He sold his paintings. They can be found at the Swedish Museum of Modern Art, the Stockholm City Museum, the Malmö Museum, the Uppsala University Library. Over time, he was forgotten. Three of his paintings had been offered at an auction, clumped together. By being willing to part with 75 SEK – roughly 7 USD – I had ended up with the winning bid.

In February 2021, I biked to pick up a couple of other pieces from the auction house. Two normal-sized paintings: a bit unstable on the bike, but it works. I pedaled the five kilometers to the auction house, gave them my customer number, and received my five works of art, three of which the system had not yet indicated as delivered when I left home. That's how I ended up wobbling home through Malmö with five paintings on two wheels. I wrote a short social media status update about my adventures to amuse my friends.

"Is this the same Bertil Ragnar Anzén as the Nazi?" asked my friend Eric Luth, who had found a very short news item in the archives of the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper — the Anzén who in 1945 was prosecuted for illegal intelligence activities, as an agent for Svenska socialistiska partiet [sv], one of the Swedish Nazi parties at the time?

It's a question one so rarely gets about the paintings in one's kitchen. Wikipedia didn't have much to tell — his parents, his wife, his apprenticeship. He painted portraits, cityscapes, and landscape paintings with motifs from eastern Skåne, as well as drawings done in red chalk and charcoal, the Swedish biography said. A year of death was missing, even though he was presumed to be deceased. But how many Bertil Ragnar Anzéns could there be?

I decide to try to update the Swedish Wikipedia article: year of death and possible Nazism. He was employed by a National Socialist party in the 1940s — that's enough to be relevant for a somewhat-public figure, regardless of whether they were prosecuted for those activities. And I couldn't find any signs of there having been two Bertil Ragnar Anzéns.

Among the search results I found Håkan Blomqvist's Gåtan Nils Flyg och nazismen ("The Enigma of Nils Flyg and Nazism") from 2000, now freely available as a PDF. Here, a Bertil Anzén is mentioned as an agent in the Svenska socialistiska partiet, but without any more details. I emailed Blomqvist to ask if he possibly knew more about Anzén. He didn't, he replied, but perhaps Tobias Hübinette would know. So I tried that, but Hübinette didn't know either.

I started reading through books about Swedish Nazism in the 1940s: Nazismen i Sverige 1924–1979. Pionjärerna, partierna, propagandan ("The Swedish Nazism 1924–1979. The Pioneers, the Parties, the Propaganda") and Hakkorset och Wasakärven: en studie av nationalsocialismen i Sverige 1924–1950 ("The Swastika and the Wasa Sheaf: A Study of National Socialism in Sweden 1924–1950") by Heléne Lööw, and Hitlers svenska förtrupper ("Hitler's Swedish Vanguards") by Armas Sastamoinen. Once again, Anzén was important enough to appear — but not important enough for anyone to have written anything substantial about him.

At the same time, I tried to figure out when he actually died. Vem är det, a Swedish biographical lexicon published from 1912 to 2007, stated in 1967 that Anzén was at the time residing in Málaga, Spain. After 1981, he disappeared from Vem är det, without being listed among the dead. I turned to a help page on the Spanish Wikipedia to see if they could help me. They couldn't. The Church of Sweden in the Costa del Sol didn't reply. Still, I was encouraged: a Swede moving to Francoist Spain in the 1960s didn't exactly contradict a Nazi background.

Eric Luth tried to email the Swedish Museum of Modern Art. They didn't know and couldn't do any further research. I contacted the Maglehems kulturförening ("Maglehem Cultural Association" in the village of Maglehem), which had had a painting by Anzén as part of an exhibition as recently as 2014. The owner of the painting told me that Anzén lived in Knäbäck in the the 1950s and was hit by depression when the village had to be moved. He painted only "black paintings", and it was that disappointment that would have driven him to Spain. But he couldn't say anything about a year of death, nor about any National Socialist tendencies (or lack thereof).

I went back to Blomqvist's work and read the footnotes. Suddenly, it struck me: Anzén had been prosecuted. There was a reference to the material from a trial, sure to be available at the Stockholm City Archives. With biographical details therein! I emailed the archives, but didn't have a case number, and was told that Anzén wasn't mentioned in the criminal register in court records. Through the names of others who were prosecuted at the same time as Anzén, a civil servant eventually found the documents in the auxiliary section for classified espionage cases. Did I want the archive office to scan them? It would cost four Swedish kronor — around forty US cents — per page. The material, I was told, covered roughly a thousand pages. I decided I could wait.

It took a few months. There was a pandemic going on, and I felt like getting vaccinated before I got on a train to head north. Come autumn, I had other errands in the vicinity of Stockholm, and requested the documents to be retrieved — only to be told that they had been digitized and made accessible where they could now be accessed from the Malmö City Archives. As I sat down in front of the archive's computer, ten months had passed since I started digging. It took me a little while to skim through all the photographed pages to find the right case, but there, in the margin, I found it: April 14, 1912. The birth date of the Nazi was the same as that of the artist! Sweet victory. The protocol from June 23, 1945, also mentioned that Anzén had received a scholarship to study painting.

Having, at last, found conclusive proof, I needed to do something with it: publish.

Eric Luth, who had instigated the entire thing by asking an innocent question, happened to be not only a fellow Swedish Wikipedian, but also the cultural editor of the Swedish magazine Liberal Debatt [sv]. He would be happy to publish a piece on the hunt for the truth about Anzén, he told me.

I still don't know when Anzén died. But so, about a year after I started looking, I had created a reference and could — Swedish Wikipedia allows you to refer to your own work, provided that it has been published in a reliable source — add a couple of short sentences to the Wikipedia article.

We can't write about the things we can't reference. But we can't let such insignificant details stop us.



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Griselda, Nikki, Carl, Jannik and two types of football

This traffic report is adapted from the Top 25 Report, prepared with commentary by Igordebraga, Rajan51, CAWylie, Krimuk2.0, Shuipzv3, I am RedoStone and Rahcmander.

If you want to hang out, you've gotta take her out (January 21 to 27)

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 Griselda Blanco 2,072,125 Sofía Vergara (pictured) portrays the Colombian drug lord in the Netflix miniseries Griselda, which premiered January 25.
2 2023 AFC Asian Cup 2,023,697 Qatar already did well with the FIFA World Cup, so more football came in the continental tournament, and already offered some surprises like traditional South Korea conceding a tie to lowly Malaysia in the 105th minute (!) - but not our friends from India performing well, as they lost all three games. The knockout rounds will start with interesting matches like the currently suffering Palestine against the hosts.
3 Nikki Haley 1,835,344 There were no presidential caucuses or debates this week, so she remains the only female candidate on the Republican ticket and the only Republican opposing former president Donald Trump, despite a senator (Tim Scott) from Haley's home state and appointed by her putting his support behind the latter.
4 Republic Day (India) 1,684,044 The first of India's three national holidays was observed on January 26, marking the country's transition from a dominion to a republic. This year's parade featured 144 members of the Egyptian Armed Forces (pictured) marching for the first time.
5 Australian Open 1,353,113 Melbourne hosts tennis' first Grand Slam of the year. The men's side will have a one-time winner while the women's kept last year's champion.
6 Ram Mandir 1,286,350 On January 22, just months ahead of the world's biggest election, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated this temple to the Hindu deity Rama in a highly publicized and politicized event that was attended by several Indian politicians, businessmen and celebrities. The temple is located at the hypothesized birthplace of Rama, and the former location of a 16th-century mosque, which was attacked and demolished in 1992 by Hindu extremists. It must also be noted that archaeologists found the ruins of what was probably an ancient temple at the site following the mosque's demolition. After several years of litigation, the Supreme Court of India delivered its verdict in 2019 giving the site to Hindus to construct a temple, and another piece of land to Muslims for building a mosque.
7 Saltburn (film) 1,171,623 Down from #1, a thriller that followed five nominations from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts with none at all from the Americans from AMPAS (who instead flocked to Oppenheimer, Killers of the Flower Moon, Poor Things and Barbie).
8 Palworld 1,080,585 Announced in 2021, this action-adventure / survival / monster-taming video game was released on January 19. Nicknamed early as "Pokémon with guns", it sold eight million units in its first six days and had two million players on Steam, making it the second-most played game ever (behind Counter-Strike 2).
9 Fighter (2024 film) 1,076,440 Coinciding with #4, India's first aerial action film opened on January 25. It is also the first in a planned franchise and the first collab between stars Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone.
10 Deaths in 2024 1,001,016 I heard you're goin' 'round
Playing the victim now
But don't even begin feeling I'm the one to blame
'Cause you dug your own grave...

If you want to get down, down on the ground (January 28 to February 3)

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 Griselda Blanco 4,444,663 Netflix, a regular source of high Wikipedia view counts, has caused this female drug lord (lately portrayed by Sofía Vergara) to remain at number one due to its original miniseries Griselda. While it is not Dahmer views, 4.44 million is the highest weekly view count so far this year.
2 Carl Weathers 2,191,425 An actor best known for "strong Black man" roles, starting as Apollo Creed in Rocky and its sequels and later extending to Predator, Action Jackson and The Mandalorian, as well as parodic turns in Happy Gilmore, Arrested Development and Toy Story 4, Carl Weathers died at the age of 76.
3 Royal Rumble (2024) 1,926,255 The latest WWE pay-per-view event, held at Tropicana Field in Florida.
4 Poonam Pandey 1,906,337 On February 1, her manager announced that this Indian actress had died of cervical cancer at the age of 32. The next day, it was revealed that she was still alive, with the faked death being a publicity stunt to raise awareness for the disease, earning her widespread criticism.
5 Fighter (2024 film) 1,377,325 After many production delays this film, directed by Siddharth Anand (pictured), was released January 25. It has recieved mixed reviews from critics, but has grossed ₹264 crore (US$33 million) worldwide as of February 4.
6 2023 AFC Asian Cup 1,223,998 The knockout stages of the Asian football tournament rolled on in Qatar. The week covered by this report finished by defining the two semifinals, Jordan x South Korea and Iran x Qatar - and let's say right away the first was an upset where the former that never qualified for a World Cup beat the much more traditional adversary (who also surprisingly only won the Asian Cup once, a four team affair in 1960!).
7 List of Super Bowl champions 1,191,071 Super Bowl LVIII will determine if the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs will get their fourth entry on this list, or if the San Francisco 49ers will get their sixth.
8 Jannik Sinner 1,161,628 After defeating one of tennis's all-time greats Novak Djokovic in the semifinal, this young Italian expectedly won the 2024 Australian Open, coming from two sets down to defeat Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller to raise his first Grand Slam trophy.
9 Deaths in 2024 1,006,267 Sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day...
10 Travis Kelce 902,893 The star tight end of the Kansas City Chiefs and boyfriend of Taylor Swift helped his team win the 2023 AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens 17–10, scoring a touchdown with a pass from Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs are now heading to the Super Bowl, hoping to add themselves to #7 for a consecutive year.

When your day is done, and you want to run (February 4 to 10)

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 Toby Keith 2,848,834 The country music singer (and early investor into the music label which signed #4) died of stomach cancer on February 5. Pour one out in your "Red Solo Cup".
2 Griselda Blanco 2,326,674 The Cocaine Godmother of Colombia became popular in 89 countries at the end of January with another biographical miniseries topping Netflix's Global Weekly charts.
3 Tracy Chapman 2,112,767 There was hardly a dry eye in the auditorium hosting #6 when she performed her hit "Fast Car" alongside country singer Luke Combs, whose cover of the song was one of the biggest hits in the US last year.
4 Taylor Swift 1,270,246 The pop megastar became the first artist in history to win Album of the Year four times, after her win for Midnights at #6. She also won the Best Pop Vocal Album for the same album, and during her acceptance speech for the award, she announced a new album that will come out in two months. After that, she went back on tour as The Eras Tour hit Japan last week, with four shows in Tokyo. Other than that, adding to the continued fan interest about her current relationship with Travis Kelce, was the question of whether she will be able to make it to the Super Bowl in Vegas to see her boyfriend play, after wrapping up her fourth showing in Tokyo on February 10 (Spoiler alert: Yes, she had more than 30 hours for a journey that will take less than half a day on a direct flight).
5 2024 Pakistani general election 1,123,644 General elections were held in Pakistan on February 8 to seat the latest National Assembly. Imran Khan (pictured) was elected as leader. Multiple foreign media outlets accused the military of rigging the elections in favor of PML-N and efforts to reinstate Nawaz Sharif. Many international observers, including the United States, European Union and the United Kingdom have voiced their concerns about the fairness of the elections.
6 66th Annual Grammy Awards 1,026,403 The biggest night in music took place on February 4 in Los Angeles. #3 made a rare public appearance by performing her hit "Fast Car" alongside Luke Combs, whose country cover of the song was a smash hit last year. #4 made history by becoming the first artist in history to win Album of the Year four times, and in her acceptance speech for Best Pop Vocal Album she announced her upcoming album The Tortured Poets Department. #8 won the first Grammy awards of her career, taking home two: Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Flowers". #10 won Best Folk Album and performed for the first time at the Grammys. Billie Eilish's "What Was I Made For?" won Song of the Year, while Victoria Monét was crowned Best New Artist.
7 Deaths in 2024 994,803 Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away...
8 Miley Cyrus 889,936 At #6, she performed her hit song "Flowers" and went home with two awards, including the coveted Record of the Year. Can you believe she had never won a Grammy before this?
9 Carl Weathers 879,237 The Mandalorian's Greef Karga (plus Apollo Creed, Dillon, Derick "Chubbs" Peterson, etc.) died on February 1 from cardiovascular disease.
10 Joni Mitchell 739,637 The legendary singer-songwriter, of which #4 cites as a major influence, performed at #6, a step in her return to music following a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2015.

Exclusions

  • These lists exclude the Wikipedia main page, non-article pages (such as redlinks), and anomalous entries (such as DDoS attacks or likely automated views). Since mobile view data became available to the Report in October 2014, we exclude articles that have almost no mobile views (5–6% or less) or almost all mobile views (94–95% or more) because they are very likely to be automated views based on our experience and research of the issue. Please feel free to discuss any removal on the Top 25 Report talk page if you wish.



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Our crossword to bear

Note: the last crossword's answers have now been posted.

This crossword has a mix of initialisms, shortcuts, and full-length words. It uses all of JPxG's hard work developing the crossword templates for the final issue of The Signpost in 2023.

Type in each cell to insert a letter. Pressing enter is, as always, not advised. Answers available if and when I remember them.

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Clues

Across

Frequently-used sysop action    
Initialism: Venue where drafts and userpages go to die    
Shortcut: WikiProject interested in source reliability and verifiability of articles, founded in 2011    
Initialism: Assessing the value of pending edits    
Shortcut: Essay providing guidance for recent changes patrollers regarding vandalism and test edits    
User whose powers were subject to a May 2023 petition and subsequent referendum    
11  Initialism: That thing where someone whispers in your ear and crinkles a wrapper or whatever   
13  Initialism: What you use to go on the computer if you aren't a command-line enjoyer   
14  Language spoken on the British Isles whose Wikipedia edition was started in 2003   

Down

Initialism: Venue for discussing modules (and possibly deleting them).    
"Wikiphilosophy": Middle ground between inclusionism and deletionism, Association founded in 2004    
Pseudo-namespace related to maintenance    
The one for this article is a WebP, but Commons allows about a half-dozen different types    
10  8-across's website prior to the whole Wikipedia business, which everyone was surely just reading for the articles   
12  Initialism: System where logging in on one project logs you in everywhere   



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Strongly

Placeholder alt text

"Hey, why don't you try admonishing him again, that seems to have worked really well."



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