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Donation totals by continent for fiscal year 2016–2017

Fundraising report

The WMF have published the fundraising report for 2016–2017. US$91 million was raised from 6.1 million donations – an increase of $13.8 million over the 2015–2016 total. The designated place for public discussion of the report, clarifications of finance, conspiracy theories, or calls for the Wikimedia Foundation or wiki community to attract or repel donors is at Meta-Wiki. Comments or rants about spending rather than the income are accepted annually on the latest page for the annual plans; 2017-18 is closed but watch Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan to comment in the next round. Other opportunities to inspect finances and speak up include reviewing Wikimedia community grant applications, overseeing the activities and finances of Wikimedia chapters and usergroups, or doing your own investigative journalism and writing for The Signpost.

Strategic direction

After many months and cycles of discussions, a strategic direction has emerged from the 2017 Movement strategy:

Our strategic direction: Service and Equity

By 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us.

We, the Wikimedia contributors, communities and organizations, will advance our world by collecting knowledge that fully represents human diversity, and by building the services and structures that enable others to do the same.

We will carry on our mission of developing content as we have done in the past, and we will go further.

Knowledge as a service: To serve our users, we will become a platform that serves open knowledge to the world across interfaces and communities. We will build tools for allies and partners to organize and exchange free knowledge beyond Wikimedia. Our infrastructure will enable us and others to collect and use different forms of free, trusted knowledge.

Knowledge equity: As a social movement, we will focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege. We will welcome people from every background to build strong and diverse communities. We will break down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge.
— Meta:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Direction

Comments and criticisms, on the final and previous versions, proliferate the talk page.

Endorsements will be sought on 26 October, with discussions on implementation to begin in November.

New office for Wikimedia Foundation headquarters

On Friday 20 October 2017 Katherine Maher announced that the Wikimedia Foundation had shifted location. The current Wikimedia Foundation headquarters is at One Montgomery Tower in the Financial District of San Francisco, a 10-minute walk from the previous location. One reason for the new location was to move into a smaller space.

Brief notes

Reader comments

Strip photo of San Francisco Cable Car 10.jpg
A fixed slit photo of a San Francisco cable car, showing prominent striped background. In slit photography, the photographer captures a two-dimensional image as a sequence of one-dimensional images over time, rather than a single two-dimensional at one point in time (the full field).

This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted from September 22, 2017 through October 11, 2017. Text is adapted from the respective articles and lists; see their page histories for attribution.

Featured articles

The following are representative of featured articles and featured lists that were promoted recently.

Roland TR-808 (large).jpg
TR-808 front panel
AMTK 322 with the San Francisco Zephyr at Cape Horn, CA in November 1980 - 2 Photos (30567817685).jpg
Superliner I cars on the San Francisco Zephyr in November 1980
Icecore 4.jpg
An ice core sample
British florin 1967 reverse.png
The reverse of a British florin
Emily Wilding Davison.jpg
Emily Davison, c. 1910–1912
Harrison campaign poster
  • Marcel Lihau (nominated by Indy beetle) was a Congolese politician, jurist, and law professor who served as the First President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Congo and was involved in the creation of two functional constitutions for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • The Roland TR-808 (nominated by Popcornduff) is a drum machine introduced by the Roland Corporation in 1980. Discontinued in 1983, it remains in use around the world. Launched at a time when electronic music had yet to become mainstream, the 808 was a commercial failure, but attracted a cult following for its affordability, ease of use, and idiosyncratic sounds, particularly its deep, booming bass drum. It became a cornerstone of the emerging electronic, dance, and hip hop genres, popularized by early hits such as Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" (1982) and Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force's "Planet Rock" (1982). The 808 is completely analog, meaning its sounds are generated by hardware rather than prerecorded. Only around 12,000 units were built, but the 808 was eventually used on more hit records than any other drum machine. Its popularity with hip hop artists in particular has made it one of the most influential inventions in popular music, comparable to the Fender Stratocaster and its influence on rock.
  • Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons (nominated by PresN) is a three-part episodic side-scrolling platform video game developed by Ideas from the Deep and published by Apogee Software in 1990 for MS-DOS. It is the first set of episodes of the Commander Keen series. The game follows the titular Commander Keen, an eight-year-old child genius on many adventures. Released by Apogee on December 14, 1990, the trilogy of episodes was an immediate success; Apogee, whose monthly sales had been around US$7,000, made US$30,000 on Commander Keen alone in the first two weeks and US$60,000 per month by June.
  • "Paradises Lost" (nominated by Vanamonde) is a science fiction novella by American author Ursula K. Le Guin. It was first published in 2002 as a part of the collection The Birthday of the World. It is set during a multigenerational voyage from Earth to a potentially habitable planet. The protagonists, Liu Hsing and Nova Luis, are members of the fifth generation born on the ship. The novella explores the isolation brought on by space travel, as well as themes of religion and utopia. It contains elements of ecocriticism, or a critique of the idea that human beings are altogether separate from their natural environment. The novella and the collections it was published in received high praise from commentators.
  • "Watching the River Flow" (nominated by Moisejp) is a blues rock song by American singer Bob Dylan. Produced by Leon Russell, it was written and recorded during a session in March 1971 at Blue Rock Studios in New York City. A minor hit in some countries worldwide, the song was included on the 1971 Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II, and other Dylan compilation albums. In 2011, five current and former Rolling Stones appeared on a recording of "Watching the River Flow" as part of a tribute project for pianist Ian Stewart.
  • The Superliner (nominated by Mackensen) is a type of bilevel intercity railroad passenger car used by Amtrak, the national rail passenger carrier in the United States. Pullman-Standard built 284 cars, known as Superliner I, in 1975–1981; Bombardier Transportation built 195, known as Superliner II, in 1991–1996. The Superliner I cars were the last passenger cars built by Pullman. Car types include coaches, Dining cars, lounges, and Sleeping cars. Most passenger spaces are on the upper level, which features a row of windows on both sides. The Sightseer Lounge observation cars have distinctive floor-to-ceiling windows on the upper level. Boarding is on the lower level; passengers climb up a center stairwell to access the upper level. The first Superliner I cars entered service in February 1979. Amtrak assigned the cars to both long-distance and short-distance trains in the Western United States. The first permanent assignment, in October 1979, was to the Chicago–Seattle Empire Builder. Superliner II deliveries began in 1993. Tunnel clearances prevent their use on the Northeast Corridor.
  • An ice core (nominated by Mike Christie) is a core sample that is typically removed from an ice sheet or a high mountain glacier. Cores are drilled with hand augers (for shallow holes) or powered drills; they can reach depths of over two miles, and contain ice up to 800,000 years old. The physical properties of the ice and of material trapped in it can be used to reconstruct the climate over the age range of the core. The ratio of oxygen and hydrogen Isotopes provides information about ancient temperatures, and the air trapped in tiny bubbles can indicate the level of atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide. Greenland ice cores contain layers of wind-blown dust that correlate with cold, dry periods in the past. Radioactive elements, either of natural origin or created by nuclear testing, can be used to date the layers of ice. Some volcanic events that were sufficiently powerful to send material around the globe have left a signature in many different cores that can be used to synchronize their time scales. The data from ice cores contributes to climate models.
  • Henry W. Sawyer (nominated by Coemgenus) was an American lawyer, civil rights activist, and Democratic Party politician. Born in Philadelphia, he served in World War II and attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Sawyer worked as a corporate lawyer but is best known for his advocacy of civil liberties, especially in First Amendment cases. In Abington School District v. Schempp and Lemon v. Kurtzman, he successfully argued cases before the Supreme Court of the United States that became the basis for all modern Establishment Clause jurisprudence. He pursued civil rights causes in Philadelphia and in the South during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. He also served a four-year term on Philadelphia City Council, where he worked for civil service reform and to increase the amount of public art in the city.
  • The florin (nominated by Wehwalt & Arwel Parry), or two shilling coin, was issued from 1849 until 1967, with a final issue for collectors dated 1970. Valued at one tenth of a pound (24 old pence), it was the last coin circulating immediately prior to decimalisation to be demonetised, in 1993, having for a quarter of a century circulated alongside the ten pence piece, identical in specifications and value.
  • Donald Trump (Last Week Tonight) (nominated by epicgenius & Another Believer) is a segment of the HBO news satire television series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver devoted to Donald Trump, who later became the President of the United States. It first aired on February 28, 2016, as part of the third episode of Last Week Tonight's third season, when Trump was the frontrunner for the Republican Party nomination for the presidency. During the 22-minute segment, comedian John Oliver discusses Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and his career in business, outlining his campaign rhetoric, varying political positions and failed business ventures. He also says the Trump family name was changed at one point from the ancestral name "Drumpf". The segment went viral on YouTube and Facebook. By Super Tuesday on March 1, two days after broadcast, Google Searches for "Donald Drumpf" had surpassed those for both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who were then competing against Trump for the Republican Party nomination. In eight days, the segment accumulated 19 million views on YouTube, making it Last Week Tonight's most popular segment there. By the end of March 2016, it had received a combined 85 million views on YouTube and Facebook.
  • Rotating locomotion in living systems (nominated by swpb) is a mode which several organisms are capable of; but true wheels and propellers—despite their utility in human vehicles—do not appear to play a significant role in the movement of living things (with the notable exception of certain flagella, which function like corkscrews). Biologists have expounded on the reasons for this apparent absence of biological wheels, and wheeled creatures have appeared often in speculative fiction.
  • Emily Davison (nominated by SchroCat) was a suffragette who fought for votes for women in the United Kingdom in the early twentieth century. A member of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) and a militant fighter for her cause, she was arrested on nine occasions, went on hunger strike seven times and was force fed on forty-nine occasions. She died after being hit by King George V's horse Anmer at the 1913 Epsom Derby when she walked onto the track during the race.
  • Rochdale Cenotaph (nominated by HJ Mitchell) is a First World War memorial on the Esplanade in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, in the north west of England. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, it is one of seven memorials in England based on his Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, and one of his more ambitious designs. The memorial was unveiled in 1922 and consists of a 10-metre (33 ft) pylon, topped by an effigy of a recumbent soldier, and Lutyens' characteristic Stone of Remembrance. Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby, unveiled the memorial on November 26, 1922. It is a Grade I listed structure, having been upgraded in 2015 when Lutyens' war memorials were declared a national collection.
  • Jessica Chastain (nominated by Krimuk2.0) is an American actress and film producer. In addition to acting in many films, Chastain is the founder of the production company Freckle Films, which was created to promote diversity in film. She is vocal about mental health issues, and gender and racial equality. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012. She is married to the fashion executive Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo.
  • William Henry Harrison presidential campaign, 1840 (nominated by Wehwalt) William Henry Harrison was elected President of the United States in 1840 and seems to have been a unique presidential candidate when compared with those before him. He was the first Whig Party candidate to win, he died only a month after taking office, he was known for fighting Native Americans, he fought in the War of 1812, he was elected to Congress and he held a number of federal offices. He was defeated in his first campaign for the presidency but didn't stop running until he won four years later. A Democratic Party paper in Baltimore once suggested that if offered a pension and some hard cider to drink in a log cabin, Harrison would turn aside from his campaign. His party embraced the charge and turned the cabin and cider into campaign emblems. Harrison rallies were huge for the time and became a popular form of entertainment. While some view his campaign askance because of the role emotion played in it, others note how it was the beginning of political techniques used even today.
  • Pied butcherbird (nominated by Cas Liber) The Australian pied butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) is a black and white bird 28 to 32 cm (11 to 12.5 in.) long with a long hooked bill. The juvenile and immature birds are predominantly brown and white. As they mature their brown feathers are replaced by black feathers. Its song described as a "magic flute". Quite a vocalist, the bird has at least three types of songs and can mimic other birds as well as dogs barking, lambs bleating or even people whistling. It is carnivorous, and eats beetles, bugs, ants, caterpillars, cockroaches, spiders and worms. It preys on vertebrates up to the size of frogs, skinks, mice and small birds. Some individuals look for scraps around houses and picnic sites, and can become tame enough to be hand-fed by people.
  • The Battle of Rossbach (nominated by auntieruth) was an important engagement of the Seven Years' War in which Prussian forces commanded by Frederick the Great out-manoeuvred and soundly defeated a much larger French and Holy Roman Imperial force. The battle is considered one of Frederick's greatest strategic masterpieces, and effectively knocked France out of this theatre of the war.
  • The Referendum Party (nominated by Midnightblueowl) was a Eurosceptic, single-issue political party that was active in the United Kingdom from 1994 to 1997. The party's sole objective was for a referendum to be held on the nature of the UK's membership of the European Union. Specifically, it called for a referendum on whether the British people wanted to either be part of a federal European state or revert to being a sovereign nation that was part of a free-trade bloc without wider political functions. The party was founded by the Anglo-French multi-millionaire businessman and politician James Goldsmith in November 1994. The party's structure was centralised and hierarchical, giving Goldsmith near total control over its operations. Although not offering party membership, it claimed to have 160,000 registered "supporters", an exaggerated number. In 1997, the party gained a Member of Parliament (MP) for two weeks when George Gardiner, the MP for Reigate, defected to it from the Conservatives shortly before that year's general election. In the build-up to the 1997 general election, the Referendum Party spent more on press advertising than either the incumbent Conservatives or their main rival, the Labour Party. It stood candidates in 547 constituencies, more than any minor party had ever fielded in a UK election. Ultimately, it gained 811,827 votes, representing 2.6% of the national total. Support was strongest in southern and eastern England, and weakest in inner London, northern England, and Scotland. The party failed to win any seats in the House of Commons. Following the election, psephologists argued that the impact of the Referendum Party deprived Conservative candidates of victory in somewhere between four and sixteen parliamentary seats. In the months following the election, the party renamed itself the Referendum Movement. Goldsmith died in July 1997, and the party disbanded shortly after.
  • The sea mink (nominated by Dunkleosteus77) is a recently extinct species of carnivore from the eastern coast of North America. The only known remains are fragments unearthed in Native American shell middens. Its actual size is speculative, based largely on tooth remains. The sea mink was first described in 1903, after its extinction; information regarding its external appearance and habits stem from speculation and from accounts made by fur traders and Native Americans. It may have exhibited behavior similar to the American mink, in that it probably maintained home ranges, was polygynandrous, and had a similar diet, though more seaward-oriented. It was probably found on the New England coast and the Maritime Provinces, though its range may have stretched further south during the last glacial period. Conversely, its range may have been restricted solely to the New England coast, specifically the Gulf of Maine, or just to nearby islands. Largest of the minks, the sea mink was more desirable to fur traders and became extinct in the late 1800s or the early 1900s.
  • Miriam Makeba (nominated by Vanamonde) also known as Mama Africa, was a South African singer, actor, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. Makeba was among the first African musicians to receive worldwide recognition. She brought African music to a Western audience, and popularised the world music and Afropop genres. She also made popular several songs critical of apartheid, and became a symbol of opposition to the system, particularly after her right to return was revoked. Upon her death, former South African President Nelson Mandela said that "her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us."
  • The birthday-number effect (nominated by Edwininlondon) is the unconscious tendency of people to prefer the numbers in the date of their birthday over other numbers. First reported in 1997 by Japanese psychologists Shinobu Kitayama and Mayumi Karasawa, the birthday-number effect has been replicated in various countries. It holds across age and gender. The effect is most prominent for numbers over 12.

Featured lists

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Harmanpreet Kaur batting for Sydney Thunder against Perth Scorchers at Lilac Hill Park, Perth, Western Australia.

Reader comments

Preamble and instruction manual

I'm switching to the first person for this particular article for training purposes.[1] I understand that "gladness and gaiety, especially when expressed by laughter"[2] may be even less common on WP than on death row. Humour on WP is a unique genre. The punchlines are the wikilinks instead of rubber chickens.

Grus antigone showing Ralph how he should make his moves.

If you don't want to read the punchlines, this column in the Signpost will continue to be pointless (and just stupid for others.) Your short journey via wikilink will deposit you somewhere that might surprise you. Wikilinks/punchlines can be pretty funny and just might calm you down enough to avoid your regularly expected appearances on ANI. So, students, if you don't click on the Wikilinks in the humor article you might be missing the punchline.

Raph was a Ralph wannabe. His mom forgot to put the 'l' on the birth certificate.
1/4th of an image of Ralph, fair use, original work, low resolution and used in a parody in the Signpost


If your name is Ralph, then I am sorry. Just like chickens, the human name 'Ralph' is sometimes associated with simpletons and buffons. So let's take a ride through wikilinks to discover the wonderful things about 'Ralph'.

  • Ralph and Alph – brothers who liked to torture Eddie Albert.
  • Ralf – this is the way Ralphs write their names if they are Dutch, German or Swedish.
  • Rafe – a rare name for Ralphs if they are English, Scandinavian, or and German. It means a cisgender individual who has accepted their x and y chromosome and prefers the pronoun 'he'.
  • Raoul – the French form of Ralph. French is a totally classy language, n'est pas?
  • Ralph – a fictional, yellow, and animated Ralph who is[3] a student at Springfield Elementary School, the future Police Chief of Springfield and a 2008 presidential candidate that was endorsed by both parties.
  • Ralph broke the internet – you can watch it happen for about $11 at least that is what it costs in Pittsburgh.
  • Ralph – this is the disambiguation page for Ralph. It's the longest one I've ever seen and needs to be transformed into a list article.
  • Ralph doin' the crane – this Ralph kicked butt all the way through three movies beginning in 1984.
  • Ralph – this Ralph didn't like how his Chevrolet Corvair handled and only drove it up to ten miles per hour since it was Unsafe at Any Speed. He graduated from Harvard to become a cook in the US army.
  • Bad Ralph – this Ralph is an 8th cousin to Prince Charles and was bad guy without a nose that hunted down little wizards but still managed to receive a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor. His little brother is a decent Shakespeare.
  • Ralph, aka "Bucky" – a very, very bad Ralph who shot NY troopers but still clever enough to escape at least one confinement by using a can opener to exit through the corrugated roof over the jail's kitchen.
  • Ralph – this Ralph is part of the Calgary Stampeders, a franchise of Canadian Football League. He starts every single game. He's been accused of promoting bad blood and poor sportsmanship.
  • Ralph the Great – being great probably was just a polite title since this Ralph pillaged Joigny until his girlfriend was allowed to get back in touch with him.
  • Ralph – he is very much 'into' women's clothing and driving very fast cars though probably not at the same time.
  • Ralph the Timid – this Ralph lived a long time ago and may have had some serious family issues. His grandfather was Æthelred the Unready, his uncle was Edward the Confessor. When he was just a little Ralph, the French kids made of him.
  • Ralph the Werewolf – this Ralph was a former human who was transformed by a food additive which made him quite cranky. Pretty sure what he ate was also a GMO.
  • Ralphs – a term that does not mean a plurality of Ralphs, but instead a place where you can hear, "Eugene, clean up in aisle 4!"
  • Ralphs Bay, Ralphs Falls – places Ralph discovered.
  • Ralph the minor angel – this Ralph doesn't hold a prominent position in the ranks of the Enochian angels since he is next in line after Raagiosl, King of the Water Tablet.
  • Ralph Kramden – a character from The Honeymooners television show. Jackie Gleason just loved screaming his name.
  • Journal of Ralph – all the 'Ralphs' have a publication that helps to disseminate scholarly research related to all things 'ralph'. Case studies are the major focus though the graphics are tasteless.

See also

Optional comments, notes and references

  1. ^ Writing in the first person is pretty uncomfortable as a content creator. Things will improve as I become more active on contentious talk pages.
  2. ^ see the disambiguation on mirth
  3. ^ It makes me crazy to describe a fictional character in the present tense as if it were a real person. Are you listening Wikipedia:WikiProject Fictional characters? You all are semi-active anyway and too busy watching 'The Simpsons' re-runs. If you'd stop watching the reruns, perhaps you wouldn't be semi-active.

Reader comments

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Internet-in-a-box device, August 2017 US$10 version with 16 GB MicroSD card not shown

From 14–18 August 2017 a group of 35 offline Wikipedia enthusiasts convened at the OFF.NETWORK Content Hackathon to advance Kiwix and its distribution of offline Wikipedia in the Internet-in-a-Box device. (See previous Signpost coverage) The goal of the meeting was to develop Kiwix and complementary projects enough to make it possible for anyone to be able to:

  1. load a Kiwix package onto a Raspberry Pi;
  2. deploy that Raspberry Pi to a place without consistent inexpensive Internet access; and
  3. expect that anyone nearby with an Android cell phone should be able to connect to the Raspberry Pi's network and begin browsing offline Wikipedia articles within one minute, with no further instructions except "please connect to the Wi-Fi".

The outcomes of this meeting included technical development of Kiwix software, decisions on device hardware, designing content packages, framing of the social and ethical challenges, and planning for deployment of more devices by the end of the first half of 2018.


KIWIX Faltprospekt Lowres.pdf
Kiwix - Wikipedia Offline brochure offering offline Wikipedia

Kiwix is a software application which provides offline access to Wikipedia and Wikimedia content. To read content in Kiwix, users download the content package of their choice on their device. Being stored locally, they can afterwards check it anytime without having to worry about connectivity (or censorship, in some countries). Various packages of Kiwix exist and vary by the slice of content which they contain. All Wikimedia projects are available for download (in any language), with size ranging from 60 GB for the full English Wikipedia (20 GB without media files) to 0.2 GB for a smaller project like the Haitian Creole Wikipedia. Thematic packages, such as Wikipedia's medical information (51,000 articles in English, 4 GB with media files, 452 MB without) are also increasingly available as more users curate collections of Wikipedia articles sized to match to mobile devices' storage limitations.

But how about sharing content through even more portable means? Current experiments are testing a device called Internet-in-a-Box, which is a Raspberry Pi and a microSD card combo device running Kiwix. Persons with a typical smartphone or laptop within range can access the Internet-in-a-Box network at Wi-Fi speed without having to download anything on their own machine.

Event activities

Internet-in-a-box device, prototype 2017 US$30 packaged with various languages of medical content

Event organizers Martin Walker (User:Walkerma) of WikiProject Chemicals and Adam Holt of Internet-in-a-Box invited all attendees to convene after Wikimania Montreal at nearby SUNY Potsdam. In addition to editing wiki, Martin also is a professor in the Chemistry Department at that university. The event was significant for accomplishing technological fixes and facilitating discussions among offline education advocates, developers, and content experts including health care providers.

Although anyone may package any Wikipedia content in Kiwix, at this event, there was particular enthusiasm to share medical content following a successful pilot deployment of Kiwix in the Dominican Republic earlier in 2017. All attendees at the event took on multiple roles and had conversations with the other attendees regardless of their fields of expertise. This meant that the hardware designers talked with physicians and software developers talked with experts on technology deployment in the developing world.

What follows is more detailed documentation of hackathon proceedings. Each of the four days included an hour of prepared presentations. Video recordings of those presentations are here below with descriptions. Slides are evident in the videos but some original slidesets are also in Commons:Category:Offline Hackathon 2017. All in-person attendees had the option to give statements on video to tell any story about why they cared about the project, what they hoped to achieve, or simply what they were currently doing. Their statements are below, with presenters divided into groups by technical development, content, and deployment for offline access.


Technical team

Kiwix Hackathon 2017 group photo.jpg
Group photo of attendees

The technical developers wanted the Kiwix package to be accessible to the broadest range of users. Their challenges included developing essential features like support for various operating systems, considering requested features like search improvements, and being sufficiently diplomatic in an open source community where tens of volunteer contributors want their requests respectfully addressed.

Accomplishments at this event from this team included configuration of the Pibox installer, enabling search across ZIM files through Kolibri, packaging the readable files with WikiFundi for offline editing, publishing thoughts on "Hacking solutions for offline access", and producing documentation for setting up a Kiwix server.

Content team

The participants who had content wanted it made available to the largest, most relevant audience. Their challenges included limiting the size of the information packages to the capacity of the device's storage, devising ways to explain the device's utility to potential supportive organizations, and choosing non-wiki complementary content which the devices might include – such as Khan Academy materials, research journal abstracts, technical databases, and government medical treatment guideline sets.

Discussion in the content team began with reviewing friendly space policy with emphasis on the rule about "providing a welcoming experience for everyone, regardless of... preferred free license". Accomplishments at this event from this team included organizing debates about what content to include, reviews of what content similar projects like One Laptop per Child included, the circumstances under which we might distribute gratis but not libre content like Khan Academy materials or government-provided resources like medical or agriculture guidelines.

Deployment team

The deployment team wanted the device to reach end users in a way that is both useful and which avoids potential harm. Their challenges included planning to get sufficient user feedback without disturbance or privacy violation, continually describing that users needed easier access, and making plans to send their devices through their social networks when the project matures to the point of general use.

Accomplishments included establishing a group understanding on the challenges of sharing technology in the developing world, reviewing lessons learned from the One Laptop per Child project, publishing "How WikiFundi is helping people in Africa contribute to Wikipedia", and identifying unresolved ethical questions about funding, privacy, fair distribution, and long-term support.


Thanks to speakers, and thanks also to the other participants listed below.

Reader comments

Wikimedia Foundation Blog Vectorized Logo 2.svg
The following content has been republished from the Wikimedia Blog. The views expressed in this piece are those of the author alone; responses and critical commentary are invited in the comments section. For more information on this partnership see our content guidelines.

A chat with a developer of Kiwix, an open source software which allows users to download web content for offline reading, and the future of offline access to Wikipedia.

Dülmen, Börnste, Waldweg -- 2015 -- 4649.jpg

Senior Program Manager Anne Gomez leads the New Readers initiative, where she works on ways to better understand barriers that prevent people around the world from accessing information online. One of her areas of interest is offline access, as she works with the New Readers team to improve the way people who have limited or infrequent access to the Internet can access free and open knowledge.

Over the coming months, Anne will be interviewing people who work to remove access barriers for people across the world. In her first conversation for the Wikipedia Blog, Anne chats with Emmanuel Engelhart (aka "Kelson"), a developer who works on Kiwix, an open source software which allows users to download web content for offline reading. In the eleven years since being invented, a number of organizations have utilized it, including World Possible and Internet in a Box. Still, it’s perhaps best known for its distribution of entire copies of Wikipedia in areas of low bandwidth, like Cuba.

As we noted in a 2014 profile of Kiwix, the software "uses all of Wikipedia's content through the Parsoid wiki parser to package articles into an open source .zim file that can be read by the special Kiwix browser. Since Kiwix was released in 2007, dozens of languages of Wikipedia have been made available as .zim files, as has other free content, such as Wikisource, Wiktionary and Wikivoyage."

In addition to Wikimedia content, Kiwix now contains TED talks, the Stack Exchange websites, all of Project Gutenberg, and many YouTube educational channels. Anne and Emmanuel chatted about how video and smart phones are changing the offline landscape—and where Kiwix plans to go from here.


Anne Gomez: A lot has changed in a decade. What can you do now that wasn’t possible when you started Kiwix?

Engelhart: A lot has changed, indeed. Around us, a lot more people now have broadband access, but 4 billions remain unconnected. At the same time, Internet censorship has increased. That’s not something we’d expected, and it forces us to constantly rethink offline access. On the Kiwix side, the technology has changed a lot and the project has become a lot stronger. We now have a small and very motivated team of volunteers with a huge array of skills. Our budget, while still ridiculously low, has also increased and allows us to pay for services that are sorely needed to grow in scale. Ten years ago, the dream was to create a technology to bring Wikipedia to people without Internet access. And we succeeded. But there still are too many folks out there who don’t know about the technology or can’t access it. Our next Big Dream, therefore, is to consolidate our solutions and be more efficient in bringing them to people who really need it.


What’s been the biggest surprise for you over the years?

I don’t know if I have a “best surprise ever” to tell… but I’m often impressed by the ingenuity and the resilience of our users. I think in particular about these people who travel, often in really precarious conditions, from school to school to install Wikipedia offline.

Another really dominant feeling I have is my gratefulness to the volunteers who make the project so lively. For the past 10 years, and now more than ever, they have joined and done what needed to be done so that free knowledge is available to all.


Smartphones have transformed the way people can access the internet, and recently you started building packaged apps for Wikimed. How has this changed the landscape and the way you view of offline access? How do you see these devices impacting the future of educational resources?

In general, I have mixed feelings about the smartphone/tablet ecosystem: On the one hand, it has done a lot to make computers and internet access more affordable to people. It has also allowed for new kinds of softwares and features. And that’s good. On the other hand, most ecosystems are closed or proprietary, making software development pretty expensive. They also tend to treat users as consumers and encourage that mindset. I see it as a real issue, in particular for collaborative and participatory movements like Wikimedia.

Most of our audience at Kiwix does not own a computer at all, and probably never will; our priority therefore is to have a great mobile-friendly portfolio. That’s why we spent the last two years developing dedicated apps for Android. These package Kiwix with a topic-specific content (e.g. Medicine or Travel, but soon also History, Geography, or Movies). Wikimed has been a huge success, and showed us the way forward. The big learning for us has been that users search for easily actionable content rather than super powerful technologies. When it comes to offline, size of content does matter as you don’t want to download something you don’t need. By bringing learning resources and tools at any time and to (almost) every corner, mobile devices have definitely helped people win a bit of freedom. That said, the software engineering challenges are still pretty big and a lot of resources are still needed to make sure this paradigm shift will benefit everyone.


What hasn’t changed?

To be honest we really would love that a technology like Kiwix someday becomes obsolete. But unfortunately, this is not going to happen anytime soon. In some case, it might even become worse. We are concerned that censorship will soon become the #1 problem for those who want to access free knowledge.


Video makes up over half of global bandwidth, and from the New Readers research we know that lots of people prefer to learn by video, but it’s expensive to store for offline. How are you thinking about video and other media?

I tend to think that the pedagogical value of videos are overrated. Being lazy myself, I might also prefer watching a video that using other means for learning. That does not mean this is the most appropriate way.

That said, there are lots of legitimate use for video, and in general we try to stay away from editorial discussions: we only want to focus on building the best technology. And the ZIM format that Kiwix relies on is anyway content-agnostic: this means that you can use it to store whatever content you like. We are actually already distributing dozens of offline files with videos embedded in them.

But of course the reader needs to be able to display efficiently these videos. So far, Kiwix does it but it could be better… This is something we have been working on and will keep on working on in the near future. Hopefully our effort on this will be over next year when we release a new version of Kiwix for Windows/Linux.


Kiwix supports more than just Wikipedia—how do you think about what content packs to include?

We always search any content which is free (as in free speech). Most of the time, ideas come as feature requests from our users/partners.


Kiwix is foundational to a number of other offline educational projects (IiaB, RACHEL, etc.). How do you balance supporting end users and reusers?

We try to support both as much as we can, but we consider integration projects like the ones you mention, as well as those of other deployment partners, to be the key to accessing a broader audience. They are therefore privileged because of the scaling effect they give us in terms of distribution.


What resources exist for people who want to know more?

We are a software project, so most of the activity is visible on our code forge (Github) at:

We also have chat channels on Freenode IRC #Kiwix ( and on Slack #kiwixoffline (

People can also always send us an email, if only to say hello, at contact[at]kiwix[dot]org

Anne Gomez, Senior Program Manager, Program Management
Wikimedia Foundation

Thanks to Melody Kramer for writing the introduction to this piece.

This piece originally appeared at the Wikimedia Blog.

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Facebook is enlisting Wikipedia in its ongoing fight against fake news. The new tool, announced October 5, 2017 uses Wikipedia to provide context about news articles. For example, if an article by Associated Press comes up, clicking on a small 'I' will bring up "The Associated Press (AP) is an American multinational nonprofit news agency headquartered in New York City that operates as a cooperativeuninc ..." The feature is now being tested in the United States, France, the Netherlands, and Germany.

The move comes after fact checkers enlisted by Facebook (such as Le Monde) complained about a lack of context. "I would say that the general lack of information — not only data — given by Facebook is a concern for a majority of publishers", wrote Adrien Sénéca to Politico. It was criticized by some, as the first paragraph to a Wikipedia article can be changed by just about anyone, and still show up on Facebook.

This is the most recent development in Facebook's fight against fake news. For many years, and increasingly since the United States presidential election, 2016, Facebook has been seen as complacent in the fake news world. After the election, Facebook enlisted PolitiFact,,, the AP and ABC News to patrol news on the platform in the US. In addition, since March users can flag fake news, and algorithms are working on detecting it. (Reported by Mashable and reported by Tech Crunch)

Jill Bialosky plagiarism

Jill Bialosky was quick to defend herself from accusations that she plagiarized content in her new memoir Poetry Will Save Your Life from the websites of the Academy of American Poets, the Poetry Foundation and, of all places, Wikipedia. When William Logan reviewed Bialosky's new memoir, he was quick to point out a few things. Logan noticed that many of the author biographies had been apparently plagiarized, saying:

Worse, she has plagiarized numerous passages from Wikipedia and the websites of the Academy of American Poets and the Poetry Foundation. Her borrowings are highlighted in bold.

Wikipedia on Robert Lowell:

Although Lowell's manic depression was often a great burden (for himself and his family), the subject of that mental illness led to some of his most important poetry, particularly as it manifested itself in his book Life Studies. When he was fifty, Lowell began taking lithium to treat his mental illness.

Bialosky on Lowell:

Although Lowell's manic depression was a great burden for him and his family, the exploration of mental illness in his verse led to some of his most important poetry, particularly as it manifested itself in Life Studies. When he was fifty, Lowell began taking lithium to treat his mental illness.

Logan even found that Bialosky had plagiarized another author:

Helen Vendler in Last Looks, Last Books on Plath's "Poppies in October":

Plath, under a wintry dawn sky . . . , finds herself on a street where poppies are for sale and where businessmen wearing bowler hats are walking by while an ambulance hurtles past, carrying a hemorrhaging woman.

Bialosky on "Poppies in October":

Under a wintery sky, she finds herself on a street where poppies are for sale and businessmen wearing bowler hats and an ambulance carrying a bleeding woman pass by.

This is just the latest development in a long history of plagiarism from Wikipedia. In 2015, Oxford University Press was discovered to have copied directly from Wikipedia. In 2014, an article on Piero di Cosimo written by The New York Times lifted most of its first paragraph straight from Wikipedia. BuzzFeed also suffered from a serial plagiarist. In 2013, Rand Paul took some sentences from Wikipedia. In 2010, Michel Houellebecq revealed that he had lifted parts of his book from Wikipedia. "If these people really think that [this is plagiarism], they haven't got the first notion of what literature is", he said. [Compare No true Scotsman?] "This is part of my method. This approach, muddling real documents and fiction, has been used by many authors. I have been influenced especially by [Georges] Perec and [Jorge Luis] Borges... I hope that this contributes to the beauty of my books, using this kind of material." Jane Goodall, ESPN, Tim Ryan, The United States Department of Defense, Chris Anderson have all plagiarized Wikipedia. (Reviewed in Tourniquet Review & Reported in The New York Times)

Advances in Applied Sociology

On March 8, 2017, sociologist Nicola Malizia published her article: "A social problem: individual and group rape" in the predatory journal Advances in Applied Sociology.[note 1] Malizia is affiliated with University of Enna "Kore" in Enna, Italy. During a talk page discussion on the article, where the veracity of this source was evaluated, editors discovered that a large amount of material was taken verbatim from WP's Rape article. The journal states that the content of the article is copyrighted by the publisher and the author but has been released under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0). (Published in Advances in Applied Sociology)

  1. ^ A previous version of this Signpost article read "in the journal Advances in Applied Sociology". See diff, per reader comment.

In brief

Second Inauguration mistake in Lincoln Memorial.jpg
Spelling mistake: The inscription is the Abraham Lincoln 1865 presidential inauguration speech. The F in the word "FUTURE" in the middle of the photograph was originally carved as an E, and was later repaired.
  • Tajikistan Demands Wikipedia "correct spelling mistakes": The state language committee of Tajikistan has threatened legal action over spelling mistakes in the Tajik language Wikipedia; the committee "warns the errors violate the country's state-language law and therefore make Wikipedia legally liable for the mistakes." (Reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
  • The Wikipedia of "being wrong": Everipedia is, in their own telling, a dynamic fork of Wikipedia. This means that they copied Wikipedia's articles, and expanded on them. Unfortunately, it also has a history of being wrong. They have multiple times created articles on people who simply don't exist. Most recently, they have mis-identified the man behind the 2017 Las Vegas Strip shooting as Geary Danley, and the white supremacist in Charlottesville as Joel Vangheluwe. (Reported by The Outline)
  • Free Wikipedia: Roshan, a leading Afghan telecommunications provider serving nearly 6.0 million active subscribers, recently announced that they would provide free access to Wikipedia, without charging for mobile data for a year. (Reported by Khaama Press)

Do you want to contribute to "In the media" by writing a story or even just an "in brief" item? Edit next week's edition in the Newsroom or contact the editor.

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Unlike many Wikimedia chapters in Europe, Wikimedia UK is not primarily responsible for supporting our own language Wikipedia, which allows us more time to work on things like developing GLAM partnerships. The UK has a very well-developed heritage sector with numerous world-famous institutions containing items of immense historical and artistic significance, so one of our main tasks as a chapter is to encourage those institutions to work with Wikimedia and make more of their content available on open licenses.

We have started to develop partnerships with many of these institutions; this has started to yield benefits in terms of mainstreaming the use of Wikimedia projects, releasing content and creating new editors. Here I’ll give a brief introduction to some of our partnerships that show what chapters can achieve by working with other institutions.

It often takes a long time and repeated interactions with an institution to convince them of the worth of opening up content or employing a Wikimedian in residence (WiR) to work within the institution. Fortunately we started many such conversations five or more years ago, and you can see a list of all the partnerships we have organised since 2011 on our website here.

Alice White at the Wellcome Collection – Wikimedia UK
Wellcome-Wiki end of residency infographic.png
Wellcome Library end of residency infographic

Over the past 18 months, two of our residencies have become permanent positions. At the National Library of Wales, Jason Evans (User:Jason.nlw) has just been appointed National Wikimedian, following a successful residency, which has resulted in 31 events, 11,385 images uploaded (receiving 262 million views), and a number of ancillary projects such as appointing the world's first Wikidata residency to turn the NLW's data into Wikidata.

At the Wellcome Library, our Wikimedian in residence, Dr Alice White (User:ZeroMonk), has been reappointed to continue her work promoting open knowledge among the staff at the Wellcome. Even before the residency started, the Wellcome had begun to release images on Open Licenses, and now almost 100,000 files from their collection have been uploaded to Commons with the help of the Wikimedia community.

GLAM partnerships have resulted in three conferences in different parts of the UK in the past year. In February we held a one-day education conference at Middlesex University to encourage educators to use Wikipedia in the classroom, with talks by academics about what they had learned from doing so. In May, our Welsh team of Robin Owain (User:Llywelyn2000) and Jason Evans organised an event in North Wales to encourage Welsh naturalists to improve content about the natural world on the Welsh Wikipedia. And in July, Ewan McAndrew, the Wikimedian in Residence at Edinburgh University, helped organise the Celtic Knot conference on minority languages, which attracted Wikimedians from outside the UK.

Programmes Consultation Video – Wikimedia UK

Another benefit of these GLAM partnerships is that they connect Wikimedia to experts from groups like the Women’s Classical Committee, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Royal College of Nursing which brings more experts to Wikipedia, who can help spot what is missing or lacking context, and who with training and supervision can produce great contributions to the encylopaedia.

Working with institutions helps raise awareness about how Wikipedia works and the community who make it possible. One of our successes in the past year was in partnering with the BBC on their 100 Women project, which led to a global editathon involving Wikimedia chapters and volunteers around the world, and helping us reach the BBC's international audience.

As we continue work with partner institutions, we hope to launch more projects that involve our community in training, speaking and technical support roles. We have lots of exciting ideas and possible projects planned for the coming year, so we hope you'll get involved if you live in the UK, as well as giving us feedback about what you would like to see us doing by watching our consultation video and engaging on our Water Cooler discussion.

We couldn't achieve the kind of impact we've had over the past year without our community, so we're very grateful for their support and hope to continue supporting their work as we look ahead to the next ten years of creating the sum of all knowledge.

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Thirty percent of the articles are due to the death of Hef. Hefner himself placed at #1, his wife at #2, and his first child six spaces below at #7. As far as entertainment goes, the debut of Star Trek: Discovery placed it at #3, It at #4, and Kingsman at #10. In addition, Megan Markel, a fruit of rumors got pushed up to #8. Disasters (#5) and Deaths (#6) went hand in hand again with one just above the other.

For the week of September 24 to 30, 2017, the 10 most popular articles on Wikipedia, as determined from the WP:5000 report were:

Rank Article Views Image Description
1 Hugh Hefner 4,399,770 Hugh Hefner 1966.jpg Hugh Hefner died last week, ending the life of an icon. Born during Prohibition in 1926, Hefner grew up in a "conservative, Midwestern, [and] Methodist" family, of which he would become the antithesis. In 1952, he left a job at Esquire after he was denied a $5 raise and founded Playboy (originally Stag Party). The first issue (featuring Marilyn Monroe (whose crypt would later neighbor his)) sold over 50,000 copies, and signaled the beginning of a culture. Playboy and Hefner played an important role in the sexual revolution, really embodying the change. The magazine's circulation shot up, peaking at around 7 million in the 1970s. A progressive independent, hated and reviled by many, yet idolized by others, Hefner died on September 27, 2017. Whether you loved him or hated him (and, really you did one of the two), 'Hef' was the embodiment of a culture, revolution, and a generation. In the words of Hefner himself "In my wildest dreams I could not have imagined a sweeter life."
2 Crystal Hefner 976,094 Crystal Hefner 2014.jpg The wife of Hugh Hefner (see above) was one of Hefner's many love interests. Hugh, 60 years her senior, married Crystal in 2012. They remained married until Hugh Hefner's death in 2017.
3 Star Trek: Discovery 928,582 Sonequa Martin-Green 2017.jpg Presenting the 7th exciting series about a group of travellers Star Trekkin' across the universe. The first new Star Trek series to be broadcast since 2005 debuted on CBS on September 24. Stars of the series include Sonequa Martin-Green (pictured) as the protagonist Michael BurnhamDoug Jones as alien Saru; and hello to Jason Isaacs, popping up as USS Discovery captain Gabriel Lorca.
4 It (2017 film) 911,385 IT (2017 film) logo.svg "Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Those immortal words echo the theme of It, a record-breaking horror movie which released on September 8, 2017. Unadjusted for inflation, it is the highest-grossing R-rated horror film of all-time, the highest-grossing horror film internationally and the second highest-grossing horror film overall after The Sixth Sense. It is also the highest-grossing horror film of 2017, the second highest-grossing R-rated film of 2017, and the 11th highest-grossing film overall of 2017. The film has been generally positively received. Taking place in the '80s, It brings us back, and some people to for the first time to the 'Golden Years'. "What a good time it was to be afraid."
5 Puerto Rico 787,694 Standing water in Ponce, Puerto Rico, poses health risks for its residents more than a week after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.jpg The 10th most intense hurricane ever struck Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. The island was devastated, suffering widespread flooding, power loss to millions, approximately 80 percent of the territory's agriculture was lost, 34 people died, and billions of dollars of damage were suffered.
6 Deaths in 2017 742,109 Harpers-perryville-battle.jpg The morbid interest of Wikipedia users remained prevalent this week as ever
7 Christie Hefner 701,326 Christie Hefner.jpg Christie Ann Hefner, the child of 'Hef' has followed in her father's footsteps, previously serving as Playboy Enterprises Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. She is also involved in advancing womens rights, freedom of speechfreedom of the press issues and treatment for people with HIV/AIDS.
8 Meghan Markle 685,043 Meghan Markle 3441.jpg As rumors and gossip swirl around Markle's maybe, possibly, upcoming engagement to Prince Harry, the actress, model and humanitarian kept dropping hints, leading to a 24/7 'Engagement Watch' by the tabloids.
9 Lyle and Erik Menendez 671,611 The premier of Law & Order True Crime: The Menéndez Murders about Lyle and Erik Menendez murdering their parents in 1989 led to a resurgence of interest.
10 Kingsman: The Golden Circle 631,951 Channing Tatum July 2015.jpg The 2017 action film released on September 20 to mixed reviews. The movie has currently grossed about double its operating budget, and has left me feeling increasingly out of touch with current events, as the only reason I even knew this film existed is Channing Tatum, and that its trailer is set to a Frank Sinatra song.
  • This list excludes 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.
  • For the full top 25 list, see Wikipedia:Top 25 Report/September 24 to 30, 2017.

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