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Lab rats revolt: Researchers don't get their way with the Wikipedia community

Press Barnstar Hires.png

A proposed research project which would have randomly awarded barnstars to Wikipedia editors was recently withdrawn by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Bending to concerns expressed by en.Wikipedians that the process was a social experiment, Ph.D. student Diyi Yang and Robert E. Kraut, Ph.D, Herbert A. Simon Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at Language Technologies Institute, CMU, withdrew their proposal. Initially approved by the institutional review board (IRB) at CMU, the proposed research entitled How role-specific rewards influence Wikipedia editors' contribution would have involved placing thousands of randomly assigned barnstars on unsuspecting editors' user pages in order to monitor their reactions.

Yang's research is supported by a Facebook Fellowship. Facebook's own research has been criticized in an article in The Guardian by Sam Levin on 1 May 2017 over research in which it sought to alter the emotions of users without their consent, and again by George Monbiot in his opinion piece in the same newspaper on 31 December 2018, stating that "universities are leading us into temptation, when they should be enlightening us". The CMU proposal came under fire at Meta from several leading Wikipedians including BrownHairedGirl, Deryck Chan, Risker, SlimVirgin, and WereSpielChequers when the discussion at Meta spilled over to the Wikipedia Village Pump in a long and heated thread.

Words used by Wikipedia editors to describe the project included:

"...Barnstars awarded among Wikipedia editors and the WikiLove messages I give and receive actually mean something. To use the Barnstars (and potentially the WikiLove system) in the researchers' proposed way devalues their meaning..." – Shearonink (diff)

"Diyiy, can you reply, please, to the part of SarahSV's question where she asks "in whose interests it's being done?" For my part, I want to know why Carnegie Mellon wants to know about Wikipedian behaviour. What benefits accrue to the university? And is the experiment to be of benefit to any of the great manipulators of public behaviour such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, or anyone who desires to sharpen their sophisticated tools even further? Does the university have corporate, government, academic, or other partners who seek to benefit from barnstar-motivation studies? Are you, yourself, a ripe candidate for recruitment by Facebook or similar, based on your current social experiment activity, or arising out of your Facebook fellowship? I am seeking full transparency about any hidden partners or researcher motivations. Cui bono? Thank you." — O'Dea

Halfaker, Aaron Sept 2013.jpg
Aaron Halfaker Photo: Myleen Hollero

In a 455-page paper partly funded by Google, Who Did What: Editor Role Identification in Wikipedia, delivered at the Tenth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM 2016), Aaron Halfaker (currently WMF Principal Research Scientist) in his capacity as WMF staff collaborated with CMU researchers Diyi Yang, Robert Kraut, and Eduard Hovy. From the abstract: "Understanding the social roles played by contributors to on-line communities can facilitate the process of task routing. In this work, we develop new techniques to find roles in Wikipedia based on editors' low-level edit types and investigate how work contributed by people from different roles affect the article quality."

"Diyiy and I should have been more precise when saying 'the proposed work has nothing to do with Facebook' and 'Facebook won't benefit at all from the research we've been describing'. We should have said that Facebook does not benefit directly from our research and does not benefit more from this knowledge than do other online platforms. We started this research on the influence of social roles in Wikipedia in collaboration with the WMF and our first paper[1] on the topic was published in 2016 before Diyiy received a Facebook fellowship. The proposed research should lead to generalizable knowledge about the consequences of bestowing recognition and the influence of social roles in online groups. This generalizable knowledge could be useful to many different types of online groups, including Wikipedia, open-source software development communities, online health support groups, peer-to-peer lending groups and many others, including Facebook's online groups."– Robert Kraut

"Every single barnstar I have came as the result of significant effort on my part. I don't understand why the researchers have decided to grant what is, essentially, one of the highest interpersonal symbols of respect on the project to people who have not made the level of contribution that the rest of the community would expect to see when a barnstar is granted. It's like throwing a parade in recognition of successfully emptying the trash baskets, very disproportionate."– Risker

"Sorry but I'm not happy about this. Please see "Wikipedia is not a laboratory". The proposal could be regarded as somewhat "disruptive to the community" in diluting the value of the barnstar, which we would hope is intended as a sincere expression of appreciation from one Wikipedia editor to another. [...] Wikipedia editors are not lab rats and should not be fed barnstars to see if they scurry round any faster afterwards! Feel free to disregard this if other contributors don't see it this way." – Noyster

Winding the clock back...

Seven years ago in April at ANI an attempt by Boing! said Zebedee to retain the dignity attached to the barnstar philosophy, by restricting its rampant willy-nilly use by IP users, a discussion on 'IP handing out random barnstars' was closed with: "Barnstar campaign and other forms of appreciation are not, other than exceptional cases, problematic or disruptive or actionable. This was not the droid you were looking for."

"If the barnstars are to have any meaning, it's probably wrong. However, the guidelines on when to hand out a barnstar are pretty liberal. I suppose you could request a change in who is allowed to give barnstars maybe. Beyond that, though it seems a tad excessive, it's not really uncivil or disruptive. – Avanu"

In April 2012 almost exactly 12 months later Softlavender filed a further ANI report on IP Barnstar spaming: 'I'm all for barnstars, but their value and purpose is diluted (could even say desecrated) when meaninglessly sprayed shotgun by a constantly changing and anonymous IP range for no good reason.'

"...there is far worse vandalism than this, and many more people should be praised for the work they do, but this is just random and devalues well-deserved recognition. The IP editor clearly knows how to edit, and the right sort of phrases etc. to use, so they are not a novice, and could make useful contributions." –Arjayay

The case was closed with: 'While some find random (and inappropriate) acts of Love annoying, no consensus exists for mass action at ANI and cases can be handled one at a time. Changing policy on barnstars is clearly outside of the scope of ANI...'

The phantom barnstar bomber

The wild Barnstarist turns out in both cases to be none other than Mike Restivo editing while logged out in the pursuit of an early research agenda covered in The Signpost column 'Recent Research' from the issue of 30 April 2012. His works are cited by Halfaker et al:

  1. Restivo, Michael, and Arnout van de Rijt. "No praise without effort: experimental evidence on how rewards affect Wikipedia's contributor community." Information, Communication & Society 17, no. 4 (2014): 451-462.
  2. Restivo, Michael, and Arnout Van De Rijt. "Experimental study of informal rewards in peer production." PloS one 7, no. 3 (2012): e34358.

Reader comments

I am the very model of a modern Wikipedian (thanks to Bucketsofg), as seen on the page of admin rogerd
"Many hands make light work" — proverb. On the userpage of sysop Ancheta Wis

Just like Wikipedia is a representation of the collective consciousness[a] of the world, admins here in a way represent the collective consciousness of Wikipedia. This article aims, in theory, to represent this collective here. To simplify the task, the scope has been narrowed down to merely the collective consciousness of "active admin userpages". Talking in plainer practical terms, this article picks up stuff (aka plagiarism[b]) from the userpages of some active admins on the English Wikipedia and tries to convey it in a humorous light-hearted or serious/neutral way, as per the content. Note that everything compiled here, the respective degree of humour or seriousness, is courtesy the admins.[c]

"Consensus has determined that this is the single greatest image hosted by Wikimedia". Sysop Amorymeltzer has this image and caption on their userpage.

A euphony of professions and interests

Admin Anne Delong is a bluegrass musician, 28bytes is a video game designer and Acroterion is an architect. J Milburn is a philosopher who still "takes part in horror-themed live action role-playing from time-to-time" while admin Antandrus is a professional pianist as well as a professional violinist, but JUST an "advanced" thereminist. Andrew Gray is a librarian working for a London university, Ausir is a freelance translator while Edgar181 is a medicinal chemist with a PhD in organic chemistry. Casliber is a psychiatrist, while Cburnett is an MS in biomedical engineering in striated muscle electrophysiology and Anachronist is a scientist who has worked mostly in the field of stealth technology. Ad Orientem has an infobox which states his occupation as "gentleman" and writes on their userpage "OK, we have the two world wars and the sinking of the Titanic covered. How much more do we really need?"

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Custom made on the userpage of sysop Anna Frodesiak

Did you know... that Wikipedia DYKs are rhetoric in nature?

  • DYK... that admin BDD used to think the metaphor of the mop was a joke, and now they know it's not?
  • DYK... that admin Bumm13 was "King of IP Contributors", but now is merely a sysop?
  • DYK... that admin 78.26 has 78 in his name because he listens to 78 RPM records? (Wonder what the 26 stands for!)
  • DYKE[d]... that admin BD2412 has been a Wikipedian for 30.1% of their life, Ser Amantio di Nicolao has been a Wikipedian for 37.4% of their life, but K6ka, an admin who is 20 years, 7 months, and 27 days old, has been a Wikipedian for 42.8% of their life?!
  • DYK... that admin BU Rob13 doesn't know how he got into editing Canadian football biographies and is a known talk page stalker?[e]
  • DYK... that Choess uses the admin tools "very sparingly and mostly to aid in article writing/organization, so if you have a problem requiring an administrator, they are not necessarily your best choice?"
  • DYK... that Bagumba, Ianblair23 and Barek have The Signpost templates on their pages, and so should you?
  • DYK... that Awilley "is an inexperienced and extremely problematic editor and administrator" and that in 2014 there was a controversial rumor that Awilley is a sockpuppet of User:Jimbo?
  • DYK... that Nightstallion, the male equivalent of a nightmare, stole his username from the fantasy author Piers Anthony, well-known for his Xanth novels?
  • DYK... that admin Athaenara has created the Wikipedian Signature Art Gallery?
  • DYK... that Catfish Jim and the soapdish tried to change their name but this upset some people, so the soapdish remains?
  • DYK... that admin Graham87 has no idea what 1337 is and prefers to contribute using proper words?
  • DYK... that some active admins (David Levy, Dbachmann, Cryptic) do not have userpages to plagiarise off?
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"I put a spell on you" as seen on the userpage of sysop BOZ
As seen on the userpage of Bishonen
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Admin Titodutta, at a Train a Wikipedian event.
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Admin Ynhockey, with another "admin", now I wonder who, hmm...? :)

Some admins show a certain sense of being disillusioned in general as well as concern with certain things on wiki

  • Adam Bishop has "general disillusionment with Wikipedia...", he doesn't think he "can co-exist on a Wikipedia that has articles about individual Heidi Montag songs".
  • Bkell lists out things they don't like about Wikipedia which include "Drama and endless debate", "Undetected hoaxes and vandalism" and "Image names include the format".
  • Admin Swarm has an infobox saying that they sometimes or always feel useless on wikipedia.
  • BigDom doesn't edit as much as they used to. BigDom writes on their userpage - "Editing Wikipedia used to be enjoyable but lately I've found it's become a real chore and I just can't find the motivation to write new articles. This place has gone to the dogs in my opinion; it's mostly full of kids and people who seem more interested in bickering than building an encyclopedia. There's still some excellent editors and writers left and they know who they are, but 90% of articles are absolute drivel and with the notability guidelines as they are it will only get worse."
  • Boing! said Zebedee is "getting a bit tired of acting purely as an admin and contributing nothing more than occasional minor edits to the actual encyclopedia".
  • Art LaPella lists two reasons why Wikipedia can die. "An influential faction, and close to a consensus, has decided that experienced Wikipedians don't need to be as civil as newcomers," and Wikipedia:Link rot.

Animals, Plants, Nature

Admin Black Falcon has a falcon on their page and admin ferret has a singing polecat on their page. IceKarma and GorillaWarfare have a picture of a cat, while Courcelles is owned by one or more dogs and Megalibrarygirl has dogs, baby sea lions and a desert dove on their userpage. Acdixon, Sadads, and Bilby are WikiDragons while Beeblebrox is a WikiGryphon.

Admin Mattinbgn has an image of an evocative row of Pepper trees in rural Australia on their userpage, Jehochman has a beautiful view of the Talcott Mountain, Grant65 has pictures of a bobtail (Tiliqua rugosa) and a Red Kangaroo Paws and Jo-Jo Eumerus has a picture of Miñiques lake.

Quotes on admin userpages

Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject, so you know you are getting the best possible information.

Michael Scott

  • As seen on the userpage of sysop Fenix down (the quote is from another userpage dated 16 January 2001):

Nifty site you have here! It may be hard to get momentum going, but I like the general idea. I've bookmarked it for some time later when I have more free time. :-)

The key turning point was the increase in emphasis on WP:VERIFY. It unquestionably improved the quality of the encyclopedia, but it just as unquestionably changed us from a large community of online users sharing everything they know to a much smaller community of scholars willing to put in a significant amount of effort researching and documenting their use of reliable sources. That was a good thing for producing a more informative and trustworthy reference work, but it was effectively the end of "the encyclopedia everyone can edit", since most people simply can't or won't make the effort to do the kind of research required to make significant edits when every such edit requires an inline citation to a reliable published source. That combined with the exhaustion of many of the easiest topics has inevitably lead to the community shrinking. --Rusty Cashman (Source:The Signpost 2011, a comment)

  • BrownHairedGirl: "Some wikipedian user pages tell their life story or reveal all sorts of interesting details about themselves, whilst others define their interests and values. I want to do neither, because I do not want to tempt the reader to stereotype me — so a few boxes to the right is all you get." Two of the infoboxes -
saneThis user is relatively sane and will not usually stab you when you sleep
12.3This user has 12.3 centijimbos.

  • As seen on the userpage of Beeblebrox, quoting another admin...

Beware of users so in love with their own virtue, that they are incapable of recognizing when it has become vice; and so in love with their own eloquence, that they can not see when it has become hypocrisy. The former are those who never admit to any wrong, but yet demand apologies from others for the lapses of judgement to which all human beings are prone; and the latter are the blindest and most intractable of POV-pushers. Skill with words correlates neither with virtue nor wisdom. - Antandrus

The list of meaningful quotes related to Wikipedia on the userpages of admins is endless... check out the userpages of MastCell and Kaihsu.


  1. ^ The author severely messes up the usage of this term through this article. So to understand what collective consciousness really means, I suggest you go through the Wikipedia article to fix any grey cells that may have been damaged while reading ahead.
  2. ^ I use the word plagiarise, since when trying to represent the collective consciousness, it hits out as being similar to intellectual property rights violation and plagiarism in its purest form, just fancier language. And if you think Wikipedia is or is not a mess, then that mess will or will not, as per your choice, accordingly reflect or not reflect in this article.
  3. ^ Admin Lectonar writes on their userpage "Always assume good faith and even assume the assumption of good faith."
  4. ^ DYKE: Did you know exclamation
  5. ^ I should mention that Wikipedia:User page stalker sounds rather relevant to mention just now.

Reader comments

Wikipedia blocked in Venezuela

In Venezuela, the country with the largest oil reserves in the world and where the population is starving and forced to eat garbage, access to Wikipedia has been blocked. The 2018 Venezuelan presidential election result was denounced as fraudulent by most neighboring countries. Both the Wikipedia articles on Nicolas Maduro, who won the election, and the article on Juan Guaidó who was declared interim president by Venezuela's National Assembly, have been protected, following edit-warring by users supporting both factions.

In January 2019, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved a resolution to not recognize the legitimacy of Maduro’s new term as of 10 January 2019, and, on 12 January, following political unrest surrounding President Nicolás Maduro and the National Assembly President Guaidó, Wikipedia was rendered inaccessible for most Venezuelans. According to one tweet:

Según los conspiranoicos chavistas: CANTV no bloqueó Wikipedia. Es al contrario Wikipedia bloqueó a CANTV.

"Wikipedia censura a Venezuela", es el mensaje desinformativo chavista. #InternetVE #Desinformacion#InfoDisordersVE

(Translation: According to Chavez conspiracy theorists: CANTV did not block Wikipedia. On the contrary Wikipedia blocked CANTV.

"Wikipedia censors Venezuela" is the Chavista disinformation message. #InternetVE #Disinformation #InfoDisordersVE — Iria Puyosa (@NSC) January 13, 2019

The following statement was issued by the Wikimedia Venezuela chapter (translation):

About blocking Wikipedia - Official release

During the last 72 hours volunteers of the non-profit civil association, Wikimedia Venezuela, and users of Wikipedia, have told us their inability to access the free encyclopedia through the most important Internet service provider in Venezuela, the state-run company CANTV. These allegations have been supported by the NetBlocks Internet Observatory.

As a civil association, we do not establish an editorial policy for Wikipedia or for any other Wikimedia project. We respect and support the editorial decisions made by the editors community. While we support local users of these projects, our association operates independently of the project and the international association that operates them.

Currently Wikipedia is the most important information query site in the country. Blocking access to this page leaves more than 30 million people without one of the most used educational tools by students and teachers at different levels of the academic sphere, resulting in the most affected sector composed of young people who do not have the power Purchase to acquire a school text.

Wikipedia is a neutral information source and operates independently to any government entity, news chain or for-profit entity. Its purpose is to globally distribute the knowledge generated through consensus, based on reliable sources that anyone can edit.

From Wikimedia Venezuela we urge the authorities with competence in this area to take the necessary actions to restore at the national level the free access to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. We hope that this inability to access Wikipedia has been a technical error, since no official information has yet been provided by the State.

Board of Directors Wikimedia Venezuela Caracas, January 16, 2019

Writing in GlobalVoices on the crisis on 15 January, Ellery Roberts Biddle and Laura Vidal state: 'This triggered sharp responses in public and online, and a bitter "editing war" between Venezuelan Wikipedia contributors, who were at odds over the same question: Who is (or should be) the legitimate leader of the country?' ... 'For now, the President of the National Assembly is free, and as of January 14, Wikipedia appears to be accessible once again in most parts of the country. But the episode sends a message about how authorities can react when the legitimacy of the presidency is called into a question.'

James Alexander quits WMF

Photograph of James Alexander smiling during Wikimania 2015 in Mexico City
James Alexander Photo: Joe Sutherland
Photograph of Jann Eissfeldt
Jann Eissfeldt Photo: Melanie Brown

James Alexander, former Manager of Trust and Safety and long-time employee since August 2010, has quietly quit the Wikimedia Foundation. Amid much speculation on Wikipedia criticism forum Wikipediocracy, and nary a word on Wikimedia's WordPress website, Alexander has apparently made his exit from the San Francisco office using the back stairs. All mention of Alexander on the WordPress site has been carefully removed.

GorillaWarfare, an arbitrator on the English Wikipedia, appears to be best informed, and explains in one of her posts on Wikipediocracy: "Before some folks here get their conspiracy theories out, there wasn't a coup or anything. I really wish the WMF would announce these kinds of changes on the mailing lists before removing the userrights, it would save a lot of wild speculation." On 15 December, James Alexander's WMF account user page on Meta was tagged as historical by steward MarcoAurelio, while his personal Wikipedia user page, personal website, and LinkedIn entry continue to list him (as of 5 January) in his WMF capacity.

On Twitter, Alexander informed his followers that he is currently enjoying a well-earned break in Hawaii, before starting his new job as Safety Operation Manager at Twitter, working with the Periscope team.

Alexander came to the forefront for two issues during the 2018 Wikimania in South Africa when, while exercising his authority, he forbade one volunteer event helper from continuing his work as reported in our August 2018 Special Report, and withdrew the registration of a South African newsman and anti-apartheid activist from the conference, having the activist ejected from the venue. Alexander's reasons for withdrawing the registration were later confirmed to be partly incorrect, as documented on YouTube (from 26:51).

The Signpost has been informed by a senior WMF officer that Alexander's 'transition' was well prepared with German contractor Jan Eissfeldt, the lead manager of Trust & Safety, to whom Alexander's position reported, and that Eissfeldt has been working with the Trust & Safety team to figure out the best alignment to meet the team's future goals. As to the circumstances surrounding Alexander's departure or why it was not even mentioned, other than: "The Foundation doesn't discuss general personnel changes, to respect the right to privacy of our staff", the WMF has declined to comment further. Eissfeldt did not respond to The Signpost's invitation to comment.

The reasons for Alexander's departure, and why he was not publicly thanked for his eight years' work remain unknown.

Chief Technology Officer departs

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Victoria Coleman at Wikimedia Developer Summit 2018

Announcing her departure on the Wikitech mailing list of 11 January Chief Technology Officer Victoria Coleman is to become CEO of an artificial intelligence startup "striving for improvements in human well being through data driven insights". Coleman, a native of Greece, was employed by the WMF for two years. Her previous illustrious professional career (catch it before it is removed from the web site) started in 1998 already after 10 years as a tenured professor at the University of London, with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Manchester, Following the announcement of her appointment in the WMF blog of 16 November 2016, she brought more than 20 years of experience in consumer and enterprise technology to the Wikimedia movement. She now moves on to an opportunity for her " exercise the full spectrum of my skills as the CEO of an early stage mission oriented startup."

The position of interim CTO will be filled by Erika Bjune, after Coleman's last day on 1 February.

New Chief of Community Engagement arrives

[[|center|300px|alt=Photograph of Valerie D'Costa]]

Valerie D'Costa

Valerie D'Costa, a native of Singapore, joins the 300+ strong staff of the Wikimedia Foundation as the new Chief of Community Engagement, while Maggie Dennis moves on (or up?) by 'transitioning' to the post of Vice President of Support & Services. D'Costa received a Bachelor of Laws from the National University of Singapore and a Master of Laws from University College London. She received an executive MBA certification from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and is also certified as an executive leadership coach by Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies. Among her previous engagements, D'Costa spent 15 years working with the government of Singapore on issues of international information and communications technology (ICT) policy and trade. According to Executive Director Katherine Maher: "We were looking for someone with a global perspective, international experience, fluency in technology, and a deep empathy for community." D'Costa lives in Washington DC.

Brief notes

  • Wikimedia gets another big(ish) donation: With a $1,000,000 gift to the Wikimedia Endowment fund, Facebook joins the list of major web sites to offer their support to free knowledge. "We launched the Endowment in 2016 as an unwavering commitment to the lasting power and promise of Wikipedia," says Wikipedia co-founder Jimbo Wales on the Wikimedia web site "We are grateful to Facebook for this support, and hope this marks the beginning of a long-term collaboration to support Wikipedia’s future," The Wikimedia Endowment list of benefactors carries no mention of the social media site's gesture.
  • Military History, with 879 active members, one of Wikipedia's largest topic projects, announced on 31 December the results of its annual awards for 2018:
  • The Guild of Copy Editors coordinator election results were announced on 1 January. Coords remain unchanged with the current incumbents remaining in office: Baffle gab1978, Jonesey95, Reidgreg, and Tdslk. Miniapolis changes places with Reidgreg to become lead coord.
  • New user-groups: The Affiliations Committee announced the approval of this month's newest Wikimedia movement affiliates, the Wikimedians of Peru User Group and the Black Lunch Table Wikimedians.
  • New administrators: The Signpost welcomes two new administrators to the English Wikipedia.
    • The RfA taking place over the holiday period did not daunt editors from turning out to elect JJMC89, a statistical programmer from San Francisco, as the first new admin for 2019. Since starting to edit in 2015 as a vandal fighter, he has made over 160,000 edits, specialising in account creation with around 10,000 accounts created, operating a bot, and serving the communities as an OTRS agent. Not without the multiple comments beginning to set the trend for a new RfA feature, and a flurry of opposing votes arriving after the first 73 supports, the successful RfA closed at 183/42/16 (81%).
    • Enterprisey, who has written a number of scripts and tools that the rest of us use hundreds of times a day, joined Wikipedia in 2012 and has a global edit count of around 29,000. The RfA closed with near unanimous support at 253/2/2 but not without the usual – and this time significant – polemic being raised over the three votes in opposition. One with the rationale 'Oppose: 232 Supports and 1 Oppose. That is a >99% Support rate. There must be something wrong with this guy' was struck by a bureaucrat.
    • Three administrators were desysopped under the inactivity policy.
  • New deletion criteria: new or changed speedy deletion criteria, each previously part of WP:CSD#G6:
    • G14 (new): Disambiguation pages that disambiguate only zero or one existing pages are now covered under the new G14 criterion . This is {{db-disambig}}; the text is unchanged and candidates may be found in Category:Candidates for speedy deletion as unnecessary disambiguation pages.
    • R4 (new): Redirects in the file namespace (and no file links) that have the same name as a file or redirect at Commons are now covered under the new R4 criterion This is {{db-redircom}}; the text is unchanged.
    • G13 (expanded): Userspace drafts containing only the default Article Wizard text are now covered under G13 along with other drafts. Such blank drafts are now eligible after six months rather than one year, and taggers continue to use {{db-blankdraft}}.

Reader comments

The Wall Street Journal credits The Signpost for breaking story on Acting United States Attorney General

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The Wall Street Journal credited a report from The Signpost

From The Wall Street Journal on December 26: Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Incorrectly Claims Academic All-American Honors, "Questions about Mr. Whitaker’s claims to have been an Academic All-American were raised Monday on Wikipedia Signpost, an in-house publication for Wikipedia editors, by a user named Smallbones."

United States national media and international media covered the story as well. A sample of the publications who reported the story after WSJ includes The Hill, Newsweek and Newser in the States;[1][2][3] Daily Mail and The Week in the UK;[4][5] The Japan Times, the Malay Mail, and Reuters internationally.[6][7][8] Only Newser and WSJ attributed The Signpost. B

The Most Famous Person To Die In 2018

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Stephen Hawking, one of Huffpost's top 20 celebrities who passed away in 2018. Pictured here talking to Barack Obama.

The Most Famous Person To Die In 2018, According To Data Science: – or Wikipedia. In a well researched article – at least some interesting stats – on 28 December James O'Malley of the HuffingtonPost reveals that 'more celebrities died in 2018 than in any year since at least 2010' – based on data extracted from Wikipedia: "...we’re here to determine who was the most famous person to die in 2018 and whether more famous people died this year than in previous years. ..." Paying tribute to Wikipedia's coverage of dead celebs, supported by numerous charts and tables, the article makes not only interesting reading but demonstrates again how useful Wikipedia can be: "The first problem when building a model for this is defining the parameters: Who exactly counts as a celebrity? Sure, we could simply pick whoever we remember dying, but this is science — which is why we turned to every serious academic’s favorite tool: Wikipedia." K

Shoddy journalism

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Olivia Colman at Moet BIFA 2014

"Olivia Colman reveals battle with Wikipedia over her age: ‘We’d have to see a birth certificate’ ", reports Amy Hunt on 29 January in woman&home. Award-winning English actress and Hollywood star Olivia Colman faced hostility from Wikipedia editors who refused to publish her correct age, making her 52 years old instead of only 44 (now 45) and then demanding her birth certificate before they would correct it. After several attempts to communicate with Wikipedia without a reply, Colman who has won over 35 major awards, retorted to the demand with ", ‘whose f****** birth certificate have you looked at in the first place to make me eight years older?’” Several other publications, including the Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Independent, Evening Standard, Sky News and Harper's Bazaar, have published the story based on a podcast with David Tennant. It would be a good story if it were true, but Wikipedia editors have thoroughly debunked Colman's claim in a discussion at Talk:Olivia Colman. Colman's birthdate has been reported correctly since 2006 with the exception of a short-lived case of vandalism.K, S

In brief

Jim Henderon (Wikipedian).jpg
Jim Henderson (Jim.henderson)
Jess Wade - 2017.jpg
Jess Wade (Jesswade88)
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KING-TV showed this image and the article it illustrates
  • 9,000 photos for Wikipedia: 'Wikipedia Photog and Unsung Hero of Community News'. Jonathan Sperling writing in Queens Daily Eagle on 4 January tells how 70-year-old Wikipedia editor Jim.henderson has taken many of the photos that appear daily in the New York press. "It’s a situation any community news editor in New York City can relate to," says Sperling whose article on Jim Henderson is covered in a Washington Post opinion piece by Stephen Harrison on 14 January.
  • Happy 18th birthday, Wikipedia. Let’s celebrate the Internet’s good grown-up, says Stephen Harrison in The Washington Post on 14 January. "Wikipedia’s rise is driven by a crucial difference in values that separates it from its peers in the top 10 websites: On Wikipedia, truth trumps self-expression."
  • Gender gap:
    • In an article in The Guardian on 12 December last year, Victoria Leonard, a University of London postdoctoral researcher in the department of history, states "...Wikipedia has a gender bias that really bites: between 84-91% of editors are men" explaining that "By illuminating positive female role models through initiatives such as #WCCWiki and the WikiProject Women In Red, we can make online spaces fairer and more inclusive, where women are allowed to succeed, and can be seen doing so. We just need a woke Wikipedia."
    • Jess Wade, a post doctoral physicist at Imperial College London gets more extensive attention from the press. In an article by Nisha Gaind in the current issue of Nature, one of the world's top academic journals, Wade is one of 'Nature’s 10 people who mattered in 2018.'
    • More coverage on Wade's Wikipedia work is provided by Ewan McAndrew, Siobhan O’Connor, Sara Thomas and Alice White in the 8 January issue of the NewStatesmanAmerica in 'From Chinese spies to award-winning geologists, we’re making women visible on Wikipedia', while last year on 24 July The Guardian science correspondent Hannah Devlin reveals that Wade had created 270 Wikipedia articles on women: "I had a target for doing one a day, but sometimes I get too excited and do three.” This year on 2 January Dianne Apen-Sadler writing for Mailonline provides an account of Wade's increased activity to complement the encyclopedia with more biographies on people from minority groups: "Every day in 2018 I started the @Wikipedia biography of a woman, person of colour or LGBTQ+ scientist or engineer. I’m up to 450 pages so far #womeninSTEM x #HappyNewYear."
  • Talking to CBS News on 20 January Ser Amantio di Nicolao, with over 3 million edits Wikipedia's most prolific editor, reveals more about his daytime job than he states on his user page and says he has written 35,000 articles. Time magazine once named him one of the top 25 most influential people on the internet, alongside President Trump, J.K. Rowling and Kim Kardashian West.[9] "People like Steven are incredibly important to platforms like Wikipedia, simply because they are the ones that are the lifeblood," said Kui Kinyanjui, vice president of WikiMedia communications.
  • Millions from Google:Google's recent gift of $3.1 million to Wikipedia and the endowment brings its total contribution in the last 10 years to more than $7.5 million according to Matsakis, Louise (January 22, 2019). "Google Gives Wikimedia Millions—Plus Machine Learning Tools". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028.
  • Bertha is no longer boring:A Seattle transportation tunnel and a Wikipedia article on Bertha (tunnel boring machine), an editor and his daughter on KING-TV [5]

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 leave a tip on the suggestions page.

Reader comments

The future of the reference desk

Wikipedia Library owl.svg
The reference desk is furnished as part of The Wikipedia Library

The reference desk, an area of Wikipedia where editors answer readers’ questions, has suffered severe vandal attacks recently, apparently from an open-proxy vandalbot. Temporary semi-protection had been implemented as an interim solution, but although it prevented anonymous readers from asking questions, as soon as the protection expired, the abuse returned. The Signpost was unable to ascertain what the abusive content was, as much of it is under revision deletion. Due to the page's large footprint (it is linked on the Main Page), a discussion was set up about whether the page should be indefinitely semi-protected.

It wasn't long after that that other users began to question whether the reference desks should remain on Wikipedia at all. Several users !voted "just shut them down" on the initial semi-protection proposal, before a separate proposal was created to answer this question. Other proposals that have been since created include:

  • Move the refdesks to Wikiversity or Wikia's Wikianswers with the reason being they are not part of the purpose of Wikipedia.
  • Move article talk page discussions to the reference desk, resulting in increased traffic.
  • Call for the Wikimedia Foundation to take legal action against the vandal's ISP.

The discussion, which started on December 26, is likely to close soon. P

Admin activity requirements

At Wikipedia:Administrators/2019 request for comment on inactivity standards, a multi-part discussion continues on administrator activity requirements. Current proposals include:

  • Should edits or logged actions in userspace no longer count for purposes of determining activity? (2 supports/15 opposes)
  • Should the number of edits or logged actions required be raised from one to ten? (9/9)
  • Should at least one logged action be required every two years, regardless of edits? (9/12)
  • Should admins who are about to lose their rights no longer be notified that this is happening? (2/16)
  • Should there just be one notification, a month before? (15/8)

Professor plagiarizes Wikipedia

Plagiarism: nothing new off-Wiki, either

Several authors, including a professor at Kansas State University, have been accused of verbatim copying from Great Famine of 1876–1878 and other India famine articles in published books. Discussion of plagiarism in general is ongoing at Wikipedia talk:Noticeboard for India-related topics#Plagiarism in an India-related source, published by a reliable publisher, involving copying verbatim from a WP article. See Plagiarism from Wikipedia for historical context. B

In brief

Odometer rollover.jpg
ANI isn't quite here yet.


  • The 2nd Daily Mail RfC determined that the source should remain deprecated.
  • After a long wait, the RfC on The Sun with a consensus in favor of deprecating The Sun and creating an edit filter to warn users who attempt to cite it.
  • After last month's RfC, the following text was added to Wikipedia:Blocking policy:
    Administrators who are blocked have the technical ability to block the administrator who blocked their own account. This ability should only be used in exceptional circumstances, such as account compromises, where there is a clear and immediate need. Use of the block tool to further a dispute or retaliate against the original blocking administrator is not allowed.

Reader comments

Turgot map of Paris, sheet 15 - Norman B. Leventhal Map Center.jpg
Part of the Turgot map of Paris. The whole map, and each individual sheet, are now featured pictures.

This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted from 30 December 2018 through 26 January 2019. For nominations and nominators, see the featured contents' talk pages.

Featured articles

Seventeen featured articles were promoted this period.

Featured lists

Seven featured lists were promoted this period.

Featured pictures

Twenty five featured pictures were promoted this period.

Featured topics

One featured topic was promoted this period.

Reader comments

New case: GiantSnowman

Snowman and a small child-20Dec2009.jpg
A large snowman, and a potential future editor

The case concerning administrator GiantSnowman was accepted on 17 December 2018. Issues at hand include the (mis)use of mass rollback, vandal warnings for non-vandal edits, and blocking editors considered constructive by others (i.e. WP:BITE not heeded by this administrator).

Evidence phase closed January 10; workshop phase closed January 17. As of our publication deadline, the Proposed Decision is several days late. See WT:Arbitration/Requests/Case/GiantSnowman/Proposed decision#Running for new timeline (sort of).

Last minute update: as we go to press, Arbcom voting has not completed, and the only posted Proposed Remedy is desysopping.

Reader comments

The following content has been adapted from the Annual Top 50 Report. Any views expressed are those of the individual authors and not necessarily shared by the Signpost; responses and critical commentary are invited in the comments.

As usual, a gallery (#1) of dearly departed humans (#8, #14, #23, #25, #29, #32, #36, #50) raised the highest spikes of interest this year, although nothing compares to the 2016 hecatomb.

The British royal family headed by Elizabeth (#7) and Philip (#47) enjoyed its annus mirabilis, as a popular prince (#19) married an American actress (#4), reminding the world of his father's (#40) wedding to the princess of hearts in 1981, and for the oldest among us, Prince Rainier's wedding to Grace Kelly in 1956.

The British Crown remains so beloved that two recent TV series have reignited the popularity of its elders Queen Victoria (#31) and Princess Margaret (#42). We also followed a celebrity royal wedding of sorts, between Quantico actress Priyanka Chopra (#29) and the still-technically a Jonas brother Nick Jonas (#46).

Cinema fans were treated to a new crop of superhero movies, including Avengers: Infinity War (#3) and Black Panther (#6), that earned billions at the box office (#17); real-life superhumans Freddie Mercury (#5), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (#39) and Winston Churchill (#49); the less-than wholesome antiheroes Deadpool (#27) and Venom (#30); and Aquaman, here represented by his portrayer (#22).

Meanwhile, Elon Musk (#12) was dubbed the "real-life Iron Man" as he launched his car towards Mars. Finally, the superheroes of football (#10, #26) delivered a stunning spectacle in the World Cup (#2, #48), and India (#33) celebrated its national superhero with by far the world's largest statue.

Without further ado, here is our special report for the 50 most-viewed articles in 2018. We aim to educate, engage, entertain, and enthrall. Enjoy!

Annual Top 50

Based on the raw data from West.andrew.g and prepared with commentary by:

Rank Article Class Views Image About Peak
1 Deaths in 2018 List-Class article 38,610,433
The ultimate unifier. The reaper. The spectre. Call it what you like, for it will not stall its march. We will all stumble, we will all fall, we will all succumb. One day, we will all make that feared journey across the Styx. What a lovely thought with which to begin the report. Really emphasises the relative importance of this all. Why are you reading this? Why am I typing this? Why do people journey to the single greatest catalogue of human information ever curated, a bastion of knowledge, and use it to look up who died recently, or fruitlessly try to destroy it? What is the drive that leads people to look at this specific list, ad nauseam, in relentless droves? Is it morbid curiosity, or an innate love of the morose? Is it just an accelerated avenue to the (formerly) BLP's? Is it because it has a permanent link on the main page? Will I ever cease speculating? Do you honestly expect me to answer any of these questions? Do you honestly want me to? Would you like the answer? Is this too cryptic a tone to adopt for the first entry of an exceedingly long list? Will this alienate the audience? Does it matter? Who will weep if this enterprise fails? Who will suffer if it struggles for traction? Will it be just another castigated corpse in the river, another red-link on the list with which you are all so fascinated, so infatuated? What is the meaning of this list, and what does it say about us all? What does this affirm regarding our position in the space-time continuum? What will this traipsing, meandering tome mean in time to come? What of the people on the list; for them, has time stopped? What will they know of their legacy, a name inscribed on the most read article of one of the most read websites? Would they relish it? Will we ever know? Does it matter? #8 may have known, but we cannot ask him. Once again, we are all consumed by death, captivated by our inevitable captor. But, so powerless against this foe, we must ask – why? Steady
(dying a little every day)
2 2018 FIFA World Cup B-Class article 34,306,615
Adidas Telstar 18 in Russia vs. Argentina.jpg
Football (not soccer, America) may not have come home (and I would like to take this opportunity to formally thank Croatia for preventing the manifestation of such a monstrous meme), but it certainly returned to the hearts of global sports fans, and engrossed the denizens of Wikipedia throughout the summer. Stellar soccer superstars basked in the spotlight, sublime strikes were struck, and this author sat in a comatose state before the television. Even if a great dane deprived the tournament of my craic-loving compatriots, the passion was palpable, the footballing calibre unparalleled, and, en fin de compte, les bleus ont celebré un triomphe historique. We may remember this World Cup fondly as a four-week long footy festival (unless you are German); alas, courtesy of a scourge upon sports, the next one is bound to be a desolate, deserted disaster. July 15
(final game)
3 Avengers: Infinity War B-Class article 32,818,606
The biggest film of the year, and the fourth-biggest film of all time. AIW, as no-one is calling it, deals with that big bloke in the picture, Thanos, battling all the beloved superheroic stars of the previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films (minus Hawkeye and Ant-Man) in order to gather the six Infinity MacGuffins in order to complete his shiny glove and wipe out half of all life in the universe. Does he succeed? I think most people know by now if he does or not, but I won't tell you anything, except to note that a sequel will be released on April 29, 2019, which may well involve Hawkeye and Ant-Man. Apr. 27
4 Meghan, Duchess of Sussex B-Class article 28,943,520
(including 18,146,660 as Meghan Markle)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.jpg
In 1936, Edward VIII was forced to abdicate the throne because he wished to marry an American divorcee. This was considered a constitutional crisis powerful enough to bring down the monarchy. Now Prince Harry, the second son of the heir apparent to the throne, has married an American divorcee and no one seems to care. Kinda puts the original "crisis" in perspective. Oh, and since 2013, heirs can even marry Catholics! Progress! Personally, I think it's a bigger sign of progress that Meghan is mixed race and Edward was a Nazi groupie, but hey, that's just me. May 19
(royal wedding)
5 Freddie Mercury Good article 22,052,837
Freddie Mercury Statue Montreux (retouched).jpg
Magic was in the air when Bohemian Rhapsody dropped in November. A younger generation discovered the flamboyant mores and music of Queen, led by an energetic immigrant. Born in Zanzibar to Farsi parents, Farrokh Bulsara broke free to England when the African island plunged into chaos. It's a hard life. The quiet young man became a fiery champion on stage, and turned his fellows Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor into princes of the universe. An unapologetic drama queen, Freddie wanted it all, no one could stop him, and he is living forever in our hearts. His statue in Montreux may not be as tall as India's unifier's (#33), but has ensured that fat-bottomed girls on bicycles always have somebody to love.

The epic biopic did not impress critics, but found a solid audience that kept it featured into the new year. I can understand why: every generation in my family wanted to see it twice. The younger ones were mystified by the crazy analog tape recording equipment. Older fans marveled at the exact scenography of the Live Aid 1985 concert, down to the placement of a green sticker on Freddie's microphone. No longer an invisible man, lead actor Rami Malek is lined up to collect a golden statuette come Oscars season. No pressure, man, the show must go on.

Nov. 4
(biopic released)
6 Black Panther (film) Good article 21,229,590
Black Panther cosplay.jpg
By the time Infinity War (#3) got released, Marvel was already very present with Black Panther – in the U.S. alone it topped the box office for five weeks and grossed $700 million, trailing only Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. King T'Challa hit theaters shortly after Valentine's Day (as a date movie, certainly beats Fifty Shades Freed!) and its appeal is not just because Marvel Studios basically holds a license to print money. Being set in a fictional African kingdom, just two of the film's main characters are Caucasian, and this struck a chord with minorities: Blacks went in droves to see themselves on the screen in something much better than those Tyler Perry comedies. Wonder if the film awards circuit will also say 'Wakanda forever!' Feb. 16
7 Elizabeth II Featured article 19,889,009
Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg
If she matches her mother, we have about a decade left of her reign. Which is a good thing, since I don't think my country is ready to see Charles on their money. With The Crown off air this year, her presence is entirely due to the unusually happy few years her family has had. If she's smart (and she is), she'll capitalise on the goodwill by making William first in line. May 19
(royal wedding)
8 Stephen Hawking B-Class article 18,849,484
Stephen Hawking.StarChild.jpg
Science, and especially the intricacies of theoretical physics, can often be daunting, cryptic, and difficult to sell to the public en masse. The sheer depth of prerequisite knowledge needed to even comprehend concepts in cosmology and its ilk, has stifled the spread of science amongst the general populace. Often, to rectify this, we see a distinguished, prestigious scientist step into the realm of celebrity, and become a captivating icon. For me, that was, and will always be, Stephen Hawking, who sadly died earlier this year. Hawking's story of scientific brilliance is incredibly inspirational, as he had to contend with the extreme limitations wrought upon him by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Nonetheless, in spite of his disability, Hawking overcame, and his seminal work on black holes and cosmology will be studied and celebrated for centuries. He also managed to invade the public consciousness, and his iconic speech-generating device, as well as his enviable Wilde-esque wit, will remain in the cultural zeitgeist for some time. Isaac Newton said that the furthering of scientific knowledge necessitated "standing on the shoulders of giants"; Hawking doubtlessly inspired a generation of young scientists to pursue physics, and to seek answers to those big questions. His contributions were pivotal to cosmology, and this piece is vastly too brief to truly recall the legendary physicist, comparable to even Einstein in terms of his impact in spreading science to the masses. He will not soon be forgotten. Mar. 14
9 List of Marvel Cinematic Universe films Featured list 18,356,670
Marvel Cinematic Universe Logo.png
The story so far: In 2008 a small, low-budget indie film called Iron Man was released into cinemas. Holding off fierce competition from Patrick Dempsey's Made of Honor, the Faran Tahir-containing film made a lot of money and begat a franchise that grows every year. As well as helping people planning their superhero based cinema trips, the list of films may well have been used (and judging by the most viewed date on the right, certainly was) to try and work out where Marvel could possibly go after the dramatic ending of Avengers: Infinity War. My prediction: three films based on Ulysses Archer. Apr. 29
(following Infinity War)
10 Cristiano Ronaldo B-Class article 18,012,179
IRNPOR match 2018 FIFA World Cup 11 (cropped).jpg
Portuguese association football superstar Ronaldo was involved in the most high-profile transfer of the summer 2018 transfer window. Cristiano Ronaldo's year peaked in May, as his Real Madrid team triumphed in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final, the third consecutive time Madrid had won the UEFA Champions League and the fifth time Ronaldo had won the tournament. Shortly after the game, however, he began talking about leaving Ronaldo, prompting speculation that lasted through the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in the Portuguese team's first match in that tournament, a draw against Spain, but his side crashed out in the second round following defeat to Uruguay. Shortly afterwards, a €100 million transfer to Italian side Juventus, where he will be aiming to recaputre the FIFA "The Best" Award and Ballon d'Or awards he lost to former Real Madrid teammate Luka Modrić. June 3
(scored three goals against Spain)
11 Cardi B B-Class article (naturally) 17,841,201
Cardi B at the VMAs 2018.jpg
No musician has enjoyed a more explosive year than the inescapable Cardi B, who continued to make monumental money moves. The year began in a extravagant fashion for the stripper turned singer, as she put a colourful finesse on a retro-fuelled 60fps hit. This launched the rapper back into the spotlight, and her bombastic personality ensured that the light never dimmed. She also courted controversy at the Song Oscars by having a swing at our #13. Ms. B (buzz buzz) released her first solo album in April, ploughing ahead with her career during her pregnancy. She subsequently gave birth in July to Kulture Kiari, a name which indicates that she will be fatally duelling a scorpion in years to come. She produced the irritating ear-worm of the summer (and the soundtrack to a devastatingly disastrous video), further sustaining her solar-sized star power. Belcalis also continued her seemingly ceaseless mission to feature in every pop song and remind us of her less salubrious roots, most notably appearing as the foremost famous female amongst Adam Levine's celebrity carousel. The rapper ended the year with a triad of no. 1's, leaving her undisputed as the champion of a fresh feminine wave of hip-hop. Insipid, repetitive, and uninspired though her music may be, one cannot deny her ever-growing prestige, presence, and prowess, both in the industry and beyond. Apr. 6
(Invasion of Privacy album on Apr. 5)
12 Elon Musk C-Class article 17,512,694
Elon Musk and Hans Koenigsmann at the SpaceX CRS-8 post-launch press conference (26223624532) (cropped).jpg
Elon Musk has stated that 2008 was the most stressful year in his life, as both his companies SpaceX and Tesla Inc. narrowly escaped bankruptcy. Ten years on, 2018 was probably the most satisfying year in his life. SpaceX re-ignited public interest in space exploration when Musk launched his daily car, a "midnight cherry Tesla Roadster", towards Mars, with the sound system blasting David Bowie's Space Oddity. Crowds gathered at Cape Canaveral, near the historic Apollo launch pad, to witness the maiden flight of Musk's Falcon Heavy rocket, whose side boosters both landed back at the Cape in an artfully choreographed retro-futuristic ballet. Back at Tesla, Musk and his team managed to overcome "production hell" and ship their Model 3 in volume, making it the best-selling electric car ever. Not to sit on his laurels, Musk announced that the next-generation Roadster would sport a "SpaceX package" including rocket thrusters to help cornering at high speed. Yes, you read that right. As a side project, Musk is proud to be boring, with the astounding goal of digging tunnels as fast as a snail slugs along.
Feb. 7
(Falcon Heavy test flight
on Feb. 6)
Musk and Trump finished the year with practically the same amount of reader interest, possibly due to a common habit: their strong Twitter game, sometimes hilarious, sometimes unwise. To mock finance journalists and market analysts, Musk joked on April 1st that Tesla was "completely and totally bankrupt". He later tweeted that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420 per share (obviously too high), thereby squeezing speculators who were betting on the company's failure. For this act of bravado, the Securities and Exchange Commission compelled him to forfeit his Chairman title and pay a $20 million fine.

Not to be outdone, Trump managed to pack the funniest and scariest line in a single tweet: on January 3, after Kim Jong-un touted the "nuclear button" on his desk at all times, Trump replied that he had a "much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"

13 Donald Trump B-Class article 17,494,734
Donald Trump official portrait.jpg
Nov. 7
(mid-term elections
on Nov. 6)
The Tweeter-in-Chief continued to offer daily material to his critics, being slammed for lying 11 times a day, enforcing a cruel child separation policy for illegal immigrants, and firing too many damn people. He traded barbs with "rocket man" Kim Jong-un, but then "fell in love" with him at the Singapore summit. He exchanged vigorous handshakes and pats in the back with Emmanuel Macron, but then called him out for suggesting a European army. He showered Justin Trudeau with condescension after the G7 summit, but then signed a renewed trade deal with Mexico and Canada. He berated European leaders for not paying enough for NATO, and… they paid up! He continued his crusade against "fake news", booting CNN's Jim Acosta from the White House, while recognizing they both love the drama and the ratings; he even called him a nice guy. Trump ended the year with a surprise Christmas gift: bringing the troops home from Syria. Naturally, nobody agreed, except Rand Paul, the only anti-war Republican. Expect more blood, sweat and tweets in the 2019 season of The Apprentice President!
14 XXXTentacion C-Class article 15,157,204
Xxxtentacion b-w.jpg

Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy started his rap career to Soundcloud, was a standout artist regarding the genre becoming mumbled and depressive, and had a busy first semester, with the concisely titled sophomore album ?, a release from the house arrest that resulted from assaulting his pregnant girlfriend, and ultimately joining the list of murdered hip hop musicians (rappers live dangerously!) by being shot in an apparent robbery at the meager age of 20. X-X-X-tentacion (that's how it's supposed to be pronounced) left behind a posthumous album and a son due to be born on January, who will be named Gekyume after a word made up by his father (along with #11's Kulture Kiari, another weird celebrity baby name).

June 19
(died June 18)

15 United States Good article 14,923,252
O beautiful for racist guys,
for angry tweets of hate.
For more mass shooting tragedies,
and controversies of rape.
America, America!
Why do caravans dream of thee?
You lock out the good,
reject brotherhood,
from sea to poisoned sea.
Nov. 6
(mid-term elections)
16 List of Bollywood films of 2018 List-Class article 14,651,427
India film clapperboard (variant).svg
India is the second largest English-speaking country in the world, and with this being the English Wikipedia, it only makes sense that their citizens would want to look up which of their films are showing. Given the American films splattered all over the list, it seems the film obsession is relatively universal. July 7
(Sanju continued to earn crore)
17 List of highest-grossing films Featured list 12,630,796
Arena Theater Pt Arena CA.JPG
It was one of those years that stuffed studio coffers: Disney in particular had three billion-dollar superhero movies ($2b with just our #3, $1,3b each from our #6 and Incredibles II), while Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom also broke a billion for Universal. And that's not counting how December 2017 releases Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle are also in the 50 biggest moneymakers featured in this article. May 13
(Infinity War became #1 for 2018)
18 LeBron James Good article 12,464,017
Lebron wizards 2017 (cropped).jpg
"King James" continued to prove he's the greatest basketball player in the world by making the NBA finals for the eighth straight season, basically beating the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals by himself. On the bad side, afterwards LeBron's Cleveland Cavaliers were swept by the Golden State Warriors. On the good side, now the NBA won't bore viewers with a fifth straight Cavs-Dubs finals, as LeBron did like many stars of yesteryear and joined Golden State's division rival Los Angeles Lakers, meaning other teams in the East have a shot while also raising the possibility of the Warriors being stopped earlier in the playoffs. July 2
(joined the Lakers)

19 Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex B-Class article 12,241,593
(including 5,876,823 as Prince Harry)
Prince Harry in April 2018 (cropped).jpg
Last year, I was infuriated by the appearance of one talentless ginger on the report, and it seems that I am condemned to be Sisyphus, as yet another redheaded menace invades the report once again. Even if this one has not besmirched my nation directly, his royal connections mean that he is not necessarily that popular in the Emerald Isle. Nonetheless, the extent to which the young prince has cleaned up his act is commendable, and was reflected in his demeanour throughout a turbulent tumultuous annus horribilis. I mean, it is exceedingly difficult to bear the responsibility of just one royal title, so getting cacophonous cascade of them must be an absolute nightmare. And to top it all off, he got married to our #4, the romantic equivalent of a Bosman move from Barnet to Barcelona. How, oh how, can he cope? Nonetheless, the co-opting of Markle into the cartel has rejuvenated global interest in the house of Windsor, for better or worse, for richer or richer, 'till divorce do they part. May 19
(royal wedding)
20 Jason Momoa C-Class article 12,098,906
Chris Hardwick & Jason Momoa (35368589944) (cropped).jpg
For all the Marvel-based movies this year, rival DC Comics only had one, Aquaman, which unusually got an entry only for its lead actor. And what an interesting man: this Hawaiian strong guy has become the go-to choice for barbarians, including Conan himself. His "Khal Arthur Curry" has broken the pathetic image of Aquaman as "useless man who talks to fish" perpetuated by Super Friends and has become quite acclaimed, including a solo movie that is a fun and colorful underwater epic. December 9
(hosted Saturday Night Live)
21 6ix9ine C-Class article 12,027,717
6ix9ine June 2018 side (cropped) (face).jpg
American rapper 6ix9ine (real name: Daniel Hernandez) was in the news a lot this year, continuing to attract controversy. He was robbed in July after shooting a music video, and he was arrested in July and November and could face charges of up to life in prison for the charges from his second arrest. He also released his first album, Dummy Boy, to negative reviews from critics. One critic remarked that since he'll likely be spending a lot of time in jail soon, maybe he'll have more time to make better music. Hernandez had previously released a mixtape, Day69, though as someone who doesn't really listen to any rap music released in the last 5 years, the distinction between albums and mixtapes eludes me. Nov. 21
22 A Quiet Place (film) C-Class article 11,914,129
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski.jpg
The sole scary movie of this year's report (a sharp contrast from the three that appeared in 2017) is a rare case of Hollywood going unconventional: most of the dialogue is in American sign language and many scenes are silent, because the villains are monsters who hunt by sound. Subsequently, every noise (or opportunity that would be loud under normal circumstances) builds up unbearable tension while the plot follows the struggles of a family of survivors led by the film's director John Krasinski and his real life wife Emily Blunt (both pictured). Critics loved A Quiet Place, and the movie grossed $340 million (20 times its cost!). Apr. 9
on Apr. 6)
23 George H. W. Bush C-Class article 11,904,465
Image-GHWB (cropped).jpg
Politics is a fairly heavy subject on this list, with this entry being no exception. Death is also a well-represented topic; this entry (along with John McCain) combines these two. George H. W. Bush was the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993, having been elected by a relative landslide in 1988. During this time, the Soviet Union collapsed (and with it the Cold War), NAFTA was created, and the Gulf War began. He lost his re-election bid to Bill Clinton in 1992, but his son was elected in 2000 and served a full two terms, overseeing 9/11, the changing of the chief justice, and the beginning of the Iraq War. The older of the two died on November 30 at the age of 94, having broken the record for the oldest living former US president not too long before. Dec. 1
24 Ariana Grande B-Class article 11,784,406
Ariana Grande VMA 2018.jpg
It's been quite a year for the Miss Big of pop music. In April she released "no tears left to cry", her first new song since the terrorist attack at her concert in 2017, with the song hitting number one in at least ten countries, while the accompaning album Sweetener released in August topped charts in 15 countries. In May, it was confirmed she had split from her boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller, who died on September 7. Between May and October Grande and Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson began dating, got engaged, bought a pig, had a song featured on Sweetener about them and broke up. In November she released the lead song from her next album, "thank u, next", which again was significantly successful on the music charts. Sep. 9
(her ex
Mac Miller
died Sep. 7)
25 Anthony Bourdain C-Class article 11,772,481
Anthony Bourdain (14284031394) (cropped 2) b-w.jpg
A celebrity chef (even if he didn't personally favor that term) who came out of a fairly tumultuous childhood to become an author, the star of his own TV show, and one of the most influential chefs worldwide. He committed suicide on June 8, sending droves of fans (and perhaps people trying to figure out who the dude the newscaster kept going on about was) to his article. Sadly, he was the second celebrity suicide of the week, as Kate Spade had done the same three days earlier, but he was the only one of them to make this list. June 8
26 Lionel Messi Good article 11,752,001
Messi vs Nigeria 2018.jpg
Argentina's golden boy of association football helped his F.C. Barcelona side to the 2017–18 La Liga championship, finishing the season as top scorer in the league, 8 clear of Cristiano Ronaldo; and he also scored four goals, including one in the final as Barcelona won the 2017–18 Copa del Rey. His 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign was less positive, only scoring once as an underperforming Argentina crashed out to France in the second round. The new La Liga season sees Barcelona back on top and Messi topping the scoring charts, looking to return to the big awards, having missed on on the top 3 of the Ballon d'Or voting for the first time in over a decade. June 30
(France beat Argentina)
27 Deadpool 2 C-Class article 11,720,404
Deadpool Cosplay - MCM Comic Con 2016 (27122903610).jpg
The second X-Men spinoff film to feature this character was another massive critical and commercial hit, grossing $738 million worldwide (the highest-grossing R-rated film of the year). Originally released on May 18, a PG-13 cut titled Once Upon a Deadpool (which also featured a "kidnapped" Fred Savage) was released on December 12 to mixed reviews. May 18
28 2018 in film List-Class article 11,623,526
As ever, a marvellous multitude of movies hit multiplexes this year, and discerning audiences (this beleaguered cinephile included) struggled through an terrifying tsunami of turgid, atrocious, terrible, blatantly false turkeys. At least we were given the escapist fantasy of thinking that half of the plodding scripts could be eliminated with a quick snap. One would be remiss to dismiss the entire year, as the Big Six Five did release some notable bombastic blockbuster gems. More intriguingly, it was a fantastic year for quieter, more subdued dramas, from Lady Gaga: Origins and Wyoming Vice, to Rogue One: A Stallworth Story and Oh, this is in Spanish. Altogether, a good year for film, but far from a signature one. Apr. 29
(following Infinity War)
29 Priyanka Chopra Featured article 11,491,748
Priyanka Chopra at Anushka-Virat Mumbai reception.jpg
I will be honest, I don't know much about Priyanka Chopra, other than the fact that she is insanely popular in her homeland of India, that she became famous for being good looking, that she has become one of the biggest actresses in Bollywood (despite a surname deficiency), and that she married one third of the Jonas Brothers. Consequently, I am hilariously, unequivocally unqualified to write this entry. I am also aware that Mrs. Chopra Jonas inspires, shall we say, strong emotions, amongst the denizens of the internet, and am not particularly partial to being doxed or DDOS'd, so I must proceed with caution here. I could hastily list a string of films which she has starred in, but I feel that this may thoroughly expose my reliance on the (incidentally exceptional) BLP which occupies this entry. I could lazily make a series of dad jokes, but I am not going to do so, in a (perhaps vain and futile) attempt to preserve the quality of this report. I could add another to the ceaseless references to the sheer scope of India's English-speaking population, yet I shan't, for that would be succumbing to cliché. I could reference her sublime and highly commendable philanthropic efforts, but that would come across as disingenuous. I could highlight Chopra's fruitless efforts for privacy, and attribute the abnormally high interest in her article to the desperate and depressed bachelors of Bombay, but I won't.[a] So, given the stunningly destitute dearth of knowledge which I have here, I will instead just congratulate Chopra on her nuptials and wish her well. Dec. 4
(married Nick Jonas)
30 Venom (2018 film) B-Class article 11,357,900
Venom Cosplay.jpg
Last year, all six superhero movies released entered the top 50. This time, Aquaman only brought in the lead actor (#20), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hit theaters too late to get enough views, and Ant-Man and the Wasp, which provided the same reliable fun expected from the entries in our #9, did not catch the public's interest like Venom, which right from the first trailers appeared to be a massive trainwreck. And indeed, the misguided idea of making a movie about a Spider-Man villain without the Webhead, while also staying true to the much derided 1990s comics where Venom reigned, resulted in a shallow production whose only entertainment comes from Tom Hardy going crazy as Eddie Brock and the evil symbiote in his head. Yet moviegoers ignored the bad signs and reviews and made Venom the 11th highest-grossing Marvel movie ever with $845 million worldwide. What a shame. Oct. 5
31 Queen Victoria Featured article 11,271,447
Victoria sketch 1835.jpg
The progenitor of the current line of monarchs (though with a rebranding from "Saxe-Coburg-Gotha" to "Windsor" to avoid some awkward reminders during World War I) likely isn't on this list thanks to the antics of her distant progeny, but rather due to the hit series Victoria, whose second season aired this year. Jan. 14
(Victoria season 2 U.S. release)
32 Avicii C-Class article 11,256,933
Avicii @ London tentparty (cropped).jpg
The deaths of recent years haven't been limited to politicians and aging rockers; the younger generation of musicians has taken a hit as well, with this Swedish EDM star being a primary victim of this year's Grim Reaper. Having suffered from health issues in recent years, his death wasn't a complete shock, but still tragic- after all, he was only 28. Apr. 20
33 India Featured article 11,256,401
Statue of Unity in 2018 (cropped).jpg
India has always had a massive presence on Wikipedia: WikiProject India has identified more than 200,000 relevant articles. The top hits from Indian cinema regularly grace the pages of our weekly reports, along with traditional festivals such as Diwali and Holi. This year, two actresses made the top 50, and the recently-released science fiction story 2.0, directed by Shankar, the "Indian James Cameron", was on track to enter the list when the year was abruptly and arbitrarily cut off on Saint Sylvester's Day. Movie stars and lavish weddings aside, readers took particular interest this year in the Statue of Unity, built in the Gujarat province, to celebrate the nation's unification and independence under Sardar Patel. From a superlative 240 meters height, Patel's likeness dwarfs all similar monuments, such as the Chinese Spring Temple Buddha, the American Statue of Liberty and Russia's The Motherland Calls, although the latter is still the tallest statue of a woman. The Indian nation has other big plans, notably to build 99 Smart Cities showcasing a futuristic and sustainable lifestyle. Aug. 15
(independence day)
34 Stan Lee C-Class article 11,207,360
Stan Lee 11 January 2007.jpg
2018 may not have reached the apocalyptic levels of famous deaths as we witnessed two years ago, but it has still seen the sad, poignant passing of many beloved people, from Stefán Karl Stefánsson (forever no. 1) to the incomparably brilliant mind that resides at our #8. One death which hit me, and self-professed nerds across the globe, in a particularly potent fashion was that of Stan Lee. Lee's marvellous mastery of the medium of comics was unparalleled, and he, along with Ditko and Kirby, helped usher in an entirely new age of comics, introducing the world to spectacular, incredible, and fantastic heroes, now seminal, intrinsic components of the genre, sure to be engrained in popular culture in saecula saeculorum. Lee will perhaps be best remembered by contemporary society for his vast swathes of cameos, cameos which saw his smile and glasses seep into the zeitgeist, cameos which cemented his legacy as a visionary. There is no better cameo to express the monumental impact which Stan Lee had than this. Stan Lee will not be forgotten soon – he let us all dream of heroes beyond our imagination, and in doing so, for legions of fans, became one himself. Nov 12
35 Facebook B-Class article 11,180,487
Botón Me gusta.svg
Facebook is a corporation surrounded in controversy, and this year was no exception. In January, the news algorithm was changed, which brought the peak of the year in terms of views. That's not all, though; in March, it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data company that was employed by President Trump's campaign in 2016, had purchased access to 50 million users' data. Understandably, people were outraged, which led to the CEO denying it had happened, a boycott of Facebook, and many more Wikipedia views. Jan. 18
(News Feed algorithm change)
36 John McCain Featured article 10,898,108
John McCain official photo portrait-cropped-background edit b-w.jpg
An Arizona senator for 31 years, prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, former presidential candidate, and son of a Navy admiral, he died on August 25 at the age of 82 after being diagnosed with brain cancer a year before. I may not agree with him politically, but there's no denying he was a pretty cool dude (if you will). Aug. 26
37 Millennials C-Class article 10,861,667
Logo Millennials.jpg
In my younger and more vulnerable years, I used to believe that millennials were the nadir – the worst generation to ever exist. A malevolent, malignant force, powered by utter nonsense and hyperbolic hatred. The apex predator in the savannah of stupendous stupidity. If life were a race to the bottom, I used to consider millennials to be S-tier. I cannot help but look back on those naive moments with the hazy beauty and nostalgia that only time can grant. I cannot help but think of all the times I scoffed and chortled at them, glancing through the window of their hipster coffee shops, witness them sipping some frosted Italian monstrosity, and bemoaning the lack of bisexual buffalo in the latest blockbuster. I cannot help but recall, with a tinge of regret, how I would mock their rituals, and decry their lack of nuance or subtlety. Snowflakes they may be, but, my friend, they are not the worst. A great man once said "The worst is not so long as we can say this is the worst". So too it is here, for I have discovered that there is worse to come. Yes, millennials may have desecrated the fundamental values of our entire society; yes, they may have eroded human interaction to deposit it in a desolate position; and yes, they may be a detrimental entity, a walking, pouting punchline, but they have been surpassed. Perhaps fittingly, this generation of imbecilic ineptitude has no aptitude for being remarkable, for they cannot even master the art of being the worst. In just two weeks, the oncoming onslaught outdid them, and are coming to wreak further havoc on all which we treasure and hold dear. We will soon come to lament the loss of the millennials with atavism when their successors reign. Tick tock. Oct. 3
(Mean Girls
38 Dwayne Johnson Good article 10,830,749
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson 2016.jpg
After already starting the year with the smash hit Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle still in theaters, The Rock had in 2018 two of those dumb action movies only he could sell, Rampage and Skyscraper. And another dumb action movie will follow, meaning Johnson has to work out so much that the huge meals he eats also caught the public's eye. Some people could get sad that now Johnson doesn't want to run for president in 2020, but why ruin such a likeable guy by making a politician out of him? Apr. 23
(announced third daughter born Apr. 17)
39 YouTube B-Class article 10,689,685
To be a YouTuber, even a successful one, is to be at the mercy of innumerable forces: expensive computers prone to expensive crashes; power companies prone to blackouts; ISPs prone to hacks and outages; and finally YouTube itself, a fickle and capricious God tossing its supplicants to the wind like chaff with each new "upgrade". All that on top of simply keeping a warm roof over your head and food in your belly. But even beyond this, there exist forces arrayed against YouTube who fear its disruptive effects on the old order: last year, YouTube/Google archenemy Rupert Murdoch orchestrated a brilliant opposition move: a "scandal" that cut many Youtubers' ad revenues in half. This year, it's the record companies; long chafing at not earning all the money they could be, who have lobbied the European Union hard to make YouTube personally responsible for the copyrighted content uploaded onto its servers. Since this would open YouTube up to ten thousand lawsuits a day, Youtube are understandably upset at the move, and have said that their only option would be to cut off all the smaller YouTubers not backed by a corporation they can trust. Still, the directive, known as Article 13, has already passed the EU Parliament and now the only question is how it will be implemented. I will have to wait and see if I still have a channel next year. Oct. 22
(CEO message against EU copyright article 13)
40 Charles, Prince of Wales B-Class article 10,637,101
Royal Visit by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to Northern Ireland, June 2018 (41068360460).jpg
Prince Charles has a reputation as a well-meaning upper-class oaf. If people think of him at all, it is largely in sympathy for his years in a not-quite-arranged marriage to a woman he didn't love, and his life in preparation for a job he won't take up until he's at least 80. In fact Charles has had a number of largely hushed up scandals regarding his attitude towards the monarchy and its role in British politics. Queen Elizabeth preserved the monarchy by floating angelically above them, but Charles has used his position to influence political decisions, such as exerting political pressure on the British medical standards agency to relax their rules on homeopathy and herbal medicine, which he both believes in and sells. May 19
(royal wedding)
41 Tonya Harding B-Class article 10,578,734
Tonya harding mac club 1994 crop.jpg
Long considered one of the most conflicting figures in sporting history, Tonya Harding was the most interesting thing to happen to the other Olympics ever. This year, however, she underwent an unexpected return to the public eye, and even a hint of redemption. It began with the release of I, Tonya, an exceptional biopic which went some way towards contextualising her struggle and somewhat exonerating her from the controversial attack on her Olympic opponent. The perfectly balanced film, where Margot Robbie sublimely captured Harding's difficulties in a field where she was not particularly welcome, juggles its narrative with all the poise and elegance of a skater landing a fabled triple axel. It painted Harding in a different, more complex and sympathetic light than her previously tattered reputation would suggest, while not avoiding the temptation to cast her as an angel. The film's success triggered a fresh wave of public interest in Harding, culminating in an appearance on Dancing with the Stars, and a return to the spotlight to the beleaguered skater. This was evidently accompanied by hordes of Wikipedians investigate the intricate web of detail regarding the embattled athlete. Jan. 12
(TV special Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story)
42 Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon B-Class article 10,404,859
Princess Margaret 1965b.jpg
Given that The Crown wasn't on this year, and that she's too, well, dead to play a role in the current festivities, it is somewhat shocking to me to see her still in the Top 50. Still, given that her life was by far the most soap-operatic of her entire dysfunctional family (and that's saying something), she managed to leave a bit of scandalous afterglow into the start of the year. Jan. 1
(people still binging The Crown)
43 Donald Glover C-Class article 10,341,842
Donald Glover TIFF 2015.jpg
It has been a marvellous year for Troy Barnes, one which has seen his name(s) engrained in the public consciousness. Donald Glover, for my money one of the funniest active comedians, has long gone underappreciated for his status as a polymath of entertainment, but seemed to change that this year – from directing, writing, and starring in the amazing Atlanta, to his striking appearance in the music video for Childish Gambino's provocative, politically charged rap mega-hit, he kept a constant presence in all kinds of media. Glover also finally managed to escape the confines of the little screen, appearing as the enigmatic Lando Calrissian in a scene-stealing turn in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and being announced to play the eponymous role in Jon Favreau's upcoming (sort of) live-action Lion King. May 6
("This Is America" on May 5)
44 The Greatest Showman C-Class article 10,301,954
The Greatest Showman Japan Premiere Red Carpet (38435528300).jpg
With all of the darker superhero movies dotting this list farther up, this entry is a breath of fresh air in which no one kills a bunch of people. Admittedly, it does gloss over a lot of the darker aspects of its inspiration, but given that it's a kid-friendly PG-rated musical, that's probably for the better. The movie actually came out in 2017, but lingering interest (and the fact that it was released in late December) propelled it onto this list. The critics have described it in much the same way as Bohemian Rhapsody (which didn't make the list, even if Freddie Mercury did): the music is great, but any historical accuracy was first on the chopping block in favor of better screenplay. Having seen both movies, they're not wrong; they were great to see, but not exactly documentary material. I will grant that it probably helped the box office in the case of this particular movie: the real P.T. Barnum was not what one would call likable, more of an unscrupulous businessman who saw the existence of "freaks" as a business opportunity. (I can't say the same for Bohemian Rhapsody, in fact I would say the exact opposite applies, but I digress.) The film was nominated for numerous accolades (and won several, including a Golden Globe), mostly for the music; I will admit, the musical production was above average. It probably helps that it didn't produce any especially catchy songs to bother me for months on end. Jan. 8
(Golden Globes
on Jan. 7)
45 Marvel Cinematic Universe Featured list 10,151,851
Superhero cosplay at Guantanamo, 2014-10.jpg
Aside from the MCU films that released this year, and a list of all of them, Wiki readers were really interested in the franchise itself. This isn't surprising at all, as Marvel was quiiiite in its bag this year, having released three $600 million dollar grossing films, 2 of them hitting a billion, and Infinity War reaching that rarefied $2 billion altitude. This article has a really solid chance to repeat on this Top 50 listing in 2019 as well, with Captain Marvel's origin story and a Spider-Man sequel hitting theaters next year!
Oh and yeah... I guess we're in the endgame now, as well. Avengers 4—or Iron Man 22, as I like to call it—is releasing in May and is sure to draw readers' interest to the whole franchise again.
Apr. 29
(following Infinity War)
46 Nick Jonas C-Class article 10,120,127
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas in 2018.jpg
One of #38's co-stars in Jumanji, the youngest of the Jonas Brothers only had one new musical release this year, the barely charting single "Right Now". The reason for all the views is seen with him in the picture to the left, a wife (#29) whose celebrity status is even bigger (she's huge in #33, a potential billion fans!), and led to a five day long wedding that took place in a palace and had a massive wedding cake. We hope Mr. Jonas and Mrs. Chopra have a happy marriage, specially to prevent songs like the one caused by his fling with another beauty pageant, that read "It's my right to be hellish\I still get jealous". Aug. 18
(announced engagement)
47 Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh B-Class article 10,114,532
25.Jun.2015 Prince Philip in Frankfurt.jpg
This year, the venerable, "Oh hey, it's that guy!" of the British Royal Family announced his retirement from active duties at the age of 97. And everyone quietly cheered, because the last thing anyone sane wants is this guy active in public.

To 21-year-old British student Simon Kerby during a visit to China:
"If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes"

To a British backpacker who trekked through Papua New Guinea:
“You managed not to get eaten then?"

To residents of the Cayman Islands:
"Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?”

To Aboriginal leader William Brin:
"Do you still throw spears at each other?"

To a woman in Kenya:
"You're a woman, aren't you?"

To Alfredo Stroessner, dictator of Paraguay:
“It’s a pleasure to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people.”

May 19
(royal wedding)
48 FIFA World Cup Featured article 9,972,357
DBP 1994 1718 Sporthilfe Fußball FIFA-WM-Pokal.jpg
Football's biggest event (suck it, Super Bowl!), which happens every four years and has my country as the biggest winner. This year's edition (#2) was the usual big thing here – the Panini sticker album was one of the best selling books of the 1st semester! – even if the team was getting more attention for falling rather than playing. And for all the fun 2014 and 2018 provided, the next World Cups will probably not be as good: 2022 are in an irrelevant football-wise nation so hot that the games are in November-December to preventing players from boiling alive; and 2026 will have 48 teams instead of 32, ruining the straightforward format while opening room for more horrible squads to qualify. July 15
(2018 final game)
49 Winston Churchill C-Class article 9,856,513
Churchill HU 90973.jpg
The Great British Bulldog has always struck a conflicting note for me. Indubitably one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, Churchill chose a sub-optimal time to relocate to 10 Downing Street, doing so just as the wheels of the dynamo were turning to get the BEF off the beaches of Dunkerque and away from the terrifying tendrils of the Wehrmacht. It is for this stint as Prime Minister for which Churchill is most commonly and fondly remembered, and it is in this capacity that cinema's greatest chameleon cemented his legacy this year, thus inspiring a vast increase in interest and intrigue surrounding the iconic statesman. Churchill, ever a source of wily witticisms, once stated that "history will be kind to me for I intend to write it". His unmitigated success in this enterprise cannot be denied. It is surely the reason why history is magnanimous, and not malevolent to the man who orchestrated the slaughter at Suvla Bay, why the tomes tell not of the fierce famine he was largely responsible for, why the annals of British history neglect to recall the brutal tactics of his black and tan-clad brainchild, why the decimation and desolation of Dresden is not condemned, why his depressingly inept attempts to elevate the United Kingdom to the auric heights of yonder are swept aside. Unquestionably, Churchill was a phenomenal orator, inspiring his brethren to fight on the beaches, but then, he wasn't exactly the first to do so. (Not my fault) And so, for me, Winston remains divisive – a key reason why this report is not in German, and an invaluable, inexorable, and integral part of the Allied victory. A heroic figure, but one who left a long, dark shadow in his wake, one which we must reckon and wrestle with, cognitive dissonance be damned. After all, not doing so would be tantamount to surrender. Mar. 4
(Oscar for Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour)
50 Sridevi B-Class article 9,841,005
Sridevi b-w.jpg
Although most Americans likely never heard of her, Sridevi had an amazing career in Indian cinema. The so-called "first female superstar" of Bollywood starred in 300 films in her 51-year career, capping it off with her critically-acclaimed performance in Mom that won the National Film Award for Best Actress. Sadly, the award had to be given posthumously, as Sridevi drowned in a hotel room in Dubai on February 24th. Rumors originally circulated that the death was an internet hoax, like the hoax that had circulated the a few days before about Sylvester Stallone (who barely missed making this list), but her brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor soon confirmed the death to the media. She was given a full state funeral, rare for non-politicians, and her funeral procession attracted thousands of mourners. Feb. 9
  1. ^ See previous fears regarding the rabid and vitriolic nature of the internet


  • Exo (band) and BTS (band): Starting in February, when the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang brought attention to South Korea, either one or two of those K-pop groups started appearing in the Top 25 Report for a while. Then came a day where Exo had hundreds of thousands of views, most of them from desktop. A Twitter search later, turns out the EXO-Ls and the BTS Army take the Social 50 too seriously, and given Wikipedia views contribute to said rankings, they visit their group of choice's page really often to boost the article views. Gaming the system is not something we will condone!
  • Any article with mobile views over 90% (such as XHamster) or under 10% (Louis Tomlinson), because they are very likely to be automated views based on our experience and research of the issue.

Round Table Discussion

  • General Impressions
  • 1. Which entry in the Top 50 struck you the most?
  • The (fittingly) superb performance of Freddie Mercury's article. It was a welcome surprise to be sure, but nonetheless a shock. For Mercury to crack the Top 10, ahead of any recent death, ahead of any politics, is testament to the enduring legacy of the musician, and his persistent, perennial place in the popular zeitgeist. All it took was a catalyst to reinvigorate the captivation of Wikipedians in Mercury. Given that he is my favourite artist, this is a pleasant sign, and points to the timelessness of Queen's music. It is also a welcome sign, as the biopic which inspired all the resurgent interest in Mercury outright lies at several junctures, tarnishing and diminishing Freddie's legacy. It is good to see moviegoers turn to Wikipedia – we aren't always accurate, but in this case, Wikipedia has helped stem the propagation of myths surrounding one of my heroes, while also returning him to the spotlight he so richly deserves. Seeing that made me quite happy. Similarly, I was touched by the massive amount of interest in Stephen Hawking shown by those who use Wikipedia – Stormy clouds (talk) 16:17, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
  • An odd one, perhaps, but Donald Trump. In 2016, he got 75 million views. In 2017 he got 30 million. In 2018, he got barely 17 million. At this rate, there's a strong chance he won't be on the list next year. Given how utterly, and consciously, Trump has dominated both traditional and social media over the last three years, it is somewhat boggling that his Wikipedia views have plummeted so precipitously. There are many ways to read this trend, not all of them pleasant. Perhaps it is indicative of the essential shallowness of interest in Trump; that for all his bombast and carnival barking there is, at the core, very little interest in actual knowledge about him. On the other hand, it may indicate that Trump's followers do not view Wikipedia as a valid source of information, likely considering it just another fount of fake news. Serendipodous 12:17, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Aside from The Greatest Showman replicating its sleeper hit status here and I, Tonya and Darkest Hour inspiring entries when the fish romance that beat them at the Oscars couldn't, how India keeps on getting more and more present, replicating how some weeks of the Top 25 Report force us to take a crash course in South Asian affairs. 2016: India itself and the yearly Bollywood releases. 2017: both plus their biggest movie and their blockbuster list which it entered. 2018: those two entries, a big Bollywood death, and an Indian celebrity along with her American husband that would never enter the top 50 otherwise! Sure, a country with over a billion people can never be subestimated. But when English, in spite of being an official language, isn't the first one of most of the population, you wouldn't expect them to have a foothold here instead of focusing on Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, etc., and even making it grow whenever possible. igordebraga 22:02, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Shouldn't really be a surprise these days that the top two living people are both members of the British royal family and yet, it is. Elizabeth II has managed to maintain 19M views despite The Crown taking a year off. That's the power of getting one-time CSI: Miami guest star Meghan Markle to do a turn as Duchess of Sussex, I suppose. I'm not surprised to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe taking the top spots film wise, not at Cristiano Ronaldo being the top sportsperson, although I am surprised at how close to beating him Cardi B, someone whose songs I have never knowingly heard (that's my fault, not hers), came. I am surprised by the high rankings for Ariana Grande and Dwayne The Rock Johnson, two individuals who have been prominent over the year but not massively more so than many of their colleagues, but seem to have a popularity that eclipses their fellow musicians/actors. OZOO (t) (c) 22:54, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • 2. Which entry frustrated you to the greatest degree?
  • Perhaps it is because it undermines my preceding answer, but probably 6ix9ine. There are no particularly egregious examples of despicable people in the list like Charles Manson last year, and nothing that has been as inescapably irritating as the malevolent music of Ed Sheeran. However, the massive interest in 6ix9ine is symptomatic of the issues inherent in modern music, and the presence of Freddie Mercury in the report only highlights the gaping discrepancy between the calibre of music then and now. Granted, much of the intense intrigue stems from recent months, where 6ix9ine was arrested and engrossed the internet. However, seeing him elevated to the same platform as legitimately groundbreaking musicians leaves me somewhat seething – even his stage name is juvenile and disrespectful, and the less said about the aural excrement he has released, the better. Stormy clouds (talk) 17:55, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
  • No one entry frustrated me, but the overall patterns I saw did. (see below) Serendipodous 12:17, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • After a year where only the worst possible dead guy entered the Top 50 (see above), there were eight this year, double the ones from the 2016 which we note had more high-profile deaths. Sure, there were icons (Hawking, Stan Lee) and shocks (X's murder, Bourdain and Avicii's suicides, and Sridevi, both for India and we outside there seeing such a commotion), but still seems too much, specially when Aretha Franklin missed it despite being such a beloved and influential musician. igordebraga 22:02, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Last year I said that I was frustrated from the "seeming lack of political interest from Wikipedia users". This year I am increasingly beginning to think they might have a point. OZOO (t) (c) 22:54, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • 3. Many of the entries in the report share similarities and recurrent themes, with movies, sport, royalty, and death proving especially prominent. What did you make of these developments this year?
  • We saw royalty rise to a high position of prominence amongst the loyal subjects of Wikipedia last year, and the Windsors are fixed staples of the report each time a new season of The Crown rolls around. It will be interesting to see if the intrigue is maintained when the new cast dons the royal robes, especially with no nuptials on the horizons. Movies are a constant source of intrigue amongst perusers of Wikipedia, somewhat inexplicably, given that the standard article tells nothing outside of the plot (useless if you have seen the film, infuriating if you have not), the cast, and the reception of the film, all easily sourced outside from Wikipedia. Similarly, there exist superior channels for following sport than Wikipedia, and sporting articles often become editing battlegrounds, or are too often left deserted. Death is always going to intrigue, of course. What it ultimately says, and what was alluded to last year, is that Wikipedia is not necessarily used as the trove of knowledge that it is, but for trivial stuff and news. Unfortunate, as it calls into question the point of all the effort spent editing, but the rise of articles like Mercury, or the sheer quality of those of McCain, the Queen, and the general article for the World Cup, should bring pride to all those who edit them. In the digital age, protecting Wikipedia from vandalism and meticulously enhancing sourcing are the best way to curate and guard information, and seeing the high usage of Wikipedia, at least for me, reaffirms the utility of this mission. Stormy clouds (talk) 17:55, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
  • It's not just similarity. 17 entries on the list (that's a third!) are identical to last year's. And of those that aren't, we see a strong continuity of theme: high-grossing films, sportspeople, high-profile weddings and people depicted in movies or television. If anything, this year's list is even less distinctive; at least 2017 had Bitcoin. I think this bodes boring for the years ahead. Given that this year featured a game-changing midterm election, a global movement against sexual assault, and a Saudi crown prince deeply involved in two brutal wars and perhaps guilty of murder, it seems people are using Wikipedia to escape, not to stay informed. Serendipodous 12:17, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • The world is screwed enough that looking for what is on the movies, TV, music and sports instead of being confronted with the reality of politics and such. And of course, the fascination for celebrity, none bigger than an actual royal family. People sometimes seem more interested in the personal lives of artists than what the celebrity produced – sure, Cardi B, Jason Momoa and Donald Glover entered simply for their successful work; but while Ariana Grande's new album and hit singles helped, the view peaks were mostly because of the engagement that ended up broken, and the death of her ex which some stupid fans blamed her for. It even has a cross with the sad affair no one can escape, death: when someone with a big following ends up dying, sometimes surprisingly even when they were over 90, people are shocked, want to make sure it happened by checking Wikipedia, and eventually remember all their accomplishments by reading the articles and everything related to the deceased. igordebraga 22:02, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • People like whimsical topics like movies and sport (and royalty apparently). People don't like serious stuff like politics. Can't blame them TBH. OZOO (t) (c) 22:54, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • 4. What entries do you anticipate making their way onto the list in 2019?
  • Last year, I speculated that Wikipedians would become far more familiar with the Egyptian King. Not an altogether terrible guess, if I may say so myself. In fact, I was one thuggish Spaniard away from all my predictions transpiring (something that I am still not entirely over). However, things are looking up at Anfield, so I will refrain from jinxing the Normal One again. Outside of football, it is difficult to predict. Avengers: Endgame and the final season of Game of Thrones are certain to feature prominently. Politics will also feature heavily, with the repercussions of Article 13 and Brexit being felt in Europe, and the political machines gearing up for 2020 stateside. Again, death is likely to feature – but why? Stormy clouds (talk) 16:26, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
  • With Game of Thrones, The Crown and Stranger Things returning next year, I expect next year's list to be almost identical to last year's. Serendipodous 12:17, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Movies (Star Wars: Episode IX and most if not all superhero ones – the MCU has three movies, and there is no Ant-Man to underperform and miss it; Fox will drop two X-Men movies they delayed; and DC could surprise us with Shazam and Joker – are a given), television (as noted above, three big hitters return), any big politics stuff, high-profile dead people, some sports thing (though who knows if with Juventus, CR7 will have enough success to return?)... and in a longshot prediction, some Indian affair that will get us by surprise. igordebraga 22:02, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Deaths in 2019 first, probably Elizabeth II second and Avengers: Endgame in third. Ariana Grande and Dwayne The Rock Johnson both to be in there. Outside chance of the August 2019 apocalypse if that happens as prophecised by me, just now. OZOO (t) (c) 22:54, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
Add other questions here:
  • 5. What's the funniest entry this year?
  • I second that. As one of our contributors noted, it's not a staple of education like the World Wars, which finally missed the report, so it shouldn't be getting 30,000 views daily. Yet "Millennials" is seemingly a buzzword that caught fire, mostly in a pejorative sense, and just won't go, something baffling and undeniably amusing. igordebraga 22:02, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • I understand that a large number of the views stem from the intricate web of links which lead to the article, but I am still always amused by the exorbitant high page hits garnered by the land of the free. I like to imagine someone seating themselves before a computer, thinking "what are these United States that I keep hearing about?". Seeing Wikipedia, a resource which we work so hard on cultivating and ameliorating, used for such trivialities, you have two options – laugh or cry. I guess that I choose the former. – Stormy clouds (talk) 13:32, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Avengers: Infinity War has the sign in the Edinburgh restaurant offering deep fried kebabs, which is funnier than any of the jokes in the actual comedy superhero film. OZOO (t) (c) 22:54, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Prince Philip's quotes made me spit my coffee out. — JFG talk 12:59, 2 January 2019 (UTC)

Reader comments


Logo for the beta feature FileExporter.svg
Logo for the beta feature FileExporter

A new beta feature for transferring files to Wikimedia Commons was released for all wikis on 16 January. The FileExporter allows files to be transferred along with the file history (previous versions of the file) and description page history. Existing tools can copy files over, but information such as who originally uploaded the file has to be added to the description page, for example with the {{Original upload log}} template.

The feature was initially released in beta on, Meta-Wiki,, and the German, Persian, Arabic, and Korean Wikipedias.

To test FileExporter, activate it in your user preferences; feedback can be left on the central talk page on

The feature was developed by Wikimedia Deutschland's Technical Wishes project, in response to a 2013 wish from German-speaking communities. Further information is available on and Meta-Wiki.

Enter key blues

Icon of an enter key
It's supposed to save the page after you've typed an edit summary

For a short time on 10 and 11 January (Thursday and Friday), several users reported that hitting the enter key in the edit summary box no longer saved the page. Instead, it opened a menu of common edit summaries, available when the default summaries gadget ("Add two new dropdown boxes below the edit summary box with some useful default summaries") is enabled. A workaround was added to MediaWiki:Gadget-defaultsummaries.js until the issue was resolved.

Emergency server switch

An emergency server switch was performed on 17 January at 07:00 (UTC), due to a hardware failure. This impacted most wikis, but not English Wikipedia, nor Commons, Wikidata, Meta, Wikispecies, and several other Wikipedias (full list). The affected sites were read-only for less than four minutes during the switch. Further information is available on Phabricator.

TemplateData failures

Scrrenshot of editing a template without TemplateData in VisualEditor
With VisualEditor, a lack of TemplateData makes it harder to add or edit templates

A recent software update to the TemplateData extension caused some templates' data to become inaccessible to various tools. The affected templates were generally those that had been edited since the update was deployed. This resulted in VisualEditor not being able to display parameters or descriptions, as well as errors in gadgets and scripts such as ProveIt (report). The bug report, filed on 16 January, was given the priority "Unbreak now!", and a software patch resolving the issue was deployed on 21 January.

In brief

New user scripts to customise your Wikipedia experience

Bot tasks

Recently approved tasks
Current requests for approval

Latest tech news

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community: 2019 #2, #3, #4, & #5. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available on Meta.

Templates and TemplateStyles
  • When a template was edited with the visual editor, it would sometimes put all information on one line. This makes it difficult to read for editors who use the wikitext editor. It also makes it more difficult to see what happened in a diff. This problem affected edits made between 8 and 17 January and is now fixed. [6]
  • Advanced item Templates with <templatestyles> could not show the difference between the live template and the sandbox version when they were tested. This has now been fixed. <templatestyles> has a new wrapper parameter now. You can use it for selectors like .mw-parser-output <wrapper parameter value> <selector from CSS page>. [7]
  • You can now use template styles in the Module namespace. [8]
Abuse filter
  • Advanced item On several wikis, an account named "Edit filter" has been created on December 17 to perform some technical maintenance on AbuseFilter. This account has sysop rights but it's a system user and no human can use it. The account already existed on wikis where AbuseFilter can perform blocks, which are issued using this account. See T212268 for more information and future plans.
  • Advanced item The AbuseFilter variable minor_edit has been removed. It was deprecated in 2016. Now you can't use it. You can fix the filters using it. You can find them if you use the search bar on Special:AbuseFilter.
  • Advanced item In AbuseFilter, the "Throttle" action takes three parameters: count, period and groups. They must now strictly respect the requirements listed on A list of broken filters is on Phabricator. If you're familiar with AbuseFilter, please take a look and fix them. [9]
  • You can now add captions to files on Commons. Captions are short descriptions of the file. They can be translated to all languages we use. They can't use wikitext markup.
  • You can now use Google Translate in the content translation tool. [10][11]
  • The content translation tool can now use version 2 as the default version for users who turned on the beta feature. For example it adds the tracking category Pages with unreviewed translations to translations that might have used machine translations without fixing the problems. This is so others can find them. You can find this category in Special:TrackingCategories on Wikipedias.
MediaWiki and software
  • can now convert collects of up to 800 pages to PDF, EPUB or ODT. Previously this was 200 pages.
  • RelatedSites extension has been undeployed. It was used to create interwiki links on Wikivoyage, now handled by Wikidata. [12]
  • Advanced item MediaWiki logstash logging is moving to a new infrastructure. This is an ongoing deployment. [13]
  • Advanced item has been updated, with new and updated repositories and a new search options for code. [14]
Other recent changes
  • Earlier a quoted HTML attribute had to be followed by a space. Now it doesn't. This means that some pages could look different when you save them even if you didn't edit that part of the text. [15][16]
  • Users who could cause more damage to the wikis if someone took over their account have to have more secure passwords. This includes administrators and other user groups. They can't use passwords that are in a list of common passwords. Accounts with common passwords are easy to take over. The list of common passwords was made longer a few weeks ago and has a different error message. Some user groups have been added to those who can't use common passwords. This is to protect all accounts with user rights that could cause damage. [17]
  • The Wikimedia servers use HHVM to run the PHP code. They are going to use PHP7 and stop using HHVM. You can test PHP7 with a new beta feature. That way you can help find and report problems.
  • When you see an edit in the recent changes feed or in the history of a page some of them have tags. Some tags are added automatically. You can also add tags manually. Tags for edits that have been added manually can be edited. This didn't work for a little while. This has now been fixed. [18]
  • MassMessage is used to post a message to many pages. It has not been working reliably. Some messages have not been posted to everyone. [19][20]
  • When someone moves a page to a name that already exists that page that had the name the article is moved to is deleted. For a couple of months this didn't always work. Some users saw an error message instead. This has now been fixed. [21]
  • Recurrent item Advanced item You can join the technical advice meeting on IRC. During the meeting, volunteer developers can ask for advice. The meeting takes place every Wednesday from 4:00–5:00 p.m. UTC. See how to join here.

Installation code

  1. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
  2. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:BrandonXLF/FloatSide.js' ); // Backlink: User:BrandonXLF/FloatSide.js
  3. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:BrandonXLF/GlobalPrefs.js' ); // Backlink: User:BrandonXLF/GlobalPrefs.js
  4. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:BrandonXLF/MobileView.js' ); // Backlink: User:BrandonXLF/MobileView.js
  5. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:BrandonXLF/GreenRedirects.js' ); // Backlink: User:BrandonXLF/GreenRedirects.js
  6. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:Abelmoschus Esculentus/SATG.js' ); // Backlink: User:Abelmoschus Esculentus/SATG.js
  7. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:DannyS712/errors.js' ); // Backlink: User:DannyS712/errors.js
  8. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:Danski454/cat-next.js' ); // Backlink: User:Danski454/cat-next.js

Reader comments

"They shall be remembered forever, They shall be alive forever, They shall be speaking forever, The people shall hear them forever." - Yeats[a]

Is it possible to build a memorial that can truly honour those who suffered at the hands of evil, those who fought against evil, or even harder, for those who died in vain and those who died due to no fault of their own? What you honour is an indication of your core beliefs and values. Who you cherish will mold you and future generations to come. Who you carry forward with you will give shape to nation-states and civilizations. Choose wisely what to honour, remember and knowingly carry forward...

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh laying wreath at Air India Memorial, at Toronto, in Canada on June 28, 2010.jpg
The former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh laying a wreath at the Air India Memorial, at Toronto, in Canada. The memorial is in memory of those who lost their lives onboard Air India Flight 182.
Barack Obama and Narendra Modi at the Martin Luther King Memorial, in Washington DC, 2014
Photograph of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in... - NARA - 200156.tif
The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, United States, 1949
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, in Jerusalem, Israel on July 04, 2017 (1).jpg
Benjamin Netanyahu and Narendra Modi visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, in Jerusalem, Israel
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi visiting the Ismaili Somoni Monument, at Dusti Square, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on July 13, 2015 (1).jpg
The Ismaili Somoni Monument, at Dusti Square, Tajikistan
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi laying wreath at the Piskarovskoye Memorial Cemetery, in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 01, 2017 (1).jpg
The Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery, in St. Petersburg, Russia
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi paid tributes to brave soldiers of UAE who made ultimate sacrifice in the service of UAE at Wahat Al Karama “Oasis of Dignity”, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 11, 2018 (2).jpg
The Wahat Al Karama “Oasis of Dignity”, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi paying homage at the World War I Memorial, in Neuve-Chapelle, France on April 11, 2015 (2).jpg
The World War I Memorial, in Neuve-Chapelle, France. Visible is the Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial, with the words "To the honour of the Army of India which fought in France and Belgium, 1914-1918, and in perpetual remembrance of those of their dead whose names are here recorded and who have no known grave"[b]
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the exhibition inside the 911 Memorial Museum, in New York on September 27, 2014 (4).jpg
An exhibition inside the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, in New York
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi signing the visitors’ book, during his visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, in Rwanda on July 24, 2018.JPG
Narendra Modi signing the visitors’ book, at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, in Rwanda
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi paying homage at Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial, in Washington DC on June 06, 2016 (1).jpg
The Prime Minister of India paying homage at Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial, in the Arlington National Cemetery near Washington DC. Kalpana Chawla, the first female of Indian origin to go to space, was lost along with the entire Columbia crew.

Note, there is no Wikipedia page for Ismaili Somoni Monument.
(Compiler's note: All images used are taken from already uploaded images on Wikipedia Commons. Emphasis has been to take images making sure the memorials are prominently visible in the photographs, and not the dignitaries. The images in which dignitaries do occupy substantial image space, is due to lack of replacements. Please do suggest better replacements if you find any. Thank you.)


  1. ^ W. B. Yeats, Nine One-Act Plays (1937), p. 36. See, Cathleen ni Houlihan, W. B. Yeats
  2. ^ Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Reader comments

The Wikimedia Foundation no longer publishes its blog. News and information is now on its new WordPress website. This is my pick of what they have had to say recently:

Winners of the Wiki Loves Monuments photo competition announced

Presenting the 2018 winners from the world’s largest photo contest
by Ed Erhart, 20 December 2018

The top three of fifteen winning photos from this year’s Wiki Loves Monuments, an annual photo competition recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest photo competition. The contest, now in its seventh year, focuses on “monuments,” which the organizers broadly define as structures recognized by a local authority as being of particular value to cultural heritage.

This year saw over 258,000 photos submitted by just over 14,000 photographers. A plurality of the photos were of Russian subjects, followed by Italian, German, and Ukrainian.

The top images were winnowed down by the federated nature of the contest, as Wiki Loves Monuments is primarily organized on a national level by people just like you. Up to ten winners from each national competition, fifty in all, were advanced to an international jury, whose results are listed here.

For more information on the winning photos and the 2018 competition, go to "

Foundation finds more funds

Facebook makes $1 million gift to support the future of free knowledge

by Kaitlin Thaney, Endowment Director, 20 December 2018

We are pleased to announce that Facebook, one of the world’s leading social networking platforms, has given $1 million to the Wikimedia Endowment—a permanent, independent fund dedicated to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects.

“We launched the Endowment in 2016 as an unwavering commitment to the lasting power and promise of Wikipedia,” said Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia. “We are grateful to Facebook for this support, and hope this marks the beginning of a long-term collaboration to support Wikipedia’s future.”

The Wikimedia Endowment makes Wikipedia more resilient in a changing world. It provides a necessary safeguard for the millions of articles, media, and resources created by Wikipedia contributors, but also maintains its continued independence as a neutral, reliable source of information.

“Through its nearly 18 years of existence, Wikipedia has become a trusted resource for hundreds of millions of people around the world. The Endowment ensures we can protect this incredible resource for knowledge seekers today, but also for generations to come,” said Lisa Gruwell, Wikimedia’s Chief Advancement Officer. “We’re thrilled that Facebook is investing in the long-term future of Wikipedia and free knowledge for everyone.”

To learn more about how you can support the Wikimedia Endowment, visit or email

Still more money coming in - Wikimedia partners with Google

Google and Wikimedia Foundation partner to increase knowledge equity online

by Lisa Gruwell, Chief Advancement Officer, 22 January 2019

"...we’re excited to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation is partnering with Google on a set of initiatives to support a shared commitment of making information more accessible to more people around the world.
Through these partnerships, we’ll be working together to create new and expanded programs to empower editors to create local language content on Wikipedia, as well as developing improved translation tools. To strengthen and support Wikipedia and its mission for generations to come, will also be contributing $1.1 million to the Wikimedia Foundation and $2 million to the Wikimedia Endowment."

15 January 2019 marked the 18th birthday of Wikipedia—and the 4th year of #1Lib1Ref

For Wikipedia’s birthday, we ask that you give the gift of a citation through #1Lib1Ref

by Felix Nartey, 15 January 2019

Five easy steps

" annual campaign that asks everyone to jump in and improve Wikipedia by adding at least one citation. In doing so, they help improve the reliability and authenticity of the site for billions of readers. Though literally meaning “One Librarian, One Reference”, #1Lib1Ref has grown to include archivists, professors, researchers, and Wikimedia volunteer editors interested in an entertaining way to effect change on Wikipedia. You can participate in the campaign through five easy steps:

  1. Find an article that needs a citation, using Citation Hunt
  2. Find a reliable source that can support that article
  3. Add a citation using referencing tools
  4. Add the project hashtag #1Lib1Ref in the Wikipedia edit summary
  5. Share your edit(s) on social media and invite others to participate!

More staff changes

Wikimedia Foundation appoints Valerie D’Costa as Chief of Community Engagement

by Wikimedia Foundation, 24 January 2019

The Wikimedia Foundation is excited to announce the appointment of Valerie D’Costa as Chief of Community Engagement. Valerie joins the Foundation after a decade at the World Bank Group, including nine years as leader of InfoDev, an initiative to facilitate sustainable development through access to data and information. Altogether, Valerie brings more than 25 years of experience launching and growing international initiatives in the developing world ... Maggie Dennis, the organization’s current Chief of Community Engagement, will transition to Vice President of Support & Services...

Reader comments

Wikimedia Research Newsletter Logo.png
A monthly overview of recent academic research about Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, also published as the Wikimedia Research Newsletter.

How much money do third-party sites make with reused Wikipedia content?

Reviewed by Isaac (WMF)

The impact of the re-use of Wikipedia content is a huge question facing Wikimedia,[supp 1] but a large obstacle to understanding the impact of Wikipedia content that appears outside of the Wikipedia ecosystem is our ability to detect where this occurs. In this ECIR paper, titled "Wikipedia Text Reuse: Within and Without",[1] Alshomary et al. apply text-reuse detection algorithms to Wikipedia and the Common Crawl in order to identify text re-use within Wikipedia (e.g., content copied between articles) and between Wikipedia and external sources. This has a number of analytical challenges: how to detect matches, how to define what is and is not re-use, and how to extract appropriate blocks of text that might be re-used given that the matches generally are not exact. They examine several approaches to efficiently solving these problems (e.g., locality-sensitive hashes, adapting approaches developed for plagiarism-detection).

The analysis distinguishes between two types of re-use: structural and content. Structural re-use is akin to a template where the same sentence structure is re-used but the words are changed. Content re-use is when perhaps the sentence changes, but the same content is contained within two different articles. Table 2 within the paper has an excellent figure comparing these two with examples and Section 4 within the paper discusses the implications of each type of re-use. Finally, the paper closes with an estimate of revenue generated by the re-used content based on the calculations of external content re-use and assumptions about advertising revenue: 5.5 million USD per month, as a conservative lower bound.

This analysis raises a number of interesting questions that I think would have to be answered before reaching conclusions about how to fully interpret the results. The first is the directionality of the re-use: are Wikipedia pages re-using content from external websites or vice versa? The second is what is the context under which re-use is happening: to what degree is it bots working with a pre-defined template vs. users copying content through that has been generated by others. To the authors' credit, they have committed to releasing the re-use datasets generated for the paper. These datasets will hopefully support further analysis and attention to the broader question of the impact of re-use.

"Following the Fukushima Disaster on (and against) Wikipedia"

Reviewed by Steve Jankowski

What sort of questions can we ask about Wikipedia? David Moats[2] provides a timely and necessary reflection on this question and how it impacts research. Briefly stated, he makes the argument that when it comes to the study of online platforms, researchers often pose questions that can be answered by the analysis of the data that is already structured by the platforms themselves. For example, scraping data from a website or following the trail of hashtags only make sense for very particular kinds of research questions. This is a cause for concern since not all research is inclined towards the structures and logics that these data assume.

To make his point, he reviews the common approach of Actor-Network Theory within Science and Technology Studies (STS). Under this theoretical and methodological frame, the researcher is encouraged to "follow the actors," or to take note only of those individuals that enact a significant change. The benefit of this approach has long been understood by its capacity to recognize how social and technical actors are entangled with one another. In other words, the distinction between a human or a non-human has little methodological purchase. What matters is which actor/actant is performing an action.

But, as the author argued, the actors that have the ability to articulate their socio-technical networks gain this ability through uneven power relations. Therefore, if the purpose is to study how platforms articulate socio-technical relationships, then there are host of interactions that are missing from this platform-sanctioned data. In particular, if a researcher is interested in understanding the silences and resistances with platforms, then other methods of investigation will need to be deployed. As Moats aptly summarized, "the dictum to follow the actors might be in conflict with analogous strategies to follow the medium" (p.3).

To demonstrate how research can be sensitive to these concerns, Moats provides his case study of the controversies that arose on Wikipedia's article about the Fukushima disaster. The first thing to note about his approach was his use of mixed methods: a content analysis of article page size over time; a content analysis of website domains used in the reference section; and a discourse analysis of the talk page discussions of the validity of sources. But even this combination of qualitative and quantitative research requires additional support. In this regard, he made the conscious decision to include data that was messy, inconvenient, unformatted and time-consuming to parse. In his words, this kind of data would normally be understood as an impediment to "our ability to follow the actors" (p.21). But in support of his argument, this kind of data contribute to – rather than take away from – our ability to understand social phenomena. In both the topical sense of providing more nuanced understandings of how controversies occur on Wikipedia and in a theoretical sense of pushing for reflexive research, Moats's article should be a consistent citation for Wikipedia researchers.

Conferences and events

See the research events page on Meta-wiki for upcoming conferences and events, including submission deadlines.

Other recent publications

Other recent publications that could not be covered in time for this issue include the items listed below. contributions are always welcome for reviewing or summarizing newly published research.

Compiled by Tilman Bayer

"'Welcome' Changes? Descriptive and Injunctive Norms in a Wikipedia Sub-Community"

From the abstract:[3] "we use the Focus Theory to examine interactions between several sources of normative influence in a Wikipedia sub-community: local descriptive norms, local injunctive norms, and norms imported from similar sub-communities. We find that exposure to injunctive norms has a stronger effect than descriptive norms, that the likelihood of performing a behavior is higher when both injunctive and descriptive norms are congruent, and that conflicting social norms may negatively impact pro-normative behavior." (See also research showcase presentation)

How topic interest and social bonds predict editors' productivity in WikiProjects

From the abstract: [4] "Drawing insights from attachment theories in social psychology, we examine two types of pre-joining connections: identity-based attachment (how much members' interests were aligned with the subgroup's topics) and bonds-based attachment (how much members had interacted with other members of the subgroup). Analyses of 79,704 editors in 1,341 WikiProjects show that 1) both identity-based and bonds-based attachment increased editors' post-joining productivity and reduced their likelihood of withdrawal; 2) identity-based attachment had a stronger effect on boosting direct contributions to articles while bonds-based attachment had a stronger effect on increasing article and project coordination, and reducing member withdrawal." (See also GroupLens blog post: "Your feelings of connecting to a group can predict your future behavior")

"Decision making in the self-evolved collegiate court: Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee and its implications for self-governance and judiciary in cyberspace"

From the abstract:[5] "This article considers the extent to which non-legal factors (nationality, activity/experience, conflict avoidance, and time constraints) affect decision making within collegiate courts, through the study of the Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee. [...] This study shows that the decision-making process of this body seems mostly unaffected by the demographic factors studied and the acclimatization bias. Some evidence of conflict avoidance is found. Despite the professed equality of members of the Committee, there is clear evidence that some are much more active (and thus, influential) than others."

"Measuring Global Disease with Wikipedia: Success, Failure, and a Research Agenda"

From the abstract:[6] "... the question of when and how [internet-based approaches to disease monitoring] work remains open. We addressed this question using Wikipedia access logs and category links. Our experiments, replicable and extensible using our open source code and data, test the effect of semantic article filtering, amount of training data, forecast horizon, and model staleness by comparing across 6 diseases and 4 countries using thousands of individual models. We found that our minimal-configuration, language-agnostic article selection process based on semantic relatedness is effective for improving predictions [...]. We also found, in contrast to prior work, very little forecasting value ..." (See also earlier: "Two new papers on disease forecasting using Wikipedia")

"Generating Wikipedia by Summarizing Long Sequences"

From the abstract:[7] "We show that generating English Wikipedia articles can be approached as a multi-document summarization of source documents. We use extractive summarization to coarsely identify salient information and a neural abstractive model to generate the article. [...] We show that this model can generate fluent, coherent multi-sentence paragraphs and even whole Wikipedia articles." (see also media coverage)

"Wikipedia vandal early detection: from user behavior to user embedding"

From the (preprint) abstract:[8] "... we propose the use of deep learning to detect vandals based on their edit history. In particular, we develop a multi-source long-short term memory network (M-LSTM) to model user behaviors by using a variety of user edit aspects as inputs, including the history of edit reversion information, edit page titles and categories. With M-LSTM, we can encode each user into a low dimensional real vector, called user embedding. [...] we can predict whether a user is benign or vandal dynamically based on the up-to-date user embedding. Furthermore, those user embeddings are crucial to discover collaborative vandals."

"The accessibility, readability, and quality of online resources for gender affirming surgery"

From the abstract: [9] "This study simulates a patient search for online educational material about gender affirming surgery and evaluates the accessibility, readability, and quality of the information [including the English Wikipedia's article sex reassignment surgery ]. Readability was assessed using 10 established tests: Coleman–Liau, Flesch–Kincaid, FORCAST, Fry, Gunning Fog, New Dale-Chall, New Fog Count, Raygor Estimate, Simple Measure of Gobbledygook, and Flesch Reading Ease. Quality was assessed using Journal of the American Medical Association criteria and the DISCERN instrument. ... All articles and Web sites exceeded the recommended sixth grade level."

"Visualizing Rank Time Series of Wikipedia Top-Viewed Pages"

From the abstract:[10] "WikiTopReader, a reader of Wikipedia page rank, lets users explore connections among top-viewed pages by connecting page-rank behaviors with page-link relations. Such a combination enhances the unweighted Wikipedia page-link network and focuses attention on the page of interest."

"Computing controversy: Formal model and algorithms for detecting controversy on Wikipedia and in search queries"

From the abstract:[11] ".. we first introduce a formal model of controversy as the basis of computational approaches to detecting controversial concepts. Then we propose a classification based method for automatic detection of controversial articles and categories in Wikipedia. Next, we demonstrate how to use the obtained results for the estimation of the controversy level of search queries. [...] The method is independent of the search engine’s retrieval and search results recommendation algorithms, and is therefore unaffected by a possible filter bubble. Our approach can be also applied in Wikipedia or other knowledge bases for supporting the detection of controversy and content maintenance." (includes rating data from the article feedback tool)

"Are All People Married?: Determining Obligatory Attributes in Knowledge Bases"

From the paper:[12] "... we also evaluated our method on Wikidata, where less is known about our assumptions"

"Finding Needles in an Encyclopedic Haystack: Detecting Classes Among Wikipedia Articles"

From the abstract:[13] "A lightweight method distinguishes articles within Wikipedia that are classes ('Novel', 'Book') from other articles ('Three Men in a Boat', 'Diary of a Pilgrimage'). It exploits clues available within the article text and within categories associated with articles in Wikipedia, while not requiring any linguistic preprocessing tools."

"Population preferences through Wikipedia edits"

From the abstract:[14] "We assume that the collective interest of a language-speaking community to document their events, people and any feature important for them, by the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, can act as a footprint of the whole group’s collective identity. ... We, then, report results about the number of edits, editors, and pages into categories, displayed by the several languages."

"Wikidata: A New Paradigm of Human-Bot Collaboration?"

From the abstract:[15] "... we highlight some of the most salient aspects of human-bot collaboration in Wikidata. We argue that the combination of automated and semi-automated work produces new challenges with respect to other online collaboration platforms."


  1. ^ Alshomary, Milad; Völske, Michael; Licht, Tristan; Wachsmuth, Henning; Stein, Benno; Hagen, Matthias; Potthast, Martin (21 December 2018). "Wikipedia Text Reuse: Within and Without". arXiv:1812.09221 [cs.IR].
  2. ^ Moats, David (8 December 2018). "Following the Fukushima Disaster on (and against) Wikipedia: A Methodological Note about STS Research and Online Platforms". Science, Technology, & Human Values. doi:10.1177/0162243918815234. closed access
  3. ^ Morgan, Jonathan T.; Filippova, Anna (2018-10-16). "'Welcome' Changes? Descriptive and Injunctive Norms in a Wikipedia Sub-Community". doi:10.31235/
  4. ^ Yu, Bowen; Ren, Yuqing; Terveen, Loren; Zhu, Haiyi (2017). Predicting Member Productivity and Withdrawal from Pre-Joining Attachments in Online Production Groups. CSCW '17. New York, NY, USA: ACM. pp. 1775–1784. doi:10.1145/2998181.2998227. ISBN 9781450343350. closed access Author's postprint
  5. ^ Konieczny, Piotr (2017-11-01). "Decision making in the self-evolved collegiate court: Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee and its implications for self-governance and judiciary in cyberspace". International Sociology. 32 (6): 755–774. doi:10.1177/0268580917722906. ISSN 0268-5809. (also at closed access
  6. ^ Priedhorsky, Reid; Osthus, Dave; Daughton, Ashlynn R.; Moran, Kelly R.; Generous, Nicholas; Fairchild, Geoffrey; Deshpande, Alina; Del Valle, Sara Y. (2017). Measuring Global Disease with Wikipedia: Success, Failure, and a Research Agenda. CSCW '17. New York, NY, USA: ACM. pp. 1812–1834. doi:10.1145/2998181.2998183. ISBN 9781450343350. Priedhorsky, Reid; Osthus, Dave; Daughton, Ashlynn R.; Moran, Kelly R.; Generous, Nicholas; Fairchild, Geoffrey; Deshpande, Alina; Valle, Sara Y. Del (2016-10-17), Measuring global disease with Wikipedia: Success failure, and a research agenda (Supplemental data)
  7. ^ Liu, Peter J.; Saleh, Mohammad; Pot, Etienne; Goodrich, Ben; Sepassi, Ryan; Kaiser, Lukasz; Shazeer, Noam (2018-01-30). "Generating Wikipedia by Summarizing Long Sequences". arXiv:1801.10198 [cs.CL].
  8. ^ Yuan, Shuhan; Zheng, Panpan; Wu, Xintao; Xiang, Yang (2018-01-01). "Wikipedia vandal early detection: from user behavior to user embedding". ECML PKDD 2017 : Proceedings, Part I : Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 10534. pp. 832–846. arXiv:1706.00887. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-71249-9_50. ISBN 978-3-319-71248-2. ISSN 0302-9743.
  9. ^ Vargas, Christina R.; Ricci, Joseph A.; Lee, Michelle; Tobias, Adam M.; Medalie, Daniel A.; Lee, Bernard T. (2017-09-01). "The accessibility, readability, and quality of online resources for gender affirming surgery". Journal of Surgical Research. 217: 198–206. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2017.05.026. ISSN 0022-4804. PMID 28587891. closed access
  10. ^ Xia, J.; Hou, Y.; Chen, Y. V.; Qian, Z. C.; Ebert, D. S.; Chen, W. (15 March 2017). "Visualizing Rank Time Series of Wikipedia Top-Viewed Pages". IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications. 37 (2): 42–53. doi:10.1109/MCG.2017.21. ISSN 0272-1716. PMID 28320644. closed access author's copy (different version)
  11. ^ Zielinski, Kazimierz; Nielek, Radoslaw; Wierzbicki, Adam; Jatowt, Adam (2018-01-01). "Computing controversy: Formal model and algorithms for detecting controversy on Wikipedia and in search queries". Information Processing & Management. 54 (1): 14–36. doi:10.1016/j.ipm.2017.08.005. ISSN 0306-4573.
  12. ^ Lajus, Jonathan; Suchanek, Fabian M. (2018). "Are All People Married?: Determining Obligatory Attributes in Knowledge Bases". Proceedings of the 2018 World Wide Web Conference. WWW '18. Republic and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland: International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee. pp. 1115–1124. doi:10.1145/3178876.3186010. ISBN 9781450356398. closed access author's copy
  13. ^ Pasca, Marius (2018). "Finding Needles in an Encyclopedic Haystack: Detecting Classes Among Wikipedia Articles". Proceedings of the 2018 World Wide Web Conference. WWW '18. Republic and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland: International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee. pp. 1267–1276. doi:10.1145/3178876.3186025. ISBN 9781450356398.
  14. ^ Gandica, Yérali (2018-09-22). "Population preferences through Wikipedia edits". arXiv:1809.08513 [physics.soc-ph].
  15. ^ Piscopo, Alessandro (2018-10-01). "Wikidata: A New Paradigm of Human-Bot Collaboration?". arXiv:1810.00931 [cs.HC].
Supplementary references:

Reader comments

On 3 December 2018 with over 188,000 edits since 2008, COIN expert Jytdog scrambled his password and left. The details of his retirement are a separate issue but over 80 testimonials in recognition of his work demonstrate that his efforts to keep the encyclopedia clean are almost irreplaceable. A growing consensus on his talk page suggests that an essay he wrote in 2017 should be made widely available. Here it is:

Before he left Wikipedia, Jytdog often used this essay to welcome and attempt to guide editors with an apparent or actual conflict of interest.

This is a narrative to get you oriented to how this place works, and to the key policies and guidelines.

This place is wide open – like a city with no locks on its doors – and anybody can just wander in, with their own notions of what they should do here. We have no training process and you don't need any license. We rely on that ancient, all-the-way-back-to-our-primate-roots human sociality for people to absorb the mission, and the policies and guidelines. Somebody could write an interesting paper about how that works (and doesn't work).

The welcome messages provide a series of links, but there really is no single narrative provided anywhere. So this is meant to sort of grease the wheels of the normal learning process here, for people who are in a hurry or who have been here a while but somehow never got the memo, as it were.

What we do, where things are, and governance

The first thing, is that our mission is to produce articles that provide readers with encyclopedic content that summarizes accepted knowledge as a free knowledge and education resource for every day people, everywhere in the world who can read English, and to do that as a community that anyone can be a part of, working under pseudonyms if they choose. That's the mission. (!)

You have done excellent work here in developing our approach to COI--because of the effort you have put into it, we will be able to continue, and I for one, feel a specific need to try to compensate for your absence--.
I'd like to thank you for all of your extensive COI work. Among other things, you were (ironically) the instigating force behind at least two very important and effective ArbCom cases, as well as a number of non-ArbCom cases of very extensive and complex webs of organized COI editing which spanned numerous noticeboards and talkpages.
– Softlavender
I can't believe this. WP will not be the same without you. Even though I am an admin and you are not, you were my go-to person whenever I suspected COI editing...
– Randykitty
I don't like to see a Jytdog-shaped hole in Wikipedia either...
– Bishonen
I want to add myself to the list of people who are grateful for all the good work you've done here and to tell you that you'll be missed...
– Boing! said Zebedee

A lot of people come here mistaking Wikipedia for an extension of a company website, or as social media, or as some kind of directory or place to promote or denigrate people, companies, products, projects, religions, a political candidate, or some idea (like raw foodism or the paleo diet). That is not what we are about. This is described in WP:NOT, which describes what Wikipedia is, and what it is not.

I cannot emphasize how important it is, to understand this! If you mistake Wikipedia for a blog or some other form of social media, or for a scientific journal or a newspaper, you are going to waste a ton of your own time, and the time of experienced volunteers. If you understand the mission, many things here in Wikipedia will make sense; if you don't understand it, many things here will just seem bizarre or arbitrary.

Probably the hardest thing for people to get used to – especially people who are used to writing scientific articles (or anything, really) – is the fundamental, well... epistemology here. In Wikipedia, you are not an authority. Nor is anybody else. Sources are authoritative. The reason for that, is that we are editors. Nobodies. Our names do not go on the articles we labor on. Please really, really think about that and take that in deep.

What we do here, is summarize sources. So, writing what you know, and sticking a citation behind that, is not OK. It is not how we work. Grabbing some research paper that excites you, or that the media is hyping, is not what we do either.

The kind of source that is most authoritative here, is a source that is a) independent of its subject; b) aiming to provide accepted knowledge – the state of play about X, whatever it is; c) written and published by people who are widely respected in the field of the subject. And again, what we do is summarize those sources. (We do fill in around the edges with what we call "primary sources" sometimes, but they don't drive content. A primary source is a person or company's own website, or a press release, etc. (A scientific research paper is also a primary source, btw). It would be really bad to have a page on Wikipedia driven almost entirely by citations to a person or company's own website, right? If that happens, the Wikipedia page is just a proxy for the person's or company's website, and that is not what we do here. We are not a PR vehicle. But sometimes primary sources are good for simple facts, like a birthday.)

That is really, really crazy hard for many people to wrap their heads around. But that is what has made Wikipedia possible. We don't argue about which Wikipedia editor is smarter or has more insight. Instead, we argue about what sources are most authoritative. And when we summarize them, we don't pick just one. We pick the best ones, and listen to them, and summarize what they say, aiming to transmit enduring, accepted knowledge, as it is understood at the time in the given field.

How did that come to be? This way of doing things evolved in the community over the past 16 years, through the decision-making process of this place. As you can imagine, if this place had no norms, it would be a Mad Max kind of world interpersonally, and content would be a slag heap (the quality is really bad in parts, despite our best efforts).

It was kind of a Mad Max world at first, back at the beginning. There was this idea – the first statements of the mission – about creating a free encyclopedia... but what did that mean? People tried to add content based on their own authority, but the community had no way to verify who anybody was, nor any real interest in trying to figure out a way to do that. (People who wanted articles to be written by experts actually split off and formed Citizendium... which was not able to attract enough volunteer experts and died). There were fierce and long discussions about how articles should be constructed here, and how to make decisions as a community at all.

One of the first group decisions that was made, and what became one of our most fundamental norms, is that we decide things by consensus. That decision itself, is recorded here: WP:CONSENSUS, which is one of our "policies". And when we decide things by consensus, that is not just local in some specific discussion, but includes and builds on all the discussions that have happened in the past. The results of those past discussions (especially discussions about key issues) are the norms that we follow now. We call them policies and guidelines – which are described briefly in the section below – you will see how they all fit together, to make the mission possible.

More high-level orientation first, however.

The policy and guideline documents (which are just writings that reflect the ongoing, evolving, living consensus) all reside in "Wikipedia space".

This gets us a bit into navigating the site. Articles exist in "mainspace". That is what almost everybody thinks of when thinking of Wikipedia. But there are other "spaces" used by the editing community. The policies and guidelines and various notice boards reside in "Wikipedia space" – pages in Wikipedia that start with "Wikipedia:AAAA" or for short, "WP:AAAA". WP:CONSENSUS (Wikipedia space) is different from Consensus (mainspace – this is the encyclopedia article about this concept). There are other "spaces" here, like draft space Draft:X, where draft articles reside, and user space, for sandboxes and other things – this page is in my userspace, User:Jytdog/.... Lots of people have 'sandboxes' where they store stuff related to their work here – User:X/sandbox – please note that userspace cannot be hijacked to serve as personal webhost space – it it just for doing work here. There is also "help space" – all help starts at Help:Contents and takes off from there.

So how does this place work, governance-wise? It was founded on kind of a libertarian ethos, trying to maximize individual freedom but keeping people responsible to each other and the mission – it also has a communitarian ethos. The tension between these two is what has made this place possible as well. Like a lot of internet-based projects, each person is expected to read the manual and educate themselves about how this place works; more experienced users are happy to help, but you have to show that you are trying to engage the policies and guidelines, and not just their letter but their spirit.

This being a place built by humans, there are lots of disagreements. When these arise we try to just talk it through, as simply as possible. That discussion focuses on sources, and how to generate content from them, based on the policies and guidelines. (Not on the basis of: "I know what I am talking about and you obviously don't".) Talking to each other on the foundation of the policies and guidelines, is always the first move. We have plenty of other ways to resolve disagreements – noticeboards and the like. These are described at the dispute resolution policy page. We also have administrators ("admins") who have the power to block people as well as having advanced permissions, like deleting pages. And there is a ~sort of~ "court" system here that we can escalate especially thorny problems through, that ends up at our "supreme court", the Arbitration committee or "Arbcom".

People have tried to define the governance structure of Wikipedia and have come up with all kinds of questions and claims – is it a democracy, an anarchy, or controlled by a secret cabal? In fact it is a clue-ocracy (that link is to a very short and very important text about how this place works).

At a yet higher level... there is a nonprofit organization called the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). It owns the servers that host the English Wikipedia, the many other language Wikipedias, Wikidata, and MediaWiki, which is the open-source software underlying Wikipedia and similar websites. WMF has employees who do behind-the-scenes things like keep the servers running, work on the software, as well as very public things, like outreach activities. However WMF does not get involved in the governance of the projects, except in rare cases when legal issues arise. Governance is left to the community of users in each project. Every time you make an edit to Wikipedia, you are agreeing to the Terms of Use contract between yourself and the WMF. The Terms of Use explain the governance, and that your use of Wikipedia obligates you to follow community policies and guidelines. (By the way, when people "donate money to Wikipedia", the money goes to the WMF. Which has nothing to do with content but rather, with the stuff above.)

And following on that – please keep in mind that Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. That value of openness is very important to us and editing is a privilege offered to everyone. But the privilege comes with a responsibility to pursue Wikipedia's mission and to learn and follow the policies and guidelines. The community gives people time to learn, but eventually restricts or removes editing privileges from people who just cannot get grounded on the mission of Wikipedia, or who will not or cannot follow the policies and guidelines.

For people in business, you can think of the policies and guidelines as the strategy through which the editing community realizes the mission. For sociologists, you can think of the policies and guidelines as the norms that govern the community. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to understand Wikipedia's mission. (see the very top of this section, if you don't remember what it is!)

The policies and guidelines

There are policies and guidelines that govern content, and separate ones that govern behavior.

Again these were all built by the community over time, and they make perfect sense deep down... this is how a community of anonymous people can collaborate to build and maintain articles that summarize accepted knowledge.

Here is a very quick rundown:

Content policies and guidelines:
  • WP:NOT (what WP is, and is not – this is where you'll find the "accepted knowledge" thing. You will also find discussion of how WP is not a catalog, not a how-to manual, not a directory, not a vehicle for promotion, etc) This mission is to be an encyclopedia. Think "Britannica" not "Facebook" and not even "New York Times". It is so important to focus on the mission! Anytime you edit, you can write anything. Please keep in mind what you should do to further our mission.
  • WP:OR – no original research is allowed here (you can't just make stuff up, or write what is in your head), instead
  • WP:VERIFY – everything has to be citable to a reliable source (so everything in WP comes down to the sources you bring!) Please note that writing content that interprets a source, and then citing the source you interpreted is not OK. Content in Wikipedia summarizes sources, it doesn't interpret sources. (this is discussed in WP:OR)
  • WP:RS is the guideline defining what a "reliable source" is for general content and WP:MEDRS defines what reliable sourcing is for content about health. Generally, a "reliable source" is one with a reputation for providing accurate information that is independent of the subject. For everyday things, think New York Times as opposed to "some blog" or "company press release". For content about health, MEDRS calls for recent literature reviews in high quality journals, or statements by major medical/scientific bodies.
  • WP:NPOV and the content that gets written, needs to be "neutral" (as we define that here, which doesn't mean what most folks think – it doesn't mean "fair and balanced" – it means that the language has to be plain and professional and not all flowery or fiery, and that topics in a given article are given appropriate "weight" (space and emphasis). (An article about a drug that was 90% about side effects, would generally give what we call "undue weight" to the side effects. Of course if that drug was important because it killed a lot of people, not having 90% of it be about the side effects would not be neutral.) If there are different perspectives about a topic, the one that is the most mainstream should get the most WEIGHT, and alternatives to that should get less WEIGHT. Stuff that is WP:FRINGE should get little to no WEIGHT at all. To work out what views about X are in the field, you need to do a lot of reading from high quality sources. Please be careful to select high quality sources and to listen to them. So again, you can see how everything comes down to references.
  • WP:BLP – this is a policy specifically covering discussion about living people anywhere in WP. We are very careful about such content (which means enforcing the policies and guidelines above rigorously), since issues of legal liability can arise for WP, and because people have very strong feelings about other people, and about public descriptions of themselves.
  • WP:NOTABILITY – this is the guideline that defines whether or not an article about X, should exist in Wikipedia – it implements the WP:NOTINDISCRIMINATE part of the NOT policy. What this comes down to is defined in WP:Golden rule – which is basically, are there enough independent sources about X, with which to build a decent article. This is a hard topic for the community, which is why this is a guideline and not a policy. There are several Notability essays about specific topics, like WP:PROF and WP:NJournals – we even have WP:LISTN.
  • WP:DELETION discusses how we get rid of articles that fail notability.

In terms of behavior, the key norms are:

  • WP:CONSENSUS – already discussed. We make decisions based on the mission, and the policies and guidelines. WP is not a democracy – we don't decide by pure "votes" but rather !votes, which are given more or less weight when a discussion is "closed" based on how clueful they are.
  • WP:AGF – assume good faith about other editors. Try to focus on content, not contributor. Don't personalize it when content disputes arise. (the anonymity here can breed all kinds of paranoia)
  • WP:CIVIL and WP:NPA (No personal attacks) and WP:NLT (no legal threats) – basically, be nice and focus on the work. This is not about being nicey nice, it is really about not being a jerk and having that get in the way of getting things done. We want to get things done here – get content written and maintained and not get hung up on interpersonal disputes. So just try to avoid doing things that create unproductive friction, and don't personalize things. Don't try to win a content dispute by telling somebody else you are going to sue them or something. (Yes, people actually do that, and when they do, they lose their editing privileges. We have pretty much of a zero-tolerance policy for legal threats.)
  • WP:HARASSMENT – really, don't be a jerk and follow people around, bothering them. And do not try to figure out who people are in the real world. Privacy is strictly protected by the WP:OUTING part of this policy. You also can't use WP to harass people in the real world – this use of WP also violates WP:BLP.
  • WP:DR – if you get into an content dispute with someone, try to work it out on the article Talk page. Don't WP:EDITWAR. If you are concerned about someone's behavior, don't bring that up on the article talk page – instead, bring that up on their user talk page. Try to keep content disputes separate from behavior disputes. Many of the big messes that happen in Wikipedia arise from these getting mixed up. If you cannot work the dispute out locally, then use one of the methods described in WP:DR to get wider input. There are many methods – it never has to come down to two people arguing.
  • WP:COI and WP:PAID. If you have arrived at Wikipedia due to some external interest (for example – you want to create an article about your brother, or your boss told you to polish up the Wikipedia article about her or about the company, or you are a freelancer here for a client, or you are in litigation against someone and want to write about that), you have a conflict of interest. We ask you to declare your conflict of interest, and to not edit content directly where you have a COI, but rather post proposals on the article Talk page or put new articles through WP:AFC. Having a COI is not a bad thing, it just needs to be managed. Unmanaged COI is a bad thing. The PAID policy and COI guideline exist to preserve the integrity of WP and prevent behavioral problems that arise when conflicted editors push too hard for content that serves their external interest. A closely related issue is WP:ADVOCACY; COI is just a subset of advocacy. It is not OK to use Wikipedia as a platform to advocate for anything. (see WP:NOTADVOCACY, which is part of NOT)
  • WP:TPG – this is about how to talk to other editors on Talk pages, like a user talk page such as User talk:Jytdog, an article Talk page like Talk:Electronic cigarette aerosol and e-liquid, or a community notice board like WP:RSN. On discussion pages, basically be concise, discuss content not contributors, and base discussion on the sources in light of policies and guidelines, not just your opinions or feelings. At user talk pages things are more open, but that is the first place to go if you want to discuss someone's behavior or talk about general WP stuff.

If you can get all that (the content and behavior policies and guidelines) under your belt, you will become truly "clueful", as we say. If that is where you want to go, of course. I know that was a lot of information, but hopefully it is digestible enough.

New articles

If at some point you want to create an article, here is what to do.

  1. look for independent high quality sources that comply with WP:MEDRS for anything related to health, and WP:RS for everything else, that give serious discussion to the topic, not just passing mentions. Start with great sources. Think New York Times not "some blog" and not the company website, and think New England Journal of Medicine, not Biology and Medicine. (The latter is published by OMICS Publishing Group which is the most often discussed predatory publisher. Be aware that predatory publishers exist, and don't use articles in journals they publish; you can check publishers at Beall's list.) Also beware of churnalism sources that look like they are independent but are lightly edited press releases. Once you have seen a few of these they are very easy to spot. See also WP:PUS for the kinds of sources to avoid.
  2. Look at the sources you found, and see if you have enough per WP:Golden rule to even go forward. If you don't, you can stop right there.
  3. Read the sources you found, and identify the main and minor themes to guide you with regard to WP:WEIGHT – be wary of distortions in weight due to recent events (see WP:RECENTISM).
  4. Be mindful of the manual of style in all things (WP:MOS) but also go look at manual of style guideline created by the relevant WikiProject, to guide the sectioning and other subject-specific style matters (you can look at articles on similar topics but be ginger b/c WP has lots of bad content) – create an outline. (For example, for biographies, the relevant project is WP:WikiProject Biography and for companies, the relevant project is Wikipedia:WikiProject_Companies/Guidelines, for articles about health/medicine, there is WP:MEDMOS).
  5. Create the blank article page following the process described at articles for creation for your first few articles. (If you don't know how to create a new article directly... maybe wait until you do, to try, and just rely on AfC for awhile :) )
  6. Start writing the body, based only on what is in the sources you have, and provide an inline citation for each sentence as you go. (See note about formatting citations below) Set up the References section and click "preview" plenty as you go, so you can see how it is going.
  7. Make sure you write in neutral language. The most rigorous way to do this is to use no adjectives at your first go-round (!) and add them back only as needed. Also write simply, in plain English. Not informally, but simply. Try to write so that anybody with a decent education can understand.
  8. When you are done, write the lead and add infobox, external links, categories, etc (for external links, please be sure to follow WP:ELNO – we only do one "personal" external link, so don't include their own website and their Facebook page and their Twitter feed etc. Just one.)
  9. Consider adding banners to the Talk page, joining the draft article to relevant Wikiprojects, which will help attract editors who are interested and knowledgeable to help work on the article. (You can look at the Talk pages of articles on similar topics, to see what WikiProjects are involved in them). If you have a COI for the article, note it on the Talk page, too.
  10. The completed work should have nothing unsourced (because the sources drove everything you wrote, not prior knowledge or personal experiences); there should be no original research nor WP:PROMO in it.
  11. If you are using AFC, submit your article for review by clicking the "submit your draft" button that was set up when you created the article. You will get responses from reviewers, and you can work with them to do whatever is needed to get the article ready to be published. If you have created the page in mainspace, make sure you have previewed several times and that everything looks OK, and click save.

Again that was a lot, but the goal is to get you somewhat oriented.

Editing where you have a conflict of interest

Wikipedia is a widely-used reference work and managing conflict of interest is essential for ensuring the integrity of Wikipedia and retaining the public's trust in it. We have a policy that requires disclosure of paid editing (WP:PAID) and further guidance in our conflict of interest guideline (WP:COI).

Indeed a January 2018 "supreme court" (our Arbcom) case stated as a principle:

2) Because Wikipedia is intended to be written from a neutral point of view, it is necessary that conflicts of interest are properly disclosed, and articles or edits by conflicted editors are reasonably available for review by others. Editors are expected to comply with both the purpose and intent of the applicable policies, as well as their literal wording.

Please note that there is no bar to being part of the Wikipedia community if you want to be involved in articles where you have a conflict of interest; there are just some things we ask you to do (and if you are paid, some things you need to do).

As in scientific publishing, conflict of interest is managed here in two steps – disclosure and a form of peer review.

Disclosure is the most important, and first, step. We do not ask anyone to disclose their real world identity, but relationships should be disclosed and for any edit where you have received or expect to receive compensation, you must disclose your employer, the client, and any other affiliation that is relevant.

There are various templates used for disclosure and there is specific guidance on how to use them, in the policy and guideline linked-to above. We generally look for the disclosure at your userpage and at any article talk page where you will be working under a COI. Please ask for help if you find anything confusing!

The form of "peer review" is the second step. This piece may seem a bit strange to you at first, but if you think about it, it will make sense. In Wikipedia, editors can immediately publish their work, with no intervening publisher or standard peer review – you can just create an article, click save, and voilà there is a new article, and you can go into any article, make changes, click save, and done. No intermediary – no publisher, no "editors" as that term is used in the real world. So the bias that conflicted editors tend to have, can go right into the article. Conflicted editors are also really driven to try to make the article fit with their external interest. If they edit directly, this often leads to battles with other editors, which is not good and one of the key reasons we seek to manage COI.

What we ask editors who want to work on articles where their COI is relevant, or which they are paid to work on, is:

a) if you want to create an article relevant to a COI you have, create the article as a draft through the WP:AFC process, disclose your COI on the Talk page with the Template:Connected contributor (paid) or Template:Connected contributor tag, and then submit the draft article for review (the AfC process sets up a nice big button for you to click when it is ready) so it can be reviewed before it publishes; and
b) And if you want to change content in any existing article on a topic where you have a COI, we ask you to
(i) disclose at the Talk page of the article with the tags as mentioned above; and
(ii) propose content on the Talk page for others to review and implement before it goes live, instead of doing it directly yourself. Just open a new section, put the proposed content there, and just below the header (at the top of the editing window) place the {{request edit}} tag, to flag it for other editors to review. In general the proposed content should be relatively short so that it is not too much review at once. Sometimes editors propose complete rewrites, providing a link to their sandbox for example. This is OK to do but please be aware that it is lot more for volunteers to process and will probably take longer.

By following those "peer review" processes, editors with a COI can contribute where they have a COI, and the integrity of WP can be protected. We get some great contributions that way, when conflicted editors take the time to understand what kinds of proposals are OK under the content policies. (There are good faith paid editors here, who have signed and follow the Wikipedia:Statement on Wikipedia from participating communications firms, and there are "black hat" paid editors here who lie about what they do and really harm Wikipedia).

But understanding the mission, and the policies and guidelines through which we realize the mission, is very important! That is why I wrote the section at the top of this page. Learning and following these is very important, and takes time. Please be aware that you have created a Wikipedia account, and this makes you a Wikipedian – you are obligated to pursue Wikipedia's mission first and foremost when you work here, and you are obligated to edit according to the policies and guidelines. Editing Wikipedia is a privilege that is freely offered to all, but the community restricts or completely takes that privilege away from people who will not edit and behave as Wikipedians.

I want to add that per the WP:COI guideline, if you want to directly update simple, uncontroversial facts (for example, correcting the facts about where the company has offices) you can do that directly in the article, without making an edit request on the Talk page. Just be sure to always cite a reliable source for the information you change, and make sure it is simple, factual, uncontroversial content. If you are not sure if something is uncontroversial, please ask at the Talk page. Please err on the side of caution.

Editing basics

Am not going to go into the details of this. There is training available at Editing basics. Please also see the help boxes away below, at the very bottom!

Please be aware that there are two main "text editors" used by editors. There is the new-fangled Wikipedia:VisualEditor that was built to be "what you see is what you get". There is also an old-school text editor that people use to manually type wiki markup to get things done.

I do want to talk about formatting citations a bit though.

Formatting citations

Everything comes down to sources as mentioned above, and it is very important to provide complete citations, so that other people can use them. Other editors use them to verify the content and to build more content, and readers use them to dive deeper into the subject matter. (some readers use Wikipedia only to get quick access to the sources and pretty much ignore the content!)

There are templates for citations that are very useful. If you look at them and try to create them manually, this looks like a nightmare. I avoided templates for years and just did simple ones like this:

  • Begley CG, Ellis LM. (2012-03-28) Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research. Nature 483: 7391. 531–533 doi:10.1038/483531a PMID 22460880
  • which looks like this in wikicode: Begley CG, Ellis LM. (2012-03-28) Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research. Nature 483: 7391. 531–533 {{doi|10.1038/483531a}} {{pmid|22460880}}

But then I learned that there are automated tools that will create templated citations for you super fast and this is how I work now... and it is good for you and everybody if you use them. Below is a description first of how to autoformat refs in the "Visual editor" interface, which many new users use, and then in the older Wikitext editor. In either editor, if you are writing about health, the part of the citation we care about the most is the pmid. Please be sure to use it.

We really value references that are available free-full text, so if there is free full text version please be sure to include the pmc field for biomedical refs or a URL to a free full-text if it exists elsewhere (but don't link to a version that someone has posted online in violation of copyright – see WP:COPYLINK as well as WP:ELNEVER).

Tool inside the Visual editor

  • If you are working in the Visual Editor, as many new editors do, in the toolbar at the top you will find a button called "Cite". It gives you an option to automatically format a citation, using "URL, DOI or PMID". URL is the web address. DOI is an identifying number that most journal articles have, and PMID is the identifier at pubmed, the most commonly used database of medical articles. If you put in just any one of those three, the VisualEditor will create a decent citation for you.
The resulting citation will look like this:
  • Begley, C. Glenn; Ellis, Lee M. (2012-03-28). "Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research". Nature. 483 (7391): 531–533. doi:10.1038/483531a. PMID 22460880.
the underlying wikicode looks like this (a nightmare right? Thank goodness you don't have to generate this by hand):
  • {{Cite journal|last=Begley|first=C. Glenn|last2=Ellis|first2=Lee M.|date=2012-03-28|title=Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research|journal=Nature|volume=483|issue=7391|pages=531–533|doi=10.1038/483531a|pmid=22460880}}
Please note if you use the "Re-use" function of the Cite tool in VisualEditor, it will create a "reference name" for the original instance of the citation and the subsequent ones, that looks something like this: <ref name=":0"/> Please know that this is a software bug that the editing community has tried to get the developers to fix for a long time now because those reference names are not useful because somebody editing after you, who is looking at the source text, will probably see only <ref name=":0"/> and not have any idea what reference that is, since it is often in a different section of the article. He or she will have to close out the editing window or open another tab to see what the original reference was. This is a waste of everyone's time. When you are done, please go back and change them to something that is unique and meaningful.
So if the VisualEditor did this to the original citation when you Re-used:
  • <ref name=":0">{{Cite journal|last=Begley|first=C. Glenn|last2=Ellis|first2=Lee M.|date=2012-03-28|title=Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research|journal=Nature|volume=483|issue=7391|pages=531–533|doi=10.1038/483531a|pmid=22460880}}</ref>
and did this for subsequent instances:
  • <ref name=":0"/>
Please go back and change both ref names to something like <ref name=Begley2012> for the first one and <ref name=Begley2012/> for the subsequent ones. You can just search the source text for ":0" etc to find them. The VisualEditor just counts up in the reference names, so you may find ":0", ":1", ":2", etc, depending on how many references you re-used.

Tool inside the Wikitext editor

If you are working in the older Wikitext editor, there is a similar function. In this editor, there is also a toolbar, and on the right, it says "Cite" and there is a little triangle next to it. If you click the triangle, another menu appears below. On the left side of the new menu bar, you will see "Templates". If you select (for example) "Cite journal", you can fill in the "doi" or the "PMID" field, and then if you click the little magnifying glass next to the field, the whole thing will auto-fill. If there is a pmc version of the article, this tool does not pick that up. You have to expand the "additional fields" at the bottom of the citation-creator – you will see the "pmc" field down there, to the right. The Wikitext editor does not have an automatic "re-use" function – you need to do that manually. There are auto-fill fields in the templates for news, websites, and books, too.

Other tool

Here is a handy tool – you can plug in the url, isbn, or doi, and it will create a templated citation for you, that you can copy and paste into an article. Jytdog (talk) 17:54, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

Reader comments

Clearly not the longest word

Even if there are other other words longer than Antidisestablishmentarianism shouldn't the word Antidisestablishmentarianistic exist? (talk) 06:55, 29 April 2009 (UTC)Anthony

Then maybe Antidisestablishmentarianistical, or Antidisestablishmentarianistically, as in the sentence "The man antidisestablishmentarianistically protested against the church."? (talk) 07:04, 29 April 2009 (UTC)Anthony

pseudoantidisestablishmentarianism is also longer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:43, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

And I managed to include 'pseudoantidisestablishmentarianism' legitimately in a recent article in Law & Justice as a description of Gordon Brown's attitude to establishment: in his guts, he'd probably like to disestablish the C of E (he is, afer all, a Scot) but he can't very well admit to that in public. Incidentally, you can sing it to the tune of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Kranf (talk) 14:53, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

okay ya'll asked for it Antineocontrapseudocontraneocontrapseudocontraneocontrapseudocontraneocontrapseudocontraneoantidisestablishmentarianists

The difference is that most people can memorise "antidisestablishmentarianism" quite easily, but I would think the word above was probably cut and pasted from elsewhere.--MacRusgail 16:47, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
you just added contra-pseudo to the beginning. that's like having a dream, in which you have a dream, and in that dream you have a dream, in which you dream of dreaming about a dream about dreams, ect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:42, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, u added antineo, then contrapseudo, then contraneo, then contrapseudo again, then contraneo again. THATS CHEATING!! (talk) 20:25, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

it is technically still a new word ...though it would be considered to be coined... also antidisestablishmentairanism is considered to be the longest non-coined and non-technicalk word in the english language. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is the longest technical and Floccinaucinihilipilifications is the longest coined word. Koolone0 (talk) 02:16, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Couldn't it be argued that "antidisestablishmentarianistic" is technically longer, even though it's just a variation of the word? SweetNightmares (talk) 06:42, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Story my teacher told me! Hollow?

My teacher shared a story with me about him in his younger years. (Long story short) Him and his friends were looking for Sasquatch and ended up running away from a small man with a pointy head, and climbing inside a hallow bald cypress! The hole was big enough to hold him and his four other friends (big guys mind you)! He told our class some times an old bald cypress can develop a hallow inside and he had several of these hallow trees every where. I'm fortunate enough to go on an ecology trip where I get to see some next month!!!! SO EXCITED! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)8:06 pm, 10 October 2012, Wednesday (6 years, 3 months, 6 days ago) (UTC−4)

Mortgage (from Wikipedia:Help desk)

My mom pruchased a home in south subs in 1994 for 89000thousnad,and her social sercurtiy she retired in 2005 and her morgage exceded he income so she asked her morgage company for a reduction Wells fargo well they sold her morgage to Rushmore on may 30 2018 she started paying rush more now rush more contiuse to treaten to foreclose my mom has never missed a payment and now she owes 95thousand more than original parchase price — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jchip48 (talkcontribs) 13:27, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

This page is for questions about how to use Wikipedia, not for discussing mortgages. -- Hoary (talk) 13:32, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
@Jchip48: Looks like you (and your mom) need a legal help. But WIKIPEDIA DOES NOT GIVE LEGAL OPINIONS. Turn to a professionalist. --CiaPan (talk) 15:25, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

Request (from Talk:S. S. Rajamouli)

Jai sri Gurudev sir
The Indian famous legendary director paramapoojya Sri padhma Sri Dr "SS Rajamouli " sir
I am from (Redacted) ,studying aeronautical engineering
I am very well interested in families
I was writing songs ,stories and I would like acting also sir
I am very interested to making historical movie s ,please can u give one chance sir
This is my humble request please sir Abhilash M Abal Swamiji (talk) 03:07, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

OK, this reply is really late, but you seem to have misunderstood the talk page to be a place to talk to Rajamouli. Wikipedia does not represent S.S. Rajamouli, nor do we have any affiliation with him. This applies to all articles. You are welcome to improve Wikipedia if you wish to. Thanks, King Prithviraj II (talk) 17:05, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

Reader comments

This month The Signpost reprints a 'From the editors' from almost four years ago to the day. Still a struggling publication and little in terms of response from last month's 'From the Editors', even a monthly issue is a strain on the time of the current team of two or three.

Dear readers,

A few weeks ago, long-time Signpost editor-in-chief The ed17 announced his intention to step down due to time constraints. Aware of the heavy workload of his role, he sought two editors to replace him. As the members of the newly formed Signpost editorial board, we're pleased to announce our vision for the future of the Signpost and to explain our new roles.

Vision for the future

A wise individual once said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The new Signpost editorial board subscribes to this philosophy in relation to the weekly newspaper. Although we certainly do have some goals—reviving "News and notes" on a weekly basis, for one—we see no particular reason at the present time for making substantial changes to the Signpost's format. We will strive to maintain our voice and standing as an independent entity, separate from the WMF, Wikimedia chapters, WikiEd, or other entities. We hope to expand our coverage by including high-quality content and interesting opinion pieces from community members, including opposing viewpoints in some editions, like this week.

Members of the board

  • Co-editor-in-chief: Gamaliel: Gamaliel, an administrator with more than a decade of experience on the English Wikipedia, brings a wealth of Signpost experience to the team and is pleased to embark on this new venture. Most recently, he has revived the "In the Media" section, reporting on the Wikimedia movement's global media coverage. He has previously served as an assistant editor of sorts, occasionally helping Ed copyedit and organize the paper. In his new role, Gamaliel will be primarily responsible for the Signpost on a day-to-day basis.
  • Co-editor-in-chief: Go Phightins!: Go Phightins!, an administrator since May 2014 and editor for about three years, is admittedly a bit apprehensive about taking on this new role, but is thankful for the opportunity to do so, as well as for the strong team being installed at the same time. He has contributed to the "In the Media" section in the past and has had an enthusiasm for journalism for most of his life. In his new role, Go Phightins! will be primarily responsible for recruiting and retaining regular writers, facilitating timely communication, and assisting in the copyediting process.
  • Publication and newsroom manager: Pine: The name "Pine" has almost become synonymous with "Signpost writer" over the last few years, during which he has contributed in a variety of capacities. One of the sticking points for the new editors-in-chief in accepting their roles was the need for someone proficient in the technical aspects of publication. On learning of Pine's willingness to continue to serve in that capacity, they were thrilled and ready to sign on. Pine will continue to be manager of publication and a contact person for urgent newsroom queries; the new editors-in-chief are grateful for his help.
  • Editor emeritus: The ed17: Ed has volunteered to stay on the editorial board as a consultant and to help in a smaller capacity behind the scenes with sporadic tasks. As the outgoing editor-in-chief, he has a wealth of experience and personifies the excellent editor.
  • Technical consultant: Jarry1250: The editors are very pleased to have Jarry1250 in this role so that we can draw on his expertise on the technical aspects of publication as necessary.
  • You: The editorial board is not complete without you. We are looking for Wikipedians with all kinds of experience levels who are willing to commit to just a few hours per week to help the Signpost, including those interested in layout, copyediting, delivery, technical management, and—perhaps most importantly—writing. Now is a perfect time to pitch your ideas for a new section or a new angle on an old one, whether it appears weekly, biweekly, monthly, or sporadically. We are especially interested in editors willing to write for "News and notes" and about what other-language Wikipedia projects and newsletters are working on, though we welcome help and ideas on absolutely any topic. This is an exciting and dynamic time for the Signpost. So we call on you, our readers: if you have any interest whatsoever, please contact one of the members of your editorial board.

We'd like to take one more opportunity to thank Ed for his years of service as editor-in-chief, during which he told us he contributed up to 20 hours per week—never eager to step into the limelight but always willing to help behind the scenes. Please join us in thanking him for his dedication to this community newspaper. In this time of transition, we ask for your patience, confident that we will make mistakes, perhaps even large ones. Please bear with us as we learn our respective roles.

Go Phightins! and Gamaliel, Signpost editors-in-chief

Reader comments

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