Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Single/2021-02-28


Katherine Maher steps down as ED, CEO

Congreso Futuro 2020 - Katherine Maher 08.jpg
Maher in 2020

The Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director (ED) and Chief Executive Officer Katherine Maher announced February 4 that she would be leaving the WMF on April 15. She has been with the WMF seven years, first as chief communications officer, then as interim ED in March 2016, and as ED in June 2016.

She became ED at a very difficult time for the movement, reported on in The Signpost as The WMF's age of discontent. Many in the community and WMF staff were outraged by a search engine project known as the knowledge engine. Doc James was voted off the Board of Trustees by the Board itself. Maher's predecessor, Lila Tretikov, resigned under pressure. A new trustee resigned within weeks of his appointment. Following Maher's appointment the community, staff, and Board experienced a period of peace and cooperation for about three years.

Maher's announcement was surprising since just the day before she announced the approval of the Universal Code of Conduct by the Board of Trustees. Together with the 2030 strategy recommendations, the UCC may be the chief achievement of her term as ED. Both still require implementation or enforcement, which may be just as difficult to achieve as the agreement on the policy and goals.

The WMF described the major improvements reached during Maher's term as:

  • Increasing global reach and readership
  • Reversing editor decline, and generating editor growth
  • Increasing editor diversity
  • Growing a global movement

Maher was an unapologetic advocate for a diverse community. She told The Signpost in a 2019 interview:

Diversity is baked into our vision statement: the sum of all knowledge, every single human being. And feminism is a foundational part of diversity: if we’re talking about every single human being, we need to be talking about every single human being, including women and non-binary people. So, not only is this part of my values, it’s absolutely part of the Foundation’s mission.

Relations among the community, WMF staff, and the Board of Trustees became contentious at times. A consultant's report published in 2020, meant to better organize WMF governance, recommended that communications between the Board and the ED should be strengthened and that the ED's office should be better staffed to handle the many challenges.

In a note to Wikipedians on diff, Maher said "I’m going to take a break, and a research fellowship, as a place to think about what’s next." Axios stated that she'll be moving to the United States east coast.

General Counsel Amanda Keton, Chief of Talent and Culture Robyn Arville, and Chief Financial Officer Jaime Villagomez will act as the executive transition team. The Transition Committee leading the search for Maher's replacement includes four trustees: Dariusz Jemielniak, Tanya Capuano, Raju Narisetti, and Board Chair María Sefidari. Viewcrest Advisors will assist the committee's global search.

See this formal announcement.

The Signpost wishes Katherine all the best. – S

Request for desysop discussion

TonyBallioni opened a discussion at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Desysop Policy (2021) on February 20 to streamline a process to remove administrators, driven more directly by the community. It has 126-80 support as of February 27.

Current procedures to remove an administrator on the English Wikipedia (desysop) are outlined at WP:Administrators § Review and removal of adminship and do not include a direct path for the editors in the community to remove an administrator. Not counting procedural and reversible desysop due to inactivity, or desysops initiated by WMF which are counted in single digits, desysop virtually always happens through the admin's own request or by Arbcom action. Currently 146 of 512 currently-active admins, listed at Category:Wikipedia administrators open to recall, have voluntarily specified their own ad-hoc criteria and procedures for desysop that they have pledged to follow. Thus over 70% of active admins are only removable by themselves or by Arbcom.

A new process has been a recurring topic on the English Wikipedia, with discussions going back to 2004 listed at Wikipedia:Requests for de-adminship. A 2009 discussion to formalize the process, Wikipedia:WikiProject Administrator/Admin Recall, resulted in a 2010 RfC which failed: 167 for, 190 against; and a 2019 RfC failed to result in a procedure [that] gathered enough support to be favored by a clear consensus.

Conditions outlined by the current RfC in order to initiate a desysop request include (condensed for The Signpost):

  • A recent AN or ANI discussion where the closing statement indicates that there was consensus that the administrator behaved inappropriately
  • Endorsement by a qualifying number of editors, including three admins

The desysop will be performed by a bureaucrat if there is 60% support for removal at the end of a 7-day voting period. The word "vote" is not used in the initial RfC statement and it is being debated whether the proposed process will use a straight-up vote or a discussion to determine the outcome. – B

Brief notes

  • New administrators: The Signpost welcomes the English Wikipedia's newest administrator, TJMSmith.

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Several billionaires – or more likely their paid representatives – appear to have edited Wikipedia according to an article in The Wall Street Journal[1] and in an investigation published in The Signpost. Two alleged sex offenders, Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, also appear to have edited Wikipedia.

Do these types of editors interact on Wikipedia? Do they have edit disputes with one another? The Signpost investigates these questions in the case of a "billionaire battle"[2] between hedge fund manager, Louis Bacon, whose net worth was $1.5 billion in 2020 according to Forbes, and Peter Nygard, a fashion executive who has been indicted on nine charges in New York, which include sex trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering.

Nygard never quite made it into the list of billionaires on Forbes, but his net worth was estimated at $750 million in 2014.[3][4] Today he is being held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, for extradition to the United States. He has been unable to raise bail and remains in jail.[5]

Nygard's lawyer has denied all the charges against him. The Signpost reminds our readers that he should be considered innocent until any charges are proven in a court of law. We also remind you that the identities of Wikipedia editors can never be completely proven – even if they seem to have identified themselves. They may be spoofing or "Joe jobbing" in order to embarrass other people.

The rise and fall of Peter Nygard

Peter Nygard 2016.jpg
Peter Nygard in 2016

Nygard emigrated with his parents from Finland to Canada when he was ten years old and entered the clothing business after graduating from university. He bought into a small firm in Winnipeg and then bought out his partners. His group of companies, headed by Nygard International, grew to 165 retail outlets in the US and Canada[6] and also sold through Dillard's and Walmart in the US.

VP-BPZ - Peter Nygård (7231957822).jpg
Nygard's private Boeing 727

He owned a home in California and in 1987 bought property in an exclusive gated community, Lyford Cay in the Bahamas. He built an immense Mayan-themed complex on the six acres of prime beach-front property which was later featured on the television show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.[2]

Just over a year ago he might have still thought that he was living his dream life, as he flew to his various businesses and homes in a private Boeing 727 jet with an entourage of young women and under-age girls. The only fly in the ointment seemed to be a feud[2] with his neighbor in the Bahamas, billionaire Louis Bacon.

An argument over a shared driveway is reported to have started the feud, which grew into a legal dispute about Nygard's use of dredging to expand his land along the coast. Other accusations followed. Nygard accused Bacon of blasting out Nygard's parties with industrial-grade loudspeakers. Nygard accused Bacon of insider trading, arson, and even murder. He organized a demonstration against Bacon’s supposed membership in the Ku Klux Klan. Bacon, in turn, accused Nygard of planning his murder.[2][4]

How do the very rich deal with disinformation being spread about them? One method is to file a lawsuit. According to The New York Times, the two filed 25 lawsuits against each other in five jurisdictions.[4] Bacon also took legal action in the UK against the Wikimedia Foundation to force the WMF to help identify Wikipedia editors who he believed were defaming him. He won a UK court order, but could not get it enforced in the US. The WMF likely does not have the identifying information in any case.[7]

On February 13, 2020, Nygard was sued by 10 "Jane Does" in civil court in New York, alleging rape. The lawsuit was widely viewed as the work of Bacon.[4] Several dozen more accusers have since claimed that Nygard raped them. The rapes allegedly occurred from 1979 through 2020. Another alleged rape, reported in the Winnipeg Free Press, was said to have taken place around 1960 when Nygard and the unnamed woman were in high school.[8] Several plaintiffs say they were minors when the alleged rapes occurred.

On February 25, 2020, the FBI raided Nygard's Times Square offices in Manhattan. Nygard resigned the same day from his own companies,[8] most of which soon filed for bankruptcy. By May they were being sold off in pieces to satisfy a mere $25-million debt. US federal prosecutors, on December 15 unsealed a nine count indictment against Nygard in the Southern District of New York,[12][13] including allegations of sex trafficking, multiple cases of coerced sex with underage girls, coerced participation in orgies, racketeering, and money laundering. He was arrested in Winnipeg and held for extradition to the US. He has been unable to get bail and remains in jail. At age 79, his lawyers claim that he is broke, sick and dying.[14]

Four accusers have been interviewed and shown in documentaries on the Canadian Broadcasting Company. They describe forcible rape that appears to have been planned beforehand. They speak at length and their identities are not hidden. The CBC also shows video from Nygard's personal videographer, who says that he has about 1,000 hours of video of Nygard.

Disinformation on Wikipedia

One pro-Nygard editor, User:NYGARD International, only edited the Peter Nygard article and only on October 30, 2007, making eights edits before they were quickly blocked for promotional editing. One of their edits completely rewrote the article with 3,116 words of promotional material starting

Most people talk about Peter J. Nygård, Chairman of NYGÅRD(International), in terms of his classic rags-to-riches story – the Finnish immigrants' son, who stitched up an empire out of women's clothing and is now the quintessential self-made man. This story overlooks another side of Peter Nygård – a hard driven, demanding and subjective man who has created a standard of excellence for the Canadian Women's Fashion Industry, whose label is the #1 recognized label in the Canadian marketplace, and whose signature is recognized in fashion centres across the globe.`

While promotional edits are common on Wikipedia, few, if any, are so open, so non-encyclopedic, and so poorly written. The real disinformation about the Nygard/Bacon feud though began three years later after the CBC broadcast a documentary about Nygard's alleged harassment of his employees. Nygard responded in the courts by filing a criminal libel suit. He apparently responded on Wikipedia by attacking Bacon through several sockpuppet accounts and trying to delete every mention of the CBC documentary.

Bacon indicated that he wanted to start defamation proceedings against some Wikipedia editors by obtaining court orders from the high court in London to force three website owners – the WMF, WordPress, and The Denver Post – to disclose the identities of contributors who Bacon believed defamed him, according to The Guardian.[7] The WMF could not be forced to provide the information without the intervention of a US court, and likely did not ever possess the required information. The Guardian reported the online names of the accused defamers as "gotbacon" and "TCasey82".

"Gotbacon" is not a registered Wikipedia username, but likely refers to the WordPress blog gotbacon which published between December 2010 and May 2011. It republished anti-Bacon material from little known websites, commented on Bacon and complained that the Wikipedia article on Louis Bacon was whitewashed. It was cited as a reference in 2011 by User:Crinock in the Louis Bacon article. Crinock was indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet of RK Drollinger in the same year. Another blocked sock of RK Drollinger, User:Rosi.anastasova, made five of their nine edits to the Louis Bacon article, deleting material reported in the 2010 CBC documentary.

User:TCasev82 was a single-purpose account (SPA) who made all 33 of their edits between May 2010 to February 2011 to the Louis Bacon article. They included anti-Bacon material and inserted an external link to the gotbacon blog.

User:Lbninternational made all 17 of their edits on November 15, 2011 to the Louis Bacon article before they were warned for a biography of living persons policy violation: "Please stop trying to blackball Louis Bacon". They were then reported to WP:ANI where Louis Bacon's legal action against the WMF was discussed. Lbninternational has not edited since that time. One of their edits read "Although Lpuis Bacon [sic] is reportedly the 655th richest person in the world, there have been some bizarre stories linked to him such as this one in Business Insider" while linking to a story on an alleged murder.

Did Louis Bacon or his representatives respond to these edits on Wikipedia? Complaints sent to Wikipedia via the Volunteer Response Team ticket request system (better known as OTRS) are essentially private and The Signpost does not have access to them, but it appears that Bacon complained about these and other edits through OTRS in 2011 and again in 2019. These requests appear to have been handled by administrators and experienced volunteer editors according to policy, mostly in favor of Bacon's position. In 2011 there were fewer reliable sources reporting on Nygard and regular Wikipedia editors took longer to decide matters, but most results favored Bacon.

In 2018 and 2019 User:Candor777 made a total of nine edits to the Nygard and Bacon articles, all of which favored Nygard. They edit warred to remove documented accusations against Nygard. They were warned about our rules on conflict of interest and paid editing. Their edits were reverted and they stopped editing.


Two very rich men, one a billionaire, the other accused of multiple forcible rapes and multiple rapes of minors, may have battled on the pages of Wikipedia leading to a court ordering the WMF to identify our editors for inclusion in a defamation suit. This possibility should appall all Wikipedia readers and all Wikipedia editors. But did it happen that way?

Peter Nygard and Louis Bacon did conduct an off-wiki "billionaire battle" campaign of accusations and lawsuits against each other for a decade. Did the battle spill over onto Wikipedia? Bacon seemed to think so, having sought the court order to identify Wikipedia editors, and apparently complaining twice through OTRS about false information in Wikipedia articles. The Signpost, however, was unable to identify any article edits made by Bacon or his representatives.

Since the identities of Wikipedia editors can not be completely proven by their editing histories, The Signpost can only say that there is a strong likelihood that Nygard or his representatives edited Wikipedia. User:NYGARD International was quickly blocked for their promotional editing to the Peter Nygard article. Gotbacon, a WordPress blog that attacked Bacon and complained that the Bacon article was whitewashed, connected several apparent Nygard editors, including User:TCasey82 and User:Crinock, both single-purpose accounts linked to the blog. Crinock was blocked for sockpuppeting connecting them to another sockpuppet account User:Rosi.anastasova, who also edited the article. Just before he stopped editing in 2011, SPA User:Lbninternational was warned by an administrator to "stop trying to blackball Louis Bacon". Eight years later, SPA User:Candor777 quit editing after they were warned about their editing.

Yes, it appears that Nygard or his representatives were continuing his off-wiki feud on Wikipedia.


  1. ^ Levy, Rachel (13 December 2019). "How the 1% Scrubs Its Image Online". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Konigsberg, Eric (6 December 2015). "The Billionaire Battle in the Bahamas". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  3. ^ Canadian Business, Canada’s Richest People 2015: The Top 100 Richest Canadians
  4. ^ a b c d Barker, Kim; Porter, Catherine; Ashford, Grace (22 February 2020). "How a Neighbors' Feud in Paradise Launched an International Rape Case". New York Times. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  5. ^ Pritchaed, Dean (19 January 2021). "Jail a 'death sentence,' Nygard lawyer argues". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  6. ^ Barghout, Caroline (1 June 2020). "Nygard liquidation sale dates pending while court rules on unpaid rent". CBC. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b Halliday, Josh (9 May 2011). "US billionaire wins high court order over Wikipedia 'defamation'". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  8. ^ a b Thorpe, Ryan (26 December 2020). "Nygard in custody, empire shattered". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Peter Nygard: The Secret Videos". CBC. 28 January 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Former employee says Peter Nygard raped her on a business trip". CBC. 12 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Breaking Their Silence: These women say Peter Nygard raped them". CBC. 19 June 2020.
  12. ^ Canadian Fashion Executive Peter J. Nygard Charged With Sex Trafficking And Racketeering Offenses,December 15, 2020, Department of Justice
  13. ^ U.S. Department of Justice (15 December 2020). "United States of America v. Peter Nygard – sealed indictment". Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  14. ^ Pritchard, Dean (19 January 2021). "Jail a 'death sentence,' Nygard lawyer argues". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 21 February 2021.

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The Wikimedia Foundation is taking away your freedom to elect community representatives to their board.

In 2017 some 5,500 contributors to Wikimedia projects elected three members to the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation for a three year term. Their mandate ended nearly a year ago. The Board decided to extend their terms for a year. The ongoing pandemic was an excuse to postpone an election, yet the Board of Trustees launched a very intensive consultation with the community. This consultation is probably more time- and energy-consuming than an actual election.

They want to discuss changes to the way Trustees are selected. They aim at greater diversity. They have concerns about skills and experiences of community elected board members.

This consultation isn't the only ongoing consultation with the communities. There are a whole range of Global Conversations about implementation of the recommendations of the Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy process. And some other consultations are also running. One of the strategy recommendations – which is priority 1 – is to ensure equity in decision making. To include underrepresented voices in governance and to assure diversity, it was recommended to have a Global Council in the future. The Global Council would be a large body, representing the diversity of the movement.

There will be a Global Council at the earliest at the end of Wikimania 2022. Depending on your point of view that is either very far away, or pretty soon. In the interim, there will be an Interim Global Council to draft a Movement Charter and oversee the implementation of the strategy recommendations. The current timeline projects having an Interim Global Council seated in April or May 2021. That is pretty soon, and probably at the same time or even before new community representatives will be elected to the Board of Trustees.

The movement has recognized and acknowledged a lack of diversity of our representation in governing bodies over the past years, and has resolved this issue by proposing an (Interim) Global Council (IGC). The current call for feedback about community seats is not only badly timed – in the midst of a pandemic, on top of multiple other consultations, but also tries to seek to solve a problem – diversity – which has already been solved by having an IGC soon. And the board failed to integrate this consultation within the overall framework of conversations about implementation of strategy recommendations. Just like they failed at integrating the branding discussion within the strategy process.

The other part of the 'problem' the Board seeks to solve is with respect to skills and experiences. Five trustees on the board are selected by communities and affiliates from volunteers who contribute to Wikimedia projects. Those volunteers have multiple years of experience within the Wikimedia Movement, are skilled in editing Wikimedia projects, and skilled in contributing in other ways to the Wikimedia Movement. Most notably, those volunteers have taken initiatives both online and offline to organize projects and programs. It looks like the current board doesn't value these skills and experience as relevant to governing the Wikimedia Foundation.

Half the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation consist of appointed trustees chosen for their specific skills and experiences. Most of them aren't contributors to the Wikimedia projects. Most of them had no idea how Wikimedia projects function and operate, and are unaware how Wikimedia volunteers have organized themselves online and offline over the past.

Most notably there is a total lack of diversity among appointed trustees, most of them being US residents. The five volunteers on the board all speak different native tongues, and are all born in different countries, originating from four different parts of the world. The current diversity among community and affiliate seats is at a maximum given the number of available seats. If there is a diversity problem on the board, then it is within the appointed seats, not within the community seats.

In 2019 a woman from Ukraine (Eastern Europe) and a woman from Israel (Middle-East) were selected by affiliates to become board members. The call for feedback states as problem the election process favors men from the US and Western Europe. The latest election outcome fully contradicts this part of the problem statement.

The Board amended the bylaws in 2020. They proposed expanding the board from 10 to 16 seats. There will be even more appointed seats, not selected by contributors to Wikimedia projects, in the future. The call for feedback is restricted to community seats. The Board didn't ask the community for advice how to fill in the extra appointed seats they created.

What the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation actually does is mostly boring stuff. They have to read piles of paper, approve annual plans and annual budgets, review financial reports and go through tons of legal stuff. The board also does hire and fire the CEO or Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the person who actually leads the 450+ staff of the Wikimedia Foundation on a daily basis.

Apparently the Board sees an urgent need to hear from a voice from Africa. They created three extra appointed seats, and no one is blocking the Board to handpick someone from Africa to become one of the Trustees. And maybe another one from South-East Asia. Apparently they want someone on their board who has previous experience as CEO or Executive Director of a non-profit of comparable size working in the same field as the Wikimedia Foundation. No one is blocking the Board appointing Katherine Maher to the Board, as she has announced her departure as CEO/ED of the Wikimedia Foundation by April 15. All in all, this leaves ample room for the community and affiliates to select their representatives through their preferred method, that is by having a free and open election.

Apparently the Board has a dislike for elections, and wants to get rid of the system of election by the community and the affiliates of Trustees. In preparing this article I have reached out to all board members, asking them whether they would prefer appointment of parliamentarians rather than electing them by the people in their country. Some of the board members engaged in email conversation, and I raised more questions. The ensuing conversation stopped soon after the moment someone realized they were stepping out of line, and ranks were closed. I could get a quote from an official voice from the board. That quote ended up being 462 words long, not answering any of my questions directly.

The call for feedback about community seats proves the Board of Trustees is not capable of governing the Wikimedia movement, and the call for feedback on community seats is a distraction from the conversation on implementing the Wikimedia movement strategy recommendations. The Wikimedia movement has an urgent need of a Global Council inclusive of all Wikimedia project wiki communities.

Whether or not Wikimedia project wiki communities actually do support the creation of an (Interim) Global Council and drafting a Movement Charter, which are highly preferred by some people from Wikimedia affiliates, is a topic for a Signpost article in the future.

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OpenStreetMap's digital gentrification

Inside the 'Wikipedia of Maps', Tensions Grow Over Corporate Influence (Bloomberg) examines "digital gentrification" of OpenStreetMap which between 2015 and 2018 saw a sixfold increase in features edited by corporations, led by Apple. Lyft, Facebook, the International Red Cross, the U.N., the government of Nepal and Pokémon Go all depend on its data. In turn, "hundreds of millions of monthly users" depend on the organizations' use of the data. Commercial firms are protecting their investment in the data by editing and contributing more data. One startup, Mapbox, has raised $200 million to develop ways to format and transfer OSM data to its customers. Is this just another example of the benefits of crowdsourcing, or just another corporate takeover of the commons? "Hobby mappers" are worried that corporate representatives will be elected to the site's governance positions. Frederik Ramm, an OSM volunteer and consultant states "These companies don’t map for the same reasons we do, and because of that, I question deeply if our goals can align."

The last article on Wikipedia's COVID coverage? Not likely.

Wikipedia's Sprawling, Awe-Inspiring Coverage of the Pandemic in The New Republic joins dozens, likely hundreds, of articles on Wikipedia's coverage of the COVID pandemic, the first of which was published 384 days ago in Wired by Omer Benjakob.

Though this ground has been thoroughly plowed, Shaan Sachdev in TNR reports with a different angle. He states that with 86 million pageviews "the Covid-19 pandemic (article) is in a two-way tie for the thirty-fourth most viewed Wikipedia article, ranking alongside Miley Cyrus. It isn’t far behind thirty-first place, which is currently a three-way tie between Taylor Swift, Star Wars, and China."

Some of the other articles that link to COVID-19 are listed (in no special order) as: Mink, Racism in China, Royal Australian Navy, Graffiti, Cockfight, and Ricky Martin. Ultimately almost all articles of this genre focus on Wikipedia's volunteer editors, as they should. Editors included in this article include Andrew Lih, Netha Hussain and Liam Wyatt.

Larry Sanger, Fox News, the Daily Mail, and The Washington Times take on Wikipedia's bias

Fox News interviewed Larry Sanger in Inside Wikipedia's leftist bias: socialism pages whitewashed, communist atrocities buried. Sanger's views on Wikipedia's "leftist bias" and chaotic governance have been well-known since 2007. Over the years he's made a few good points, for example his claims that Wikimedia Commons contained some child pornography, but Fox's claim that he told them that "many Wikipedia pages have become merely left-wing advocacy essays" is exaggerated. Bias is difficult to define without having a grasp of the range of views typically accepted within a population. Fox's hard right views do not define bias within the US. Wikipedia's editors come from many countries beyond the US that generally have views to the left of the US. Fox does score points when looking at Wikipedia's coverage of Communism. Coverage of genocide by Communist governments is all but missing on Wikipedia – even when we call it "mass killings".

Bias in political science articles

Wikipedia’s political science coverage is biased. I tried to fix it. in The Washington Post. Samuel Baltz, a Ph.D. candidate at the U. of Michigan in political science and computing, spent a year trying to correct the biases he sees in Wikipedia articles on political science.

Could it be Valentine's Day?

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This image of a flower got 90 million hits per day on Wikimedia servers after India banned TikTok

In brief

After the birthday party

Anyone who has ever tried to correct errors in a Wikipedia entry, only to find them repeatedly reinserted by other contributors with a competing agenda, will attest to the site's unreliability. Even counting on Wikipedia as a repository of basic information, such as names, dates and places, is a crap shoot. Perhaps the vast majority of its articles are indeed accurate, but which ones constitute that majority, and at what point in time? Literally no one knows; it has become so vast that moderating its millions of entries in any comprehensive way would be impossible. This is how the site is designed to work.

— b.e.

Wikipedia may be unique online because it "sells no advertising". However, it does provide a free platform for companies to display their corporate messages, written by their marketing departments. Are these true statements vetted by Wikipedia? No. Wikipedia also has a devil’s bargain with Google. No matter what you search for on Google, from "cats" to "Catullus", Wikipedia is positioned first. If you do enter "cats", to learn about the animal, you get what reads like a Wikipedia advertorial for the movie "Cats".

— p.t.

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.

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Janeen Uzzell is the Chief Operating Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation. This piece was originally published on February 22, 2021, at Wikimedia Foundation News. It is licensed CC-BY SA.
Wikipedia20 symbol community.svg

Growing up, my father was the storyteller of our family. He would use stories to encourage me, to remind me of how important it was to be proud of who I am, to teach me about our family history, and to make me laugh.

Before I knew enough to ask questions, I was soaking up the stories of my father and his brothers who were popular doo-wop recording artists, hearing him talk about how he met and married my mother, and how he and his siblings grew up in the South and moved north during the Great Migration.

This was history, but it had never been written down. Instead, it was weaved into family tales and songs, and then passed along from generation to generation. As I grew up, I learned that our family tradition of storytelling was part of our cultural legacy as Black Americans. We grew up telling stories because many of our great grandparents and great great grandparents weren’t able to or allowed to read. Our stories were our way of passing down our history, cementing our legacy, sharing knowledge and bridging our past to our present.

As I grew up, I learned that our family tradition of storytelling was part of our cultural legacy as Black Americans.

The power of storytelling hasn't changed, even if storytelling platforms have evolved in a more digitally-connected world. Numerous cultures around the world, from Native American Indians to African communities on the Continent and beyond, continue to share knowledge through oral storytelling. Stories are how we share information. And information shapes how we perceive everything around us.

The rise of open technology and mobile connectivity has made information even more accessible across the globe. This year, as Wikipedia celebrates its 20th birthday, there is no clearer example of the power of open knowledge for all than the free encyclopedia that has become one of the most visited websites in the world. For many of us, Wikipedia is our first stop when we want to learn about the world. It is often a top search result when you look for information, and it drives the responses you hear when you ask your voice assistant a question.

Wikipedia is only as powerful as the people who participate.

As I write this piece, Wikipedia has over 55 million articles in 300 languages – created by a global network of hundreds of thousands of volunteers. English Wikipedia, our first and largest language Wikipedia, recently recorded its billionth edit. Last year, as countries around the world went on lockdown in March and April, we saw week after week of record-breaking numbers of people visiting Wikipedia to learn more about COVID-19 in 188 languages. In August, Senator Kamala Harris's Wikipedia biography was viewed nearly 8.6 million times in the 48 hours after she was announced as a candidate for vice president of the United States. All of this content is driven by the work of volunteer contributors around the world, who give their time and their expertise to share knowledge with the world. Amazing.

But Wikipedia is only as powerful as the people who participate. It's not just about the knowledge recorded on Wikipedia's pages, but about who writes it. To paraphrase from my favorite musical, who tells your story matters.

When the information on Wikipedia does not represent the full diversity of our knowledge, when the contributors to Wikipedia do not reflect the world that we live in, we all miss out.

By design, we have limited demographic information about who edits Wikipedia, because we take the privacy of our readers and contributors very seriously. However, our research does show that most editors to Wikipedia come from the United States and Western Europe. And, as of 2020, our survey data indicate that fewer than 1% of Wikipedia's editor base in the U.S. identify as Black or African American. Considering these data, we can say with certainty that we are missing important perspectives from the world that Wikipedia strives to serve.

When the information on Wikipedia does not represent the full diversity of our knowledge, when the contributors to Wikipedia do not reflect the world that we live in, we all miss out.

The gaps on Wikipedia also highlight a larger issue across the information ecosystem. After all, Wikipedia is a tertiary source, powered by other reliable sources. If major media outlets aren't giving equal coverage to topics such as women in STEM, or to milestones in Black history, for example, then there will be no Wikipedia article on those topics, because there will be no citations to build from.

I believe this challenge is also an opportunity, particularly as we see increasing awareness about the disparity in diverse voices across our society. This is a chance to drive real, sustainable change.

The technology we build needs to be founded on values of participation and access for all.

We can do this by building intentional practices of openness and equity into our work. As platforms and organizations, we need to make sure that we are not upholding unequal structures of power. The technology we build needs to be founded on values of participation and access for all.

Within the Wikimedia movement, we are focused on knowledge equity – the just and equal representation of knowledge and people – as part of our work to decide the future of our movement. Knowledge equity means that we will work to address historical gaps and provide support to our communities to create a more thriving movement, one that is a better reflection of our world.

For equity to matter, it needs to be more than a declaration – it needs to be a measurement.

As the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia and 12 other free knowledge projects, we've also started adding equity measurements to our work. When our different departments report out on their OKRs – their objectives and key results, which is how we track the work we do – we are evaluating equity in our products, the experiences we're creating, the organizations we choose to partner with, and the stories we tell. For equity to matter, it needs to be more than a declaration – it needs to be a measurement.

I am passionate about changing the stories we hear, about creating a future where the stories we share are more representative of the world we live in. After all, Black history is an essential facet of our collective history. This is the promise of Wikipedia, but we're not there yet.

Black history is an essential facet of our collective history. This is the promise of Wikipedia, but we're not there yet.

I invite you all to join us, to contribute your knowledge to Wikipedia to build our global history, together. Follow us on social media all month to learn about important milestones in Black history and heroes that celebrate the Black experience. Share your own ideas using #WikiBlackHistory. Or join an edit-a-thon this month to contribute your knowledge to Wikipedia. But please don't stop there. Stay in touch: follow me on Twitter at @janeenuzzell, and let's continue to expand the content on Wikipedia. Who tells your story matters. It's time for us to tell ours.

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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.

"WikiFlash: Generating Flashcards from Wikipedia Articles"

Reviewed by Tilman Bayer

Flashcards are a popular method for memorizing information. A paper[1] by six Zurich-based researchers, presented earlier this month at the annual AAAI conference, describes a tool to automatically extract flashcards from Wikipedia articles, aiming "to make independent education more attractive to a broader audience."

A proof-of-concept version is available online, with results available for export in a format that can be used with the popular flashcard software Anki. User can choose from four different variants based on either the entire Wikipedia article or just its introductory section.

The researchers emphasize that "generating meaningful flashcards from an arbitrary piece of text is not a trivial problem" (also concerning the computational effort), and that there is currently no single model that can do this. They separate the task into four stages, each making use of existing NLP techniques:

  • summarization, to first extract the most relevant information from Wikipedia (the user can also choose to have this step skipped and instead generate flashcards based on the full text)
  • answer identification, where a model extracts answer statements from a given sentence based on context information from the surrounding paragraph
  • question generation, where a model constructs a question from the statement generated in the previous step, again taking context information from the surrounding paragraph into account
  • To improve quality, these are followed by a final filtering step, where a question-answering model tries to reconstruct the answer based on the paragraph from which the question was extracted, and the generated flashcard is discarded if the reconstructed answer does not overlap enough with the pre-generated answer.

Apart from evaluating the results using quantitative text measures, the researchers also conducted a user study to compare the output of their tool to human-generated flashcards from two topic areas, geography and history, rated by helpfulness, comprehensibility and perceived correctness. The "results show that in the case of geography there is no statistically meaningful difference between human-created and our cards for either of the three aspects. For history, the difference for helpfulness and comprehensibility is statistically significant (p < 0.01), with human cards being marginally better than our cards. Neither category revealed a statistically significant difference in perceived correctness." (However, the sample was rather small, with 50 Mechanical Turk users split into two groups for geography and history.)

A quick test of the tool with the article Wikipedia (introduction only) yielded the following result (text reproduced without changes):

Question: What does Wikipedia use to maintain it's [sic] content?

wiki-based editing system

Question: In 2021, where was Wikipedia ranked?


Question: What language was Wikipedia initially available in?


Question: How many articles are in English version of Wikipedia [sic] as of February 2021?

6.3 million

Question: Who hosts Wikipedia?

Wikimedia Foundation

Question: Whose vision did Time magazine believe made Wikipedia the best encyclopedia in the world?

Jimmy Wales

Question: What is a systemic bias on Wikipedia?

gender bias

Question: What did Wikipedia receive praise for in the 2010s?

unique structure, culture, and absence of commercial bias

Question: What two social media sites announced in 2018 that they would help users detect fake news by suggesting links to related Wikipedia articles?

Facebook and YouTube


Other recent publications

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

Compiled by Tilman Bayer and Miriam Redi

Wikipedia's "sophisticated democracy" resists the "implicit feudalism" of online communities

A paper in New Media & Society[2] argues that

"[...] an 'implicit feudalism' informs the available options for community management on the dominant platforms for online communities. It is a pattern that grants user-administrators absolutist reign over their fiefdoms, with competition among them as the primary mechanism for quality control, typically under rules set by platform companies.

[...] the online encyclopedia Wikipedia operates through a sophisticated democracy among active volunteers. Wikipedia also possesses a widely acknowledged benevolent dictator in the person of founder Jimmy Wales [...] Implicit feudalism has reigned over the dominant platforms for online communities so far, from the early BBSes to AI-enabled Facebook Groups. Peer-production practices surrounding free/open-source software and Wikipedia also exhibit it.

[....] The feudal pattern has by and large been written into the default behaviors of online-community platforms. Exceptions like Wikipedia and Debian have required considerable, intentional effort to counteract the implicit feudalism of their tools’ defaults."

"Most scientific articles cited by Wikipedia articles are uncited or untested by subsequent studies"

From the abstract:[3]

"Using a novel technique, a massive database of qualitatively described citations, and machine learning algorithms, we analyzed 1 923 575 Wikipedia articles which cited a total of 824 298 scientific articles in our database and found that most scientific articles cited by Wikipedia articles are uncited or untested by subsequent studies, and the remainder show a wide variability in contradicting or supporting evidence. Additionally, we analyzed 51 804 643 scientific articles from journals indexed in the Web of Science and found that similarly most were uncited or untested by subsequent studies, while the remainder show a wide variability in contradicting or supporting evidence."

"HopRetriever: Retrieve Hops over Wikipedia to Answer Complex Questions"

From the abstract:[4]

"Collecting supporting evidence from large corpora of text (e.g., Wikipedia) is of great challenge for open-domain Question Answering (QA). Especially, for multi-hop open-domain QA, scattered evidence pieces are required to be gathered together to support the answer extraction. In this paper, we propose a new retrieval target, hop, to collect the hidden reasoning evidence from Wikipedia for complex question answering. Specifically, the hop in this paper is defined as the combination of a hyperlink and the corresponding outbound link document."

(See also the above review of the "WikiFlash" paper presented at the same conference)

"Structured Knowledge: Have we made progress? An extrinsic study of KB [knowledge base] coverage over 19 years"

From the abstract:[5]

"... we employ question answering and entity summarization as extrinsic use cases for a longitudinal study of the progress of KB coverage. Our analysis shows a near-continuous improvement of two popular KBs, DBpedia and Wikidata, over the last 19 years, with little signs of flattening out or leveling off."

See also the video recording of a talk by the authors at Wikidata Workshop 2020.

"A Review of Public Datasets in Question Answering Research"

Presented at the ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) forum last December, this paper[6] found that the majority of Question Answering (QA) datasets are based on Wikipedia data.

Wikipedia has "become more popular in research on knowledge representation and natural language processing" in recent years

From the "Evaluation" section of an AAAI'21 paper titled "Identifying Used Methods and Datasets in Scientific Publications":[7]

"Figure 4c shows the absolute amount of publications for the top four extracted datasets. [...] Another trend is visible for Wikipedia, which has become popular in research on knowledge representation and natural language processing."

"SF-QA: Simple and Fair Evaluation Library for Open-domain Question Answering"

The contributions of this paper[8] include

"a hub of pre-indexed Wikipedia [dumps, of the English and Chinese language versions] at different years with different ranking algorithms as public APIs or cached results". The authors note that "Opendomain QA datasets are collected at different time, making [them depend] on different versions of Wikipedia as the correct knowledge source. [...] Our experiments found that a system’s performance can vary greatly when using the wrong version of Wikipedia. Moreover, indexing the entire Wikipedia with neural methods is expensive, so it is hard for researchers to utilize others’ new rankers in their future research."

"The Truth is Out There: Investigating Conspiracy Theories in Text Generation"

This preprint[9] includes a dataset consisting of 17 conspiracy theory topics from Wikipedia (including e.g. the articles Death of Marilyn Monroe, Men in black, Sandy Hook school shooting) and comes with a content warning ("Note: This paper contains examples of potentially offensive conspiracy theory text").

"Spontaneous versus interaction-driven burstiness in human dynamics: The case of Wikipedia edit history"

From the abstract:[10]

"[We analyze] the Wikipedia edit history to see how spontaneous individual editors are in initiating bursty periods of editing, i.e., spontaneous burstiness, and to what extent individual behaviors are driven by interaction with other editors in those periods, i.e., interaction-driven burstiness. We quantify the degree of initiative (DOI) of an editor of interest in each Wikipedia article by using the statistics of bursty periods containing the editor's edits. The integrated value of the DOI over all relevant timescales reveals which is dominant between spontaneous and interaction-driven burstiness. We empirically find that this value tends to be larger for weaker temporal correlations in the editor's editing behavior and/or stronger editorial correlations. These empirical findings are successfully confirmed by deriving an analytic form of the DOI from a model capturing the essential features of the edit sequence."

(See also our earlier coverage of research on editors' burstiness)


  1. ^ Yuang Cheng, Yue Ding, Damian Pascual, Oliver Richter, Martin Volk and Roger Wattenhofer: WikiFlash: Generating Flashcards from Wikipedia Articles. AAAI 2021 Workshop on AI Education, at the 35th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, February 9, 2021. Poster, presentation video, online prototype
  2. ^ Schneider, Nathan (2021-01-07). "Admins, mods, and benevolent dictators for life: The implicit feudalism of online communities". New Media & Society: 1461444820986553. doi:10.1177/1461444820986553. ISSN 1461-4448. closed access Preprint
  3. ^ Nicholson, Joshua M.; Uppala, Ashish; Sieber, Matthias; Grabitz, Peter; Mordaunt, Milo; Rife, Sean C. (2020-10-20). "Measuring the quality of scientific references in Wikipedia: an analysis of more than 115M citations to over 800 000 scientific articles". The FEBS Journal. doi:10.1111/febs.15608. ISSN 1742-4658. closed access
  4. ^ Li, Shaobo; Li, Xiaoguang; Shang, Lifeng; Jiang, Xin; Liu, Qun; Sun, Chengjie; Ji, Zhenzhou; Liu, Bingquan (2020-12-31). "HopRetriever: Retrieve Hops over Wikipedia to Answer Complex Questions". arXiv:2012.15534 [cs]. (Accepted at AAAI 2021)
  5. ^ Razniewski, Simon; Das, Priyanka (2020-10-19). "Structured Knowledge: Have we made progress? An extrinsic study of KB coverage over 19 years". Proceedings of the 29th ACM International Conference on Information & Knowledge Management. CIKM '20. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 3317–3320. doi:10.1145/3340531.3417447. ISBN 9781450368599. closed access Author's copy
  6. ^ B. Barla Cambazoglu, Mark Sanderson, Falk Scholer, Bruce Croft: A Review of Public Datasets in Question Answering Research. SIGIR Forum, December 2020, Volume 54 Number 2
  7. ^ Michael Färber, Alexander Albers, Felix Schüber: "Identifying Used Methods and Datasets in Scientific Publications". In Proceedings of the AAAI-21 Workshop on Scientific Document Understanding (SDU'21)@AAAI'21, Virtual Event, 2021
  8. ^ Lu, Xiaopeng; Lee, Kyusong; Zhao, Tiancheng (2021-01-06). "SF-QA: Simple and Fair Evaluation Library for Open-domain Question Answering" (PDF). arXiv:2101.01910 [cs]. Data and code
  9. ^ Levy, Sharon; Saxon, Michael; Wang, William Yang (2021-01-02). "The Truth is Out There: Investigating Conspiracy Theories in Text Generation". arXiv:2101.00379 [cs].
  10. ^ Choi, Jeehye; Hiraoka, Takayuki; Jo, Hang-Hyun (2020-11-03). "Spontaneous versus interaction-driven burstiness in human dynamics: The case of Wikipedia edit history". arXiv:2011.01562 [physics].

Reader comments

Vernon E. Jordan working on a voter education project.jpg
Vernon E. Jordan is the subject of one of the new featured pictures in this rather truncated Featured Content Report.

This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted from 1 January through 9 January. Quotes are generally from the articles, but may be abridged or simplified for length.

I do feel my attempts to have relevant titles related to monthly holidays is getting increasingly desperate, but, well, here we are. It's either that or we go with the list off a few random things featured in the list, which seems fine on occasion, but does get a bit repetitive if done every month. And I struggle enough to avoid getting my biases into this when it's just down to which articles get images - for the record, the rule is: if it has a good-quality, freely-licensed image, directly relevant to the article (so no sister ships of the same design, no stadiums where a game took place on a different day, and so on), it goes in if at all possible. I then rearrange the lists to try to hve enough text between each image that they don't start pushing down the one below them, with taller images (as they take up more vertical space) ideally getting cut first if there's too many. Still means that "good quality image" might have some bias, but it's about as fair as I can manage. I don't love the idea of having to choose which articles and images to highlight as well, which puts in all sorts of extra bias.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying any of the articles are bad or anything. But Wikipedia isn't a group that came together to share interests I selected, we came to try to cover the sum of human knowledge. The things that interest me most aren't going to be the things that interest you most, and I'm writing for you, dear reader, not for me.

This one is, unfortunately, quite short, because your Signpost writer is dealing with quite a few personal issues connected to his country locking down yet again. Maybe we should just cancel 2021. The last time I remember being unambiguously happy was back in February 2020, when I went to the Kirkcaldy Gilbert and Sullivan Society brilliant performance of The Gondoliers which, although I didn't know it at the time, would be the last live theatre I'd get to go to before everything shut down, cancelling a whole host of plans. The theatres shut down so abruptly that the Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society had brought in the sets and begun the tech rehearsals for Patience on stage, which would have had a performance had the theatres stayed open one more day.Edinburgh is a major theatre town - it hosts the Edinburgh Festival, has at least eight major theatres, and a lot more if you're willing to travel half an hour by train, and it's felt like the city's been dead for some time now.


Featured articles

Eleven featured articles were promoted this period.

Four bishops and five young men kneeling before a man who sits on a throne.
1265, Rome: Charles I of Anjou is installed as King of Sicily.
Charles I of Anjou, nominated by Borsoka
Charles I (early 1226/1227 – 7 January 1285), commonly called Charles of Anjou, was a member of the royal Capetian dynasty and the founder of the second House of Anjou. He was Count of Provence (1246–85) and Forcalquier (1246–48, 1256–85) in the Holy Roman Empire, Count of Anjou and Maine (1246–85) in France; he was also King of Sicily (1266–85) and Prince of Achaea (1278–85). In 1272, he was proclaimed King of Albania; and in 1277 he purchased a claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
The youngest son of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile, Charles was destined for a Church career until the early 1240s. He acquired Provence and Forcalquier through his marriage to their heiress, Beatrice. His attempts to restore central authority brought him into conflict with his mother-in-law, Beatrice of Savoy, and the nobility. Charles received Anjou and Maine from his brother, Louis IX of France, in appanage. He accompanied Louis during the Seventh Crusade to Egypt. Shortly after he returned to Provence in 1250, Charles forced three wealthy autonomous cities—Marseilles, Arles and Avignon—to acknowledge his suzerainty.
Charles forced the rebellious Provençal nobles and towns into submission and expanded his suzerainty over a dozen towns and lordships in the Kingdom of Arles. In 1263, after years of negotiations, he accepted the offer of the Holy See to seize the Kingdom of Sicily from the Hohenstaufens. This kingdom included, in addition to the island of Sicily, southern Italy to well north of Naples and was known as the Regno.
Charles was crowned king in Rome on 5 January 1266. He annihilated Manfred's army and occupied the Regno almost without resistance. In 1270 he took part in the Eighth Crusade organized by Louis IX, and forced the Hafsid Caliph of Tunis to pay a yearly tribute to him. Charles' victories secured his undisputed leadership among the Papacy's Italian partisans (known as Guelphs), but his influence on papal elections and his strong military presence in Italy disturbed the popes. They tried to channel his ambitions towards other territories and assisted him in acquiring claims to Achaea, Jerusalem and Arles through treaties. In 1281 Pope Martin IV authorised Charles to launch a crusade against the Byzantine Empire. Charles' ships were gathering at Messina, ready to begin the campaign when a riot—known as the Sicilian Vespers—broke out on 30 March 1282 which put an end to Charles' rule on the island of Sicily. He was able to defend the mainland territories (or the Kingdom of Naples) with the support of France and the Holy See. Charles died while making preparations for an invasion of Sicily.
1920–21 Cardiff City F.C. season, nominated by Kosack
The 1920–21 season was the 20th year of competitive football played by Cardiff City F.C. and the team's first in the Football League. In a ballot by members of their new league, Cardiff were voted into the Second Division and won their first match 5–2 against Stockport County. Cardiff finished the season tied on points with first-placed Birmingham, with 58 of a possible 84 points. The winner was therefore decided via goal average, with Cardiff placing second by a margin of 0.235. The two sides were both promoted to the First Division.
Cardiff also reached the semi-final of the FA Cup, becoming the first Welsh side to do so and keeping six consecutive clean sheets in the process. The team caused two upsets by defeating First Division sides Sunderland and Chelsea in the first and fourth rounds respectively. They were eliminated from the competition by fellow Second Division side Wolverhampton Wanderers, losing 3–1 in a replay at Old Trafford. In the Welsh Cup, Cardiff were the holders entering the competition but were eliminated in the third round by Pontypridd after a fixture clash with a league match against Bristol City forced them to field a reserve side.
Frances Gertrude McGill, nominated by Alanna the Brave
Frances Gertrude McGill (November 18, 1882 – January 21, 1959) was a Canadian forensic pathologist, criminologist, bacteriologist, allergologist and allergist. Nicknamed "the Sherlock Holmes of Saskatchewan" for her deductive skills and public fame, McGill influenced the development of forensic pathology in Canadian police work and was internationally noted for her expertise in the subject.
After completing her medical degree at the University of Manitoba in 1915, McGill moved to Saskatchewan, where she was hired first as the provincial bacteriologist and then as the provincial pathologist. She worked extensively with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and local police forces for more than thirty years, and was instrumental in establishing the first RCMP forensic laboratory. She directed the RCMP laboratory for three years, and trained new RCMP recruits in forensic detection methods. After retiring in 1946, McGill was appointed Honorary Surgeon for the RCMP by the Canadian Minister of Justice, becoming one of the first official female members of the force, and she continued to act as a consultant to the RCMP until her death in 1959.
Alongside her pathological work, McGill operated a private medical practice for the diagnosis and treatment of allergies. She was acknowledged as a specialist in allergy testing, and doctors across Saskatchewan referred patients to her care.
Printed copy of "O Captain! My Captain!" with revision notes by Whitman, 1888
"O Captain! My Captain!", nominated by Eddie891
"O Captain! My Captain!" is an extended metaphor poem written by Walt Whitman in 1865 about the death of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Immediately successful, the poem was Whitman's first to be anthologized and the most popular during his lifetime. Together with "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd", "Hush'd Be the Camps To-day", and "This Dust was Once the Man", it is one of four poems written by Whitman about the death of Lincoln. During the American Civil War, Whitman moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the government and volunteered at hospitals. Although he never met Lincoln, Whitman felt a connection to him and was greatly moved by Lincoln's assassination. "My Captain" was first published in The Saturday Press on November 4, 1865, and appeared in Sequel to Drum-Taps later that year. He later included it in the collection Leaves of Grass and recited the poem at several lectures on Lincoln's death.
Stylistically, the poem is uncharacteristic of Whitman's poetry because of its rhyming, song-like flow, and simple "ship of state" metaphor. These elements likely contributed to the poem's initial positive reception and popularity, with many celebrating it as one of the greatest American works of poetry. Critical opinion has shifted since the mid-20th century, with scholars deriding its conventionality and unoriginality. In popular culture, the poem experienced renewed attention after it was featured in Dead Poets Society (1989), and is frequently associated with Robin Williams.
Podokesaurus, nominated by FunkMonk
Podokesaurus is a genus of coelophysoid dinosaur that lived in what is now the eastern United States during the Early Jurassic Period. The first fossil was discovered by the geologist Mignon Talbot near Mount Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 1910. The specimen was fragmentary, preserving much of the body, limbs, and tail. In 1911, Talbot described and named the new genus and species Podokesaurus holyokensis based on it. The full name can be translated as "swift-footed lizard of Holyoke". This discovery made Talbot the first woman to find and describe a dinosaur. The holotype fossil was recognised as significant and was studied by other researchers, but was lost when the building it was kept in burned down in 1917; no unequivocal Podokesaurus specimens have since been discovered.
Estimated to have been about 1 m (3 ft) in length and 1–40 kg (2–90 lb) in weight, Podokesaurus was lightly constructed with hollow bones, and would have been similar to Coelophysis, being slender, long-necked, and with sharp, recurved teeth. Since it was one of few small theropods known at the time it was described, the affinities of Podokesaurus were long unclear. It was placed in the family Podokesauridae along with other small theropods, and was speculated to have been similar to a proto-bird. It was suggested it was a synonym of Coelophysis and a natural cast specimen was assigned to it, but these ideas are not currently accepted. The family Podokesauridae is not in use anymore, having been replaced by Coelophysidae, and Podokesaurus is thought to have been a coelophysoid. As such, Podokesaurus would have been a fleet-footed predator, with powerful forelimbs and grasping hands. It is estimated it could have run at 15–20 km/h (9–12 mph). Podokesaurus is thought to have been collected from the Portland Formation, the age of which has long been unclear, but is currently believed to date to the Hettangian-Sinemurian stages of the Early Jurassic, between 201 and 190 million years ago.
Male smooth newt during its land phase
Smooth newt, nominated by Tylototriton
The smooth newt, northern smooth newt or common newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) is a species of newt. It is widespread in much of Eurasia, from the British Isles to Siberia and northern Kazakhstan, and introduced to Australia. Individuals are brown with an orange to white, spotted underside and reach a length of 8–11 cm (3.1–4.3 in), with males being larger than females. The skin is dry and velvety while the newts live on land but becomes smooth when they migrate into water for breeding. Breeding males develop a more vivid colour pattern and a conspicuous skin seam (crest) on their back.
Smooth newts live on land for most of the year, where they are mostly nocturnal and hide during the day. They can adapt to a wide range of natural or semi-natural habitats, from forests over field edges to parks and gardens. The newts feed mainly on various invertebrates such as insects or earthworms and are themselves eaten by predators such as fish, birds or snakes. Between spring and summer, they breed in ponds or similar water bodies. Males court females with a ritualised underwater display. Females then lay their eggs on water plants, and larvae hatch after 10 to 20 days. They develop over around three months before metamorphosing into terrestrial juveniles (efts). Maturity is reached after two to three years, and adults can reach an age of up to 14 years.
The smooth newt is common over much of its range and classified as Least Concern species by the IUCN. It is however negatively affected by habitat destruction and fragmentation and the introduction of fish. Like other European amphibians, it is listed in the Berne Convention as a protected species.
SMS Gneisenau, nominated by Parsecboy
SMS Gneisenau was an armored cruiser of the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy), part of the two-ship Scharnhorst class. Named for the earlier screw corvette of the same name, the ship was laid down in June 1904 at the AG Weser shipyard in Bremen, launched in June 1906, and commissioned in March 1908. She was armed with a main battery of eight 21 cm (8.3 in) guns, a significant increase in firepower over earlier German armored cruisers, and she had a top speed of 22.5 knots (42 km/h; 26 mph). Gneisenau initially served with the German fleet in I Scouting Group, though her service there was limited owing to the British development of the battlecruiser by 1909, which the less powerful armored cruisers could not effectively combat.
Accordingly, Gneisenau was assigned to the German East Asia Squadron, where she joined her sister ship Scharnhorst. The two cruisers formed the core of the squadron, which included several light cruisers. Over the next four years, Gneisenau patrolled Germany's colonial possessions in Asia and the Pacific Ocean. She also toured foreign ports to show the flag and monitored events in China during the Xinhai Revolution in 1911. Following the outbreak of World War I in July 1914, the East Asia Squadron, under the command of Vice Admiral Maximilian von Spee, crossed the Pacific to the western coast of South America, stopping for Gneisenau and Scharnhorst to attack French Polynesia in the Bombardment of Papeete in September.
After arriving off the coast of Chile, the East Asia Squadron encountered and defeated a British squadron at the Battle of Coronel; during the action, Gneisenau disabled the British armored cruiser HMS Monmouth, which was then sunk by the German light cruiser Nürnberg. The defeat prompted the British Admiralty to detach two battlecruisers to hunt down and destroy Spee's squadron, which they accomplished at the Battle of the Falkland Islands on 8 December 1914. Gneisenau was sunk with heavy loss of life, though 187 of her crew were rescued by the British.
Photograph of an Alabama woman's poll tax receipt
Poll Tax receipt for Rosa Boyles of Jefferson County, Alabama, October 22, 1920
Women's poll tax repeal movement, nominated by SusunW
The women's poll tax repeal movement was a movement in the United States predominantly led by women that attempted to secure the abolition of poll tax as a prerequisite for voting in the Southern states. The movement began shortly after the ratification in 1920 of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted suffrage to women. Before obtaining the right to vote, women were not obliged to pay the tax, but shortly after the Nineteenth Amendment became law, Southern states began examining how poll tax statutes could be applied to women. For example, North and South Carolina exempted women from payment of the tax, while Georgia did not require women to pay it unless they registered to vote. In other Southern states, the tax was due cumulatively for each year someone had been eligible to vote.
Payment of the tax was difficult for blacks, Hispanics, and women, primarily because their incomes were much lower than those of white men. For women, coverture prevented them from controlling their own assets. Recognizing that payment of the tax as a prerequisite to voting could lead to their disenfranchisement, women began organizing themselves in the 1920s to repeal the poll tax laws, but the movement did not gain much traction until the Great Depression in the 1930s. Both black and white women pressed at state and national levels for legislative action to abolish laws that required paying to vote. In addition, women filed a series of lawsuits to try to effect change. By the 1950s, the intersection of sexist and racist customs and law was apparent to those fighting the poll tax. This created collaborations between activists involved in the poll tax movement and those active in the broader civil rights movement.
Louisiana abandoned its poll tax law in 1932, and the number of women voters increased by 77 percent. Women's activism helped bring about the repeal of poll tax legislation in Florida in 1937, in Georgia in 1945, in Tennessee in 1953, and in Arkansas in 1964. That year, the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed, prohibiting poll taxes as a barrier to voting in federal elections. Passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 gave federal authority to the Department of Justice to institute lawsuits against the four states that still used poll tax to disenfranchise voters in state elections. The Supreme Court finally settled the four-decades-long struggle, abolishing the requirement to pay poll tax to be able to vote in any election, federal or state, in their ruling on Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections in 1966.
"Blindfold Me", nominated by Aoba47
"Blindfold Me" is a hip hop song by American singer Kelis from her fourth studio album, Kelis Was Here (2006). It was written and produced by Sean Garrett and Polow da Don. A remix, featuring American rapper Nas, was released as the album's second single in September 2006. Although the Neptunes were long-time collaborators of Kelis, Kelis Was Here was her first album without their involvement as she opted for a more diverse team of record producers, which included Garrett and Polow da Don.
The song's lyrics focus on sex talk. Along with hip hop, music critics associated the track's style with pop rap and club music. Upon its release, "Blindfold Me" received a mixed response. While some critics cited it as a highlight from Kelis Was Here and enjoyed Kelis's sexual personality, others criticized its placement on the album's track listing as resulting in a jarring tonal shift.
Marc Klasfeld directed the song's music video, which features Nas tying up Kelis. Premiering September 6, 2006, the video was shown on an episode of the documentary series Access Granted alongside a behind-the-scenes feature. The song was further promoted with a 12-inch single, released on October 3, 2006. "Blindfold Me" peaked at number 91 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
William Feiner, nominated by Ergo Sum
William Feiner, S.J. (born Wilhelm Feiner; December 27, 1792 – June 9, 1829) was a German Catholic priest and Jesuit who became a missionary to the United States and eventually the president of Georgetown College.
Born in Münster, he taught in Jesuit schools in the Russian Empire and Polish Galicia as a young member of the Society of Jesus. He then emigrated to the United States several years after the restoration of the Society, taking up pastoral work and teaching theology in Conewago, Pennsylvania, before becoming a full-time professor at Georgetown College. There, he also became the second dedicated librarian of Georgetown's library and ministered to the congregation at Holy Trinity Church. Eventually, Feiner became president of the college in 1826.
Despite being the leader of an American university, he never mastered the English language. Long plagued by poor health due to tuberculosis, his short-lived presidency came to an end after three years, just weeks before his death.
Acamptonectes, nominated by FunkMonk, Lythronaxargestes, Slate Weasel, and Jens Lallensack
Acamptonectes is a genus of ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaur, a type of dolphin-like marine reptile that lived during the Early Cretaceous around 130 million years ago. The genus contains the single species Acamptonectes densus; Acamptonectes meaning "rigid swimmer" and densus meaning "compact" or "tightly packed". This refers to unusual adaptations in the body of Acamptonectes that made its trunk rigid, including tightly-fitting bones in the occiput (braincase) and interlocking vertebral centra ("bodies" of the vertebrae), which were likely adaptations that enabled it to swim at high speeds with a tuna-like form of locomotion. Other distinguishing characteristics include an extremely slender snout and unique ridges on the basioccipital bone of the braincase. As an ichthyosaur, Acamptonectes had large eye sockets and a tail fluke. Its teeth, which were slender and textured with longitudinal ridges, were adapted for impaling prey, which suggests it likely fed on soft, fleshy prey such as fish and squid.
The discovery of Acamptonectes had significant implications for the evolutionary history of ichthyosaurs. It was long believed the generalised platypterygiine ophthalmosaurids were the only lineage of ichthyosaurs that survived into the Early Cretaceous following a mass extinction of ichthyosaurs across the JurassicCretaceous boundary. As one of the first-known ophthalmosaurine ophthalmosaurids from the Early Cretaceous, the discovery of Acamptonectes provided evidence against such a mass extinction.

Featured pictures

Ten featured pictures were promoted this period, including the images of two sets.

Featured lists

Five featured lists were promoted this period. This does not include one that was included in last month's issue to complete a set.

The Baker Street robbery was an audacious heist in 1971 which netted the criminals an estimated £3 million (equivalent to £43 million in 2019). They tunnelled into a vault below a Lloyds Bank branch from a shop two doors down the road. It was organised by a syndicate of five people and whilst there were three arrests, only one of the ringleaders was caught.
List of heists in the United Kingdom, nominated by Mujinga
A heist is a theft of cash or valuable objects such as artworks, jewellery or bullion. This can take the form of either a burglary or a robbery, the difference in English and Welsh law being that a robbery uses force (which means that some of the heists commonly known as robberies were actually burglaries). In order to be listed here, each heist which took place in the United Kingdom is required to have taken a total sum of £1 million or more in cash or goods at contemporary rates.
The largest heist was the almost £300 million taken in the City bonds robbery, although both Charles Darwin's notebooks (announced as having been most likely stolen in 2020) and the Portland Tiara (stolen in 2018) have never been valued. The locations of the heists vary. Railway trains were plundered in the Great Gold Robbery and the Great Train Robbery and in 1935 there was a robbery at the Croydon Aerodrome. Exhibition spaces such as the Ashmolean Museum, the Christ Church Picture Gallery, the Harley Gallery, the National Gallery and the Whitworth Art Gallery, and stately homes such as Blenheim Palace, Drumlanrig Castle, Ramsbury Manor and Waddesdon Manor have all suffered losses. Graff jewellery shops in London have been attacked several times, alongside other shops in Bond Street and Hatton Garden. Banks, secure warehouses and vaults were targeted in the cases of the Brink's-Mat robbery, the Hatton Garden safe deposit burglary, the Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery, the Northern Bank Robbery and the Securitas depot robbery. Regarding artworks, the Portrait of Jacob de Gheyn III by Rembrandt has been stolen a total of four times. Other paintings subject to theft include works by Cézanne, Goya and Henry Moore. The perpetrators range from individuals such as Kempton Bunton to syndicates like the Pink Panthers.
Taylor Swift singles discography, nominated by
American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has released 58 singles as lead artist, five singles as a featured artist, 14 promotional singles, and various charted non-single songs. She had sold over 150 million singles worldwide by December 2016. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recognized Swift as the best-selling female artist (and second overall) in terms of digital singles sales, with 134 million certified units based on sales and on-demand streaming as of November 2020. Her UK singles sales as of August 2019 stood at 17 million. She has amassed 128 chart entries on the US Billboard Hot 100—the most entries for a female artist—including seven number ones and 29 top tens.
Malbork Castle was built by the Teutonic Knights, a German Roman Catholic religious order of crusaders, after the seat of the Grand Master was moved to Malbork from Venice in 1309. The castle is a classic example of a medieval castle in Brick Gothic style. It was damaged during World War II but later carefully restored. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Poland.
List of World Heritage Sites in Poland, nominated by Tone
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972. Poland accepted the convention on 29 June 1976, making its historical sites eligible for inclusion on the list.
As of 2020, there are 16 World Heritages Sites in Poland, 15 of which are cultural, and one, the Białowieża Forest, is a natural site. The first two sites were inscribed on the World Heritage List were Wieliczka Salt Mine and Historic Centre of Kraków, in 1978. The most recent addition to the list is the Krzemionki Prehistoric Striped Flint Mining Region, listed in 2019. Three of the sites are transnational. The Białowieża Forest is shared with Belarus, the Wooden Tserkvas of Carpathian Region with Ukraine, and the Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski with Germany. In addition, there are six sites on the tentative list.
List of World Heritage Sites in Switzerland, nominated by Tone
As of 2020, there are twelve properties in Switzerland inscribed on the World Heritage List, nine of which are cultural sites and three are natural sites. The first three sites were added to the list in 1983: Old City of Berne, Abbey of Saint Gall, and Benedictine Abbey of St. John at Müstair. The most recent addition was the The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, in 2016. Four sites are shared with other countries. The Rhaetian Railway and Monte San Giorgio are shared with Italy, Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps with five countries, and The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier with six countries. There are also two sites on the tentative list.
List of pinnipeds, nominated by PresN
Pinnipedia is an infraorder of mammals in the order Carnivora, composed of seals, sea lions, and the walrus. A member of this group is called a pinniped or a seal. They are widespread throughout the ocean and some larger lakes, primarily in colder waters. Pinnipeds range in size from the 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) and 50 kg (110 lb) Baikal seal to the 6 m (20 ft) and 3,700 kg (8,200 lb) male southern elephant seal, which is also the largest member of Carnivora. Several species exhibit sexual dimorphism, such as the southern elephant seal, where the males can be more than three times as long and six times as massive as the females, or the Ross seal, which has females typically larger than the males. Four seal species are estimated to have over one million members, while seven are classified as endangered with population counts as low as 300, and two, the Caribbean monk seal and the Japanese sea lion, went extinct in the 20th century.
The 34 extant species of Pinnipedia are split into 22 genera within 3 families: Odobenidae, comprising the walrus; Otariidae, the eared seals, split between the sea lions and fur seals; and Phocidae, the earless or true seals. Odobenidae and Otariidae are combined into the superfamily Otarioidea, with Phocidae in Phocoidea. Extinct species have also been placed into the three extant families, as well as the extinct family Desmatophocidae, though most extinct species have not been categorized into a subfamily. Nearly one hundred extinct Pinnipedia species have been discovered, though due to ongoing research and discoveries the exact number and categorization is not fixed.
Pinniped collage.jpg
Five pinniped species, clockwise from top left: New Zealand fur seal (Arctocephalus forsteri), southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina), Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), walrus (Odobenus rosmarus), and grey seal (Halichoerus grypus). Apparently, herpestids are finally out of fashion in the featured content report, and pinnipeds are "in".

Reader comments

This traffic report is adapted from the Top 25 Report, prepared with commentary by Igordebraga, Benmite, Mcrsftdog, and TheConflux.

January 2021 almost felt like the 13th month of 2020, and February is slowly trying to convey some change - the so-called "new normal" can't go away any time sooner, as we just want our lives back to when we didn't know what "COVID" meant. In any case, there was death, streaming shows and movies, political turmoil, band breakups, and a Super Bowl not played on Groundhog Day but still having a repeated result.

Hangin' on here until I'm gone (January 31 to February 6)

Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (January 31 to February 6, 2021).png
Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (January 31 to February 6, 2021)
Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 Dustin Diamond C-Class article 2,122,339 Dustin Diamond 2012.jpg After becoming the target of a death hoax back in October of last year, Screech from Saved by the Bell actually died this week at just 44 years old due to lung cancer. Although his legacy as an actor mostly started and ended with Screech (unless you happen to one of the very few fans of Alumnus Guy #1 or Man in Outhouse), he earned a different reputation for his various mishaps over the years, such as filing for bankruptcy and getting arrested for pulling out a switchblade in a bar.
2 Royal Rumble (2021) C-Class article 1,819,392 Bianca Belair in February 2020.jpg WWE continues to host events without an audience, with Bianca Belair (pictured) and Edge winning the main cards.
3 Christopher Plummer B-Class article 1,669,358 Flickr - csztova - Christopher Plummer - TIFF 09' (cropped).jpg A Canadian actor who was more than deserving of the top spot on this list and was the oldest person to win an Oscar, Plummer starred in all sorts of hit films, from The Sound of Music to Knives Out. Given he died so late in the week, his viewcount was too low to surpass that of Royal Rumble.
4 Marjorie Taylor Greene C-Class article 1,353,813 Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14).jpg US Representative known for her support of QAnon and other conspiracy theories, including one in which the California wildfires were caused by "Jewish space lasers". She was recently stripped of her committee roles in Congress by all Democrats and eleven Republicans. This is unrelated, but whenever her name is shortened in the media to "MTG," I can't stop interpreting it as Magic: The Gathering.
5 WandaVision C-Class article 1,286,940 Elizabeth Olsen & Paul Bettany (48469156027).jpg The first Marvel Cinematic Universe show on Disney+ continues to surprise viewers, this time with a very unexpected cameo.
6 Marilyn Manson B-Class article 1,156,506 Marilyn Manson - Rock am Ring 2015-8733.jpg One of the most infamous shock rockers saw his reputation fall apart after various women came out with sexual abuse stories following a social media statement by his ex-fiancé Evan Rachel Wood that he abused and groomed her, leading to him being dropped by his label, his agent, and two shows.
7 Captain Tom B-Class article 1,069,212 Tom Moore Foot Painting MNT 0057 (cropped).jpg Few centenarians do as much for the world before they leave as this British Army veteran, who last year started raising money for charity and inspired the recording of a #1 hit and Queen Elizabeth to knight him, among other things. Captain Sir Thomas Moore passed away two months before he would turn 101.
8 The Dig (2021 film) Start-Class article 965,743 SHIP MED.jpg While many would be frustrated that this is not based on the 1995 LucasArts adventure game, this Netflix adaptation of a book retelling about an archeological excavation in Sutton Hoo prior to World War II is certainly a good story, but one that brought plenty of people to Wikipedia to check how things actually went.
9 Sutton Hoo B-Class article 965,046
10 Deaths in 2021 List-Class article 942,957 Graffiti a la volta del Rossinyol.JPG As #6 sung when we thought he was just weird:
Sampled and soulless, worldwide and real webbed
You sell all the living for more safer dead

Sports Go Sports (February 7 to 13)

Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (February 7 to 13, 2021).png
Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (February 7 to 13, 2021)
Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 Tom Brady B-Class article 3,976,246 Bucs WFT 229 (50833181867).jpg We can now make a correction to that infamous quote: "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and Tom Brady's team winning at the Super Bowl."

Tom Brady, who, with the Buccaneers (#15), won Super Bowl LV (#5), has now been a part of the winning team at the Super Bowl seven times. That's more years than most players will ever even make it to the Super Bowl. That's more years than some people even spend in the NFL at all. Tom Brady winning at the Super Bowl has become an American tradition. Hundreds of millions of people have been born and hundreds of millions have died in between Tom Brady's first win and this last one. If Tom Brady winning was a child, it would only be a year older than his daughter. Maybe Tom Brady will never stop winning the Super Bowl until he's dead...But what if Tom Brady never dies? What if he just keeps winning and winning? Is the way the world ends? Not with a bang, but with Tom Brady throwing a football?

2 The Weeknd B-Class article 2,192,986 The Weeknd performing at Djakarta Warehouse Project in December 2018 (cropped).jpg The singer (not to be confused with The Wee KND) gave a perfectly okay halftime performance dedicated to Vegas nightlife (his music is dedicated to cocaine, so it makes sense) at the Super Bowl. There were people in red suits and face bandages bumping into each other in a narrow hallway -- hope they got the vaccine! -- people in red suits and face bandages dancing on the field, and The Weeknd in a red suit. Something tells me he's trying to cultivate a specific image, but I can't put my bandage on it. He also paid tribute to The Blair Witch Project by getting entirely too close to the camera.

Also, did they only invite him to perform so that they could say it was a "Super Bowl Weeknd"? I doubt it, but that's not stopping me from pointing out that missed opportunity.

3 Rob Gronkowski B-Class article 1,842,208 Third Photos 146 (50832398013).jpg If you ever want a nickname that doesn't make you sound like a big oaf, maybe avoid using something that sounds like an onomatopoeia used to describe a piano falling on someone's head, like "*GRONK!*". Anyway, Gronk here is the tight end for the Buccaneers, and won the big game.
4 Patrick Mahomes B-Class article 1,520,572 Patrick Mahomes.png He won last year's Super Bowl, and to the chagrin of everyone who wanted anyone but our #1 winning it all, couldn't repeat the feat.
5 Death of Elisa Lam Good article 1,290,053 Cecil Hotel, L.A.jpg I'm starting to think Netflix is going through every brief true crime phase I had in high school to adapt each one into a miniseries. First they did it with Luka Magnotta, and now they've made Crime Scene, a series uncovering the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of this Canadian student. She was found dead in a water tank at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles (#7) completely naked and with few ways to actually get into the tank. To make matters weirder, Lam was seen acting especially erratic in the hotel elevator in a surveillance video that went viral, which you can find in the article itself.
6 WandaVision C-Class article 1,272,590 Scarlet Witch and the Vision.jpg Hopefully those who didn't like the first three episodes for being sendoffs to old sitcoms remained to see how the show is now about a dangerous grieving superpowered women trapping a town in sendoffs to old sitcoms.
7 Cecil Hotel (Los Angeles) Start-Class article 1,166,664 Cecil Hotel, L.A.jpg Ms. Lam wasn't the first person to kick the can at this eerie hotel by a long shot. In fact, so many people died here that that fact alone has its own Wikipedia article.
8 Super Bowl LV C-Class article 1,144,592 Raymond James Stadium One Week Before Super Bowl LV (50899541288) (cropped).jpg This country will never be unified until Tom Brady stops winning Super Bowls!
9 Rajiv Kapoor Stub-Class article 1,135,987 The Kapoor family, so present in Bollywood, lost this member who had just completed his acting return.
10 Gina Carano C-Class article 1,086,939 SDCC 2015 - Brianna Hildebrand, Ed Skrein & Gina Carano (19570414229) (cropped).jpg The former MMA champ and actress got dropped from her role as Cara Dune on the ever-popular Disney+ series The Mandalorian after she made a post on Instagram suggesting that the way Jews were treated during the Holocaust was akin to the way conservatives are being treated in modern-day America. Strange, since the only concentration camps in America that I've heard about as of late were endorsed by those very same conservatives.

This isn't her first brush with controversy, either: she's been openly anti-BLM, has made transphobic remarks, has advocated for not wearing masks, and is a Trump voter fraud truther. I would be pretty bummed about losing such a sweet role, but then again, I'm Jewish and left-wing, so maybe I shouldn't empathize with her for saying something so patently stupid.

Hush, hush, thought I heard her calling my name now (February 14 to 20)

Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (February 14 to 20, 2021).png
Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (February 14 to 20, 2021)
Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 Rush Limbaugh C-Class article 2,235,167 Rush Limbaugh February 2020.jpg Limbaugh, a wildly successful talk radio host and iconoclastic conservative figure, passed away this last Wednesday. Online discourse was divided; some people insisted on not speaking ill of the dead, while others wanted to hold their crab rave and bring up Limbaugh's many misdeeds – including speaking ill of gay people that had died of AIDS.
2 Death of Elisa Lam Good article 1,444,914 Blood stain.png "An irresponsible, bloated mess"; "ghoulish and unsavoury"; "wallowing in pseudo-science and non-science". The reviews for Netflix's new docuseries Crime Scene were quite charitable.

Lam went missing while staying at Los Angeles's Cecil Hotel, a spot which was already infamous for a legacy of homicide and seedy behavior, in February 2013. A security video showed her behaving erratically in an elevator; a month later, she was found dead in the hotel's water tank. This mysterious death is the subject of Crime Scene, released February 10. As mentioned before, the series has earned itself less fans than the hotel where she died. Plus, it apparently lacks positive role models.

3 WandaVision C-Class article 1,356,722 Kathryn Hahn - "She's Funny That Way" red carpet - -Venezia71.jpg This Disney+ series, the first installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2019, has delivered week after week of twists – the latest being the introduction of a clear antagonist.
4 Agatha Harkness Start-Class article 1,318,728
5 Naomi Osaka Good article 1,310,372 Osaka-2020 (cropped).png Osaka won the women's singles tournament at the Australian Open, which took place over the week. Along the way, she defeated America's only celebrity tennis player, and then another one.
6 Cecil Hotel (Los Angeles) C-Class article 1,123,320 Hotel Cecil (Stay on Main) (29526138711).jpg The scary setting of any retelling of #2.
7 List of deaths and violence at the Cecil Hotel List-Class article 973,285
8 Deaths in 2021 List-Class article 836,959 A skull in a drinking glass at the steering wheel of a motor Wellcome L0026402.jpg And them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin', "This'll be the day that I die"
9 Ted Cruz B-Class article 812,763 200304-H-NI589-068 (49621925531).jpg This week, Texas was hit by a once-in-a-generation winter storm. Everyone turning up their heaters, coupled with most power suppliers freezing, strained the state's power infrastructure, causing widespread blackouts. Dozens of deaths have been reported so far. Governor Abbott blamed the not-enacted-by-any-government Green New Deal, the mayor of Colorado City told his constituents to stop looking for handouts, and Senator Cruz took his family on vacation to Cancún.

After getting caught, Cruz booked the first flight home and explained that he was only escorting his preteen daughters to a resort they insisted on going to.

10 Valentine's Day C-Class article 748,353 3203Valentines Day in Baliuag Bulacan 08.jpg This holiday, adored by the lovers and scorned by the single, fell upon us once again at the top of this week. Users wondered, as they do every year, what St. Valentine did to earn him this day, only to discover that there are two different guys and, like, twenty different stories that it might be dedicated to, and half of them don't even have to do with love. If you were alone on Valentine's Day this year, well, you had an excuse there's a deadly pandemic. Anyway, a happy Anna Howard Shaw Day to us all!

Ever, After, Work is Over (February 21 to 27)

Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (February 21 to 27, 2021).png
Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (February 21 to 27, 2021)
Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 Daft Punk Good article 1.719.463 SDCC 2012 - Daft Punk (8005171496).jpg The French robot-masked dance music duo - known for an animated feature-length music video, the soundtrack to Tron Legacy, and the song of the summer c. 2013 - posted a video titled "Epilogue" on Monday; showing one of the robots blowing the other up. This was followed by a statement from their publicist that they had broken up.
2 WandaVision C-Class article 1.468.772 Fan Expo Canada 2016 IMG 0171.jpg Along with digging deeper into what led to all those sitcom pastiches, this week's episode marked a first in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Wanda Maximoff was finally referred to as Scarlet Witch!
3 Bobby Shmurda Start-Class article 1.140.286 ComunionEsposasa.jpg Shmurda had a Billboard Top 10 hit in 2014; by the end of the year, he was arrested for conspiracy to murder. He spent 7 years in prison, being released on parole on Tuesday.
4 Deaths in 2021 List-Class article 957.196 Stary Cmentarz Bliżyn czaszka.jpg Best use a lyric by our #1 duo:
But suddenly I feel the shining sun
Before I knew it this dream was all gone
5 I Care a Lot Start-Class article 933.332 Rosamund Pike 2011.jpg I Care a Lot!
About Netflix movies that keep people glued to their screen
(I care a lot)
About the elders being scammed in a guardianship routine
I care a lot!
About the mafia threats that Dianne Wiest brought
I care a lot!
About Peter Dinklage and Rosamund Pike, they really rock
I care a lot!
6 Agatha Harkness Start-Class article 916.937 Kathryn Hahn – T'ruah 2016 Benefit Gala (26984787042).jpg #2's main antagonist, a witch played by Kathryn Hahn, who in the first episodes was disguised as Wanda's nosy neighbor Agnes.
7 Tiger Woods Good article 913.790 President Trump Presents the Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods (47813420571) (cropped) (cropped).jpg Woods was hospitalized following a car accident on Tuesday. According to the news, he's back in "good spirits."
8 Zitkala-Sa B-Class article 851.153 Zitkala-Sa circa 1898.png This early-20th-century Yankton Dakota activist and author was born on February 22, 1876. For her birthday, she was commemorated by a Google Doodle.
9 Shailene Woodley B-Class article 761.766 Snowden 02 (29688188961) (cropped).jpg This actress finally confirmed she is the fiancé Aaron Rodgers referred to during the NFL awards.
10 Elimination Chamber (2021) Symbol question.svg 689.700 Elimination chamber nyr06.jpg This annual WWE event was held in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Sunday.


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

Reader comments

What is Black history and culture? The story of an enslaved people who freed themselves. The sounds of poetry, oratory, and music. A long parade of workers, soldiers, artists, musicians, scholars, athletes, judges, and politicians; men and women peacefully marching right into the centers of political power. That is the story I see on Wikimedia Commons, much more than 27 images can illustrate.

Welcome, National Museum of Africa American History and Culture, 2016. Anthony Foxx reads the poem I, Too by Langston Hughes

W.E.B. DuBois with his wife Nina and daughter Yolande, 1901
External video
video icon West End Blues, Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five
External video
video icon Stormy Weather, Lena Horne
Bayard Rustin with children, 1964
External video
Gil Scott-Heron.jpg
video icon The Revolution Will Not Be Televised , Gil Scott-Heron
External audio
audio icon March on Washington, 15 hours of radio coverage, 8/28/1963, Educational Radio Network[1]
audio icon Dr. King's speech begins at 1:30, 8/28/1963, Educational Radio Network[2]
Vice-President Kamala Harris, 2021


  1. ^ "Special Collections, March on Washington, Parts 1-17". Open Vault. at WGBH. August 28, 1963. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  2. ^ "Special Collections, March on Washington, Part 17". Open Vault. at WGBH. August 28, 1963. Retrieved September 15, 2016.

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