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Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill

Andreas Kolbe Re:Actually, the edits look good! (95 comments)

Sounds a bit like Pending Changes (installed on the German, Polish and some other Wikipedias, but not on the English one). This requires all IP edits to be approved by a "trusted" editor. Not a perfect system, but better than what is in place now.

about two weeks ago
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Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill

Andreas Kolbe Re:"Anonymous" is not anonymous at all (95 comments)

Correct, though note that checkusers are not staff members but unpaid volunteers. The Wikimedia Foundation doesn't even necessarily know who they are.

about two weeks ago
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Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill

Andreas Kolbe Re:Also available for UK, Canada, France ... (95 comments)

Well, the latest edit tweeted by @congressedits for example is this one, inserting the following into David Icke's biography: "He is also a disinformation agent funded by the [[Pleiadians]]." That's just someone wasting their and everyone else's time. That's not to say there haven't been edits on politically contentious topics from gov't IP addresses; there most certainly have, and that's why these Twitter accounts are a good idea. The downside is that long-term, they will drive this sort of editing underground. People who do want to make a politically contentious edit will go to the nearest Starbucks to avoid detection. It's an inherent weakness of Wikipedia, because on less well watched pages some of those edits always slip through. Wikipedia is full of articles edited by people with an undeclared conflict of interest. It's arguably one of the reasons for its popularity.

about two weeks ago
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Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill

Andreas Kolbe Re:Some hilarity (95 comments)

That's it; quite a few edits will be perfectly fine, others are vandalism by bored staff, and occasionally you will get something interesting like the Snowden edit and others described here.

about two weeks ago
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Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill

Andreas Kolbe Also available for UK, Canada, France ... (95 comments)

@parliamentedits, @wikiAssemblee, @gccaedits and @RiksdagWikiEdit Twitter accounts have been the set up to do the same for the UK, France, Canada and Sweden.

One thing to remember here is that most of these edits are probably made by junior IT staff rather than elected representatives (recall the recent Hillsborough case in the UK).

about two weeks ago
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Media Viewer: yet another Wikipedia scandal in the making

Andreas Kolbe Wikipedia has money on tap (3 comments)

From the latest Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan (page 5):

In 2014-2015 our plan is to increase revenue to $58.5 million from a 2013-2014 projection of $52.5 million, an increase of 11%. Our revenue targets are designed to fund investments in the WMF, primarily in product development and engineering. We believe that if we chose to, we could increase revenues more than is reflected in this plan, but we believe this target reflects and appropriate balance between funding growth while minimizing annoyance to the readers of the projects.

---o0o---

Money on tap. And lots of people who see the fundraising banners donate because they think Wikipedia is having an acute financial crisis and might have to pull the plug any minute now.

Page 6 has a breakdown of spending. Product / Engineering is by far the largest item – over half, if you include the requisite proportion of HR, Finance and Admin. Given how strongly the unpaid volunteer community, who actually creates most of the value in Wikipedia, has rejected major new features this money has paid for, this is an expensive disconnect.

Discussion here

about two weeks ago
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Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

Andreas Kolbe Re:Well, this won't backfire! (268 comments)

"It's not that simple. The problem is that dirt sells, so for any given interesting person, there is always dirt. Getting reliable sources to say anything else about the subject of the BLP is harder, because good news doesn't sell. So if you are a person who is prominent in a small community, and you get famous because of an exciting news story, you wind up with a BLP page that makes you look like a scumbag, and says absolutely nothing about whatever it was that got you prominent enough that a gossip story about you was able to make the news. I've seen this happen to a couple of prominent figures. It's unfixable, because a gossip column is more reliable than an organizational web page. Personally, I count myself lucky that I don't have a wikipedia biography."

Well said. This is very true, generally speaking, and one of the systemic problems with Wikipedia, or any encyclopedia that writes biographies on the basis of gossip rags.

In this case, however, it also seems that Wikipedia contributors may actually have gone slightly overboard in excluding positive material – Barry's philanthropic endeavours have attracted quite a bit of sympathetic coverage, little of which seems to be reflected in the article.

The question is not whether some of the bad stuff was true, it's whether it was unduly emphasised (at one point for example, an editor changed the infobox format to the one used for criminals, which does seem a bit malicious), and whether balancing coverage was excluded. I think the editors may have reacted to what they perceived as somewhat promotional edits, and decided to punish the biography subject. If so, that may not have been a good idea.

about a month ago
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Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

Andreas Kolbe Re:Well, this won't backfire! (268 comments)

One problem is that people will typically read the Wikipedia article first, and allow it to colour their perception. Big mistake if the article is biased to begin with, and a sort of kafkaesque situation for the victim. Wikipedia has known problems in this area, see e.g. Revenge, ego and the corruption of Wikipedia by Andrew Leonard; The tale of Mr Hari and Dr Rose – A false and malicious identity is admitted by David Allen Green; the story of Taner Akcam, Any political filth or personal libel can be hurled at the innocent, by Robert Fisk (originally published in The Independent); or that of Philip Mould, Mayfair art dealer Mark Weiss in disgrace after admitting poison pen campaign against rival Philip Mould, by Gordon Rayner.

about a month ago
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Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

Andreas Kolbe Re:Conflict (125 comments)

Another question is: Why does the article cite dicehateme.com, which is an anonymous self-published website? That's against Wikipedia's rules on citing self-published sources. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... Another interesting fact is that Jimmy Wales once personally intervened on the article's talk page suggesting that a negative review of the game (cited to an unreliable source) be removed. But the positive material sourced to dicehateme.com has been in the article, unmolested, to this day. The sourcing of the article looks iffy in general (it includes primary sources of the type I've often seen Wikipedians remove on sight).

about 5 months ago
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Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

Andreas Kolbe Re:Conflict (125 comments)

According to the latest comments under the piece, it looks like HyperfineCosmologist and the 173 IP can reasonably be assumed to be two of the other creators of the game. http://wikipediocracy.com/2014...

about 5 months ago
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Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

Andreas Kolbe Re:Conflict (125 comments)

The article was demonstrably (re-)created on 11 June 2011, four days before the launch, after the earlier version by Jsdillon had been deleted. See https://en.wikipedia.org/w/ind... (go to the oldest contributions). Do you think that re-creation was unrelated to the launch four days later? I don't. (Note that someone at Wikipedia has restored the earlier, pre-deletion edits by Jsdillon since this was published; the December 2010 edits were invisible before, and Jsdillon had only 11 edits showing in the contributions history.)

about 5 months ago
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Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

Andreas Kolbe Re:The article's example is quite poor (125 comments)

The article creation was also *well-timed*, just four days before the sales launch of the hardcopy version, with staff clearly involved. That's a marketing effort, not encyclopedia writing. Like most Wikipedia articles on companies. Look at Wikipedia articles on, say, management consulting firms, or law firms. They're generally ads, written by single-purpose accounts that you can generally assume to be staff members or PR agents.

about 5 months ago
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Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

Andreas Kolbe Re:Conflict (125 comments)

It has to be said that often PR agents or article subjects start editing the article because someone has turned it into a hatchet job, and nobody cares. Risker, a longstanding member of Wikipedia's arbitration committee, recently said, on Jimbo Wales' talk page: "You remember when the press made a huge deal about people from Congress editing the pages of congressmen, and when the edits were actually reviewed, almost all of them were (a) cleaning up vandalism, (b) fixing errors of fact (c) updating factual information (e.g. voting records) or (d) removing BLP violations. Everyone got all upset about "congress" editing its own pages - until they realised that their interests were the same as our interests.(For the record - I personally reviewed about 75 of those edits and there wasn't one that I looked at that should have been reverted, but several that did get reverted and shouldn't have been.)" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

about 5 months ago
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Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

Andreas Kolbe Re:Conflict (125 comments)

Well, in the example given in the WO post, the article on the game was apparently created (or rather recreated) four days before the launch of the hardcopy version. Complete with positive reviews. Tell me the company didn't have an interest in that.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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"I accidentally started a Wikipedia hoax"

Andreas Kolbe Andreas Kolbe writes  |  yesterday

Andreas Kolbe (2591067) writes "The Daily Dot's EJ Dickson reports how she accidentally discovered that a hoax factoid she added over five years ago as a stoned sophomore to the Wikipedia article on “Amelia Bedelia, the protagonist of the eponymous children’s book series about a ‘literal-minded housekeeper’ who misunderstands her employer’s orders”, had not just remained on Wikipedia all this time, but come to be cited by a Taiwanese English professor, in “innumerable blog posts and book reports”, as well as a book on Jews and Jesus. It's a cautionary tale about the fundamental unreliability of Wikipedia. And as Wikipedia ages, more and more such stories are coming to light."
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Pranks, hoaxes, manipulation: Virtual Unreality on Wikipedia

Andreas Kolbe Andreas Kolbe writes  |  about two weeks ago

Andreas Kolbe (2591067) writes "Kids confess on Reddit that in order to wind up a classmate named Azid, they added his name to the Wikipedia article on Chicken Korma. Two years on, and Azid is established online as an alternative name of the dish. A prankster twice changes the name of the inventor of the hair straightener, and both names are now widely credited with the invention online. Another kid writes in Wikipedia that coatis are also called Brazilian aardvarks, and incredibly, the name catches on in newspapers, even a university press book. Governments around the world seek to control Wikipedia content through anonymous contributions. Misinformation and propaganda on Wikipedia spread like a virus into other publications: how pranks, hoaxes and manipulation undermine the reliability of Wikipedia, and indeed the fabric of consensual reality."
Link to Original Source
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Wikipedia editors hit with $10 million defamation suit

Andreas Kolbe Andreas Kolbe writes  |  about a month ago

Andreas Kolbe (2591067) writes "Businessman, philanthropist and musician Yank Barry and the Global Village Champions Foundation are suing four Wikipedia editors for defamation, claiming they have maliciously conspired to keep Barry's Wikipedia biography unduly negative. The Daily Dot article includes a copy of the legal brief and quotes Barry as saying, “My page was so ridiculously false and made me sound like a terrible person and people believed it causing deals to fall through. I finally had enough.”"
Link to Original Source
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Larry Sanger blasts Wikipedia for hosting bestiality porn without search filter

Andreas Kolbe Andreas Kolbe writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Andreas Kolbe (2591067) writes "Larry Sanger has blasted the Wikimedia Foundation for failing to fulfil its promise to introduce a porn filter on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites. Plans announced by the Wikimedia Foundation last year to install a weak opt-in filter for controversial content have apparently come unstuck. It has long been known that users searching Wikipedia's media archive for terms as innocuous as "toothbrush" may find explicit adult images at the top of their search results. As Fox News reported recently: "Search for the word 'underwater' and you'll see a woman tied up, naked, and submerged face down in a bathtub." In French Wikipedia, the top result of a search for "homework" is presently a black-and-white porn film showing a man and woman having oral sex with a dog ..."
Link to Original Source

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