Slate: Non-English Editions of Wikipedia Have a Misinformation Problem . “During World War II, Unit 731 of the Japanese military undertook horrific medical experimentation in Manchukuo (Northeast China). Among other things, members of Unit 731 intentionally infected people with the plague as part of an effort to develop bioweapons. The unit’s crimes have been well documented. But if you read the Japanese Wikipedia page on Unit 731 in January, you wouldn’t get the full story. The article said that it is ‘a theory’ that human experiments actually took place. It was just one example of the whitewashing of war crimes on Japanese Wikipedia, as I discovered when I was researching the war.”
Mashable: Wikipedia wants to charge Google, Amazon, and Apple for using its content. “A new report by Wired looks into a brand new division under the Wikimedia umbrella called Wikimedia Enterprise. In a first for the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Enterprise will offer a paid service targeting Wikipedia’s biggest users: Big Tech companies. Wikimedia Enterprise, according to the organization, will provide a commercial product that tailors Wikipedia’s content for publication on services provided by Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon — services that millions upon millions of people use every day.”
Boston Public Library: Boston Public Library makes historical images available for use in Wikipedia. “In celebration of Wikipedia’s 20th anniversary on January 15th, Boston Public Library has uploaded more than 8,000 historical photographs from its archival collections to Wikimedia Commons. These images include some of the library’s most important photographic collections, and contribute to the single largest batch of uploads ever contributed to Wikimedia Commons. By uploading these public domain images, BPL is making them available so that they can be freely used to enhance Wikipedia articles, re-printed in publications, or incorporated in student projects and papers.”
MarketWatch: Wikipedia turns 20 years old today — the free encyclopedia gets more traffic than Netflix
MarketWatch: Wikipedia turns 20 years old today — the free encyclopedia gets more traffic than Netflix. “Wikipedia was launched on Jan. 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger as an English-language encyclopedia, according to — aptly — Wikipedia. Since then, the website has become every undergrad’s first stop when embarking on a research paper, the go-to site for cheating in trivia, and my personal favorite — The Wiki Game. Wikipedia is the 13th most popular website on the internet, ahead of Netflix NFLX and Reddit. With 55 million articles, the site attracts 1.5 billion unique visitors a month.”
World Health Organization: The World Health Organization and Wikimedia Foundation expand access to trusted information about COVID-19 on Wikipedia
World Health Organization: The World Health Organization and Wikimedia Foundation expand access to trusted information about COVID-19 on Wikipedia. “The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that administers Wikipedia, announced today a collaboration to expand the public’s access to the latest and most reliable information about COVID-19. The collaboration will make trusted, public health information available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license at a time when countries face continuing resurgences of COVID-19 and social stability increasingly depends on the public’s shared understanding of the facts.”
Motherboard: You Can Download the Entirety of English Wikipedia to Browse Offline. “A new archive of the entirety of English Wikipedia for Kiwix, an offline browser for web content, is now available for download to anyone who wants to browse offline or have a local backup of the online encyclopedia.”
Neowin: New wiki project – Abstract Wikipedia – will boost content across languages. “The project was first proposed in a 22-page paper by Denny Vrandečić, founder of Wikidata, earlier this year. He had floated a new idea that would allow contributors to create content using abstract notation which could then be translated to different natural languages, balancing out content more evenly, no matter the language you speak.” My head would absolutely not wrap around this until I saw a page of examples.
TechCrunch: Facebook tests Wikipedia-powered information panels, similar to Google, in its search results
TechCrunch: Facebook tests Wikipedia-powered information panels, similar to Google, in its search results. “Facebook is testing a new feature that aims to keep users inside its platform when they’re looking for factual information they would otherwise turn to Google or Wikipedia to find. The company confirmed to TechCrunch it’s now piloting an updated version of Facebook Search that displays factual information when users search for topics like public figures, places and interests — like movies and TV shows.”
Neowin: Wikipedia is instituting new rules to battle “toxic behavior” by volunteers “In a bid to ensure safety against abuse on harassment on its platform, Wikipedia is putting a new code of conduct in place. Several members, particularly women and members of the LGBTQ community, have complained of the portrayal of “toxic behavior” by fellow editors on the platform. The website relies on these volunteers to keep it updated.”
The Atlantic: Mapping Wikipedia. “Every time anyone edits Wikipedia, the software records the text added or removed, the time of the edit, and the username of the editor. (This edit history is part of Wikipedia’s ethos of radical transparency: Everyone is anonymous, and you can see what everyone is doing.) When an editor isn’t logged in with a username, the software records that user’s IP address. I parsed all of the 884 million edits to English Wikipedia to collect and geolocate the 43 million IP addresses that have edited English Wikipedia. I also counted 8.6 million username editors who have made at least one edit to an article. The result is a set of maps that offer, for the first time, insight into where the millions of volunteer editors who build and maintain English Wikipedia’s 5 million pages are—and, maybe more important, where they aren’t.”
Poynter: Need to monitor for arcane changes to Wikipedia entries? There’s an app for that.. “If you’ve got a stake in a Wikipedia page — whether it’s about your company, a topic you’re interested in or even about you, yourself — how do you keep track of the changes others make? How do you manage the site’s outsized influence through its confusing layers of editing? WikiWatch is the answer. WikiWatch tracks changes to articles across Wikipedia. It reports updates in real time, hosts them on a secure website and makes them shareable with others. It’s built for non-Wikipedia experts, AKA most of us.” This is a roundup article with a bunch of interesting stuff.
MIT News: Automated system can rewrite outdated sentences in Wikipedia articles. “A system created by MIT researchers could be used to automatically update factual inconsistencies in Wikipedia articles, reducing time and effort spent by human editors who now do the task manually.”