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. “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.
Wired: Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet. “Today, Wikipedia is the eighth-most-visited site in the world. The English-language version recently surpassed 6 million articles and 3.5 billion words; edits materialize at a rate of 1.8 per second. But perhaps more remarkable than Wikipedia’s success is how little its reputation has changed. It was criticized as it rose, and now makes its final ascent to … muted criticism.”
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.”
Motherboard: The World’s Second Largest Wikipedia Is Written Almost Entirely by One Bot. “The Cebuano Wikipedia is the second largest edition of Wikipedia, lagging behind the English version by only just over 630 thousand articles and ahead of the Swedish and German editions by over 1.64 and 2.98 million articles, respectively. Its positioning is rather peculiar given that, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, there are only approximately 16.5 million speakers of the language in the Philippines. Despite having over 5.37 million articles, it has only 6 administrators and 14 active users. The English edition, by comparison, has 1,143 administrators and 137,368 active users for over 6 million articles, at the time of writing.”
Phys .org: Wikipedia, a source of information on natural disasters biased towards rich countries. “As a source of information related to natural disasters, the authors show that on Wikipedia, there is a greater tendency to cover events in wealthy countries than in poor countries. By performing careful, large-scale analysis of automatic content, ‘we show how flood coverage in Wikipedia leans towards wealthy, English-speaking countries, particularly the USA and Canada,’ they claim in their work. ‘We also note that the coverage of flooding in low-income countries and in countries in South America, is substantially less than the coverage of flooding in middle-income countries,’ they add.”
TechCrunch: Wikipedia now has more than 6 million articles in English. “Wikipedia is available in dozens of languages, but its English-language version has the most number of articles. Following the English edition, which hit 5 million articles in late 2015, are the German version, with about 2.3 million articles, and the French version, which has about 2.1 million articles.”
BBC: Turkey’s Wikipedia ban ends after almost three years. “Turkey is restoring access to Wikipedia after a ban that lasted almost three years. The country’s Constitutional Court ruled that the ban violated freedom of expression, the pro-government newspaper Milliyet reported.”
TechCrunch: Wikimedia Foundation expresses deep concerns about India’s proposed intermediary liability rules. “Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit group that operates Wikipedia and a number of other projects, has urged the Indian government to rethink the proposed changes to the nation’s intermediary liability rules that would affect swathes of companies and the way more than half a billion people access information online.”
Engadget: Wikipedia wins its battle against censorship in Turkey. “Two years ago, Turkey banned Wikipedia after the site refused to remove content tying the country to terrorist groups. That decision was reversed today in the nation’s highest court, which called the ruling a violation of freedom of expression, and ordered the site to be unblocked. The timeframe isn’t clear, but it’s likely that Turkish citizens will soon be able to access the community-powered encyclopedia.”
MakeUseOf: 5 Tools to Make Wikipedia Better and Discover Interesting Articles. “Wikipedia is a great place to find information about any topic you’re interested in. But it can also be a great place to discover interesting topics you didn’t even know about. These tools help you discover new Wikipedia pieces and track what you want to read.” Weeklypedia is way too tempting…