Wikipedia as a Zork-style text-adventure

Kevan Davis's Wikitext is an incredibly clever mashup of Wikipedia and Infocom-style text adventure games: starting with a random Wikipedia entry, it gives you the article summary, an 8-bit-ified version of the main photo, and "directions" to the articles referenced by the one you've landed on. (via Waxy) Read the rest

Deleted Wikipedia articles with freaky titles

Deleted Wikipedia articles with freaky titles is the best article on Wikipedia. From "Ç‹¬ç‰¹è§Â解" to Zombucks, with many oddities along the way (such as "☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼"), all that remains are the tantalizing names given to what were surely excellent, well-researched and not at all fannishly promotional entries for geeky obsessions.

Here is the section for articles that began with "R".

Radioactive Pedophile on the Loose! Random boner syndrome Raptor jesus Rat smacker Raving white octopus Reasons Why Many People Study in China Recombinant Human Dragon Rectal Anarchy Reducing your weight in a ver... References to polycephaly in popular culture Republic of Illinois Retard squad Richard's macaroni and cheese Rihno man super kidoonfire Rin-Din-Dinner Ross hutchison anal explosion Run 2 were u want run 2 were u want! im gonna catch u catch

Digestif: Wikipedia: Silly Things Read the rest

Can Everipedia remake collaborative encyclopedias to be inclusive and enjoyable?

English Wikipedia participation peaked ten years ago and is down about 20,000 active users a month from its high point. Three big factors often get cited: deletionism, poor mobile editing options, and a lost spirit of inclusiveness. Everipedia wants to address all three with the latest attempt at an encyclopedia of everything. I spoke with co-founder Sam Kazemian about the project, which often pops up as a top search result for college-related news and people. Can they crack the code of next-gen participation? Read the rest

Turkey blocks Wikipedia

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia is inaccessible in Turkey, with officials saying it was blocked as an "administrative measure" thereby explaining why the courts weren't involved. Turkish media says the government asked Wikipedia to take stuff down, but was ignored.

"After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651 [governing the internet], an administrative measure has been taken for this website," Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority was quoted as saying, giving no further details. However, the Hurriyet daily newspaper said Wikipedia had been asked to remove content by certain writers whom the authorities accuse of "supporting terror" and of linking Turkey to terror groups. The site had not responded to the demands, Hurriyet said, and the ban was imposed as a result.

The BBC's Mark Lowen says website blocking is common in Turkey, with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube among past targets. Twitter reports that Turkey, whose notoriously thin-skinned president Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently assumed greater powers, is the origin of more than half the requests it receives to remove tweets. Read the rest

Jimmy "Wikipedia" Wales just launched an anti-fake-news wiki: Wikitribune

Wikitribune (strapline: "Evidence-based journalism") is a newly launched project from Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, conceived of as a crowd-edited, crowd-funded tonic against fake news. Read the rest

The automated, invisible revert-wars of Wikipedia's bot ecosystem

In Even good bots fight, a paper written by Oxford Internet Institute researchers and published in PLOS One, the authors survey the edits and reverts made by Wikipedia's diverse community of bots, uncovering some curious corners where bots -- rate-limited by Wikipedia's rules for bots -- slowly and remorseless follow one another around, reverting each other. Read the rest

40% of Wikipedia is under threat from deletionists

Readers recently saved the hemovanadin article from Wikipedia's ongoing extinction event through extraordinary measures, but that's just one of over 2 million stub articles deleted or at risk of deletion by Wikipedia's entrenched bureaucrats. Today's example is Chickenhead, a notable hip-hop song killed by deletionists in 2015. Read the rest

Watching Wikipedia's extinction event from a distance

After being a major contributor for many years, I've cringed as Wikipedia slowly devolves like a dying coral reef. Today's example is hemovanadin, an innocuous article deleted through a mix of vandalism, bots, and incompetent humans. Read the rest

Wikipedia policy declares the Daily Mail to be "unreliable" and not suited for citation

The notorious, Hitler-endorsing, Brexit-backing, anti-vaxx, cancer-scare-promoting, compulsively lying, photoshop failing, plagiarizing, M15-creating, hateful, lethally transphobic, Creative Commons misunderstanding, evil, teacher-demonizing, royal-wedding-lying, Melania Trump distressing, racist, grandstanding, pig-fuckery-promoting tabloid will no longer qualify as a "reliable source" for the purposes of Wikipedia citation. Read the rest

Metropolitan Museum of Art makes more than 375,000 public domain images available as CC0

The Met's collection contains over 375,000 images of art in the public domain; they've made these directly searchable and browseable, there's a Github repo of metadata, integration with the Creative Commons search tool, and extensive collaboration with Wikimedia and GLAM Wiki. Read the rest

Interactive 3D visualization of Wikipedia

The online enyclopedia is "reimagined as a cosmic web of knowledge" at Wikiverse: a representational web upon the literal web that implemented a conceptual web. Read the rest

UC Davis Chancellor spent $400K+ to scrub her online reputation after pepper-spray incident

Back in April, we learned that UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi had hired a sleazy "reputation-management" company to scrub her reputation and that of the university after the 2011 incident in which university police lieutenant John Pike hosed down peaceful protesters with pepper spray, jetting chemical irritant directly into their open mouths and eyes. Read the rest

"Tendril perversion": when one loop of a coil goes the other way

The term "tendril perversion" was coined in 1998 by mathematicians Goriely and Tabor to describe the long-observed phenomenon of coiled cables, vines and other helixes that have one kinked loop that goes the other way. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders campaign withdraws bogus copyright threat against Wikipedia

A terse update to the Wikimedia page for DMCA notices confirms that the Sanders campaign has withdrawn the legal threat it sent to the organization yesterday over its hosting of copies of campaign logos and designs. (Thanks, Tomasz!) Read the rest

FACEPALM: Bernie Sanders campaign tries to censor Wikipedia: UPDATED

Update The campaign has withdrawn the threat.

The Bernie Sanders campaign has sent an abusive DMCA notice to Wikimedia, the foundation that administers Wikipedia, over their hosting of Sanders campaign logos. Read the rest

Wikipedia Russia suspends editor who tried to cut deal with Russian authorities

A Wikipedia editors has been suspended after he organized a meeting with the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (as well as Rospotrebnadzor, a consumer rights watchdog, and Roskomnadzor, a media watchdog) to set terms under which "the expert opinion of authorized government bodies" would be inserted into Wikipedia entires on “socially sensitive” topics. Read the rest

NSA spying: judge tosses out case because Wikipedia isn't widely read enough

Wikimedia -- Wikipedia's parent org -- has had its case against the NSA dismissed by a Federal judge who said that the mere fact that the site is one of the most popular destinations on the net was not a basis for assuming that the NSA had intercepted data between Wikipedia and its users. Read the rest

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