Like many of the most popular websites, Wikimedia -- which oversees Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons among other sites and services -- publishes a transparency report in which it details commercial and governmental requests for surveillance and content removal.
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When Facebook was desperately trying to game the Indian regulatory process to get approval for its "zero-rating" system (where it would bribe Indian ISPs to give it the power to decide which services would be free to access, and which would be capped and metered), one of the frequent arguments in favor of this "poor internet for poor people" was that the Wikimedia Foundation had struck similar deals in poor countries around the world, freeflagging Wikipedia use on networks that were otherwise strictly capped and metered.
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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 is the best article on Wikipedia. From "Ã‡â€¹Â¬Ã§â€°Â¹Ã¨Â§ÂÃ¨Â§Â£" 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
Raving white octopus
Reasons Why Many People Study in China
Recombinant Human Dragon
Reducing your weight in a ver...
References to polycephaly in popular culture
Republic of Illinois
Richard's macaroni and cheese
Rihno man super kidoonfire
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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