In the news

In the news

Wikipedia figured in media coverage last week about jockeying in Canadian election campaigns, while other news items appeared leading up to this week's Wikimania conference.

All politics is local, even on Wikipedia

The Vaughan Citizen reported that Wikipedia was the site of an "online battle" surrounding upcoming municipal elections. Corey Shefman (User:Pm shef) is the son of Alan Shefman, a Councillor in Vaughan, Ontario, and was one of several users involved. The immediate focus of the dispute was the article Vaughan municipal election, 2006, and whether it was appropriate to include corporate donations to members of the council as a "main issue" in the campaign. Shefman and others reverted the initial attempts, but relented after citations were provided to support the claim.

Vaughan-related articles have actually been the subject of a running dispute that also resulted in a request for comment. This led to a number of accounts being blocked for vandalism, personal attacks directed at Shefman and others, and use of sock puppets. Following up on the story, the Citizen also raised questions about the naming of one of these accounts, User:VaughanWatch, since that is also the name of an organization run by one of the candidates for the council.

Campaign endorsements

In an attempt to find a "rough gauge of ex-officio support" for candidates in the 2006 Canadian Liberal leadership race, news agency Canadian Press turned to Wikipedia's article Endorsements for the Liberal Party of Canada leadership convention, 2006. Most of the candidates' "camps" say the list is accurate, but either incomplete (Scott Brison's team suggests a dozen are missing from his list of 13), or lacking ex-officios that have only privately endorsed a candidate.

The article concludes "While Wikipedia's list of endorsements can only give a rough idea of ex-officio support levels for the candidates thus far, it is arguably a better gauge of how the race is going than the unverifiable claims and counter-claims about how many new party members each camp has signed up." The article was syndicated on a number of sites, including CTV, Ottawa Sun, Toronto Sun, Winnipeg Sun, Macleans, Canada East, the Montreal Gazette, and

Wikipedians featured in Akron

The Akron Beacon Journal published several articles about Wikipedia on Thursday, 27 July. One discussed the life of an article about the term "Akroness", a neologism coined on an Akron-oriented Internet forum that was deleted shortly before these stories appeared. The paper also profiled several contributors from the Akron area. Included as well were some tips on "How to navigate Wikipedia" by Wikipedia editor Ian Manka.

Returning to old haunts in Scotland

Scotland on Sunday added itself to the roster of Scottish papers that have taken notice of the local angle to the English Wikipedia's one-millionth article, Jordanhill railway station. Although the milestone was reached in March, the story took its lead from the more recent news cycle about semi-protection and talked about the article as "the unlikely focus of a battle in cyberspace." It did not mention that the article was only semi-protected during the first couple of days in its existence, and has seen relatively little editing recently (although if you're looking for a battle, there was a back-and-forth on 1 July over a redundant template, {{UKrailwaystations}}).

Meanwhile, Alan McIlwraith, the Scottish call centre worker whose attempt to pass himself off as a decorated war hero, including the creation of a Wikipedia article, was revealed in April, is back in the news. McIlwraith gave an interview to The Guardian about the experience that was published on Tuesday, 25 July.

Other coverage

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