In the news

In the news

Wikimania coverage in the press

Wikimania 2007 wrapped up a week ago, and the annual, international Wikimedia conference generated some publicity in the Taiwan press and elsewhere. In a New York Times blog post, a conference attendee, Noam Cohen, outlined the purpose of the conference and the bidding process, and talked about a few highlights, including Florence Nibart-Devouard's speech, the location outside of the mainstay of Europe and the United States, and the One Laptop Per Child display. In a follow-up blog post, Cohen described the Joi's keynote address, where he distinguished transitory pleasure from happiness, conflicts in Arab topics, and the differences between the large and small projects. Titan Deng, the chairman of Wikimedia Taiwan, was interviewed by the Taipei Times about commercial re-use of Wikipedia content (see below for more).

Baidu is accused of violating the GFDL, on a scale that might make it the "biggest copyright violation we have", said Florence Nibart-Devouard, chair of the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees. Baidu is China's largest search engine, and it runs Baidu Baike, a Chinese language editable encyclopedia. Wikipedia articles fall under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, which, among other requirements, demands attribution when copies are made. There have been instances of wholesale copying without attribution, and it is said that complaints have been falling on deaf ears, although this report suggests that Baidu denies fault, because the content is user-submitted. The Chinese-language version of Wikipedia is blocked in mainland China, and it is ironic that the only way that Wikipedia can be read in China is through this copying. Because the Foundation does not own the copyrights, legal action may not be possible, although Devouard hinted at the possibility of a class action suit.

Article text colour-coded for trustworthiness

Researchers have developed software that allows for Wikipedia articles to be colour-coded depending on how trustworthy a particular piece of text is. On the UCSC Wiki Lab home page, you can put the software to the test, with an online demo: text on a white background indicates trustworthy text, while orange indicates untrusted text. Editors' reputations are continually calculated by examining how long their edits remain untouched; if your contributions are quickly removed, you are seen as untrustworthy, and your contributions will be highlighted as such. However, the software is not a fact-checking tool, and "it won’t necessarily direct people to Wikipedia's best, most academically rigorous articles".

SEO optimization article

Is Wikipedia Corrupt? - follow-up comments are made about Durova's SEO optimisation article (see archived story). The mention of edits to Matthew Hill and David Davis also made mainstream news, with Timothy Hill, Davis's press secretary (also Hill's brother) admitting that he made the edits, saying, "I made a mistake". One article states that the editing has been reported to an internal committee of the United States House of Representatives, who may investigate the editing. The editing has also been covered on other local sites. [1] [2]

Other mentions in the news

Other recent mentions of Wikipedia in the online press include:

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A number of the commenters on the "Is Wikipedia Corrupt?" article linked to claimed "Wikipedia never apologizes". That prompted me to write the following comment (which may or may not eventually show up on the article; I had some trouble with the software):
Let's just drop some facts in here, why don't we.
It has been repeatedly claimed that "Wikipedia never apologizes". As it happens, this is not true.
Examples of folks related to Wikipedia apologizing:
Jimbo Wales apologizing.
Jimbo Wales apologizing profusely.
Another apology by Jimbo.
How's that for examples?

If anyone happens across more, we might start a Wikipedia:List of apologies by Wikipedia page. ;-) JesseW, the juggling janitor 22:11, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Interesting. Not something I'd thought of tracking before, but I turned up nine from my own edit history since last December. They included user talk, article talk, a noticeboard, a policy discussion, and an arbitration case.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] In the last instance, after arbitration ended I awarded the editor a barnstar. DurovaCharge! 23:55, 14 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]


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