News and notes
Biographies galore, Wikinews competition, and more
BLPs bring strife, new proposals, and reevaluations of old problems
A series of deletions of unsourced biographies of living persons (BLPs) caused an uproar this week, leading to an Arbitration Committee motion supporting the principle of deleting longstanding unsourced BLPs and recommending centralized discussion, which is now taking place at Requests for comment/Biographies of living people. For full coverage, see the Signpost article "BLP deletions cause uproar". The spat also prompted a broader appraisal of the issue by Charles Matthews, who authored a blog post about "limited perspectives".
Nominally unrelated but apparently inspired by the deletion controversy, a petition against IAR abuse was started this week and has garnered over 75 signatures.
Also related to the BLP issue—but unrelated to the deletions—an arbitration case opened this week following the revelation that User:MZMcBride had given a short list of BLPs that appear on no user watchlists to banned editor User:Thekohser. MZMcBride has also been working on "climax", "a project that gathers and analyzes a set of attributes of biographies of living people in an attempt to programmatically find problematic biographies."
The heavy representation of biographies of living people among all biographies is readily apparent from User:Carcharoth's analysis of Wikipedia biographies in the 20th century, also in this week's Signpost.
Wikinews 2010 Writing Competition begins
The Wikinews 2010 Writing Competition has begun, and will run until 18 April. Points can be earned through three classes of contribution: synthesis articles that bring together news from multiple outside sources; original reporting; and photo essays. Contributions that become identified as featured articles on Wikinews garner additional points. A prize pot will go to the winner; the pot currently includes barnstars, ten Canadian dollars, and a postcard.
- The Wikimedia Foundation has released its annual report for 2008–09. As the blog post announcing the report describes it, the 21-page report "covers a full year of activity, highlighting our fiscal operations, programs and outreach successes, major milestones, and of course the work of thousands of volunteers and chapters around the world."
- Wikimedia Foundation executive director Sue Gardner and the Strategy Project team have published a detailed strategy memo to the board of trustees, summarizing the results so far in the strategic planning process.