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Labor squeeze revisited, journalist consultations, philosophy bungles, and more

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By Draeco and Tilman Bayer

Labor squeeze revisited

Law professor Eric Goldman's essay "Wikipedia's Labor Squeeze and its Consequences" has now been published, with minor revisions since the Signpost's previous report. The paper posits that Wikipedia must eventually restrict editing as volunteerism wanes in the face of continuing vandalism. This thesis remains unchanged, but the article incorporates information on flagged revisions and other interim developments that have supported Goldman's theory since August 2009. A supplementary blog post "Catching Up With Wikipedia" summarizes the new information.

Most U.S. journalists consult Wikipedia

Sixty-one percent of U.S. journalists use Wikipedia for story research, according to a survey by Cision and George Washington University. Journalists reported using many other forms of social media, but remained skeptical about their reliability. The full survey results are available upon request.

Philosophy bungle

The New York Times revealed that French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy's latest book relies upon the work of one "Jean-Baptiste Botul" -- an entirely fake philosopher concocted by satirist Frédéric Pagès. Levy's one-line defense: "My source of information is books, not Wikipedia." Had he consulted the French Wikipedia's fr:Jean-Baptiste Botul article, he would have seen the ruse noted since 2005.

Environmentalist cabal claims continue

Lawrence Solomon complains in his 13 February National Post article that Wikipedia should describe him as an environmentalist. His Wikipedia article had in fact been naming him as an environmentalist since 9 February [1], four days before the publication of the article in question, which has since been added as a reference. Solomon claims that the omission is part of a systemic bias against global warming skeptics that is perpetuated by User:William M. Connolley and others. Solomon has written numerous other National Post articles on the subject (see also the previous Signpost story) and returned to criticising Wikipedia's climate change coverage on 16 February: In an article claiming to present evidence that Google was censoring information about the Climatic Research Unit hacking incident from its search results (supposedly because of its financial interest in green energy and political ties with Al Gore and Barack Obama), Solomon complained that Google ranked Wikipedia's article on the subject highest in its search results for the topic and that Wikipedia's "censors won't let the public see" damning information about climate scientists.


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This page was nothing but spam, so I blanked it. Ntsimp (talk) 14:35, 16 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]

FYI, you don't have to "request" the report on journalists' use of Wikipedia. You just need to fill out the one page form to download the PDF directly. Steven Walling 22:20, 16 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Good to know. (For what its worth, I call that a request). --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 14:16, 24 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]


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