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Heights reached in search rankings, privacy and mental health info; clouds remain over content policing

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By Skomorokh and Geni

Wikipedia scores on privacy, mental health info

Research publicised this month concluded that Wikipedia is the best online source of mental health information, outstripping Encyclopaedia Britannica, dedicated health portals and psychiatry textbooks.

Ed Bott reports for ZDNet that Wikipedia scores 100 of 100 points on preserving the privacy of its user traffic according to the PrivacyChoice rating, called PrivacyScore. The tool monitors 1601 pages such as CNN, which scored 43, The New York Times (71) and Twitter (95). The assessment proceeds in two separate parts, comparing the actually existing privacy policy of the site with an idealized counterpart on the one hand and looking after what's happening on the ground on the other. Wikimedia, as both David Storm on ReadWriteWeb and David Chernicoff on ZDNet pointed out, uses WatchMouse, a SaaS-based server monitoring tool from Nimsoft, to keep up with what's going on on Wikipedia and the sister projects. The performance status of Wikimedia services can be checked live here.

Wikipedia is the leading source for online information concerning mental health, researchers at the University of Melbourne concluded in research publicised this month. The scholars assessed 14 sources, including Encyclopaedia Britannica and a psychiatry textbook, judging them on how up to date, easy to use, broad in scope, well-researched and accurate the information they provided was. The results spoke favourably of Wikipedia's record at a time when editors are self-conscious about the standards of the encyclopaedia's medical and health-related content:

Primacy in search results

The search engine optimization world went through one of its periodic fits of interest in Wikipedia's position in the search results, triggered by a study by Intelligent Positioning which showed that out of a sample of 1000 randomly selected nouns, Wikipedia featured on page 1 of the search results 99% of the time, and in first place 56% of the time. Econsultancy ran an article arguing that Wikipedia's positioning was a fairly predictable result of its articles being typically on-topic and well-developed. Heavy inbound linking to Wikipedia was credited for giving the site a significant boost while its well-structured system of wikilinks was said to have distributed these beneficial effects across topic areas. Search Engine Land meanwhile responded by arguing that the focus on single-word nouns in the test meant that it was not representative of real-world searches, and that the study was of limited usefulness as a consequence.

Haymarket affair affair redux

Wikipedia scholar and editor Andrew Lih, who appeared on NPR with academic Timothy Messer-Kruse and Wikimedia Foundation staffer Steven Walling concerning Wikipedia's treatment of scholarly disagreement

The debate over sourcing in the Haymarket affair article that made news headlines last month (Signpost coverage) has continued to garner attention in the media, as well as being discussed at length on the foundation-l mailing list. Much of it was churnalism, but some contributions did advance the discussion. The Atlantic ran a piece which argued that while the situation wasn't handled well by Wikipedia editors, the underlying problem of how to handle conflicts over established narratives and newer, less supported theories was a fixture of standard historiographical discourse, and that Wikipedia therefore was in some ways being held to an unreasonably high standard. National Public Radio ran a debate on the subject between Professor Timothy Messer-Kruse, Andrew Lih – longstanding Wikipedia editor and author of The Wikipedia Revolution – and the Wikimedia Foundation's Steven Walling. Professor Messer-Kruse suggested in part that Wikipedia's lack of credentialism made attempts to rapidly adapt the historical record to changes in prevailing opinion in the face of new evidence difficult.

In brief

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The external link in the second to last brief (FA gets attention) doesn't work. It redirects to a general listing of social media news, on which I cannot find the story. jcgoble3 (talk) 01:33, 6 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for the note; I have replaced the link with a functioning alternative. Best, Skomorokh 01:46, 6 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you. jcgoble3 (talk) 01:47, 6 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I'm a bit concerned that Wikiqueer's purpose appears to overlap quite entirely with that of Wikipedia itself. Unless they plan to have looser notability criteria or something. A lot of their seed content is actually from Wikipedia. Dcoetzee 00:45, 13 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Critical Race Theory


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