In the media
Qworty incident continues
Salon.com published another article detailing the ongoing incidents with Wikipedia user Qworty, who has identified himself as Robert Clark Young.
In the Salon article, writer Andrew Leonard comments that Qworty's edits "undermine faith" in Wikipedia. His article documents Qworty's role in the controversy involving Amanda Filipacchi's op-ed, which kindled a debate on Wikipedia sexism as it relates to categories (see Signpost coverage), where Qworty was responsible for a series of revenge edits against Filipacchi in the days after she released her op-ed. He defines these as "modifications to a Wikipedia page motivated by anger. They are acts of punishment. Such behavior is officially considered bad form by the larger Wikipedia 'community,' but given Wikipedia's commitment to anonymity and general decentralized structure, it is a practice that is very difficult to stamp out."
The piece goes on to detail how individuals affiliated with Wikipediocracy approached Leonard with research determining that they thought Young was Qworty, including Andreas Kolbe (User:Jayen466). When asked by the Signpost why he took such a keen interest in exposing Qworty, Andreas said that he wants "the public to know just what goes on under the surface of Wikipedia and how the site plays dice with people's reputations by allowing anonymous editing of biographies of living persons ... I believe the public needs to understand just what is going on in Wikipedia day after day."
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales commented on his talk page, "'For those of us who love Wikipedia, the ramifications of the Qworty saga are not comforting'. That sums it up for me." Extensive discussion has also ensued throughout Wikipedia, particularly on Wales' talk page. Another article from TalkingWriting.com on the topic rhetorically asked, "How do we mobilize against an eight-headed monster that keeps ducking responsibility for unreliable information amassed by volunteers?" The article does, however, go on to say that most of Wikipedia's contributors have "good intentions".
Qworty eventually admitted to being Bob Young and has since been indefinitely blocked and site banned by the community pursuant to a discussion on the administrator's incident noticeboard. Wikipediocracy also published a detailed article.
Since publishing the article, Leonard posted a follow-up indicating his fascination with Wikipedia's policies and updating readers on the block of Qworty. In related stories, PolicyMic.com published an article indicating that until Wikipedia changes its policies on verifiability and adding information, it will remain an unreliable source, and the Salon article spurred the creation of a Wikipediocracy Wikipedia article, which was nominated for deletion and quickly kept.
- Azerbaijan aims to increase Wikipedia coverage: AzerNews has published an article describing the Institute of Information Technology of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences' effort to increase the amount of Wikipedia coverage on Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani Wikipedia is one of the faster-growing language versions of Wikipedia.
- "A horrible place to be": Itworld.com published an article about open-source projects, one of which was Wikipedia. An unnamed "well-known woman in open source" commented that Wikipedia has "a lot of people doing outreach" but went on to say that Wikipedia looks like a "horrible place to be" based on its gender gap.
- Spanish Wikipedia surpasses one million articles: Madrid newspaper ABC published an article (in Spanish) documenting the Spanish Wikipedia's passing of 1,000,000 articles. See also this week's "News and notes."
- Sue Gardner appears on The Story: The Wikimedia Foundation's Executive Director Sue Gardner was interviewed by The Story's Dick Gordon on American Public Media (better known as APM) on May 15. She discussed threats to freedom of information, the WMF's outreach to female editors, and discussed her personal role with the WMF.