BuzzFeedreported (September 28) on three Wikipedia accounts that self-identified as belonging to America Rising staffers. Two of them, including one belonging to Miller, only made non-political edits. The third, User:Sprinkler Court, made 34 edits, openly identifying his or her conflict of interest in the edit summaries of his or her major edits. These edits were mostly to insert or advocate the insertion of material unflattering or potentially damaging to ten current Democratic candidates for the United States Senate. The 2014 midterm elections may result in Republicans gaining majority control over the Senate.
This goes beyond uncomfortable. Wikipedia is not a political website. Thank you for disclosing your conflict of interest. You stated that you are editing where you have a conflict of interest, and where you have a vested interest. Since you recognized both situations but continued editing (a wrong decision), I have blocked your account.
BuzzFeedreported (October 6) that Miller vowed to challenge the blocking through unspecified means:
We've consulted long-time editors, don't believe the blocking will stand, and are going to appeal. Nobody has produced an example of a disruptive edit and we are not being paid to edit. Every edit our researcher made was accurate, relevant, and met the Wikipedia standards.
Australia has since European settlement and obviously well before that, had a history of recurrent bushfires. I looked up what Wikipedia says, for example, just to see what the rest of the world thought, and it opens up with the fact that bushfires in Australia are frequently occurring events during the hotter months of the year. Large areas of land are ravaged every year by bushfires. That's the Australian experience.
At the time, Hunt's comments, especially his invocation of Wikipedia, were widely criticized (see previous Signpostcoverage).
A year later, a report from the Sydney Morning Herald (October 7) widely circulating through Australian media reveals that Hunt had been briefed by the Bureau of Meteorology on climate change and bushfires three weeks prior to the Newshour interview where he indicated he had consulted Wikipedia on the topic. Contrary to his assertion in the interview that the Bureau was careful not to link the two, the confidential briefings indicate the Bureau's director informed Hunt "A number of more recent studies are drawing probabilistic links between more extreme seasonal heat records and climate change, including the Australian summer of 2012-13." (G)
EFF organizes a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon for the Zone 9 Bloggers: April Glasere writes (October 3) at the website of the Electronic Frontier Foundation about their organization of an edit-a-thon to improve Wikipedia coverage of the Zone 9 bloggers and related topics. The Zone 9 bloggers are an Ethiopian bloggers group that, according to their Wikipedia article, are "a collective focusing on human rights, good governance, education, social justice, corruption and non-violence social transformation." Glasere noted that last July, the Ethiopian government arrested six Zone 9 bloggers, as well as three other journalists. The edit-a-thon took place as a Wikipedia meetup on Sunday, August 24. As for the results, Glasare reported:
Editors also greatly expanded the Internet in Ethiopia article to include sections on censorship and surveillance, updated the Ethio Telecom article about the country's only ISP (which happens to be owned by the government), and updated the article on spyware manufacturer FinFisher to include Ethiopia's use of the spyware. Editors also created a new page for Befeqadu Hailu, one of the more famous Zone 9 Bloggers currently in prison.
Brooke Magnanti accused of plagarising from Wikipedia: Milo Yiannopoulos wrote about Jeremy Duns' compilation of alleged plagarisms by Brooke Magnanti on Breitbart.com (September 30). Dr. Magnanti, also known under the pen name of Belle de Jour, apparently paraphrased material from Wikipedia but failed to attribute it as her source. Yiannopoulos includes passages from Wikipedia and other sources along with the corresponding portions from Magnanti's columns containing what appear to be paraphrases with no acknowledgement of the source. Readers of the 2014-10-01 Signpost article "Let's get serious about plagiarism" will know that while Magnanti did not copy article passages directly, and while it is arguable whether she paraphrased too closely, "failing to acknowledge the source of quotations and borrowed ideas" would definitely make her a plagiarist. (P)
OCLC Collective Insight: Wikipedia and Libraries: In an event for librarians that may interest some participants of GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums), the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), the organization behind WorldCat, has scheduled a free Wikipedia and Libraries webinar "to learn what steps your library can take to gain visibility on the world's largest free encyclopedia." It will run on Tuesday, 21 October from 1:00-2:30 EDT and requires advance registration. (P)