Nguyen, however, never was a co-founder of the company, which was actually founded by Parker, Todd Masonis, and Cameron Ring. Most publications reporting on the murder charge have corrected their mistakes regarding Plaxo or written follow-up stories. On his blog (January 21), John McCrea, Plaxo's former head of marketing, wrote that Plaxo's employees largely have no idea who Nguyen is:
Well, since Minh never set foot inside the doors of Plaxo, nor did a single day of work there, most of them, somewhat surprisingly, have actually never met him. To them, he’s just "that guy who keeps editing the Wikipedia page for Plaxo," listing himself as co-founder, despite it not being true. Every attempt to set the record straight over the years has been met with a rapid re-edit by Minh.
McCrea discussed the problem (January 22) with People. He said, "It sort of became a wrestling match. As soon as we'd edit the page [and remove Minh's name], he'd go back and put his name back in. It happened dozens of times over multiple years. Eventually, we gave up out of frustration." The claim that Nguyen was a co-founder of Plaxo was first added to the Wikipedia article for the company in June 2006 by User:Minhn21, who added it again in 2008 and 2010. It was also added by IP editors. It is not known if Plaxo sought assistance on Wikipedia or from the Wikimedia Foundation regarding this matter.
Why would Nguyen repeatedly make such a claim? Masonis told People that Nguyen was a childhood friend of Parker. DCInnospoke with (January 21) several former Plaxo executives who all said that Nguyen was present at several social gatherings at Parker's home near Stanford University around 2001, but that he played no role in the founding of the company. McCrea told DCInno:
Minh never, ever worked at Plaxo. The company was created in Silicon Valley while he was living on the East Coast. He never set foot in the building, and he had no role in the founding of the company. His claim of co-foundership is false by every possible definition of the term.
McCrea speculated on his blog that "The best I've been able to piece together is that he and Sean may have talked about the idea of a smarter address book, and somehow in Minh's mind that made him a co-founder."
Russian official threatens to censor Wikipedia "in jest"
Newsweekreported on comments made by Alexander Biserov to ITAR-TASS on January 22. Biserov is deputy head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, or Roskomnadzor, the agency charged with media and communications in Russia. Biserov told ITAR-TASS that Wikipedia was full of "a colossal number of mistakes" and said "My opinion on this, and I have said it many times, is I would ban Wikipedia, simply put it under censorship". The Russian government quickly backpedaled in a statement issued hours later via RusNovosti radio, which said "All this was said in jest, with irony and it should not prompt any kind of public reaction." Biserov's statement is the latest in a series of Russian government complaints about Wikipedia. In November 2014, the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library announced it planned to create its own alternative to Wikipedia (See previous Signpostcoverage).
Wikipedia source for assassination dossier
Jerusalem Onlinereports (January 25) that Mashregh News, a news website affiliated with the IranianRevolutionary Guards, has published an article detailing a presumably hypothetical assassination plan targeting the two adult sons of Prime Minister of IsraelBenjamin Netanyahu, as well as the sons of former Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. Mashregh published a photograph of the Netanyahu family with crosshairs superimposed over the two sons, as well as detailed information about their recent activities and travels. According to Jerusalem Online, most of this information appeared to have been taken from Wikipedia. According to the International Business Times, high-ranking Revolutionary Guard member Hussein Salami called for (January 25) the assassination in retaliation for the death of Iranian General Mohammed Ali Allahdadi, who was killed in Syria in an airstrike earlier this month, an act that Iran has attributed to Israel.
An education in Wikipedia: The Australian Broadcasting Corporationinvestigates (January 27) Evocca College, an Australian training college with over 40 campuses. Government figures, which Evocca disputes, indicates that in 2012, almost 14,000 students were enrolled but only 19 graduated. ABC cited the case of one student who sought a digital media degree but discovered that course content was copied without attribution from Wikipedia articles he himself had written.
Cape Town meetup: htxt.africareports (January 27) on a Wikipedia meetup in Cape Town, South Africa on February 1.
SNet's Wikipedia: The Associated Pressreports (January 26) on how young Cubans have constructed a network of over 9000 computers in a country where internet access is expensive and strictly regulated by the government. The network, called SNet, short for streetnet, provides access to multiplayer games like World of Warcraft, a Facebook-like social network, movies and television shows, and a copy of Wikipedia that is refreshed whenever someone with internet access is able to do so.
The Prince of Wales: Debrett's has included Jimmy Wales on its annual Debrett's 500 list, a list of those they deem "Britain's 500 most influential people." Wales was born in the United States but is a resident of London.
Wikipedia encryption: PC Proreported (January 22) on comments made by Jimmy Wales at the 2015 BETT UK trade show. Wales pledged that Wikipedia will never turn off its encryption. Wales noted that following the disclosure by Edward Snowden of classified surveillance activity by the NSA and GCHQ, including the revelation that Wikipedia was seen as an easy target due to the absence of encryption, Wikipedia accelerated its efforts to provide it.
Who holds back the electric car?: Jimmy Wales was one of the attendees at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting of the world's overlords in Davos, Switzerland from January 21 to 24.
Infobox hero: The Daily Mirrorreports (January 20) that an IP address belonging to the UK government, 18.104.22.168, has made hundreds of edits to Wikipedia articles during the workday from November to January. While editing from UK government computers has been in the news before, this particular user or users took an interest in Wikipedia articles that were tagged as needing an infobox and systematically added infoboxes to them in alphabetical order, from A and T Recovery on November 20 to Butcher Bros. on January 14. The Mirror reported that the feed of the Twitter bot WhitehallEdits, which tweets links to Wikipedia articles edited from all UK government computers, was overwhelmed by the number of edits from this single IP address.
Media coverage of the Gamergate Arbitration Case will appear in this week's "News and notes".