English Wikipedia editor faces ban for sockpuppetry
Editor's note: This will receive more extensive coverage in next week's arbitration report; a brief update appears here.
In the ongoing saga of Wifione allegedly using sockpuppets and his tools as an administrator to edit with a major conflict of interest, the English Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee is in the final stages of closing its case on the matter. With his proposals in the workshop receiving little support, he now faces significant sanctions from the committee. Wifione has already resigned his adminship under a cloud, and as of press time, ten arbitrators have voted in favor of a twelve-month site ban, at minimum, in addition to the desysopping. Many arbitrators discussed a so-called "Super Mario Problem"—essentially, conduct that would get a non-administrator banned only gets an administrator desysopped. Although Guerillero initially commented that "even keeping the 'Super Mario Problem' in mind, I do not feel that this reaches the level of a site ban," he later changed his vote on the site ban to support, noting that administrators should be held to a higher standard.
While a site ban appears to be a foregone conclusion at this point, arbitrators continue to discuss the wording of an associated restriction that would ostensibly remain in effect if Wifione returns to the project. The case appears to be nearing closure, and this is one case of alleged long-term abuse that the committee appears ready to put to rest. "Based upon duration, severity, etc.," wrote NativeForeigner while supporting a site ban, the "level of deception and manipulation of [point of view] rises to a very high level over a long period of time."
Wifione first edited in April 2009, racking up over 16,000 edits since. He became an administrator in September 2010, passing with about 80% in support.
Another $1 million prize for Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales will be one of the recipients of the 2015 Dan David Prize. First awarded in 2002 and administered by Tel Aviv University, the prize "recognizes and encourages innovative and interdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms. It aims to foster universal values of excellence, creativity, justice, democracy and progress and to promote the scientific, technological and humanistic achievements that advance and improve our world." Each year winners are selected for their work affecting the past, present, and future in a different broad category for each time frame. A US$1 million prize is awarded to the winner or winners in each time frame. This year's categories and winners were:
Last year, Wales shared a separate $1 million prize—the Knowledge Award—with Tim Berners-Lee, but was criticized for accepting money from the United Arab Emirates due to that nation's human rights abuses (see previous Signpostcoverage). In a similar vein, an IP editor has asked Wales if he will turn down the award from an Israeli organization, though it remains to be seen if this award will attract as much criticism as the Knowledge Award.
GLAM-Wiki Conference: Conference tickets and discounted hotel rooms are now available for the 2015 GLAM-Wiki Conference, which will be hosted by the Dutch Wikimedia chapter in The Hague from April 10 to 12.
Slovak Wikipedia: The Slovak Wikipedia has reached the 200,000 article mark. Slovak is spoken by approximately seven million people in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.