The Signpost

Articles examined in the study

Politically controversial articles

Non-controversial articles

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The domain name system
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Wikipedia hates women

All right. Multiple things I want to say this article because I am dumbfounded. Firstly, for a humor website like Cracked claims to be, this was the complete opposite of the definition of humor. Second, saying that Wikipedia hates women is a generalization and a gross claim to make. Yes Wikipedia has a gender gap. God help I would like to see a female editor or two being part of the Video Game WikiProject. But to say that Wikipedia hates women is like saying that Wikipedia is a complete encyclopedia. Both false and claims that will never be true.

Sure ArbCom can get troubling (See the Lightbreather case), but I am getting tired of this whole thought that Wikipedia is Anti-women. For Gods sake the internet is full of people who say terrible things just to get a reaction from others. I'm just overall disappointed by this article and wish it was never made.

And one more thing. I don't like her claim that she left Wikipedia after the ArbCom case even though she still made little edits here and there. Including making a Draft page of video game journalist Cara Ellison which she also admitted to be a friend of hers. Saying you left Wikipedia while making some edits here and there doesn't constitute leaving Wikipedia, in my opinion. GamerPro64 16:50, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding your last point, I almost mentioned in the article that she had made some "post-retirement" edits, but I decided it was irrelevant. A lot of editors who have spent years of daily or near-daily activity on Wikipedia consider themselves "retired" even though they still edit occasionally. A prominent recent example is TParis, who retired early this year, yet went on to write a Signpost op-ed in May and has edited about a dozen times this month. Gamaliel (talk) 16:59, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a good point. But I will say that the piece makes it sound like she full out stopped editing. The entire article irks me as a whole and just makes Wikipedia look like a terrible place. GamerPro64 19:34, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I say this with hesitance, because it will make me look like an bigot (I'm not!) but, in the past few years, Cracked has cranked up the social justice push pieces up to 11. They have a lot of good pieces, but they have a lot of pieces that push an agenda, quite often through a thick lens of groupthink that explicitly demonizes all opposing points of view as automatically evil. I would take any social justice pieces on Cracked through a very heavy grain of salt. This article is no different; they found a single editor who was willing to help them push their agenda, and they ran with it without bothering to interview other members of the community. It was absolutely a one-sided push piece. Combating stupidity is a good thing; combating stupidity with more stupidity only causes the stupidity level to rise. Magog the Ogre (tc) 01:39, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was willing to give the article a fair go, until I got to "focus on articles about entertainment" immediately followed by "out of fear of real-life consequences". Let's keep it real here, there are people who edit articles on mathematics, medicine, and politics, then there are people who edit articles on entertainment, and the reasons they primarily choose one or the other is not consequences, it's ability and resources, entertainment articles needing less ability and less resources. Int21h (talk) 20:17, 22 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Without echoing the above points about Cracked and its coverage, and noting that I'm quite concerned about the WP:GENDERGAP (see what happened when I dared to suggest that WP:DIVA and its longer title Wikipedia:Don't feed the divas were kind-of sexist titles), and without challenging Morwen's statements about feeling harassed, I have to take issue with Morwen's reasoning here: "eventually the toxic environment started ripping Wikipedia apart from the inside. Over the next five years, the number of Wikipedia editors shrank by over a third, with most of those that left being women." There are three obvious logic problems in this:
  1. WP has not "torn itself apart" over alleged misogyny or transphobia. Awareness of both and what to do about them are at an all-time high here. They're certainly taken more seriously here than on much of any other site where anyone can have their say. The average social networking site or webboard is orders of magnitude more tolerant of intolerance than WP is today.
  2. There's no evidence linking gyno- or transphobia to a decline in editorship. Much has been published about WP's editorial ranks decline, and it principally seems to be a combination of three factors: a) The "gee whiz, what's this new thing?" feeling has worn off; b) WP editing has become more serious and more challenging as policies have evolved to move it toward serious, professional-level encyclopedia output instead of a free-wheeling experiment; and c) most of the obvious, easy, and hot-topic articles have already long since been written and developed, leaving mostly highly competence-intensive work remaining to be done.
  3. There's no data to back the idea that most departing editors are women. It cannot possibly be true because the percentage of editors who are women has not sharply dropped, yet the number of editors in total has. It probably is true that any individual female editor is at least slightly more likely to leave than a male one (though I'm not sure we have any data to back that up either), but more than one reason has been suggested (including by women, mind you) for why this might be true, and it's not all about "a hostile editing environment". It could be principally a factor of women, on average, having different priorities than their male counterparts. Getting in incessant debates about the wording seems to be a pastime that attracts a significantly male-heavy group of self-selecting participants, and that has little to do with WP in particular. The same effect can be seen everywhere, from participation in online forums, to number of woman academics in the sciences, and any other subculture that spends a great deal of time engaging in often unproductive verbal combat.
I have to suggest that the third factor is key here. Providing things to do here, different ways to contribute, that are more interesting to more women that constant verbal chest-beating, is the real way to increase the number of female editors and increase WP's long-term retention of them.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  19:48, 27 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Bogus wikipedia page"

The writers failed to consider a yet another possibility. It is written: "Dr. Blofeld cited eleven sources". All of them predate the 2012 application by a wide margin. I know Dr. Blofeld, but I don't know DotMusic, and I'd rather assume that Dot ripped off the same sources (or sources further developed upon these), but without giving any credits. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:48, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I stand corrected; Dot did cite its sources: "Under such structured context music consumption becomes possible regardless whether the transaction is commercial and non-commercial (M. Talbot, Business of Music, 2002). " So, does somebody want to check the text in M.Talbot, who was cited by Dr Blofeld as well? Staszek Lem (talk) 18:05, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In any case Murphy's accusations of plagiarism are contestable. (i.e. the above is an answer to Murphy's challenge "If there’s an innocent explanation for that, I’d love to hear it.") Staszek Lem (talk) 18:16, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The allegations are a form of trolling. I'm surprised they weren't ignored. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:24, 22 August 2015 (UTC).Reply[reply]

I love the fact that the AfD for the article closed as trainwreck. Have a feeling we'll be feeling more of that article in the future. GamerPro64 03:46, 21 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Percentage of women

Well, given that less than 10% of all editors have been women, if 1/3 (33%) of the editors left over a five year period, they can't mostly have been women. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:43, 26 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Politically controversial not-really-science

I have a hard time fathoming why anyone got paid to do 'research' concluding 'topics we consider politically but not scientifically “controversial” ... experience more frequent edits with more words changed per day than pages we consider “noncontroversial” '. This is rather like concluding that people who are more popular have more friends, or that dogs with more fleas have a greater incidence of small, itchy bites on them. Far more interesting actual research would have been a multi-valued comparison – rates of addition, removal, reversion, etc, change in number of editors, of anonymous editors, of administrative, RfC, and noticeboard actions, etc., ratio of edits to talk page posts, ratio of sources to word-count, ratio of secondary to primary sources, number of additions and removal of citations to separate sources, change in complexity level of language, splitting vs.consolidation of topically-related articles, and so on – between topics that are: a) politically but not scientifically controversial; b) scientifically but not politically controversial [including just due to obscurity]; c) both politically and scientifically controversial; d) neither politically nor scientifically controversial but controversial for some other known reason (religious objection, legal action, celebrity scandal, etc.). It would probably help if it used an actually statistically significant number of articles, too.

I don't think anyone needed any kind of "study" showing that politically controversial topics get edited more. Any sane person would have confidently predicted that, and any even slightly experienced editor (or regular reader, for that matter) already knows this is true on WP, and we have policies and guidelines that specifically address the "controversial topic" factor. What we don't have data on (that I know of) is where there are quantifiable differences between different sorts of controversies. Whoever makes this your dissertation/thesis, please credit me with the idea in a footnote. :-)  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  19:14, 27 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


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