The Signpost

In the media

The disinformation age

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By Smallbones

In the Information Age, disinformation is all around us: photos in our encyclopedia meant to sell clothing, a spy possibly editing Wikipedia, company names that mean nothing, citogenesis. Is Wikipedia part of the solution or part of the problem?

Information and disinformation

The North Face vandalizes Wikipedia

In May 2019 The Signpost reported that The North Face, a global chain clothing store, paid their marketers to replace Wikipedia's photos of parks, mountains and other nature sites with their advertisements. Media coverage of the scandal continues.

Adding and deleting women

External videos
video icon Exploring the gender gap in Wikipedia editors, 3:09, June 11, 2019, University of Washington
Rosiestep and FloNight appear in this video about UW research into the reasons for Wikipedia's gender gap. Rosiestep says "Amanda Menking and Wanda Pratt's work is important, so I was happy to participate in this project, and the follow-up video... I'd be interested in hearing feedback from members of the Wikimedia community as well as non-Wikimedians after they view the video."

In brief

For further coverage of Wikipedia in the news see List of articles about Wikipedia
Do you want to contribute to "In the media" by writing a story or even just an "in brief" item? Edit next week's edition in the Newsroom or leave a tip on the suggestions page.

In this issue
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Unless I am mistaken, Aaron Mak "Donald Trump's Wikipedia Entry Is a War Zone", Slate, which contained some legitimate criticism of en.wp power-users by an en.wp admin and by the journalist, was mentioned neither in May or June. This is puzzling as it's very unlikely to have been an oversight: was it considered to be unreliable? impolitic? (I mean it does have someone making snide comments like: "It sounds like you have an issue with bold editing or perhaps the world is moving too fast for you." (The article mentions that the author would later be reprimanded for ignoring consensus.) I strongly encourage people to read that article to understand how reasonable outsiders view en.wp's problematic power users. 🌿 SashiRolls t · c 19:08, 30 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@SashiRolls: It was an oversight. Feel free to include this in the next issue. Go to Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Newsroom, click "in the media", and present this however you like. This is a standing invitation and anyone would have told you the same earlier. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:15, 30 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, BR, but I've actually just added it directly since that seemed much simpler and more timely.🌿 SashiRolls t · c 19:24, 30 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks @SashiRolls: it is a very good article. In my prep for this column there's a gap that you might help me fill. About 2-3 days before deadline I pretty much have to ignore new articles coming out, and for a couple of days after I take a break from reading about Wikipedia. It's just a time management thing. If you see good articles in that gap please let me know. I'll probably be going for fewer articles and more topics, as well as longer write-ups, (do we need 12 articles on The North Face?), so they may be harder to fit in. Also I have a bias toward newer articles, which means I forget about the gap. Any help appreciated. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:34, 30 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@SashiRolls: You said you "just added it directly" but I can't see that edit; perhaps you left the window open? In any case, it's probably better to mention this article in the July issue, while explaining it was missed in May and June. — JFG talk 01:57, 4 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Male Wikipedia editors are deleting women, says Sandi Toksvig in The Times. Good try, but she gets a few facts wrong. "There are about 350,000 uber-volunteers..."

Wait, is she telling us that there are over three hundred thousand sad, basement-dwelling men with too much time on their hands, all gung-ho on editing Wikipedia?! Well, that's a bloody relief, I guess we can all relax and slack off a bit, with all those hands on deck! All those editors should be able to handle the workload and still find plenty of time for Cheetos runs, their misogynistic editorial pet projects, genital-scratching contests, and whatever else they typically engage in. ...I'd invite Toksvig to pitch in, since she's so misinformed about just how large a community there really is behind-the-scenes here, but if all of her sourcing is this fanciful then maybe that's a bad idea. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 04:28, 1 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Sadly (because she is a national treasure, for whom I have had the greatest respect for many years) this is not the only time that Sandi Toksvig has been badly misinformed, to use a charitable word, about Wikipedia in recent days. See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Women in Red#Mention on leading UK show: as well as repeating the claim that artices about women are being deleted, she has also claimed that articles about women are not being created, and that Wikipedia is 9% about women and 90% about men. (talk) 17:25, 1 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Yes and yes. She is a national treasure (and OBE) from what I understand. Yes she was sadly mistaken. I didn't mean to make fun of her, but sometimes it's important to point out mistakes that good people make. I'm just wondering now upon review - should I have included this short blurb? Please let me know here. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:15, 2 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I'm a huge fan of Toksvig and I thought the blurb was still fair. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 16:54, 2 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]


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