The Signpost

In the media

Twiddling Wikipedia during an online contest, and other news

Help correct outdated or incomplete coverage about climate change

Canary Media, an affiliate of the activist non-profit RMI, reports that Wikipedia has a climatetech problem. They urge "climatetech professionals" to edit articles because "The problem is that Wikipedia is often out of date, particularly when it comes to emerging or fast-changing subjects such as clean energy and decarbonization."

WMF staffer Alex Stinson is quoted giving some good advice in a 2020 article, as well as on a Wikiproject page, including finding malicious edits, flagging bad information, and marking a missing citation. – S

Using Wikipedia to win a lottery? There are no free airline tickets

The Hong Kong International Airport sponsored free airline tickets to let tourists know that the the city was open for business after a long COVID slowdown. The plan was to give away 500,000 tickets via multiple lotteries, including 80,000 to be distributed by Cathay Pacific. According to Mothership, Cathay Pacific was to give out 12,500 of those tickets for the Singapore-Hong Kong route, to people who applied between March 2 and March 8. All you had to do to enter the contest was fill out an online form and answer some trivia questions about the history of Cathay Pacific. To find the answers (according to pageview data) about 6,000 more people than usual visited the English Wikipedia's article about Cathay Pacific on March 2. And about 5 people, using IP addresses traceable to Singapore, made about a dozen edits "to prevent others from winning". For example the founding date in the article was changed from 1946 to 1947 and then to 1949. In the first 43 minutes that registration was open 100,000 people entered the contest and the contest was closed early. A Wikipedia admin locked the article at about the same time.

Cathay Pacific named the winners on-time on March 20, as Mothership reported the outcome. It turns out the "free tickets" weren't really free because a fuel surcharge, taxes and other fees needed to be paid to get the tickets. The net you needed to pay: S$194.50 (about US$145) to get the S$474.50 tickets. – S

In brief

  • Streaming satire: Hard Drive, a satirical site recently in the news for its spat with Elon Musk, "reports" that Wikipedia's biography of an up-and-coming streamer includes a controversy section saying nothing but "TBD". The site quotes a fictitious Wikipedian as saying: "These things are just inevitable; might as well save some time now."
  • Universal Code of Conduct Enforcement Guidelines attract press coverage in India: See article in the Indian Express and article in The Print.
  • Cochrane–Wikipedia partnership: Medical research charity Cochrane reports on its partnership with Wikipedia in 2023: "Given that so many people are consulting Wikipedia on a daily basis, we feel that Cochrane's commitment to producing and sharing high quality health evidence includes sharing that evidence where people are accessing it," they say.
  • Penn State editathon: Penn State is hosting a virtual editathon focusing on Native American women.
  • When to use Wikipedia: Is Wikipedia a good source? When to use the online encyclopedia – and when to avoid it – two college librarians explain Wikipedia to classic rock station WRQE. Mostly good advice, though it seems they haven't discovered the History tab yet, recommending that people use the Internet Archive to view old article versions. Also, their commentary on indigenous oral history is only relevant if the oral history isn't already recorded somewhere.
  • Fools of April: A Reddit account "WikipediaHistorian" asked people not to vandalize articles this year. Good luck with that.
  • Cute sound logo: A few media sources noticed the winning entry in the contest for Wikipedia's new sound logo: [1] [2] [3] [4] (See related coverage at WP:Wikipedia Signpost/2023-04-03/News and notes.)

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Cathay Airlines:

Still getting vandalised. A longer block is probably required. (The giveaway is still ongoing and staggered for 6 months. [5]) – robertsky (talk) 16:57, 3 April 2023 (UTC)[reply]

The Motherboard news article really had me confused when I first read it. People are vandalizing Wikipedia in order to win a contest?! How does that work? Fortunately the admin was quicker on the uptake than I was on the write-up. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:06, 3 April 2023 (UTC)[reply]
It's spelled "indigenous". Daniel Case (talk) 05:02, 7 April 2023 (UTC)[reply]


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