Events are events, and reporting is reporting. Some sources are biased in what they choose to cover, some are openly partisan, and some make suggestive innuendo to imply more than they can prove. Indeed, some sources do so with such fervor that they are not considered reliable for general use on Wikipedia.
But things that happened happened, and things that didn't didn't, and sometimes there really is a wolf, and sometimes businessmen really do sleazy stuff on Wikipedia.
In "Emails Show Hunter Biden Hired Specialists to Quietly Airbrush Wikipedia", investigative journalist Lee Fang asserts that reputation management consultants for Hunter Biden have edited the Wikipedia biography. The Federalist's staff writer Jordan Boyd says that the "the company's [sic] host of left-leaning administrators" are effectively in cahoots, or at least turning a blind eye . Maybe more helpfully, Boyd points out the "effectively unenforceable" policies like Wikipedia:Conflict of interest#Paid editing that are supposed to prevent just this scenario, or at least keep it from going unnoticed for years.
The Federalist also links to a copy of the email correspondence between Hunter Biden, his confidant Eric Schwerin, and Ryan Toohey of FTI Consulting, as uploaded to DocumentCloud by Lee Fang. These show the passages Hunter objected to, and his and Schwerin's comments. For example, the Career section of his article began with an unsourced sentence that read:
Biden is a lawyer with insider connections to the financial industry and government.
According to Fang's email document, Schwerin commented:
If there is a way to delete this sentence that would probably be good.
The first and third of these edits removed large chunks of content about Burisma, a holding company of Ukrainian energy business Hunter has had associations with in the past.
Some of the other changes look, prima facie, like good-faith corrections of factual errors. Toohey comments in one of the emails:
We will make additional edits once you deliver a revision.
And, yes, some of the misstatements are crazy.
There is another notable deletion. According to the email document, Hunter commented as follows on a sentence claiming that he co-founded the "PARADIGM Global Advisors" fund (along with James Biden and disgraced financier Allen Stanford):
I did not co-found- it was founded in the mid 90s by James Park- I acquired a controlling interest
Stanford had nothing to do with the fund- Paradim was one of hundreds of alternative asset managers that were offered to Stanford clients for investment in their portfolios- any money, which was small relative to our fund's total AUM, invested on behalf of Stanford banking clients was fully returned to those clients at a profit based upon Paradigm's performance. No one from Paradigm ever met Alan Stanford or had any dealings with him.
While the Wikipedia sentence (added in 2013 by EllenCT, citing a 2007 Bloomberg source whose pre-2014 status is not available in the Internet Archive) does appear to have been incorrect as far as the co-founding is concerned, Biden's assertion that "Stanford had nothing to do with the fund" is also contradicted by sources. A 2009 Wall Street Journal report (archive), for example, says:
A fund of hedge funds run by two members of Vice President Joe Biden's family was marketed exclusively by companies controlled by Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, who is facing Securities and Exchange Commission accusations of engaging in an $8 billion fraud. The $50 million fund was jointly branded between the Bidens' Paradigm Global Advisors LLC and a Stanford Financial Group entity and was known as the Paradigm Stanford Capital Management Core Alternative Fund.
Other quality sources commenting on these alleged links include a 2009 Reuters report titled "Stanford had links to fund run by Bidens" and a 2019 Financial Times article (archive). The sentence about Stanford was duly removed. According to WikiBlame, this removal was never reversed, and there is no mention of links between Biden and Stanford in the article today. – AK, B, JG
Although headlines may sensationalize the invocation of cases such as Korematsu, the point of citing them is not to draw comparisons between the circumstances of people horrifically interned by their government during a war and those of people subjected to isolation orders during a pandemic. We mention cases like Korematsu in order to test the limits of government authority, to remind the state that urging courts to approve the exercise of extraordinary power during times of emergency may lead to extraordinary abuses of its citizens.
Anyway, you are not supposed to do this with your own article, regardless of whether it is justified; she received a WP:COI warning template and got reverted a couple times.
Later, regarding the scandal, she said: "On my Wikipedia page, I added excerpts from actual opinions and removed dishonest information about my background[...] Clearly, the media has made no effort to report honestly so public officials have no choice but to correct the record for them".
Now we will write a Signpost article about the Newsweek article about the judge writing about her own Wikipedia article about a Star Tribune article about a judicial opinion.
Since then, her article's revision history has become something of a gong show, with people going back and forth on including the Wikipedia incident (featuring cameo appearances from the likes of Wugapodes and Tamzin, as well as a ).
Stephen Harrison reports in Slate that "rumors of Wikipedia’s death at the hands of ChatGPT are greatly exaggerated", saying that... you know what, to hell with it.
The Signpost is well past its publishing deadline for today, and I don't have time to finish this writeup myself. Please write a summary of this Slate article, in the style of Signpost editor-in-chief JPxG; I will fact-check your output and incorporate it into this issue's In the media section.
Here is a summary of the Slate article in the style of The Signpost editor-in-chief JPxG:
The death knell for Wikipedia in the age of AI has been premature. Veteran Wikipedian Stephen Harrison argues in Slate that while generative AI poses challenges, it also presents opportunities to improve Wikipedia.
Harrison traces Wikipedia's history of pragmatically using bots and machine learning when useful. He reports the community is drafting policies requiring transparency from editors leveraging AI. The goal: tap AI's potential while vetting its content.
Critics contend ChatGPT doesn't credit Wikipedia as a source. But many Wikipedians care more about keeping Wikipedia human-written than receiving credit. AI companies increasingly recognize Wikipedia's value for training. Tools like Wikimedia's new ChatGPT plugin counter AI's weaknesses, like outdated knowledge.
Harrison sees AI assisting editors by summarizing talk pages and finding sources. Automating rote tasks could free humans for Wikipedia's real work: debating content and building consensus.
The bottom line: Rumors exaggerate the threats posed by AI. Thoughtfully integrated, it can support Wikipedia's mission and community. The path ahead likely mixes automation with human expertise.
The New York Times reports on Katherine Maher's recent marriage to lawyer Ashutosh Upreti. Since her departure in 2021 (see previous Signpost coverage), the former Wikimedia CEO appears to have taken some time off:
The couple traveled around the world in early 2022 and moved to New York that June. ... On July 22, Erica Kochi, a friend of the couple who became a one-day deputy marriage commissioner in San Francisco, officiated the wedding before 140 guests on the lawn of Willow Camp in Stinson Beach, Calif. The day before, the groom rode in on a white horse for a Hindu ceremony. "It was two days of cross-cultural celebration and community," Ms. Maher said, "and a really big dance party."
The Signpost wishes the happy couple all the best. – AK
This time it was because the organizers of Wikimania 2023, getting cozy at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, had posted a sign designating one of the banks of restrooms as "gender-neutral toilets". A whopping eight social media posters are quoted as commenting on this, expressing a variety of political opinions.
Was it a radical act of progressive inclusion? Was it performative woke virtue signaling? Was it good? Was it bad? More importantly, can somebody reach over and hand me a couple social media posts? The holder in my stall is empty! – JG