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Call for Papers: Academia and Wikipedia: Critical Perspectives in Education and Research (Maynooth University, June 18, 2018)

A call for papers for an academic conference. The full CFP is at: - kosboot (talk) 13:29, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

WMF 2016-17 financial report

The WMF's 2016-17 financial report was released a couple weeks ago: Guy Macon will be happy to know that expenses only rose modestly from $65,947,465 to $69,136,758, a 4.8% increase. Kaldari (talk) 22:50, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

I am very happy to hear that. I was told to expect it from some insiders who keep me informed, but it is great to see it in an official audit report. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:06, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia has become a science reference source even though scientists don’t cite it

Wikipedia has become a science reference source even though scientists don’t cite it from Science News. Chris Troutman (talk) 23:10, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

{{done}}Chris troutman: Believe it or not, published in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2017-09-25/In the media. Thanks for the tip though, please do keep them coming. Eddie891 Talk Work 22:04, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

Kim Jong-un photo

This might be worthy of a mention somewhere. There have been numerous debates on the use of a non-free image to depict Kim Jong-un, most notably two RfCs (one in 2012, and another in 2015). These debates began even before he was leader of North Korea (see 2010 discussion). A non-free image was never approved, and literally dozens of uploads of non-free images of him under various file names were deleted both on en.wikipedia and on Commons (see example here, and example on Commons). An FAQ (see Talk:Kim Jong-un/FAQ) was even added to the header of the talk page informing people why there was no image of him. Non-free images or copyright violating images of him were added to the infobox of the article countless times. In every case, the images were removed. Efforts were made to generate a free license alternative, by way of photo-realistic images and sketches. Even that became a subject of debate (see discussion) and edit warring.

Finally, after nearly 12 years of the article's existence, a free license image of Kim Jong-un has been made, released, and found. This image was found and uploaded to Commons by @Cyberdoomslayer:. The derivative image File:Kim Jong-un at the Workers' Party of Korea main building.png was uploaded on March 6, and a day later is already in use on 8 different language wikipedias.

The Wikimedia Foundation stated in their 2008 resolution on licensing policy that non-free images of living people would almost always not be allowed. Our local policy on the matter, at WP:NFCC#1 explicitly states "or could be created", which echoed the Foundation's decree in that we could not allow non-free content where free license content could be created. This was the sticking point with all Kim Jong-un photographs up until this image was found; no free license images existed or could be found. The uploading of this image has finally broken the gordian knot, and ended many years of debate on a crucial non-free content licensing issue. Speculating, but it is likely this case will be referred to for years to come when it comes to similarly difficult NFCC issues. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:20, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

Hammersoft: I'd like to cut and paste what you just wrote near verbatim if it's OK with you. Eddie891 Talk Work 14:44, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

Human photo

Nice article in WIRED about our lead photo for Human: Kaldari (talk) 00:22, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

{{Done}} Kaldari, in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2018-03-29/In the media. Thanks for the tip. Eddie891 Talk Work 22:07, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

New-ish Meta Level Policy

Regarding paid editing:

"We require those involved with paid editing on Wikipedia to link on their user page to all other active accounts on external websites through which they advertise paid Wikipedia editing business."[1]

Can we add this to the signpost? Thanks Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:15, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

{{Done}}: Doc James thanks for the tip, got it in next issue. Eddie891 Talk Work 22:10, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
Perfect. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:00, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

YouTube will add information from Wikipedia to videos about conspiracies

"YouTube will add information from Wikipedia to videos about conspiracies" from The Verge quotes Susan Wojcicki: "When there are videos that are focused around something that’s a conspiracy — and we’re using a list of well-known internet conspiracies from Wikipedia — then we will show a companion unit of information from Wikipedia showing that here is information about the event." Chris Troutman (talk) 01:49, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Fascinating. I wonder if this will bring in an influx of conspiracy theorists to edit the pages in question, possibly having the reverse effect to the one intended? Would it be possible to track these incoming links from YouTube? -- The Anome (talk) 10:55, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Polygon on some of the problems with this, along with WMF Katherine Maher tweeting that this is not necessarily a well-thought out idea. (I have several qualms myself that we're going to create a citogenesis loop by this too). --Masem (t) 21:04, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Hunt for public servant who is defacing Penny Wong's Wikipedia page

Hunt for public servant who is defacing Penny Wong's Wikipedia page Hawkeye7 (discuss) 04:00, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

More in this ABC podcast and this BuzzFeed article. Triptothecottage (talk) 21:01, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

Bassel Khartabil memorial fund and Fellowship

Hey Signpost folks! Still regularly enjoy reading :) I was hoping you would consider mentioning the recently announced Creative Commons Bassel Khartabil memorial fund and Fellowship. Creative Commons is accepting applications through March 24. I know many amazing Wikipedians in the MENA region, and this might be an incredible opportunity for them or people they know. Appreciate any help in spreading the word! JayWalsh (talk) 21:28, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

Creative Commons Global Summit: It's happening from April 13-15!

Hi Wikimedians! I'm a long time lurker, first time poster. I'd be happy to write a feature about the event as well. Thanks so much!

Creative Commons would like to invite Wikimedians to our Global Summit from April 13-15 in Toronto. Planned Wikimedia-related events include a keynote by Katherine Maher and several discussions and sessions on how Wikimedia and Creative Commons can and do work together. Be a part of the Big Open movement – join us in April!

The annual Global Summit brings together an international community of leading technologists, legal experts, academics, activists, and community members who work to promote the power of open and future of the Commons worldwide.

The Summit provides leaders, stakeholders, and the broader open web community an opportunity to drive the open movement forward, cross-pollinate ideas and expertise, and expand our impact.

Our 2018 Global Summit will take place in Toronto, Canada from April 13-15, 2018, at the Delta Toronto Hotel. As one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto is an ideal location for this key meeting of the top minds of the field.

Register here:

Little wow325: would you like to write a piece about the summit? Eddie891 Talk Work 14:01, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Eddie891: I'd be happy to. We also have press passes if any Wikimedians want to cover it! Little wow325

New research on AN/I

{{done}} The results of a 2017 survey on the Administrator's Noticeboard/Incidents are now up, should be of interest to people. A summary is here, along with some interesting quantitative analysis of the board here. Patrick Earley (WMF) (talk) 16:15, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

that's a very interesting survey. Certainly merits someone making an article for Signpost out of it. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 21:34, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

Noam Cohen in the Washington Post

I've seen Cohen's byline usually in the NY Times. Here's something he wrote for the Washington Post: Conspiracy videos? Fake news? Enter Wikipedia, the ‘good cop’ of the Internet (April 6). Notes that YouTube is proposing links to Wikipedia for information verification (to combat "fake news") and talks about the evolving relationship between Google and Wikipedia. Interestingly, the comments are more about Google/YouTube than Wikipedia. - kosboot (talk) 12:47, 8 April 2018 (UTC)


A lie about Mike Pompeo’s Gulf War service started with an anonymous Wikipedia edit

Quartz describes in this piece how an IP inserted an unsourced claim that the SECSTATE nominee served in the Gulf War. (He did not. His cavalry squadron in Germany was not one of the units sent to Iraq in 1991.) The problem is that a bunch of other outlets repeated the claim and it was months before the error was corrected here and journalists acknowledged a mistake was made. From the piece: "The situation shows how much major media outlets have come to rely on Wikipedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia run by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit that employs less than 300 people." The article links to diffs, which is pretty helpful. Because this is a political piñata, much of the recent coverage blames Pompeo's office for not correcting the record sooner. I think the moral of the story for Wikipedia has something to do with our mistaken belief that IPs should be allowed to edit BLPs. Chris Troutman (talk) 21:36, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

Chris, if you don't have time before the coming deadline, you could add something to News and Notes, and write your Op-Ed for the next issue. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:45, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
I learned when I was 19 or 20 that nobody cares to hear what I think. I came to realize I could only occasionally get away with indulgently voicing my opinion, like my comment above. For me to write about the foolishness of allowing IPs to edit at all, let alone on BLPs, would be a waste of my time and a cause for ridicule from my fellow editors. Someday when I'm a lonely retiree without any fucks left to give, I'll write until the president of my fan club hauls me to ANI for the last time. Chris Troutman (talk) 19:50, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
There's also the option of writing a reader response to the article after it is published. Those get viewed almost as much as the piece itself. ☆ Bri (talk) 19:27, 23 April 2018 (UTC)


We're going to the moon!

Arch Foundation want to send Wikipedia to the moon. (To avoid the clickbait: they plan to do miniaturized printing of numerous WP pages onto tiny nickel plates that they will include when Astrobotic launches its first delivery system to the moon.) --Masem (t) 14:12, 15 May 2018 (UTC) {{done}}

Iron curtain of translation

I would be willing to write something for the signpost about a need for greater cross-wiki translation between Russian and English Wikipedias: many VERY notable things like major plane crashes (with 100+ people), mining disasters, riots and other events that happened during the cold war are only in the respective wiki for the language of the country where the event happened, especially because many of these things were not confirmed and openly published publically until decades after the incidents (for things in the USSR) leaving information untranslated, or when events happened in the US media in the USSR was censored, leaving a lack of translated news media from the time. The Soviet Aviation Task Force has a list of missing articles we need to be translated. I hope I can send out an appeal to bilingual English-Russian speakers reading this. Russian annual air accident templates list many redlinks that need to be translated from English or another language (see RU:Категория:Навигационные шаблоны:Авиационные происшествия and us in the English wiki have many Soviet plane crashes we need translated from Russian.--PlanespotterA320 (talk) 17:14, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

PlanespotterA320:Sounds very interesting, and please consider writing something. Be sure to make your case well. If you need help, please contact myself or Bri. Thank You. Eddie891 Talk Work 17:29, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

In the media: in brief – New Zealand place names with macrons

WikiProject party of one

An interesting thought that I had was to write about WikiProjects or task forces that only have one editor consistently contributing. Maybe they're the only one left after other users lost interest, or they're the founder of something that never really took off. When you're THE contributor to a topic, you feel responsible for a large pool of articles. There's this feeling that, "if I lose interest, who will improve this area?" Conversely, it may be pleasant because all those articles will have a consistent tone, layout, citation style, and other things. Finding these editors may be a bit challenging, though, because I don't know how unusual the circumstance is. Enwebb (talk) 20:47, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

Enwebb: Sounds interesting. Are there any you can think of? Eddie891 Talk Work 13:16, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

El Noticiero and El Infográfico

In the Spanish Wikipedia they are reactivating El Noticiero (after 10 years), which fulfills the same functions as The Signpost, there is also a supplement called El Infográfico, which presents information visually attractive, using infographics. Maybe you want to give coverage to this new, they are still in the process of development, but they have scheduled their first edition for April 30. Miguu Parley! 05:37, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

@Eddie891: Perhaps this could be included in News and notes for Issue 5? The note on top of es:Wikipedia:El Noticiero says it is based on English Wikipedia [The Signpost] ("básandose en el de la Wikipedia en Inglés"), so definitely of interest for that reason as well. Maybe matter for an interview for a future edition as well? ☆ Bri (talk) 14:18, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes. Later today–tomorrow, I hope to write the rest of news and notes (and featured content). If only there was a translator to facilitate... Eddie891 Talk Work 16:39, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
There's Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English but I don't know if it would be timely enough for issue 5. ☆ Bri (talk) 04:30, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

May issue

I will be making a 'special report' again on ACTRIAL/ACREQ/AfC for the May issue, and this is in development. I may not be able to contribute so much to the other featured colums as I did for April, but I may be offering an op-ed on something else, and possibly an intervieew with some New Page and AfC reviewers. I will also be canvassing for other submissions. And of course helping Bri with his publishing tasks. I've learned a lot about how The Signpost works in the past few days. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:14, 26 April 2018 (UTC)

Actually, I will be helping Chris troutman as backup publication manager. But freed from editorial exile since I will be withdrawing the rapid grant request. ☆ Bri (talk) 00:23, 26 April 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia in the news

The Guardian has this cartoon about BLPs [2]. Recognition I think. Nthep (talk) 08:21, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Nthep That presents an interesting problem, because it is awfully hard to report on a cartoon that is copyrighted. Thoughts?Eddie891 Talk Work 13:17, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
@Eddie891: NFCC is a non starter as use wouldn't be in article space so the only option appear to be just a link to the image or asking the authors for a CC release. Nthep (talk) 18:30, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
@Eddie891: I've spoken with the cartoonists and they can't cc it at the moment due to their contract with the Guardian but will consider it in the not too-distant future. Nthep (talk) 14:22, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
Nthep: That's great! let me know how it goes. Eddie891 Talk Work 14:56, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

Report on how the Turkish community is affected by the ongoing block

How are they coping? Is there even a noticable difference? What has changed? Has the sense of community shifted? How are they dealing with the reporting of the block itself on Wikipedia? We'd obviously need someone who speaks Turkish, or rely on the Turkish community members who can speak English; Does anybody know somebody who could get us in touch with the Turkish community? Zarasophos (talk) 15:21, 20 May 2018 (UTC)

What's behind the "slow decline"?

There's an ongoing - and forgive me for using the word - narrative of Wikipedia going through a slow but steady decline (just see the WikiProject Report in the last issue, where this general decline is taken for granted). This would be a longer thing, maybe even a series, but that's probably something we should do anyway, now that we've pivoted to a magazine instead of a weekly newspaper. Zarasophos (talk) 15:21, 20 May 2018 (UTC)

That Wikipedia continues to grow, there is no doubt. However, I have certainly witnessed a decline in many of the maintenance and project areas, not to mention The Signpost itself.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 06:59, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
Other media have covered this. See for example 3 Charts That Show How Wikipedia Is Running Out of Admins, The Atlantic, 2012; The Decline of Wikipedia, MIT Technology Review 2013; Can Wikipedia Survive?, The New York Times, 2015; and especially Is English Wikipedia’s 'rise and decline' typical?, Benjamin "Mako" Hill (Washington State academic & Wikipedian), April 2018, quoting from "The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System", another researcher now employed by WMF, and presenting new research confirming and replicating it. In other words, more than a groundless "narrative", I think. Maybe Mako himself will wish to add something? ☆ Bri (talk) 21:07, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

What's going on in Brazil?

Yeah, what is? Zarasophos (talk) 14:52, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

NZ Wikipedian-at-large

There's a COI so I obviously can't write this myself, but was just wondering if the new Project Grant I was awarded would be of interest to the Signpost. Here's some media coverage:

This may of course be being covered in a regular Wikimedia blog post along with other grant awardees. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 01:59, 28 May 2018 (UTC)

Report from Wikimedia Conference 2018

@Kudpung: and @Bri: A few people wrote reports about their experiences at Wikimedia Conference 2018. I recommend that this one be considered for inclusion in the Signpost as a "special report" or "op-ed". --Pine 20:12, 3 June 2018 (UTC)

Pine, where did they post those reports? Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:04, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
Found. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:17, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
FYI, the report you posted has already been cited and linked to in last issue's News and Notes. Zarasophos (talk) 13:14, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

@Pine, Bri, and Zarasophos:, there's no harm in having a brief mention in 'News & Notes' and then a full article in a later issue. There is already a lot of controversy over the Wikimedia conference vis-à-vis Wikimania and there is more than enough for a full "special report" or "op-ed". I won't tell anyone my own thoughts, except to say that if I were WMF events decider, things would certainly be run very differently. A The Signpost opinion column, like in any news paper, is a legitimate organ for putting pressure to sway opinions. As a Special Report however, the article would have to maintain a flat neutrality. I would very much like someone to come up with something which we can look at together. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 19:17, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

It appears that since the straightforward reporting appeared in The Signpost here, this is done for now, until some brave soul takes up an op-ed on the WM Conf vs Wikimania issue. ☆ Bri (talk) 03:15, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm really surprised to see the article still doesn't have any comments. I mean, the report says that the WMF is thinking about abolishing the whole conference! That's a pretty big thing, right? Why is there so little interest here? Zarasophos (talk) 12:01, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
The average hard-working Wikipedia volunteer is largely disinterested in events they are not privileged to attend. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:36, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

Stuff from the Hackathon

A lot of cool stuff was created or worked on at the Barcelona Hackathon. Here's the etherpad for the showcase. Kaldari (talk) 03:21, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

@Kaldari: Could you do me a favor and summarize in one or two sentences for inclusion? I'm running in a lot of directions right now but am willing to insert in the appropriate section (probably News and notes#Brief notes) if you can help out ☆ Bri (talk) 03:17, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

General sanctions for professional wrestling related articles

The community has authorized discretionary sanctions for all pages related to professional wrestling, broadly construed. See WP:GS/PW. MER-C 19:22, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

Rick Riordan Task Force of WikiProject Novels hosting an Edit-A-Thon

Announcing RRTF's second annual Edit-A-Thon! The event is being held June 23 through July 28 in honor of author Rick Riordan's June birthday and author/illustrator John Rocco's July birthday. The focus of the edit-a-thon will be on expanding Wikipedia's coverage of these two authors in an encyclopedic manner.

The Edit-A-Thon is open to all Wikipedia users - you do not need any experience with Riordan, Rocco, or RRTF! Help is needed in a variety of areas, including referencing, copyediting, and new page creation. Prizes will be given for first, second, and third place and will consist of a barnstar and Amazon gift card. To enter, please visit this page. The winners will be announced by July 31.

More information on rules and scoring can also be found on the contest page. Questions about the subject material should be left on the RRTF forums. Questions about the contest should be left on the contest Q&A. Thanks for reading! -- 2ReinreB2 (talk) 22:34, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

In the media suggestion

Putting it here because I'm not sure whether podcasts - even fairly big ones like this - count as "In the media". Smurrayinchester 18:53, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

Suggestion sent to wikipediasignpost account

We (The Signpost) were sent an email entitled "A new scientific article about the interaction between the scientific and Wikipedian communities." It includes a peer-reviewed article from an Israeli researcher on "the mechanism through which new scientific data becomes common knowledge and is introduced in Wikipedia". Chris Troutman (talk) 03:53, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

Reduction in links to disambiguation pages

Wikipedia:Disambiguation pages with links/The Daily Disambig shows that the number of links to disambiguation pages has been reduced from over 64,000 five years ago, to around 4,000 - this month will hopefully see this reduced further. There are a range of tools at Wikipedia:Disambiguation pages with links which editors can use to tackle these and a monthly competition has helped. Wikipedia:Disambiguation pages with links/Disambiguator Hall of Fame (not recently updated) shows some of those who have been involved over the years.

If more editors got involved and fixed a few links within their areas of interest the final few thousand could be tackled.— Rod talk 08:04, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

The 1990s interface and what we are going to do about it

How about an article on the interface and the state of it?

Everybody knows that the interface is a time sink, is generally rank and as a form of technology, even though it is continually updated by the WMF team via Bugzilla issue database, really showing its age. There is many many problems with it, but the primary problem is the environment is static, and provides no dynamic to enable the editor to be more efficient, to help the editor edit faster. It is an anachronism, and fights you every time you edit. With Reddit having now updated its web interface, it might be a fortuitous time to start talking about how to get the interface updated, and get the process moving. There is also good evidence that a newer interface would slow the shrinkage in the working population, as a clean and new environment, specifically designed for an encyclopedia would bring in newer users, those more used to more efficient environments, i.e. the later millennial generation and the newer Generation Z, the first generation who have never know a time without an internet. That generation will not touch Wikipedia as it stands at the moment, with a barge pool, seeing it an anachronistic, slow, ugly and difficult. scope_creep (talk) 09:37, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

Depiction of the Wikimedia Foundation destroying Wikipedia with Visual Editor, Flow, and Mobile App.

--Guy Macon (talk) 14:29, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

Spoken Wikipedia torrent

Spoken Wikipedia project has 1360 spoken articles. 857 spoken articles was downloaded and converted from OGG to MP3 format. These files are available now at academic torrents site, see Spoken Wikipedia 2018 torrent. Welcome to download and seed this torrent!

P.S. Editors are welcome to download from Wikipedia 1360-857 = 503 remaining files, which could be added to the torrent :) -- Andrew Krizhanovsky (talk) 10:17, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

{{Done}} a bit late perhaps but not bad timing-wise for the ghost town that is the Signpost newsroom — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 23:51, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

Wiktionary overtakes Wikipedia

The English Wiktionary has passed the English Wikipedia in number of mainspace entries.

See wikt:Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2018/July#More_entries_than_English_Wikipedia for some highly amusing gloating. --Yair rand (talk) 21:22, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

The gloating probably isn't worth publishing. Some raw numbers would be good, though. --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 16:54, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Machine learning to suggest new articles for academics

Machine-Generated Knowledge Bases. This group used 30,000 existing articles on academics on WP, and trained an AI with other external data, then feed it over 200,000 other names; the AI came back with over 40,000 persons that do not have articles on WP that otherwise appear to have the same type of coverage as the other 30,000, and within the existing 30,000, several examples of out-of-date/missing content. The group noted that their results have been used in a few Editathons and was partially drivent to improve the coverage of women scientists and academics here. --Masem (t) 15:04, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

Thanks, Masem. Scheduled. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:20, 9 August 2018 (UTC)


Covering recent POTY results

Although Picture of the Year concluded in late July 2018, the POTY 2017 results were not announced until around 30 July, after last issue's initial publication date (29 July) and just before its delayed publication date (31 July). Given this late announcement and the fact that last month's issue was already packed with content (including a Gallery that already had content only relevant in July), it is no surprise that POTY 2017 was not covered.

For this month, however, perhaps it should be covered, such as in this month's Gallery. The current contents of the Gallery can be saved and delayed for September, which means that September's Gallery will be largely complete and this month's Gallery will be easy to produce. Thoughts? —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 15:43, 15 August 2018 (UTC); edited 15:49, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

Pinging @Kudpung and Bri: pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 16:01, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
@Nøkkenbuer, Pythoncoder, and Bri: excellent idea. Go for it. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 16:03, 16 August 2018 (UTC)


WP in the CHE

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a nice article on the gradual acceptance of Wikipedia in academia. User:Rosiestep is the lead photo. While some academics take a "if you can't beat them, join them" attitude, others have begun to embrace WP, some with the help of Wiki Ed. - kosboot (talk) 19:51, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for the notification, Kosboot. --Rosiestep (talk) 23:02, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

Britannica says a few nice things about Wikipedia

See EdSurge. You don't have to look too hard. But general approach is interesting. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:53, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Thanks Smallbones, I put a small item in the upcoming issue's In the media. It should appear in the next couple of days. ☆ Bri (talk) 03:36, 31 July 2018 (UTC)


moss is doing an encyclopedia-wide spell check

Wikipedia:Typo Team/moss just got an update from the July 1, 2018 database dump. We are doing a collaborative spell-check of the entire encyclopedia. This is the second update this year, and it seems many of the kinks have been worked out. According to the statistics I just ran, we're making a small dent in the number of spelling errors on the article sets we focus on (mostly articles with a single detected spelling error). There are hundreds of thousands of possible spelling errors to fix, so we could definitely use more help from enthusiastic spellers. We are also contributing lots of missing words to Wiktionary as we find them. -- Beland (talk) 02:28, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

@Beland: thanks, I just added this to the upcoming issue's News and notes. You should see it in the next couple of days. ☆ Bri (talk) 03:19, 31 July 2018 (UTC)


The New User-right: The TechAdmins

Not necessarily the most thrilling topic for all, but a WMF implemented change in userrights might be a topic for the more technically minded.

Specifying a few admins as those who can execute code on Wikipedia — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nosebagbear (talkcontribs) 15:00, 22 July 2018 (UTC)

Thanks, this is covered in upcoming issue's Discussion report. ☆ Bri (talk) 03:21, 31 July 2018 (UTC)


Essay suggestion: WP:SURPRISEME

If you are still doing the "highlight an essay" thing, I'd suggest WP:SURPRISEME which is both funny and helpful. Regards SoWhy 17:02, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

That's the funniest thing I've read in years. Kaldari (talk) 22:46, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
Of course we'll put it in the next Signpost! Best Regards, Barbara   12:11, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
{{tick}} Scheduled. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:59, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

Printing pdfs and books

The print page function is nearly unusable. For the past months the feature has been turned off and a note stated that PediaPress will take over functionality. That note was from April and we are now in August. An update as to exactly what is going on with regards to printing pages and books from Wikipedia would inform the community as to exactly what is going on behind the scenes.

Unfortunately, Tirab, that's not our domain. Best to post your concern at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). And please sign your posts. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:57, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

Some items worth noting over at Medium

Some items I noticed at Medium:

-- llywrch (talk) 20:02, 8 August 2018 (UTC)


Has anyone already started working up something covering this whole Donna Strickland affair? I had considered putting together a draft, but I'd just go do something else instead if someone has already starting putting pen to paper on it. GMGtalk 12:28, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

I'm considering writing an op-ed criticizing Jimbo, WiR, and the drive-by media. If you're planning on writing something objective, please do. Chris Troutman (talk) 12:35, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
I was thinking about looking at an overview of things the media got factually wrong, and starting from that. A bit of, "What this teaches us about how the media understands Wikipedia." Whether that winds up being the topic when it's all said and done? Not sure. Need to do a bit of actual writing first, and I just started looking through sources and accidentally started a Wikiquote page instead. So, I guess I need to work on my focus. GMGtalk 13:00, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
Why not both, GreenMeansGo and Chris troutman? Both can provide a critical analysis and commentary on it and related issues, with one being a piece ("In the media" or "Special report") about the events themselves and what they tell us about Wikipedia in the media, while the other can be an op-ed (either as "Op-ed" or as "Opinion") that expands the scope to a broader social commentary about Wikipedia and issues related to the event. They can both run in the same issue and serve as complements for each other. Alternatively, both of you can be in the byline of a single longer work, either interwoven as a piece or split with GMG's summary and more direct commentary first and Chris' broader social commentary and reflection concluding it. I don't think two separate pieces would be a problem, though, since one is about the event and media misreporting of it, along with how the media misunderstand Wikipedia; while the other is using the event to provide social commentary and reflection on Wikipedia more generally. Even with their related premises, they are clearly distinct and depart into different directions.
Regardless of who does what, one part worthy of inclusion (if only as a mention) is probably Bradv's "Strickland incident" user essay. Heck, even if neither of you write anything, I don't think it is absurd to consider that user essay—or a summarized verson of it—as a potential opinion piece that The Signpost can publish, especially if Bradv is willing to participate in crafting the issue's coverage of it.
Overall, I am supportive of any such considerations. It may be just the sort of content that the magazine needs. Feel free to use the newsroom talk page to coordinate. —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 15:19, 5 October 2018 (UTC); significantly revised at 15:32, 5 October 2018 (UTC); last edited at 15:33, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
Extended content

Here's the timeline that the Wikimedia Foundation spells out in their 4 October blog post.

  • 28 March 2018 - "a new volunteer Wikipedia editor (“Campbpt0”) used the English Wikipedia’s “articles for creation” process to submit a draft for review"
  • 23 May 2018 - "a volunteer editor declined it"

But is that really the timeline that matters? Here's an alternate one:

So while the media spent the period following the Nobel Prize announcement decrying an article we were missing, editors from around the world, who share no common language and have likely never interacted with one another, got busy, and they created resources for public access to free knowledge across multiple platforms, in dozens of languages, in minutes and hours.

I'm not entirely sure where to do with it right now, but I like the idea of trying to put some kind of optimistic spin on the whole thing. GMGtalk 15:41, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
October has just begun, so you have at least 20 days to work on it before the pressure starts to mount and transitioning to copy-editing becomes exigent. That work above can serve as the data basis for helping readers understand the sequence of events, from which point you can comment on what this tells us about media and the Wikimedia movement. For example, here are some angles to consider:
  • Why is it that investigative journalism and meticulous research are activities that many journalists seem to handle with competence, yet it seems that the coverage of Wikipedia and editorial events therein so often read as ignorant of the basics of Wikipedia? (For example, Bradv was promoted to "moderator" by The Guardian.) Is this because those who cover Wikipedia are the ones who tend to not go sleuthing and wearing thin their digital shoe leather in developing a robust analysis? Or perhaps because, despite the transparency of its editing and on-Wiki discussion, Wikipedia remains opaque to outsiders? Is there anything we can do to improve literacy in Wikipedia's mechanics and jargon among external media?
  • What explanation do we have to account for the gaps in media coverage regarding this incident? Is this typical of how media covers Wikipedia, or might have something about this event caused different reporting? To what extent is the focus on gender in this event a product of the Wikimedia Foundation's own emphasis on gender? How does this focus by the media, and emphasis by the Foundation, on gender affect the Wikimedia movement? (An optimistic take can be "benefit the Wikimedia movement".)
  • Irrespective of the initial event and rejection of the article, what does the Wikimedia community's response tell us about how Wikimedians handle coverage of their projects? How does the data provided above inform us about the quality and capacity of Wikimedians to coordinate, cooperate, and collaborate to rapidly produce content that fills specific gaps in coverage noted by the media? Is this response by the Wikimedia movement a testament of its failure to address systemic biases and gaps in coverage except in reaction to media criticism? Or might it (also) be a testament of the movement's success as an open collaborative project? What does this event, and the events following it, tell us about the extent to which we are competently pursuing the purposes of our projects?
Even if it turns out you only have the above and a couple more paragraphs, that alone may be worth inclusion as brief coverage of the topic in an "In the media" section. But again, the writing deadline for next issue (assuming there is enough to publish) is weeks away. If it helps to not even touch this for a few days just so you can think more about it, that still leaves plenty of time to work. —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 16:35, 5 October 2018 (UTC); added parenthesized The Guardian comment at 16:40, 5 October 2018 (UTC)


Extended content

All eyes this month were on the newest round of Nobel Laureates being announced. That is, all eyes that weren't squarely focused on Wikipedia's coverage of one newly minted Nobel Laureate in particular, Donna Strickland, who on 2 October became only the third woman to ever be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.[1][2] As it turns out we've had an article on her previously. It was first deleted in 2014 as a copyright violation. And then a draft at Articles for Creation was declined in May of this year for insufficient sourcing

All this caused quite a stir to say the least. But what was striking, at least to me, was not that it garnered as much attention as it did (the gender gap on Wikipedia is something many of us have been talking about for years), but instead how much of that attention seemed to completely miss the mark, and in many cases, reveal a fundamental misunderstanding among the media about what Wikipedia is, and how it works.  

Some targets are clearly just too easy. CNN-News18 offered up a mostly laughable collage of random and grossly uninformed tweets, and would have you believe that "Every single @Wikipedia editor who voted against an entry for Dr. Donna Strickland needs to have their editing and voting privileges suspended for 6 months," as if perhaps we need to have a recount.

Other, more serious journalism, still manages their own myriad problems. The Times called Strickland's winning the Nobel "one way to win a Wikipedia editing war," from which we can only conclude that they simply don't know what an edit war is. Fortune originally wrote that the draft had been deleted, while at the same time linking to the draft itself, which could be linked to of course because it hadn't actually been deleted. Although to their credit, they amended their story on 5 October after I sent them an email.

One common theme appeared in a number of publications, that in all their writing about Wikipedia, no one had apparently taken the time to read Wikipedia:Notability, and had no indication how Articles for Creation works. The Guardian lambasted us for determining that Strickland was not important enough, Business Insider for saying "she wasn't famous enough", and similarly The Daily Beast echoed that she was "not famous enough for Wikipedia". Of course if they had taken the time to read our policy on notability, they would have made it to the fourth sentence to note that "determining notability does not necessarily depend on things such as fame, importance, or popularity." All this is notwithstanding the fact that rejections at Articles for Creation are not the end-of-the-line, but are an avenue to provide feedback so that user's can improve their submissions, make them ready for mainspace, and finally published them.

Another common theme was to point out that Gérard Mourou, who shared the prize with Strickland, had an article as early as 2005, as did The Independent, The Cut, and Vox. None of them seemed to notice, as Ian, from the Wiki Educational Foundation points out in his own post, that "Since 2007, across the fields of Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology and Medicine, 91 scientists have received Nobel Prizes. Twelve of them, including Donna Strickland, didn’t have a Wikipedia biography until after their Nobel Prize was announced."

Perhaps my favorite is again from Vox, who opine that "Women scientists like Vera Rubin, Nettie Stevens, Henrietta Leavitt, Rosalind Franklin, and so many others ought to be just as famous." Or as I like to put it: "Women scientists like Vera Rubin , Nettie Stevens , Henrietta Leavitt , Rosalind Franklin , and so many others ought to be just as famous."

All this resulted in the Wikimedia Foundation publishing their own response, in which they rightly recognize that the gender gap is a serious issue that many people are working hard to combat, not least of which in the vanguard is Wikipedia:WikiProject Women in Red. But the relevant timeline the Foundation gives us is this:

  • 28 March 2018 - "a new volunteer Wikipedia editor (“Campbpt0”) used the English Wikipedia’s “articles for creation” process to submit a draft for review"
  • 23 May 2018 - "a volunteer editor declined it"

I'd like to propose an alternative timeline:

So while the media spent the days following the Nobel Prize announcement decrying an article we were missing, editors from around the world, who share no common language and have likely never interacted with each other, got busy, and they created resources for public access to free knowledge across multiple platforms, in dozens of languages, each of which will last, for all intents and purposes, forever.

We are working. We are working hard, and we are good at what we do. If we weren't they wouldn't be writing about us. And if you're concerned about the gender gap in Wikipedia, you're right to be concerned, but as Fortune put it, in the one thing they got unequivocally right, "anyone can write an entry in the gigantic online encyclopedia ... What are you waiting for, get busy."


  1. ^ Rincon, Paul (2 October 2018). "First woman Physics Nobel winner in 55 years". BBC News. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Nobel Laureate Donna Strickland Judged Not Famous Enough for Wikipedia Page Before Win: Report". The Daily Beast. October 2, 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
The above unfairly says: "None of them seemed to notice, as PrimeHunter did almost immediately, that George P. Smith, who also won the Nobel prize this year, also did not have an article until after his award was announced." But he got the chemistry prize which was announced a day after Donna Strickland got the physics prize. My mention of George P. Smith was the first edit of Talk:Donna Strickland after he got the prize. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:59, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
I didn't actually realize that I'd pinged everyone by posting here, but I'm glad I did. "almost immediately" removed. That okay? GMGtalk 23:11, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
It's better but I still think it's unfair to say that other posters didn't seem to notice something which had not happened when they posted. PrimeHunter (talk) 09:22, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Fair enough. The broader statistical argument from Ian is probably the stronger one anyway. So I've removed the bit entirely. GMGtalk 12:27, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
The final draft isn't bad but it probably needs wordsmithing. I find your use of the phrase got busy to be repugnant. You do a good job of laying out your point, the timeline of events, etc. I'm definitely taking a different tack with my op-ed. I assume this would be the majority of news&notes unless it's going to run standalone. Thanks, GMG, for your effort on this. Chris Troutman (talk) 12:11, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Well I was trying to set up a parallel to the last sentence as the big finale, but this is Wikipedia after all, and I'm fine with others hacking up the draft however they think will improve it. I am pretty comfortable with how the overall thrust of the piece turned out, so I'd like to keep the core more-or-less intact if possible. Of course most of the piece is just trying to set myself up for the "big reveal" of "look at all the good unnoticed work we did manage to do, that's basically taken for granted because we do it every day". GMGtalk 12:31, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
This is very encouraging work, GreenMeansGo, and it may be worthwhile to move this into the next issue drafting space at this point, though I'm not sure where. If you haven't seen this yet, Bri, I suggest you review all this. What are your thoughts on it all, including where to put it if it is to be included? —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 08:49, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Might I suggest your argument as to why that was "laughable" be more expansive - more generally, don't assume insider knowledge, spell out why that knowledge makes things 'wrong' or 'mistaken', throughout the piece. Thanks.Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:45, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Maybe that's a bit better? GMGtalk 14:03, 7 October 2018 (UTC)


GMG, thanks for your contribution. Please follow WP:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Submissions, click the "Create opinion proposal" button, paste the essay/op-ed text and we can take it from there. This is the best way to preserve authorship in the published article. To newsroom folks: tThis looks like an op-ed to me; the other choice would be special report. ☆ Bri (talk) 14:08, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

{{done}} Thanks for fixing me. GMGtalk 14:14, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Not a problem, we need to make this easier. Everybody, I've accepted this and given it a (provisional, but I think it's good) title and blurb: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Next issue/Op-ed. GMG, if you don't know, you can keep editing this until we declare publication time-out near the end of the month. ☆ Bri (talk) 14:41, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

WP's biographical coverage in the news

Anyone know if someone is compiling these "didn't even have a Wikipedia article"/topics missed by WP stories somewhere? They've become a meme in American media and might be worth a retrospective treatment. Another recent example was the case of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.[3][4] czar 16:57, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

I support this idea. It might make for an interesting piece, rebutting a lot of their claims/misinformation. --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 17:18, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

Open a suggestion page for how to help Wikipedia

In a large community there needs to be governance, or lacking that there needs to be clarity with regard to what people are thinking about and what projects to work on. Yes it opens up voting, and some of our community are trained to react negatively to democratic forms, but Wikipedia only works because its largely democratic. A suggestion box for how to improve Wikipedia would be useful. If I were asked for an example, I would suggest that WP:TAFI needs to be given attention. -Inowen (nlfte) 00:42, 17 October 2018 (UTC) When Wikipedia acts as a democracy, it generally screws up. It is supposed to an externalized meritocracy, with content taken from subject matter experts, preferably filtered through worthwile secondary sources. Many variances from that, possibly most, are bad for the reader, and they often occur because someone gathers a lynch mob congenial segment of the voting pool to “vote”, because they know damned well a full discussion would undermine their argument. Qwirkle (talk) 17:21, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

from wikisignpost Twitter

A Twitter user asked our account (about a week ago) about how Wikipedia's 'uncorrupted' governance could inspire reforms in academic publishing. My own short answer would be that crowd-sourcing criticism gets a lot more return that the carefully-chosen peer reviewer with a few degrees and a complicated incentive structure to navigate. I don't know if anyone wants to suggest a response. Chris Troutman (talk) 02:44, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

Women in Red: priorities fro August

You might like to include a word on the WiR priorities for August, especially our new Monthly achievement initiative.

An exciting new month for Women in Red!

August 2018 worldwide online editathons:
New: Indigenous women Women of marginalized populations Women writers Geofocus: Bottom 10
Continuing: #1day1woman Global Initiative
Notable women, broadly-construed!

For the first time, this month we are trying out our Monthly achievement initiative

  • All creators of new biographies can keep track of their progress and earn virtual awards.
  • It can be used in conjunction with the above editathons or for any women's biography created in August.
  • Try it out when you create your first biography of the month.

Latest headlines, news, and views on the Women in Red talkpage (Join the conversation!):

(To subscribe: Women in Red/English language mailing list and Women in Red/international list. Unsubscribe: Women in Red/Opt-out list) --Ipigott (talk) 13:00, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

Tate outsources artist biographies on its website to Wikipedia

See here. It's be interesting to know more detail about what the final paragraph is referring to: 'A Tate spokesperson says that it is “working on a partnership with Wikipedia to ensure the biographies for artists in our collection are as accurate as possible”.' Ham II (talk) 16:33, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

As far as I can tell it’s something benign along the lines of "Tate is using content on Wikipedia for its artist bios", rather than "Tate is working with the WMF and the admin cabal to create a UPE sock ring that is adding linkspam to articles".  pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 16:16, 19 September 2018 (UTC)

The WikiCup

I don't know when your next edition is due to come out, but I was wondering whether you would like to consider having an article on the WikiCup. The five-round competition started back in January and culminates with the declaration of the winners on October 31st. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 06:54, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

Cwmhiraeth I don't believe there is sufficient capacity for the regular editorial team to draft an article. However, feel free to write one yourself, otherwise there could at least be a mention in 'News and Notes.' Link to the results page? Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 06:06, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I see that an edition has just been published. I will do one or other of your suggestions ready for the next edition. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 06:38, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
@Kudpung: I have now written this item and it is in my sandbox. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 09:38, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
{{Done}} Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 06:30, 22 November 2018 (UTC)


Two suggestions regarding this. First, have you considered this as a regular feature? Crosswords have a long association with journalism, and, as you’ve done here, can be themed toward humor, but also current events, featured work, articles in the issue, &cet.

Next, is it possible to make it a little more printer-friendly? As it stands, printing from a pad, I’d use more ink creating two giant black rectangles on either side of it than the entire crossword itself. I’m sure there are fixes for this on my end, of course, but we Demi-luddites are out here in the audience in greater numbers than you might imagine. Qwirkle (talk) 15:41, 28 September 2018 (UTC)

Hey Qwirkle, perhaps it's just your pad, but have you checked the article in printable mode? The "Print/export" section in the sidebar (at least, in desktop view) provides the link for every page (except in edit mode), though it can also be accessed by adding &printable=yes when using a .../w/index.php?title=... URL. What I'm seeing in printable mode seems to fix the printer-unfriendly black bars you mentioned. See Help:Printing for more information. Alternatively, a greener (and still Luddite-friendly!) option is to play it in hardmode by doing it all in your head.
As for making crosswords a regular feature, I have no issue with it, but The Signpost is already struggling to have another issue this month due to a lack of contributions and contributors. Unless that is addressed and the current regular features can be sustained, new regular features are unlikely to be added. —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 23:10, 28 September 2018 (UTC); slightly edited at 23:12, 28 September 2018 (UTC)
As an addendum, a not-so-Luddite-friendly option to further improve printability is to inspect the page elements in your browser's web developer toolkit (or use an element zapper) and delete the parts of the page that you don't need or want to print. —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 23:17, 28 September 2018 (UTC)

I think Amazon owes us, the contributors, a lot more than a million bucks

From CNet, Amazon gave $1 million to WMF, largely because Amazon's Alexa uses Wikipedia. Chris Troutman (talk) 15:01, 1 October 2018 (UTC) Nevermind; already covered in this issue. Chris Troutman (talk) 00:55, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

Internet Archive celebrates rescuing 9 million broken links

[5] thanks to m:InternetArchiveBot. --Masem (t) 20:39, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

Don't Bite the Newcomers

I think we all need a reminder... :)--Thegooduser Let's Chat 🍁 02:32, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

User:Ser Amantio di Nicolao noted as most prolific contributor to En.WP

The Washington Post has a nice profile of User:Ser Amantio di Nicolao: Meet the Most Prolific Contirbutor To the English Wikipedia. - kosboot


I don't know

Don't know if this has been covered before, but in 2016 a book was published, apparently compiled from AFD article titles harvested by an algorithm, to which various expressions of the author's ignorance about the subject are added. I don't know, Volume 3 of FROHMANN / 0x0a, Author Gregor Weichbrodt, Publisher BoD – Books on Demand, 2017, ISBN 3944195604, 9783944195605 Length 248 pages Here's a burst. Mildly amusing. Johnbod (talk) 22:32, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

The last installment of the "Book review" feature was on 30 July 2014, over four years ago. If you are interested, Johnbod, you can be the one who breaks that hiatus with a review of this book. I won't blame you for not reading all of its nearly 250 pages, and if you don't, you can explain why in your review. You can even start it off with: "I don't know what to make of this book." The style guidelines can still be found preserved here (permanent link). You may think I am joking, and you would be right. But I am also serious; if you, or anyone else, want to take this tome to task, it may actually be worth publishing—even if as a brief extension of the usual levity presently quarantined with some success (and little leakage) to the "Humour" [sic] section.
Regardless, thanks for mentioning it. If nothing else, Barbara can take solace in the fact that there is a niche market for Wikipedian fiction novels, and one for which an author can get not one, but two whole stars! Come to think of it, perhaps the book review can itself be a future humor piece? I don't know. —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 10:10, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't know why the copyright lists the guy who says he is not the author of this material, and does not have CC-BY attribution (at least not in a preview of the first few pages). ☆ Bri (talk) 13:57, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
He's presumably the author of the programming that actually wrote it, which I suppose is enough. I certainly won't be doing a review, but I think a short note with a quote would work for In the media or somewhere. Johnbod (talk) 15:22, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
I think it would fit right into either the research or the media article-it was research, wasn't it. If I can find the book, and even it is copyrighted I should be able to find the original discussions on Wikipedia-with no copyright restrictions. I am so tempted to buy it.... Best Regards, Barbara   18:06, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
I did not expect a book review about this from anyone, but I might as well suggest it. Yes, I agree that it should be mentioned in the next issue and I am seeing no prior mention of this in any of my searches. Thanks for the suggestion. —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 17:01, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Open a suggestion page for how to help Wikipedia

In a large community there needs to be governance, or lacking that there needs to be clarity with regard to what people are thinking about and what projects to work on. Yes it opens up voting, and some of our community are trained to react negatively to democratic forms, but Wikipedia only works because its largely democratic. A suggestion box for how to improve Wikipedia would be useful. If I were asked for an example, I would suggest that WP:TAFI needs to be given attention. -Inowen (nlfte) 00:42, 17 October 2018 (UTC) When Wikipedia acts as a democracy, it generally screws up. It is supposed to an externalized meritocracy, with content taken from subject matter experts, preferably filtered through worthwile secondary sources. Many variances from that, possibly most, are bad for the reader, and they often occur because someone gathers a lynch mob congenial segment of the voting pool to “vote”, because they know damned well a full discussion would undermine their argument. Qwirkle (talk) 17:21, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
PS: I took this, based on location, to be a suggestion that we add somethings to the Signpost; specifically a “suggestion box” and selection from recent articles for improvement. Either could be useful, if the right volunteers worked with them. Qwirkle (talk) 18:09, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
PPS:Thinking further, tying the “suggestion box” to both the Village Pump and the Teahouse might make a worthwhile column. Qwirkle (talk) 18:20, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
@Qwirkle: You've bad-mouthed democracy. By any chance are you anti-democratic in your political leanings? :) We tend to be idealistic on Wikipedia about having no border, and getting along with everyone, but then that masks a problem in that much of the anti-democratic world is opposed to freedom, opposed to democracy, opposed to publishing the Al-Jazeera memos, and opposed to Wikipedia not being swallowed up by Britannica. -Inowen (nlfte) 02:10, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
I appear to have wrongly assumed that your blather about democracy was a side-comment to an implied suggestion for a practical change to the signpost; your latest post suggests I was quite wrong about that, and that CT was, perhaps, justified in nuking it. Qwirkle (talk) 03:20, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Qwirkle said "That said, a suggestion box column could still be a good idea." Right. Its a pillar of democracy; a suggestion-box. But with the additions of being attended by Signpost editors, and broadcast when the edition is posted. -Inowen (nlfte) 03:42, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

Editor scandal at the English and Bengali Wikipedias

I noticed what seems to be a rather significant event in the Wikimedia community occurred recently, first brought to my attention at AN/I, namely the indefinite blocking of Hasive for undisclosed paid editing, paid by the Bangladeshi government. Hasive apparently was a significant member, and an administrator, in the Bengali Wikipedia; and previously held other significant positions at the Meta Wiki, such as at the Grant Advisory Board and the Individual Engagement Grants Committee; so this does not seem minor to me at all. Might this be worthwhile to cover? I am not aware of any external media covering it yet, but I would not be surprised if some non-English reports on this exist.

This event is also rather incongruent with a recent piece in the New Statesman arguing that Wikipedia is more difficult to "hack" by foreign governments than Facebook or Twitter. This may be so, but greater difficulty does not guarantee immunity and it appears that at least some governments have already attempted to manipulate content in Wikipedia, as this case shows. (That report by the New Statesmen is also worth mentioning in the next issue.)

Winged Blades of Godric participated in that AN/I block discussion and, given their stated familiarity with the whole affair (and native fluency in Bengali), my initial intention was to ask on their user talk page whether they are willing to write a piece about this. However, in the event that WBG is not interested, perhaps someone else can write the piece. At the very least, a brief mention of this event is probably due, though it seems to deserve more attention than that. Were it not for the fact that I am completely illiterate in Bengali, I would consider examining this issue more closely myself. —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 16:49, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Nøkkenbuer, I can try my hands at writing a piece.Any deadline? WBGconverse 11:42, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
Presently, WBG, the writing deadline is in about 15 days, ending at 23:59 UTC on 26 October. Around that point, copy-editing becomes the focus, though nobody has stopped writers from continuing their work up until shortly before publication, which provides a couple more days to work (current publication deadline is 23:59 UTC on 28 October). There is a countdown graph at the newsroom and its talk page for keeping track of these deadlines. Just so long as it is ready for publication on 28 October, you can work at whatever pace best suits you. Even if not, part of it can still be used and you can finish it to publish elsewhere if you wish. Wikipedia is a volunteer service, after all, and The Signpost is a part of Wikipedia.
If you decide to write a piece, or even just a short summary as part of a larger feature, feel free to let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I usually copy-edit the entire issue prior to publication, so that at least is a given. —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 13:18, 11 October 2018 (UTC); edited at 13:23, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

I understand you are probably very busy right now, WBG; however, given that the writing deadline is about 6 days away, I might as well check to see whether you have any plans to write anything about this. If not, that's okay. Someone else can at least add a brief note about this event. Alternatively, if you have some content but decided to drop it, posting what you have for someone else to salvage is still appreciated (you will still be attributed if it is substantial). Whatever the case, thanks for your consideration! —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 18:45, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

Nøkkenbuer, this's my first priority, as of now.I have sketched a basic draft and will complete it within the next 48 hours.WBGconverse 19:07, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, WBG! Feel free to add it to the submissions page whenever you want, even now if you wish. Like another submission currently listed there, pieces still undergoing drafting are valid entries. Also, even after it is accepted, you are free to continue expanding it until publication. —Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 19:14, 20 October 2018 (UTC)


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