Wikipedia:Press coverage 2009

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January[edit]

"Disagreeable and closed to new ideas - that's the picture that emerges of contributors to community-curated encyclopaedia Wikipedia from a survey of their psychological attributes." CyberPsychology & Behavior (DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2007.0225)
Reports on the effect of Jimmy Wales personal appeal on the number of donations.
  • Joel, Mitch (January 8, 2009). "Why business needs to stop worrying and love Wikipedia". Vancouver Sun. "When people say that Wikipedia is not trustworthy, it reminds me of the same folks who still think they can get a computer virus from a website that has Flash animation on it. It's simply not true. It's about time to understand the power of Wikipedia and what it means to business today." 
    The author sees Wikipedia's dynamic knowledge sharing as a potentially revolutionary aid to businesses.
"As if suffering a seizure during President Obama's post-inaugural luncheon wasn't bad enough, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) endured an additional ordeal Tuesday, as did his friend, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) -- death by Wikipedia."'

February[edit]

At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2009, British prime minister Gordon Brown, quoting the artist Titian, referred to him as "the great painter who reached the age of 90". At Prime Minister's Question Time on 11 February 2009 opposition leader David Cameron cited as an example of Brown's alleged lack of skill with facts "You told us the other day you were like Titian aged 90. The fact is Titian died at 86." and shortly afterwards (at 1234 GMT) the Wikipedia entry for the artist was changed to match the age given by Mr Cameron at an IP address registered at the Conservative Party's HQ in London. Press comment such as on the BBC Daily Politics pointed out that there was little certainty on Titian's age at death and a Conservative spokesman apologised with "This was an over-eager member of staff putting right an incorrect entry on Wikipedia."
Blog entry about how this vandalism to Barack Obama was reverted after two minutes, but remained Google's snippit entry for several hours. Says this bolsters the case for flagged revisions.
  • Mitchell, David (22 February 2009). "Twitter ye not - I adore Wikipedia". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-02-25. "But please don't think I hate or suspect everything on the internet. I think, for instance, that Wikipedia is brilliant. That such a vast resource should have evolved so quickly is amazing, in a way that its inaccuracies and those who vandalise it cannot seriously undermine. I read a very stupid article about it last week, saying that it was worthless or harmful because readers have to be aware that it could contain errors or lies." 
    Comedian David Mitchell describes why he like Wikipedia but fears Twitter, and why he despises people who vandalize the encyclopedia.

March[edit]

BBC journalist analyses effects of vandalism on Wikipedia articles about UK politicians.


  • Miller, Joshua Rhett (March 9, 2009). "Obama's Wikipedia Page Distances President From Wright and Ayers". Fox News Channel. Retrieved March 9, 2009. "Critics noted over the weekend that President Obama's page on the free online encyclopedia had been edited to remove any mention of his links to former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, and to allow only a brief citation of his connection to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright — though pages for Ayers and Wright are heavily peppered with references to the president, including subsections on both pages that detail their past affiliations with him."" 
  • Krepel, Terry (March 9, 2009). "WorldNetDaily Manufactures A Controversy". Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 Mar 2009. "Klein got the attention he craved from his manufactured controversy: Matt Drudge linked to it, and it was the talk of the right-wing blogosphere all day. But will Klein tell the truth to his readers about his apparent sock-puppetry?" 
    Challenges editor reverted in the Obama article controversy, User:Jerusalem21, to reveal himself as the author of the same news article in WorldNetDaily, Aaron Klein.
  • Ratner, Andrew (March 17, 2009). "Wikipedia Revolution united users on Internet". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 17 Mar 2009. "And yet, as Andrew Lih describes in his book that comes out today, The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia, so-called CamelCase was the way computer programmers designated topics that would be linked together on the Internet."  [1]
  • Phillips, Jeremy (18 March 2009). "Book Review: Everybody Knows Everything: The Wikipedia Revolution". The Wall Street Journal (broadsheet newspaper) (in English) (New York: Dow Jones). p. A13. "Book review of Lih's new book" 
  • Henley, Will (20 March, 2009). "Concern as English Heritage cites Wikipedia in listing submission". Building Design. Retrieved 23 March, 2009. "Stonehouse, a former professor of architecture at Manchester University and author of the acclaimed Colin St John Wilson: Buildings and Projects, said it was “incredible” that the government’s statutory adviser on the historic environment would rely on Wikipedia, which can be edited by anyone on the web, to check dates and facts. He added he had already found at least one error on the page in question. “It’s ridiculous for any organisation to use that source as we all know it isn’t properly validated,”"  [2] also Guardian Diary
    A UK's heritage body, English Heritage uses a printed page from Wikipedia to support an application for a listing of the former home of noted architect Colin St John Wilson and is criticized for doing so.
  • Cohen, Noam (28 March 2009). "Wikipedia: Exploring Fact City". The New York Times. "Like a city, Wikipedia is greater than the sum of its parts. ... The vindication of all those choices [toward greater freedom] — by Wikipedia and cities — is proved each time some yokel overcomes his fear and decides to make a visit and stay awhile." 
    From a review of Andrew Lih's memoir The Wikipedia Revolution. Lih is known to us, the editors, as User:Fuzheado.
  • Ahmed, Murad (March 31, 2009). "Microsoft accepts defeat to Wikipedia and kills off Encarta". The Times. Retrieved 2009-03-31. "Microsoft has announced it will kill off Encarta, its encyclopaedia software and website, later this year, which has crumbled in the face of competition from Wikipedia, the leading encyclopaedia on the web." 
    Encarta, the first attempt to use computers and the internet to build a new form of encyclopedia finally adits defeat to Wikipedia. Wikipedia has 97 per cent of the visits that web users in the US made to online encyclopaedias, Encarta trailed in second, with 1.27 per cent.

April[edit]

  • Kamm, Oliver (2009-04-01). "Knowledge by consensus is Wikipedia's Downfall". The First Post. "Wikipedia is indeed comprehensible, and some of its articles effectively mimic the language of scholarly reference. The venture is junk, nonetheless. Wikipedia occupies a prominent part of the Web; the rough beast's hour has come round at last." 
    Review of Andrew Lih's The Wikipedia Revolution, "a hagiography" of a project Kamm considers to be a cult which does not advance learning or follow standard methodology.
  • Naughton, John (2009-04-05). "Face facts: where Britannica ruled, Wikipedia has conquered". The Observer. "I'm tired of listening to brain-dead dinner-party complaints about how "inaccurate" Wikipedia is. I'm bored to death by endless accounts of slurs or libels suffered by a few famous individuals at the hands of Wikipedia vandals. And if anyone ever claims again that all the entries in Wikipedia are written by clueless amateurs, I will hit them over the head with a list of experts who curate material in their specialisms." 
    As Encyclopedia Britannica was threatened by Microsoft Encarta, so Wikipedia has now supplanted Encarta. About time the project was accepted, in Naughton's opinion.
  • Crovitz, L. Gordon (6 April 2009). "Wikpedia's Old-Fashioned Revolution". The Wall Street Journal (in English) (New York, NY: Dow Jones). p. A13. Retrieved 6 April 2009. "Wikipedia is by far the biggest and most popular encyclopedia ever. Despite being created by amateurs, it has the potential to become the most professional." 
    Opinion piece by Cravitz dealing with how Wikipedia has now surpassed Microsoft's Encarta to the point where Microsoft announced at the end of March that the Encarta websites are being discontinued in late 2009.
  • Gallagher, Mary Pat (2009-04-22). "Wikipedia Too Malleable to Be Reliable Evidence". New Jersey Law Journal. Retrieved 2009-06-02. "A New Jersey judge who allowed a lawyer to plug an evidentiary gap with a Wikipedia page has been reversed on the ground that the online encyclopedia that 'anyone can edit' is not a reliable source of information." 

May[edit]

  • Hand, Bill (May 02, 2009). "Tryon entry on Wikipedia is both vague, error-filled". Special to the Sun Journal (newbernsj.com). Retrieved May 07, 2009. "A note to the casual researcher out there: Be careful what Web sites you trust for facts. And treat Wikipedia like historical fiction - interesting and informative, but don't trust the details." 
  • Butterworth, Siobhain (May 04, 2009). "Open door (The readers' editor on ... web hoaxes and the pitfalls of quick journalism)". Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved May 07, 2009. "What others might see as an act of vandalism, Fitzgerald calls research. In an email last week he apologised for deliberately misleading people and for altering Jarre's Wikipedia page. He said his purpose was to show that journalists use Wikipedia as a primary source and to demonstrate the power the internet has over newspaper reporting." 
  • Penner, Mike (May 04, 2009). "Teams aren't the only ones scouting". LA Times. Retrieved May 07, 2009. "Green Bay Packers B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews use Wikipedia to check out their new home." 
  • Liphshiz, Cnaan (May 04, 2009). "Wikipedia editors: Coverage of Israel 'problematic'". Israel: Haaretz Newspaper. Retrieved 2009-05-04. "Wikipedia's coverage of Israel-related issues is "problematic," leading Israeli internet researchers claimed Sunday at the Wikipedia Academy 2009 Conference dealing with the world's largest encyclopedia. The conference was organized by Wikimedia's volunteer-based Israel chapter and Tel Aviv University's Netvision Institute for Internet Studies. However, the Web site's leading manager said it merely reflected public discourse." 
    Examples cited by Eli Hacohen, director of Tel Aviv University's Netvision Institute for Internet Studies, are that Hamas is not defined as a terrorist organization, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is not called a Holocaust-denier and Operation Cast Lead in Gaza is described as an "intense bombardment" by Israel on a civilian population. The Wikimedia Foundation executive director Sue Gardner replied that Wikipedia reflected public discourse as it fluctuates, and news is the first draft of history.
  • WikiNews Contributers (May 06, 2009). "Congressional computers continue to be used to vandalize Wikipedia". WikiNews. Retrieved May 07, 2009. "...members of the United States Congress or members of their staff have recently been making questionable edits to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia anyone can edit." 
  • Miller, Jason Lee (May 07, 2009). "Wikipedia Founder Slams Wikipedia Art". webpronews. Retrieved May 07, 2009. "Claims that the domain violated Wikimedia's trademark and the ensuing legal back and forth have renewed the debate over fair use and free speech, and to an extent, what constitutes art." 
  • Runciman, David (2009-05-28). "Like Boiling a Frog". London Review of Books. Retrieved 2009-05-24. "[F]or all its flaws, Wikipedia is a wonderful thing." 
    Nominally a review of The Wikipedia Revolution by Andrew Lih, Runciman is positive about the nature of the project, though he considers some articles overworked or dully written.
  • Gaff, Terry (May 24, 2009). "Treat medical information from Wikipedia with caution". fwdailynews. Retrieved May 28, 2009. "The idea was to compare the scope, completeness, and accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia with that of a free, online, traditionally-edited database called Medscape Drug Reference (MDR)." 
  • "Van Gogh Museum to help Wikipedia". nieuwsuitamsterdam. May 25, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2009. "Next month, the Van Gogh Museum, NEMO and the corporate art collection of the ING Bank will welcome volunteers who come to take photos of their collection for Wikipedia." 
  • Marcus, Caroline (May 25, 2009). "Parents warned of Wikiporn risk". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved May 28, 2009. "Parents have been warned not to let children use the website Wikipedia unsupervised after an entry on a popular children's book was edited to contain pornographic material." 

June[edit]

  • Eve, Byron (June 06, 2009). "Helena shooting: Suspect described as brilliant". missoulian.com. Retrieved June 9, 2009. "[Local fatal shooting suspect]'s friends described him as a brilliant student - one called him a “walking Wikipedia” - who took honors and advanced placement college classes before dropping out of Helena High School last fall." 
  • Cohen, Noam (2009-06-21). "Google Starts Including Wikipedia on Its News Site". The New York Times (New York City). Retrieved 2009-06-22. "A visit to the Google News home page on Wednesday evening, for example, found that four of the 30 or so articles summarized there had prominent links to Wikipedia articles, including ones covering the global swine flu outbreak and the Iranian election protests." 

July[edit]

Related discussion: "Why the Photos On Wikipedia Are So Bad". Slashdot. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  • Njus, Elliot (July 15, 2009). "‘Lest we forget' our history". Omaha world herald. " I searched the words Henry Fonda and Lynching and found a story in Wikipedia, about William “Will” Brown." 
  • Grossman, Lisa (29 July 2009). "Should you trust health advice from the web?". New Scientist. 2718. "Several studies, including one examining health information, another probing articles on surgery, and one focusing on drugs, found the online encyclopedia to be almost entirely free of factual errors." 
  • An article which looks at the reliabilty of health advice on the web concludes that Wikipedia has high factual accuracy but a narrow range of topics covered and was able to answer only 40 per cent of the drug related questions asked of it

August[edit]

A study by the Palo Alto Research Center (Parc) in California, showing how wikipedia's environment has become more and more hostile towards new users, and how a clan of established users is discouraging new people from contributing.
This error-strewn piece celebrates English Wikipedia's addition of its 3 millionth article, Beate Eriksen. Wikipedia, we are told, was "formally launched on January 15 in 2001 by Ward Cunningham and Richard Stallman" (someone should tell Jimbo and Larry). Suggests misleadingly that Wikipedia has only recently overtaken the Yongle Encyclopedia in size. Nitpickers will notice that the article talks about 271 "other languages": according to the list of Wikipedias there are 271 Wikipedias in total.
News This article has been mentioned by multiple media organizations:
Reports the launch of an iPhone App for Wikipedia by The Wikimedia Foundation. "The Wikimedia Foundation acknowledged that while its official software lacked some features compared to existing applications, it was focusing on "speed and simplicity" with the first version of its software."
Other reports on upcoming addition of Wikipedia:Flagged revisions for biographical articles.
News This article has been mentioned by multiple media organizations:
  • Cohen, Noam (August 29, 2009). "Look This Up on Wikipedia: How Big Is Too Big?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-01. "Considering that Wikipedia has reached Top Five world status among Web sites – with more than 330 million users – its annual Wikimania conference, which ended Friday night in Buenos Aires, featured a lot of hand-wringing about all the problems the project faces." 

September[edit]

"Take Wikipedia, for example. The whole premise of Jimmy Wales’ enterprise has been to sweep away the traditional intermediary of editors and publishers, thus replacing traditional expertise and authority with Wikipedia’s radically open and collaborative principles. But... now it seems as if the reformists have won and the wiki-revolution is being routinised. Beginning this autumn, Wikipedia will be radically less open."
"Why is Wikipedia such a men's club?...of [Wikipedia editors] women constituted a paltry 13%... about seven men for every woman"
"Mr. Wilson’s outburst came in response to the president’s statement that his proposed changes to health insurance laws would not give coverage to illegal immigrants. ..That is when the argument among Wikipedians — which can be read in full on the discussion page starting here — really took off.
  • Manjoo, Farhad (28 September 2009). "Where Wikipedia Ends". Time Magazine. "The online encyclopedia is suddenly adding fewer articles and has fewer editors. Has all knowledge been summarized, or does Wiki have a problem?" 
  • Spense, Des (September 19, 2009). "A wicked encyclopaedia". British Medical Journal.  (note: subscription-only article, I have not read past the abstract and extract available)

October[edit]

"As part of the ongoing push to make the site more "encyclopedic", there is a system in place that allows volunteers to flag up dubious articles for deletion. These pages remain live for days while Wikipedia administrators - and the original authors - debate whether the entries should be allowed, improved or removed. Below we present 20 of the more bizarre and surprising articles flagged for deletion over the past few weeks, with extracts from the pages and some of reasons offered by moderators for why they should be erased."
  • "Rewriting History", Private Eye (1247), 16 October 2009: 11 
History Today is, it likes to boast, 'the world's premier, and probably oldest, history magazine', carrying 'essays on all periods, regions and themes of history, many of them by the world's leading scholars.' Having contributed to the magazine since the early 1990s, historian Dr A. D. Harvey was slightly surprised to find some suggested additions to an article on Austrian dictator Engelbert Dollfuss for the magazine's July issue this year, when the page proofs were sent for his approval by editor Paul Lay. He was even more surprised when he did some digging, and discovered that three passages inserted into the text had been lifted word-for-word from the Wikipedia entry on Dollfuss. 'The piece inserted into your piece from Wikipedia, and subsequently removed at your request, was intended to add background information. There is no disagreement over the factual accuracy of the information,' sniffed History Today's publisher Andy Patterson when Dr Harvey contacted him to complain.
A computer in the House of Commons was used in June 2009 to remove politically embarrassing information about Michał Kamiński three days after he became leader of the Tories in the European Parliament.
"Go to Wikipedia to read his bio and, as often as not, someone will have tampered with the page. The section on Offit’s education was once altered to say that he’d studied on a pig farm in Toad Suck, Arkansas. (He’s a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Maryland School of Medicine)."
  • Michael S. Rosenwald (2009-10-23). "Amateur historian rescues D.C.'s Wikipedia page". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-10-23. 
    "Lewis joined thousands of other amateurs toiling in obscurity on Wikipedia, where facts are more important than the star historians who tend to dominate the popular view of history. On Wikipedia, anyone can be a historian. It's easy: Most pages are edited just by clicking on a button that says 'edit this page.'" [Appeared on the front page of the print edition.]
Article in TIME magazine about BLP problems in which the Foundation supposedly indicated that: Under the new policy, anonymous Web editors would still be allowed to freely change biographical Wikipedia entries — but their changes would be made visible to readers only after an experienced Wikipedia volunteer had approved them. However, in the article Jimbo refutes that understanding: There's only one problem with the new policy: "It's just completely wrong," says Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's co-founder. Wikipedia's ruling body of volunteers never decided to impose restrictions on all articles about living people. Instead, the site will adopt "flagged protection" — the new method for requiring editorial approval before changes to Wikipedia go up — for a small number of articles, most likely on a case-by-case basis.

November[edit]

  • Schwartz, John (12 November 2009). "Two German Killers Demanding Anonymity Sue Wikipedia’s Parent". New York Times (in English) (New York: New York Times). Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  • Barnett, Emma (17 November 2009). "Jimmy Wales interview: Wikipedia is focusing on accuracy". Telegraph (in English) (London: Telegraph Media Group Limited). Retrieved 17 November 2009. 
    An interview with Jimbo Wales in the Telegraph (London) touching on the award of the Monaco Media Prize, "flagged revisions", the slowing rate of new articles submitted to the English Wikipedia, improving accessibility, expansion of foreign language Wikipedias, Wikia, the end of Wikipedia.
  • CTV.ca News Staff (21 November 2009). "Mom says Keshia Chante crash rumours 'horrific'" (in English). Toronto: CTV News. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
    Story which debunked a hoax that Keshia Chanté was severely injured in a Toronto-area motor collision, following circulated rumours on Twitter and vandalism to her Wikipedia article.
  • Angwin, Julia and Fowler, Geoffrey A. (23 November 2009). "Volunteers Log Off as Wikipedia Ages". Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones). Retrieved 2009-11-22.  Subscribers only, but see article reprint at Resource Shelf
    Reports research at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid which shows Wikipedia editors are leaving in increasing numbers and speculates many are being burnt out by the increasingly hostile editing environment.

December[edit]

  • Graham, Mark (2009-12-03). "Wikipedia's known unknowns". The Guardian (Technology Guardian). p. 3. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
    Discusses density of geotagged articles in different countries compared with area & population.
  • Reports the case of a woman who believes a blackmailer editted a Wikipedia article on her as part of a threat of blackmail.
  • Rekhi, Shefali (6 December 2009). "Wikipedia in S'pore: Was it just a fad?". The Straits Times. 
    "Singaporeans seem to be losing interest in writing and editing articles on Wikipedia, one of the world's most popular websites. ... Messages on the online Singapore Wikipedian noticeboard have slowed, and many articles relating to the country have not found additional contributors. The community has not met offline in more than two years. Senior members of the group hope it's a passing phase. Nanyang Technological University assistant professor Brendan Luyt ... said Wikipedia 'could be losing some lustre as it tries to move up the value chain'. That has led to more checks to yield credible reports, but this could be putting off contributors. Mr Edward Yong ... believes the current trend will not affect the popularity of the website. 'The membership has always been fluid. The drop in numbers could be because of the current economic climate,' Mr Yong said, alluding to attention being diverted to issues like job security. 'Or it could be that the earlier contributors have written about most of the topics they were interested in,' he noted. 'But it is also possible that there are many like me who can't find the time to contribute; but then we come back again. That does not make me an inactive contributor.'"
  • Rekhi, Shefali (6 December 2009). "Strict checks for local pieces". The Straits Times. 
    "Much about Singapore can be found on Wikipedia but there's more to be done still. The Wikipedian community here lists dozens of topics that need to be created or expanded, from this year's flu pandemic to the battle of Bukit Timah and the country's flora and fauna. Yet, few have come forward. Regular contributors believe part of the reason could be the tight scrutiny by the diehard contributors and editors who have raised the stakes for newcomers. Contributors said the evaluation and rating of an article – done by a peer review – can be intimidating. Only six of the 3,368 articles relating to Singapore have been given a top rating so far."
  • "School web controversy". East Lothian Courier. Thursday, 10th December. "Mr Bray, who is currently seconded to Learning and Teaching Scotland as national adviser for emerging technologies in learning, is adamant that pupils be allowed access to Wikipedia during their lessons, and that teachers should also use the site to show pupils how to properly evaluate the reliability and credibility of information." "...parent groups have hit back, claiming it makes their kids "lazy"." 
    A Scottish deputy headmaster causes a furore by suggesting that pupils would benefit through use of Wikipedia.