Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-01-10/In the news

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In the news

By Cryptic C62, Pretzels and Ragesoss, 10 January 2009

Misinformation aplenty in Wikipedia, writes WEBCommentary author

In his most recent article, WEBCommentary contributor Nicholas Stix continued his series The Pretend Encyclopedia, a series which highlights the inaccuracies and flaws within Wikipedia's entries. In this article, Stix expressed his frustration regarding misinformation and poor writing in Monsters of the Midway, an article about the Chicago Bears. Using quotes from various versions of the article as examples, Stix accused Wikipedia and its editors of "having no rhyme or reason" and "making entries worse over time." He also claimed that "hundreds of thousands of [Wikipedia] entries" are not even "written in clean, proper English."

Jimbo Wales

Rumors of Jimbo's resignation put to rest

Techtree.com reported that there had been claims of Jimbo Wales, founder of Wikipedia, resigning from the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. The rumors started with a post on Valleywag by editor Owen Thomas, who wrote: "Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's [...] cofounder, is no longer a board member of the site's nonprofit foundation." Sue Gardner, executive director of Wikimedia, responded to the news by confirming that Jimbo is indeed still a member of the board. Jay Walsh, Head of Communications, went on to say that Jimbo had been "'unanimously' confirmed for another term on the board."

The original post has since been amended to read "With the calendar running out on 2008, Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's sleaze-drenched cofounder, nearly lost his seat on the board." Valleywag has a long tradition of adopting a scathing tone towards Wikimedia management, in particular last March's expose of Wales' relationship with Fox News reporter Rachel Marsden, as previously reported in the Signpost.

Philanthropy experts opine on Wikipedia fundraiser

The Give and Take blog of The Chronicle of Philanthropy covered Wikipedia's recently concluded fundraiser in a post titled "Wikipedia's Fund-Raising Success Questioned". It describes the complaint of non-profit consultant Mike Burns, and the more gentle poke from the Values Blog, which gives "Only Two Cheers for Wikipedia" for mis-defining philanthrocapitalism—the title and subject of the bloggers' book.

Study of the "epistemic consequences" of Wikipedia

In an article published in the August 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, University of Arizona philosopher Don Fallis explores the "epistemic consequences" of Wikipedia—in other words, whether Wikipedia is helping or hurting the spread of reliable knowledge. In moving "Toward an Epistemology of Wikipedia", Fallis concludes that "the reliability of Wikipedia compares even more favorably to the reliability of those information sources that people would be likely to use if Wikipedia did not exist" and that "Wikipedia has a number of other epistemic virtues (e.g., power, speed, and fecundity) that arguably outweigh any deficiency in terms of reliability".

William Shatner

"5 Celebrity Wikipedia Entries They Clearly Wrote Themselves"

Humor site Cracked.com published an article this week on "5 Celebrity Wikipedia Entries They Clearly Wrote Themselves", mocking the articles on Corey Feldman, Paul Stanley, William Shatner, Bruce Willis, and Hulk Hogan. According to Cracked author Neal Nicholson, these articles contain examples of unencyclopedic tone, unnecessary detail, and "supernaturally shameless plug[s]", concluding that these articles could have only been written by the subjects themselves. Specifically, Nicholson criticized the William Shatner article for its use of the term Shatnerites, as well as the entry on Hulk Hogan for describing him as a "consummate role model".



Also this week:

News and notes — In the news — Dispatches — Features and admins — Technology report — Arbitration report


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