Wikipediocracy screenshot taken May 18, 2013
|Type of site||Blog and forum|
|Registration||Optional, required for some features|
|Users||<500 registered members|
|Content license||Copyright retained by authors|
|Launched||March 16, 2012|
Wikipediocracy is a website for discussion and criticism of Wikipedia. The site is similar to the earlier criticism forum Wikipedia Review, from which it split off and developed. The site's contributors discuss issues related to Wikipedia and its parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation. Some discussions and controversies received coverage in the traditional media including coverage of Wikipediocracy's involvement. The site has provided some journalists with background information on Wikipedia's controversies.
Wikipediocracy, a site for criticism of Wikipedia, was founded in March 2012 by contributors to Wikipedia Review, another site critical of Wikipedia. Wikipediocracy describes its mission as being:
"to shine the light of scrutiny into the dark crevices of Wikipedia and its related projects; to examine the corruption there, along with its structural flaws; and to inoculate the unsuspecting public against the torrent of misinformation, defamation, and general nonsense that issues forth from one of the world’s most frequently visited websites, the 'encyclopedia that anyone can edit.'"
Wikipediocracy is "known for digging up dirt on Wikipedia's top brass," wrote reporter Kevin Morris in the Daily Dot. Novelist Amanda Filipacchi wrote in The Wall Street Journal that she had become addicted to reading about Wikipedia controversies in Wikipediocracy (and in the talk pages of Wikipedia). The website is run by a team of about fifteen unpaid volunteers; one of the co-founders was Gregory Kohs, who had previously founded the Wikipedia editing service MyWikiBiz. At launch, the site's trustees included Dan Murphy, staff writer for The Christian Science Monitor.
Investigations of Wikipedia controversies
Wikipediocracy contributors have investigated problems, conflicts, and controversies associated with Wikipedia, some being prominent enough to have been reported by mainstream media.
In 2013, Wikipediocracy members contacted Salon.com reporter Andrew Leonard to alert him about the "Qworty fiasco", providing background information on a Wikipedia editor, Qworty, and on the writer Robert Clark Young. This background information led to Leonard's writing an article, Revenge, Ego, and the Corruption of Wikipedia, which published the identification of Young as the "revenge editor" Qworty, who had negatively skewed Wikipedia biographies about his literary rivals. Just before the publication of Leonard's article, Qworty had been banned from editing biographies of living persons (on Wikipedia) with this reasoning:
some of your comments ... are extremely troubling when considered in light of your edits and the “rants” you posted last month, which were deeply unfortunate and reflected negatively on the project. If you do continue or resume editing in the future, you are directed not to edit biographical articles concerning any living person (other than yourself and excluding reversion of obvious vandalism) and not to make disparaging comments about any living person on any page of Wikipedia. I hope you will understand that at this point, these restrictions are in the best interests of all concerned.
Relations with governments
Wikipediocracy contributors have assisted journalists who cover controversial relations between Wikipedia and governments. For example, the Russian government threatened to block access to the Russian-language Wikipedia if it continued to describe marijuana paraphernalia. Wikipediocracy's Twitter feed documented the suppression of information about marijuana "inhalation devices" by editors of the Russian-language Wikipedia.
Wikipediocracy contributors' criticisms of Wikipedia have been discussed in news stories covering Jimmy Wales's relationship with the government of Kazakhstan, the Gibraltarpedia controversy and an anonymous edit made from a U.S. Senate IP address that labelled whistle-blower Edward Snowden a "traitor".
In May 2014, The Telegraph, in a joint investigation with "the online watchdog Wikipediocracy", uncovered evidence identifying the civil servant who had allegedly vandalised the Wikipedia articles on the Hillsborough disaster and Anfield.
A Wikipediocracy blog post reported that Wikipedia was being vandalized from IP addresses assigned to the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). Responding to the allegations, WMF spokesman Jay Walsh stated that the IP addresses belonged to WMF servers and were not used by the WMF offices. He stated that the addresses were assigned to some edits by IPs due to a misconfiguration, which was corrected.
One Wikipediocracy forum discussion identified the Wikipedia account responsible for a hoax article Wikipedia admins had recently deleted. The "Bicholim conflict" article described a fictitious 1640–1641 Indian civil war. It was awarded Wikipedia's "Good article" status in 2007, and retained it until late 2012, when a Wikipedian checked the article's cited sources and found that none of them appeared to exist.
A September 2013 story resulting from a Wikipediocracy tip-off concerned commercial plastic surgeons editing Wikipedia's plastic surgery articles to promote their services. Concerns with violations of conflict of interest guidelines and the provision of misinformation in the relevant articles had also been raised by Wikipediocracy members on Wikipedia itself.
In January 2014, a Wikipediocracy blog post by Gregory Kohs pointed out that according to official Wikimedia statistics, page views for all major language versions of Wikipedia had experienced significant and unprecedented drops over the course of 2013. The blog post linked these falls to the introduction of the Google Knowledge Graph, sparking international coverage.
- "wikipediocracy.com info". alexa.com. Retrieved 30 Jul 2014.
- Leonard, Andrew (17 May 2013). "Revenge, ego and the corruption of Wikipedia". Salon.com. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Murphy, Dan (1 August 2013). "In UK, rising chorus of outrage over online misogyny: Recent events in Britain draw more attention to endemic hostility towards women online". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- Hersch, Global moderator (15 March 2012). "Welcome". Mission statement and welcome to the public. Wikipediocracy. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
- LaPlante, Alice (14 July 2006). "Spawn Of Wikipedia". InformationWeek. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- Shankbone, David (June 2008). "Nobody's safe in cyberspace". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
- "Wikipediocracy". Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Morris, Kevin (23 April 2013). "Wikipedia says its staffers are not vandalizing Wikipedia". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- Filipacchi, Amanda (10 July 2013). "My Strange Addiction: Wikipedia". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- Perry Chiaramonte (17 December 2013). "Wikipedia abandons efforts to purge porn from online encyclopedia". Fox News. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- Nichols, Martha; Berry, Lorraine (20 May 2013). "What Should We Do About Wikipedia?". Talking Writing. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Manhire, Toby (5 June 2013). "Wikipedia and the scourge of "revenge editors"". New Zealand Listener. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- Morris, Kevin (9 April 2013). "The Daily Dot – Wikipedia pot article loses bongs, gets OK'd in Russia". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- "Twitter / Wikipedia_Forum". Twitter. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- Morris, Kevin (25 December 2012). "The Daily Dot – Wikipedia's odd relationship with the Kazakh dictatorship". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Hermans, Steven (8 January 2013). "Critics question neutrality of Kazakh Wikipedia". NET PROPHET. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- Williams, Christopher (24 December 2012). "Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales restricts discussion of Tony Blair friendship". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- Alfonso, Fernando (25 October 2012). "The Daily Dot – Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales breaks silence on resurgence of influence-peddling scandal". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Orlowski, Andrew (26 October 2012). "Wales: Let's ban Gibraltar-crazy Wikipedians for 5 years". The Register. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Joe Kloc (3 August 2013). "Is a U.S. senator trolling Snowden's Wikipedia page?". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai (6 August 2013). "Wikipedia Editor Traced to U.S. Senate Changes Snowden's Bio to 'Traitor'". Mashable. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- Oliver Duggan (21 May 2014). "Civil servants behind 'sickening' Hillsborough slurs identified". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
Kashmira Gander (21 May 2014). "Hillsborough Wikipedia posts: Suspected civil servant a Merseyside resident". The Independent. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
Oliver Duggan (17 June 2014). "Civil servant fired after Telegraph investigation into Hillsborough Wikipedia slurs". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 21014.
Mark Tran (17 June 2014). "Civil servant sacked for offensive Wikipedia edits on Hillsborough". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
Oliver Duggan (17 June 2014). "How The Telegraph identified the Hillsborough Wikipedia vandal". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- Hogsky, Roger (22 April 2013). "Busy day at the Wikimedia Foundation office?". Blog. Wikipediocracy. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- Morris, Kevin (1 January 2013). "After a half-decade, massive Wikipedia hoax finally exposed". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Schroeder, Audra (20 September 2013). "Are plastic surgeons nip/tucking ads into high-profile Wikipedia articles?". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Orlowski, Andrew (13 January 2014). "Google stabs Wikipedia in the front. Is Knowledge Graph killing its readership?". The Register. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
Kloc, Joe (8 January 2014). "Is Google accidentally killing Wikipedia?". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
van Lier, Helen (14 January 2014). "Bezoek Wikipedia fors gedaald door Google". de Volkskrant. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
Belfiore, Guillaume (13 January 2014). "Google Knowledge Graph aurait causé une baisse du trafic de Wikipedia en 2013". Clubic. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
Dojcsák, Dániel (13 January 2014). "A Google megfojtja a Wikipediát". HWSW. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
van Riet Paap, Jeroen (13 January 2014). "'Google helpt Wikipedia om zeep'". Webwereld. Retrieved 20 January 2014.