South African learners lobby for data-free Wikipedia access
Memeburn.com published an article on the yearning of students in South Africa for free knowledge through Wikipedia Zero. Students from Sinenjogo High School have written letters to four major mobile phone companies requesting access to Wikipedia Zero, but the response entailed "little enthusiasm". According to the article, only 21% of South African schools have libraries and access to computers is very limited:
The group voices its concerns in the letter stating that the South African "education system needs help and having access to Wikipedia would make a very positive difference." The group also says that we should "just think of the boost that it will give us as students and to the whole education system of South Africa." As much as 8 million South Africans have access the internet on their cellphones.
Managing editor of WorldWideWorx.com Arthur Goldstuck agrees. He said that giving kids free access to Wikipedia would go a long way to solving some of South Africa’s education problems.
When asked about the specific request of the students, as well as the future of open educational resources on Wikipedia, Kul Wadhwa, Head of Mobile and Business Development for the Wikimedia Foundation (which encompasses Wikipedia Zero) called the students inspirational, saying "We were truly inspired by this grass roots movement, and we hope that this will open up a larger dialogue about the need to make open educational resources available to everyone in a way that can be delivered to them. This is really what Wikipedia Zero is about."
In an article by IOL SciTech, the author discussed the visit by WMF storyteller Victor Grigas to the high school where he filmed a documentary about their efforts, which will be available later this year. Grigas was quoted in the article as saying "the learners are so sharp and determined to better themselves. The teachers were amazing too. You can’t spend a day there and not feel inspired." Grigas also posted to the Wikimedia-l mailing list on June 19 asking for collaborators on this project.
Partisan editing of Israel topics
Israeli newspaper Haaretzreported on the recent indefinite block of Soosim (talk·contribs), described as "Arnie Draiman, a social-media employee of NGO Monitor". The story, also carried by France 24, says Draiman edited English Wikipedia articles on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict "in an allegedly biased manner".
Draiman concealed the facts that he was an employee of NGO Monitor, often described as a right-wing group, and that he was using a second username, which is forbidden under Wikipedia’s rules. [...] A discussion of the complaint against NGO Monitor’s employee on Wikipedia shows that he promoted his company’s agenda as much as the organizations he worked against promoted theirs, as journalist and blogger Yossi Gurvitz also wrote.
Draiman had been active in Wikipedia for several years, but had increased his participation in 2010 after taking a position at NGO Monitor, on whose website he is listed as the member of the Communications Department responsible for online communications. At 91 edits, he was the most frequent editor of the Wikipedia article on NGO Monitor, which he began editing in May 2010.
The writer who complained about Soosim (user name Nomoskedasticity) also wrote that NGO Monitor has the custom of issuing a press release, waiting until it is quoted in a newspaper, and then quoting the news item in the relevant articles as fact. During the conversation, it turned out that Draiman even explained this during a workshop he gave on Israel advocacy in which he called on pro-Israel advocates to join the "wiki war."
Wikipedia administrator Jan Nasonov told Haaretz that biased editing of organisations like NGO Monitor is "unfortunately not all that uncommon on Wikipedia", pointing out that it is difficult to prove. Neither NGO Monitor nor Draiman provided a comment to Haaretz, though Draiman, who had revealed his name to another user on Wikipedia five years ago, before his employment with NGO Monitor, disputed the sockpuppet and meatpuppet allegations against him on Wikipedia and stated that his edits were in compliance with Wikipedia rules.
Google quietly kills quick view for Wikipedia results in mobile search: An article in Techcrunch.com noted that a "quick view" feature which loaded a Wikipedia page in a matter of milliseconds has quietly disappeared without direct, succinct explanation from Google.
Creative Wikipedia edit shows us the winner of the next-gen console wars: PC & Tech Authority reported on Tuesday that the article List of burn centers in the United States was vandalized, saying that an editor added "Sony Entertainment acted as the burn center for Microsoft employees following E3 2013", in a slam against Microsoft.
How are museums collaborating with Wikipedia?: A group of articles in the journal Museum Practice gives an overview of collaborative projects for museums who wish to work with Wikipedia, including GLAM initiatives. The suite includes a piece on the challenges and successes of WIkipedia-museum collaborations, guides to hosting edit-a-thons, having a Wikipedian-in-Residence, and digitization, as well as case studies, an overview of QRPedia, and inspiration for smaller museums that wish to work with Wikipedia.
Wikipedia’s "Human" Entry Is Charmingly Alien: The Motherboard blog published a short piece exploring the article human, noting that it seems to have been written by "either extraterrestrials or our reptilian, shape-shifting overlords. Or both."