In the media
Google and the flu; Adrianne
- Editor's note: In the media will now be a monthly section, published the first edition of each month, and will cover Wikipedia and more broadly the Wikimedia movement over the preceding month. Thank you for your patience, and we look forward to bringing you more great editions of ITM in the future. This edition includes summaries and links to what should have been in issues dating back to February.
Wikipedia outdoes Google in tracking flu
Boston Children's Hospital postdoctoral fellow David McIver and a team have determined that using page view statistics from Wikipedia, they can track flu progression better than the Center for Disease Control can using Google searches.
||The research team wanted to use a database that is accessible to everyone and create a system that could be more accurate than Google Flu Trends, which has flaws. For instance, during the swine flu pandemic in 2009, and during the 2012-2013 influenza season, Google Flu Trends got a bit "confused," and overestimated flu numbers because of increased media coverage focused on the two illnesses, the researchers said.
Passing of Adrianne Wadewitz
The Signpost has previously covered the sad fact that a famed, beloved Wikipedian Adrianne Wadewitz has died in a rock climbing fall. The New York Times published an obituary that recapped her life and work on Wikipedia. WMF Executive Director Sue Gardner commented: "It is a huge loss for Wikipedia. She may have been our single biggest contributor on these topics—female authors, women's history." Noam Cohen wrote for the Times that "Ms. Wadewitz's interest in rock climbing played out on Wikipedia. Her last editing was to improve an article about Steph Davis, a prominent female climber and wingsuit flier. In Ms. Wadewitz's hands, the article became filled with personal details, spectacular photos, a highlighted quotation and 25 footnotes." Wadewitz's presence is already missed on Wikipedia.
- Defamatory Wikipedia: Lexology.com published an article detailing strategies for managing defamatory Wikipedia pages geared towards corporate attorneys. The article highlights our insistence on reliable sources supporting content, and outlines deletion processes.
- Bots overtaking humans? Several media outlets covered the increasing tendency for bots to be a large source of edits on Wikipedia and Wikidata. A new app has been created to study the source of edits on the projects. The Daily Dot writes: "The program found that, over a three day period in late 2013, over 3.8 million edits were made to the 287 different language-based Wikipedia sites." These references have more detailed coverage.
- MediaWiki vulnerabilities exposed An article recapped some vulnerabilities that were exposed to the open-source MediaWiki platform (which Wikipedia uses), and gave some takeaways on the subject from which we all can learn.
- Jimmy Wales' phone venture again in the news—Jimmy Wales' new phone venture, covered in previous editions of ITM, received additional coverage, predominantly centering around the legal requirements of a corporation.
- Wikipedia's geographical bias—Motherboard.vice.com published an article examining the geographic distribution of Wikipedia's entries, concluding that the United States and Great Britain receive an overwhelming majority of the entries.
- Greek lawsuit: A Greek editor was sued for edits he made to the Wikipedia biography of a former politician. (see related Signpost coverage: "Greek Wikipedia editor faces down legal challenge"). In addition to the WMF blog, outside coverage came from Arstechnica, lifo.gr, Protothema, Newsbeast, and the Daily Dot.
- Wikipedia in printed form?: Printing just one copy of Wikipedia would require 1,193,014 pages, but a group that calls themselves the "Wikipedia Books Project" wants to do just that. According to an article in The Daily Dot, the project needs $50,000, and according to the project website, they have raised a little over a quarter of that. Subsequently, the project received more media attention.
- Wikipedia's medical articles contain errors: 
- Vandalism from UK government IP addresses:    
- Should government agencies edit Wikipedia?: WMF spokesman Jay Walsh recently spoke to NextGov.com about courses of action government employees can take when they spot errors regarding their agency or its jurisdiction on Wikipedia.
- India: Candidates for Lok Sabha have to declare their social media accounts, including Wikipedia. (15 February)
- A Noongar Wikipedia:   (17 February)
- Telugu Wikipedia: 
- Wikipedia loses readers in Poland: 
- WikiBear:    (17–20 February 2014)
- Is Wikipedia the best place to promote women in art?:  (20 February 2014)
- Doctor Wikipedia:  (20 February 2014)
- Royal Society edit-a-thon:  (23 February 2014)
- Are PR people breaking Wikipedia?:  (25 February 2014)
- Wikipedia's spatial solipsism:   (25 February 2014)
- Assessing BLP quality through text mining:  (25 February 2014)
- Oscar winner ... according to Wikipedia:  (2 March 2014)
- Finnish Wikimedia donations:  (see related Signpost coverage: "Finnish investigation of donations to the WMF"; 2 March 2014)
- Conspiracy theories in the German Wikipedia:  (2 March 2014)
- Gaming Wikipedia:  (7 March 2014)
- Wikipedia writers' forum in Azerbaijan:  (7 March 2014)
- WMF has a new executive director: The WMF hired Lila Treitkov as its new executive director, and that received some media coverage, including from The Wall Street Journal, which chronicled her career, and noted her path from the Soviet Union to Wikipedia. (see related Signpost coverage: "Foundation announces long-awaited new executive director")
- Is there hope for Wikipedia's medical articles?: The Atlantic wondered whether Wikipedia's medical articles would ever be definitive, credible, and comprehensive. The article commented on a study from The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association on the usage of Wikipedia as a medical resource.
- TLDR: Io9.com reports on a new service that condenses Wikipedia articles to one sentence.
- Peoria Wikipedia page vandalized: The Peoria Journal-Star notes that some amusing vandalism found its way onto the Peoria, Illinois Wikipedia page.
- What exactly is trivial?: Sunny Hostin evidently doesn't pay on bets, and either her or an impostor don't want that information in her Wikipedia article. Regardless, it received some media coverage.
- An alternate aesthetic version of Wikipedia: so how would you like a more "aesthetically pleasing experience" while viewing Wikipedia? A new iPad app can help you do just that, reports Cnet.com.au. The app shows you Wikipedia articles in 17th century ligature and style, rather than an "Arial wasteland".
- Slurs from a UK government computer draw attention: Among many other sources, the UK version of The Huffington Post reported that "inflammatory" and "sickening" edits made to at least one Wikipedia article came from the computer of a British civil servant working on a government computer. The UK government initiated an investigation, and subsequently, it was determined that government computers have made more offensive edits to articles on Muslim topics, among others.
- Political articles suffer in terms of NPOV: 'Tis the season for campaigns and elections, and thus, tis the season for vandalism and non-neutral edits on such articles, according to an article from the India Times. Wikipedia's own Sitush was quoted in the article.
- Wikipedia: A bias against women?: If you edit Wikipedia, you may have heard we may have a gender bias. Nevertheless, an article published recently in The National chronicles new research into the extent and ramifications thereof.
- George Bush's paintings less than impressive?: According to a recent article, some of George W. Bush's paintings of world leaders including the one of his father, George H.W. Bush, which have attracted notoriety within the media, appear to be based on images appearing in the leaders' respective Wikipedia articles.
- Pete Forsyth opines: Wiki Strategies proprietor and Signpost op-ed contributor Pete Forsyth recently wrote an editorial that was published in, among other locations, USA Today, prior to the announcement of WMF's new executive director. He stated qualifications for such an individual, perhaps the most important of which would be an aptitude for dealing with annoying people, e.g., all of us!
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