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.
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 Timespublished 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 Dotwrites: "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 additionalcoverage, 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.
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 moremediaattention.
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)
Is there hope for Wikipedia's medical articles?: The Atlanticwondered 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.comreports on a new service that condenses Wikipedia articles to one sentence.
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, reportsCnet.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 Postreported 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!