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Screenshot taken 10 October 2019
Type of site
Blog and forum
Available inEnglish
RegistrationOptional, required for some features
LaunchedMarch 16, 2012; 12 years ago (2012-03-16)
Current statusActive
Content license
Copyright retained by authors

Wikipediocracy is a website for discussion and criticism of Wikipedia.[2][3] Its members have brought information about Wikipedia's controversies to the attention of the media. The site was founded in March 2012 by users of Wikipedia Review,[4] another site dedicated to criticism of Wikipedia.[5][6]

The site is "known for digging up dirt on Wikipedia's top brass", wrote reporter Kevin Morris in the Daily Dot.[7] Novelist Amanda Filipacchi wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the site "intelligently discusses and entertainingly lambastes Wikipedia’s problematic practices".[8]


Wikipediocracy was cofounded by Gregory Kohs[9] after being blocked by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales for founding MyWikiBiz, a service dedicated to writing entries for businesses.[10]

Website user activism[edit]

Wikipediocracy contributors have investigated problems, conflicts, and controversies associated with Wikipedia, some being reported by mainstream media. The site's stated mission is "to shine the light of scrutiny into the dark crevices of Wikipedia" and related projects. In a doctoral thesis, internet policy and law specialist Heather Ford commented on Wikipediocracy's role, saying, "as Wikipedia's authority grows, and more groups feel disenfranchised by its processes, the growth of watchdog groups like Wikipediocracy who act as translators of Wikipedia's complex structures, rules and norms for mainstream media and who begin to give voice to those who feel that they have been excluded from Wikipedia's representational structures will continue."[11]

Revenge editing[edit]

In 2013, Wikipediocracy members contacted Salon.com reporter Andrew Leonard to alert him about the "Qworty fiasco".[12][13] Wikipedia user Qworty had attracted attention for his provocative comments in a debate on Wikipedia's treatment of female writers.[14] It emerged that many of his past contributions affected the site's treatment of, and targeted rivals of, writer Robert Clark Young.[2][15] This background information led to Leonard's challenging Young in an article "Revenge, Ego, and the Corruption of Wikipedia", which identified Young as Qworty. Just before the publication of Leonard's article, Qworty had been banned from editing Wikipedia biographies of living persons due to this behavior.[2][12]

Discussion of governments[edit]

Wikipediocracy contributors' criticisms of Wikipedia have been discussed in news stories covering Jimmy Wales's relationship with the government of Kazakhstan,[16][17][18] the Gibraltarpedia controversy,[19][20] and an anonymous edit made from a U.S. Senate IP address that labelled whistle-blower Edward Snowden a "traitor".[21][22]

In May 2014, The Telegraph, working with Wikipediocracy, uncovered evidence identifying the civil servant who had allegedly vandalized the Wikipedia articles on the Hillsborough disaster and Anfield.[23]

Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

A Wikipediocracy blog post reported in 2013 that Wikipedia was being vandalized from IP addresses assigned to the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF).[7][24] 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.[7]

Other issues[edit]

A Wikipediocracy forum discussion identified the Wikipedia account responsible for a hoax article Wikipedia administrators had recently deleted. The "Bicholim conflict" article described a fictitious 1640–41 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.[25]

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.[26]

In February 2015, Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee banned a user after finding he had edited to promote the Indian Institute of Planning and Management and added negative material to the article on another university. The user's edits had been noted in Wikipediocracy in December 2013.[27]

In late 2020, Wikipediocracy raised issues about the accuracy of the Wikipedia page of Nicholas Alahverdian.[28] A Wikipediocracy blog team member said that multiple Wikipedia accounts created by Alahverdian edited his Wikipedia page, and that one of these accounts had tried to remove Alahverdian's image, replacing it with an image of another person.[28] A notice was added to Wikipedia that acknowledged that the "truthfulness of this article has been questioned".[28] In January 2021, The Providence Journal reported that American authorities in July 2020 investigated whether Alahverdian had really died in February 2020 as reported in the media.[28] Alahverdian was subsequently found alive in Scotland.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Wikipediocracy – Index Page". wikipediocracy.com. Retrieved 26 December 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Leonard, Andrew (17 May 2013). "Revenge, ego and the corruption of Wikipedia". Salon.com. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  3. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 17 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  4. ^ Hersch (15 March 2012). "Welcome". Mission statement and welcome to the public. Wikipediocracy. Archived from the original on 13 December 2019. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  5. ^ LaPlante, Alice (14 July 2006). "Spawn Of Wikipedia". InformationWeek. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  6. ^ Shankbone, David (June 2008). "Nobody's safe in cyberspace". The Brooklyn Rail. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  7. ^ a b c Morris, Kevin (23 April 2013). "Wikipedia says its staffers are not vandalizing Wikipedia". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 1 January 2020. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  8. ^ Filipacchi, Amanda (10 July 2013). "My Strange Addiction: Wikipedia". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 1 January 2020. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Wikipedia abandons efforts to purge porn from online encyclopedia". Fox News. 25 March 2015.
  10. ^ Stewart, Gavin (2009). "Selling Community: Corporate Media, Marketing and Blogging". In Gordon, Janey (ed.). Notions of Community: A Collection of Community Media Debates and Dilemmas. Peter Lang. p. 142. ISBN 9783039113743.
  11. ^ Ford, Heather, "Fact factories: Wikipedia and the power to represent", Kellogg College, Oxford, August 2015, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.4068.9361 Archived 26 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b Nichols, Martha; Berry, Lorraine (20 May 2013). "What Should We Do About Wikipedia?". Talking Writing. Archived from the original on 1 January 2020. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Qworty: the fallout". Wikipediocracy. Archived from the original on 26 December 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  14. ^ Leonard, Andrew (29 April 2013). "Wikipedia's Shame". Salon. Archived from the original on 30 April 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  15. ^ Manhire, Toby (5 June 2013). "Wikipedia and the scourge of "revenge editors"". New Zealand Listener. Archived from the original on 21 April 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  16. ^ Morris, Kevin (25 December 2012). "Wikipedia's odd relationship with the Kazakh dictatorship". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 25 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  17. ^ Hermans, Steven (8 January 2013). "Critics question neutrality of Kazakh Wikipedia". NET PROPHET. Archived from the original on 28 April 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  18. ^ Williams, Christopher (24 December 2012). "Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales restricts discussion of Tony Blair friendship". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 August 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  19. ^ Alfonso, Fernando (25 October 2012). "Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales breaks silence on resurgence of influence-peddling scandal". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  20. ^ Orlowski, Andrew (26 October 2012). "Wales: Let's ban Gibraltar-crazy Wikipedians for 5 years". The Register. Archived from the original on 1 January 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  21. ^ Kloc, Joe (3 August 2013). "Is a U.S. senator trolling Snowden's Wikipedia page?". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  22. ^ Franceschi-Bicchierai, Lorenzo (6 August 2013). "Wikipedia Editor Traced to U.S. Senate Changes Snowden's Bio to 'Traitor'". Mashable. Archived from the original on 1 January 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  23. ^ Duggan, Oliver (21 May 2014). "Civil servants behind 'sickening' Hillsborough slurs identified". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 January 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
    Gander, Kashmira (21 May 2014). "Hillsborough Wikipedia posts: Suspected civil servant a Merseyside resident". The Independent. Archived from the original on 1 January 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
    Duggan, Oliver (17 June 2014). "Civil servant fired after Telegraph investigation into Hillsborough Wikipedia slurs". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 5 January 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
    Tran, Mark (17 June 2014). "Civil servant sacked for offensive Wikipedia edits on Hillsborough". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
    Duggan, Oliver (17 June 2014). "How The Telegraph identified the Hillsborough Wikipedia vandal". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 25 December 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  24. ^ Hogsky, Roger (22 April 2013). "Busy day at the Wikimedia Foundation office?". Blog. Wikipediocracy. Archived from the original on 23 December 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  25. ^ Morris, Kevin (1 January 2013). "After a half-decade, massive Wikipedia hoax finally exposed". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 10 April 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  26. ^ Schroeder, Audra (20 September 2013). "Are plastic surgeons nip/tucking ads into high-profile Wikipedia articles?". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  27. ^ Chari, Mridula (25 March 2015). "Wikipedia bans editor for consistent bias in favour of Arindam Chaudhuri's IIPM". www.scroll.in. Archived from the original on 30 April 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  28. ^ a b c d Mooney, Tom. "He was reported dead, but the state police kept looking for Nick Alahverdian". The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  29. ^ Mooney, Tom. "Nicholas Alahverdian, suspected of faking his death, was found in Scotland. What we know". The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on 13 January 2022. Retrieved 26 January 2022.

External links[edit]