Category Archives: Wikipedia

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The top Wikipedia searches of 2017 are windows into our nightmares

While 2017 may be in our rearview mirror calendar-wise, it’s still got its claws in us, as evidenced by Wikipedia’s newly released list of the top 50 searches of last year, which offers a few peeks into the darkness of our lives in the 21st Century.

SEE ALSO: Trump is on pace to lie 8,000 times by the end of his first term

While the list is primarily a mish-mash of searches for entertainment and figures, nothing is as jarring as the top two items on the list, which both remind us that the world is a cold, dark place:

  1. Deaths in 2017 (37,387,010 views, peaking on November 20 following the death of Charles Manson)

  2. Donald Trump (29,644,764 views, peaking on January 20 due to his inauguration). Read more…

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A Star Wars fan in Congress is laying down the law on porgs and lightsabers

The 115th Congress of the United States may not have passed any meaningful legislation (apart from that whole forcing Trump to impose sanctions on Russia thing). 

But at least someone in the House of Representatives is taking a strong stand on the Star Wars universe — starting with the puffin-like porgs from The Last Jedi

SEE ALSO: ‘The Last Jedi’ full trailer revealed: What it all means

Congress Edits, a bot that notes all instances of Wikipedia editing that takes place on computers using Congressional IP addresses, turned up two anonymous Star Wars-related Wikipedia edits in the last two days.  Read more…

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Facebook outsources its fake news problem to Wikipedia—and an army of human moderators

Facebook made nearly $27 billion last year, but the tech giant can’t seem to figure out how to fix its fake news problem on its own. 

Their solution: enlist a nonprofit that has successfully done so—with the help of 133,540 moderators.

In its latest move to prove it’s no longer a threat to democracy, Facebook is tapping Wikipedia. Now, when Facebook users see articles on News Feed, they can click on a little “i” button and see the Wikipedia description of the publisher. They also will see a button to follow the Page and see trending or related articles.

Facebook previously balked at the notion of using human editors to oversee the flow of news and information across its network, instead relying on algorithms to handle everything from publisher posts to advertisements. Now, it’s slowly starting to embrace the human touch, hiring editors and now even partnering with Wikipedia and its army of moderators.  Read more…

More about Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, 2016 Election, Wikipedia, and Jimmy Wales

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Retro-inspired text adventure puts a twist on using Wikipedia


Reading Wikipedia just got a whole lot more fun.

A new game called “Wikipedia: The text adventure” helps you navigate and learn more about the world using a clever modification of the online knowledge database’s API. You can start your journey with a suggested location or choose your own, and from there on the game dynamically generates options of places to explore.

SEE ALSO: Someone already made a Wikipedia page for ‘Trump orb’

For example, I started with my home state of Maharashtra in India. From there, the game gave me a few choices of other places in the state to explore.

People have discovered classic text adventure features like the ability to pick up items, examine them, and keep them in your inventory. Read more…

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Hillary Clinton Wikipedia page redirected to ‘Mein Kampf’ for 16 hours and no one noticed


Despite how much we all love it, Wikipedia is not a credible source. That’s because any one can edit content at any time, adding in falsehoods that can sit there until, well, someone notices.

Case in point: a page dedicated to the bibliography of Hillary Clinton redirected to Adolf Hilter’s autobiography Mein Kampf on Monday for over 16 hours.

SEE ALSO: Facebook isn’t alone—moderating the internet is basically impossible

According to the edit history, the page was edited to redirect at 6:26 a.m. UTC, which is 2:26 a.m. ET. When you edit a Wikipedia entry, your IP address is logged and is publicly facing. We plugged that address into a tool that provides clues about who’s behind the IP, including details about their Internet Service Provider. Read more…

More about Hillary Clinton, Wikipedia, Adolf Hitler, and Watercooler

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Someone already made a Wikipedia page for ‘Trump orb’


As we all know by now, the internet is quick to any and everything funny, weird, and downright confusing. We admire, and are maybe just a little bit frightened by, this fact. 

President Donald Trump paid a visit to Saudi Arabia this weekend, the first stop on his first foreign trip as president. While there, he gave a highly-anticipated speech about Islam, and attended the opening ceremony of the Global Centre for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. This ceremony involved touching a cool glowing orb. 

Behold. Donald #Trump and the mysterious glowing orb. – The Washington Post

— Gregory Grushko (@ggrushko) May 22, 2017 Read more…

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Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is waging a war on fake news


More than 16 years after founding Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, Jimmy Wales is determined to reform another critical source of information: the news.

Conceptually similar to Wikipedia, the Wikitribune will be a collaborative effort between professional journalists and community contributors. The end goal? Creating a free, trusted source for news, based in facts and evidence. Read more…

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China is creating its own Wikipedia, but it’s not open to the public for editing


China is planning an ambitious online resource to rival Wikipedia. The inaugural digital version of the Chinese Encyclopaedia will, in effect, be the country’s first online book of “everything.”

But free speech activists say that the new digital compendium is bound to distort or omit certain topics for political purposes.

SEE ALSO: Why did Turkey just block Wikipedia?

The digital project is the third edition of the  Chinese Encyclopaedia, and will enlist 20,000 scholars from tertiary institutions to write, reports the South China Morning Post.

It’s expected to be the same size as the Chinese-language version of Wikipedia, and twice as long as the Encyclopaedia Britannica, with more than 30,000 entries, each roughly 1,000 words long. The encyclopaedia will go online in 2018. Read more…

More about Censorship, Freedom Of Information, China, Wikipedia, and Media

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Why did Turkey just block Wikipedia?


Wikipedia is now blocked in Turkey, according to news reports. 

Turkish authorities blocked all versions of Wikipedia in any language in the country through an “administrative measure” and did not give a reason, BBC reported. 

Turkish media reported that authorities had asked Wikipedia to remove content that linked Turkey to terrorist groups, BBC said. Wikipedia didn’t remove that content, and was blocked on Saturday. 

In the past, Turkey has blocked Facebook and Twitter following protests or terror attacks. 

The monitoring group Turkey Blocks found that Wikipedia could not be reached in Turkey starting at 8 a.m. local time. The group noted that the kind of administrative measure used here often precedes a full court order to block a site in the coming days.  Read more…

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