Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

+ - The Sexists at the Top of Wikipedia->

Submitted by sparkydevil
sparkydevil writes: It's well known that women only make up 10% of Wikipedia editors. Many reasons have been put forward for this, but this analysis says it's the attitude and actions of those at the top levels of the site, particularly co-founder Jimmy Wales and ex-Wikimedia Foundation head, Sue Gardner, that have held women back most.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:...Wikipedia has "atrophied" since 2007... (Score 1) 186

by sparkydevil (#49486259) Attached to: How Many Hoaxes Are On Wikipedia? No One Knows

Exactly. There is too much emphasis on the people as Wikipedia's problem, when in fact it's the software that's the problem. I write about problem of Wikipedia's software design in this blog post, and have implemented the solutions you suggest (randomizing and mixing the editors to avoid the accumulation of power) in Newslines, my crowdsourced news site.

+ - Are Google and Wikipedia in a mutually-destructive relationship?->

Submitted by metasonix
metasonix writes: Who benefits from Google's increasing of Wikipedia data to support its search results? Mark Devlin, CEO of Newslines, a new crowdsourced news search engine, says the increasing co-dependency between the multi-billion dollar search corporation and its built-for-free partner hurts users experience, devalues web results and has turned unwitting Wikipedia editors into Google's slaves." And he offers evidence, unlike most WMF press releases.

Previously by Devlin: Stop Giving Wikipedia Money

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I assume the Wikimedia developers... (Score 1) 94

>But you missed out the third and worst of the options: editorial decisions which pander to the advertisers.

As a publisher who has run successful advertising sales teams in print and online you simply create policies that say the reader experience is primary and that any attempt by advertisers to influence editorial will be blocked. Readers can tell very quickly if editorial is influenced by advertisers and most publishers don't like to be pushed around. If advertisers really want unrestricted editorial presence they can buy an advertorial.

Comment: Re:I assume the Wikimedia developers... (Score 1) 94

Thousands of newspapers, magazine and websites deal with these issues every day without having to run porn or low quality ads. I don't see any complaints that it causes those publications self censorship. I suspect most of Wikipedia's worry about ads is driven by a fear that ads will try to counter bias in articles.

Comment: Re:I assume the Wikimedia developers... (Score 1) 94

Well I wrote it, and the self-censorship point is nonsense. There are lots of effective strategies that advertising-based media have used for many years to avoid self-censorship. To think that the situation is unmanageable is just incredibly naive. Such policies include accepting any kind of advertiser irrespective of their views (and let the reader decide the veracity of ads) or only accepting certain advertisers on certain pages, for example, no oil companies on global warming pages (although this type of policy actually a kind of censorship). The effect of any advertiser exerting undue influence is minimized by having many advertisers.

Comment: Re:"Millions of dollars spent" / state of Flow (Score 1) 94

The wiki gives power to some users who are vocal about having that power removed. Unfortunately, those who are used to the "the wiki way" can see few other ways to organize content. To them, everything must be done on a wiki, whether that is the most appropriate tool or not. Flow is yet another example of choosing the wiki's flexibility over solutions that could easily be more practical. This inflexibility is also true for many of the non-encyclopedic pages of Wikipedia, such as news and biography pages where different editorial workflows and presentation will give better results. If you are interested I wrote a blog post about the many problems that are specifically caused by the wiki software.

Comment: Bias is a feature not a bug (Score 1) 5

by sparkydevil (#48674175) Attached to: Is Wikipedia biased for Israel and against Palestinians?

This issue highlights a structural flaw in Wikipedia's software, where the "encyclopedia" is being used for a purpose it was not designed for: Wikipedia is not a newspaper. These articles about dead children are news archives and not encyclopedic. An encyclopedia by definition requires fact checking. News archives do not require checking (or at the least the checking can be done external to the archive).

+ - Is Wikipedia biased for Israel and against Palestinians? 5

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Wikipedia's pro-Jewish bias has been discussed in Wikipedia-criticism circles for years, but today the Wikipediocracy blog ran a item relating to it that will attract controversy: it proves that English-language Wikipedia is heavily biased in favor of Israeli and Jewish subjects, and against Palestinians. And it starts with very disturbing examples — Wikipedia biographies of Israeli and Palestinian children who were killed in the endless civil war. Specifically, articles about Palestinian children who were killed by Israelis are almost guaranteed to be deleted from the "encyclopedia of record", while articles about Israeli children killed by Palestinians receive "special protection".

+ - Stop Giving Wikipedia Money

Submitted by sparkydevil
sparkydevil writes: This year Wikipedia's fundraising banner covers half of the screen. But, with $50 million in the bank, and most of last years $50 million raised going to a programming team instead of going to content creators, does the online encyclopedia really need your cash?

It's currently a problem of access to gigabits through punybaud. -- J. C. R. Licklider