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Submission + - Wikipedia and the Oligarchy of Ignorance 1

Andreas Kolbe writes: A recent news story reported that a Wikipedia editor had take it upon himself to make tens of thousands of volunteer edits to eliminate a single perceived grammatical mistake ("comprised of") on the online encyclopedia's pages. In Wikipedia and the Oligarchy of Ignorance, David Golumbia looks at what motivates people to become involved in a crowdsourced project like Wikipedia. He finds lust for power, and concludes that even though Wikipedia purports to be engaged in a democratisation of knowledge, its structurelessness has actually made it a "breeding ground for tyrants". Golumbia approvingly quotes Mako Hill and Shaw, both enthusiastic supporters of the crowdsourcing concept, who nevertheless found that "the adoption of peer production’s organizational forms may inhibit the achievement of enhanced organizational democracy".

Comment Re:US Centric? (Score 2) 167

Infobitt founder/CEO here. We want to solve this problem by creating a separate homepage for each nationality, or perhaps simply by filtering the news in a certain clever way that I won't bother to describe. The great thing about a big online community coming together to build Infobitt will be that we can indeed compare different sources. Perhaps your impressions of U.S. news is correct. Perhaps when stacked up directly with other reporting, you'll find it's not as bad as you think. We'll be able to tell much more easily because facts from different sources will be rubbing shoulders within the same bitts (stories = collections of facts).

Comment Re:Online news (Score 3, Interesting) 167

Infobitt founder/CEO here. Hey, I love Google News. But what they don't do is summarize the stories, nor do they make a credible effort of organizing the news in a way that makes it possible to get caught up with the news quickly and efficiently. Suppose you want to really learn about a story that is being covered by many different news sources. Google News provides the awesome service of letting you find all the coverage quickly. But what they don't do is make it any easier to extract original reporting from among the facts contained in those articles. You can read one article, and that will get your fingers on one part of the elephant...but if you want to handle the whole elephant, you'll have to wade through all the other articles as well. A community of newshounds could do that for you, summarizing all the unique facts in a nonredundant way, putting them in order of importance. That's what we're trying to do.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 5, Informative) 167

Hi, I'm the Infobitt founder/CEO. No, it's not the same thing at all. Wikinews doesn't address itself to the problem of making sense of the news in the face of facts being scattered among repetitive articles, clickbait, etc. Traditional citizen journalism just gives people a platform to write articles and pretend to be journalists. We're not doing that. We're inviting people to find, rank, summarize both individual facts and stories (which we call bitts, which are made up of facts). Our mission isn't to add to the cacophany of the news, but to organize it.

Submission + - Is a "Wikipedia for news" feasible? ( 5

Larry Sanger writes: Online news has become ridiculously confusing. Interesting bits are scattered among repetitive articles, clickbait, and other noise. Besides, there's so much interesting news, but we just don't have time for it all. Automated tools help a little, but give us only an unreliable selection; we still feel like we're missing out. Y'know, back in the 1990s, we used to have a similar problem about general knowledge. Locating answers to basic questions through the noise of the Internet was hit-and-miss and took time. So we organized knowledge with Wikipedia ("the encyclopedia that Slashdot built"). Hey, why don't we do something similar for the news? Is it possible to make a Wikipedia for news, pooling the efforts of newshounds everywhere? Could such a community cut through the noise and help get us caught up more quickly and efficiently? As co-founder of Wikipedia, I'm coming down on the "yes" side. I have recently announced an open content, collaborative news project, Infobitt (be gentle, Slashdot! We are still in early stages!), and my argument for the affirmative position is made both briefly and at length.

Submission + - Wikimedia UK's chair banned...from Wikipedia ( 3

Larry Sanger writes: "The Chair of Wikimedia UK, a £1 million charity independent of the Wikimedia Foundation, was banned 11 days ago, for allegedly posting bondage porn of himself and otherwise violating Wikipedia policies. So he was removed as head of WMUK, right? Er, no. On July 26, their Board declared their "united" support of Van Haeften. So the chair of Wikipedia's UK £1 million charity is not permitted to edit Wikipedia. The Chair of the UK's Wikipedia charity is not permitted to edit Wikipedia. So this immediately became a big scandal, right? Er, no. Wikipedia routinely gets a pass for its many foibles. The first mainstream story to appear about it came out just this morning in the Telegraph. More background here."

Comment Re:Not a problem (Score 1) 544

I'm not sure why I'm replying to this, out of all the daft things that have come from this thread--maybe because I'm annoyed when people get history wrong. "Teancum," whoever you are, you don't know the first thing about what you're talking about. I am the guy who started Wikipedia. There is lots of documentation of this on I did NOT think that one had to have a Ph.D. to write articles for Wikipedia. I'm the guy who tried to get everyone working together--even kids. Others have said this about me, but they weren't there, or if they were, they're lying. I am not, in fact, a "deletionist." I am an inclusionist. I think people should be able to write about whatever their heart desires, as long as there is a chance of there being a full complement of articles of that type. If people want to have articles about every Star Trek episode, go for it, as long as you can cover all of them. Finally, even if there is "bad blood" between me and the current Wikipedia community--not the original one, mind you--that hardly means "there are many problems with what he says," unless you are a cultist who believes that "the Wikipedia community" is inerrant. Otherwise, thanks for your support.

Submission + - What should we do about Wikipedia's porn problem? ( 3

Larry Sanger writes: "In 2011, the Wikimedia Board committed to installing a "controversial content" filter even weaker than Google's SafeSearch, as proposed by the "2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content." Since then, after growing opposition by some Wikipedians, some board members have made it clear that they do not expect this filter to be finished and installed. Nevertheless, as TFA makes clear, Wikipedia continues to host an enormous amount of extremely gross porn and other material most parents don't want their kids stumbling across. And this content is some of the website's most-accessed. Nevertheless, children remain some of Wikipedia's heaviest users. Jimmy Wales has recently reiterated his support for such a filter, but no work is being done on it, and the Foundation has not yet issued any statement about whether they intend to continue work on it."

Submission + - Once Deemed Evil, Google Now Embraces "Paid Inclusion" (

pacc writes: It was a long time a go google only provided a page with search links, and MarketingLand finds that the policy to have ads clearly separated from the search may have gone with newer services.
For example a hotel search will indicate that 'some' link payed to get listed, but not which ones and digging deeper gives less, not more info.
For example, Google Hotel Finder has no disclosures. In fact, the help page suggests that all listings are free. If that’s true, then why would Google be disclosing a financial relationship for when Google Hotel Finder results appear within a comparison box?

Comment Slashdot discussing stuff politely?! (Score 1) 949

I've posted quite a few times here on Slashdot, and I have to say, this is the most civilized discussion I have seen, well, ever in this forum. I have to think that I've hit a nerve, and people are actually not just doing their usual posturing, but actually caring about the question and trying to come to grips with it. There may be hope for geeks yet.

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