Somehow Wikipedia Never Learns

Posted on February 7th, 2019  The Spoonkymonkey Story  by John Doe Number One


https://wikipediocracy.com/ 


 Way back in 2013, Wikipediocracy members investigated the activities of a Wikipedia user known as “Qworty.” That led to a blog post here and two articles on Salon, and attracted quite a bit of attention on Wikipedia itself. To make a long story short, Robert Clark Young (aka Qworty and other sockpuppet accounts) was an author who was rather blatantly using Wikipedia to promote himself and attack his enemies. It was a high-profile case, one that Wikipedia might have been expected to learn something from.
As you will see, it didn’t.

Warren Kinsella vs. Mark Bourrie

Before I tell you about Spoonkymonkey, let me tell you about something that happened well over a decade ago. It isn’t very interesting, but it will be important later in our story. In 2006, two minor figures in the Canadian political media were having a spat. Political strategist Warren Kinsella sued Mark Bourrie, a journalist, author, and blogger, over something Bourrie had said about Kinsella during his time working for Canada’s Department of Public Services and Procurement. The whole thing blew over fairly quickly though, and never went to court.
Since Bourrie posted the lawsuit on his own website, we know that part of the lawsuit was related to Bourrie’s alleged editing of Kinsella’s biography on Wikipedia. The whole thing boiled over on Wikipedia in August of 2006 with an unrelated Wikipedia user starting a case with the Arbitration Committee about the editing of the Warren Kinsella article. It closed with Wikipedia user Arthur Ellis being restricted to a single account and banned “from Warren Kinsella and articles which relate to Canadian politics and its blogosphere”. During an Arbitration Committee case about Canadian political commentator Rachel Marsden, Arthur Ellis was found to have violated his ban; after being blocked for a week, the account was later blocked indefinitely at Arthur Ellis’s own request.
That block didn’t slow down Ellis’s editing, though. The account was formally banned by the Wikipedia community in February 2007 for repeated sockpuppet editing of Rachel Marsden’s article. The Kinsella case page lists years’ worth of blocks placed on Arthur Ellis sockpuppets, stretching into 2008. There is also a connection made to the Arthur Ellis account in a 2009 sockpuppet investigation regarding a group of sockpuppets which were focused almost exclusively on Canadian climate scientist David Suzuki.
(“Arthur Ellis,” by the way, was the pseudonym for Canada’s last hangman, Arthur B. English. The Crime Writers of Canada named their annual award after him – it’s a fairly prestigious award if you’re a Canadian who writes true-crime books, as Mark Bourrie has done on occasion.)

Enter Spoonkymonkey

In February of 2008, a new user account called Spoonkymonkey was created, whose first edits were to the David Suzuki talk page. By May of that year, Spoonkymonkey made his first edit to the Rachel Marsden article, and in June 2008, he wandered over to Warren Kinsella’s biography for the first time. For all intents and purposes, this “new” account seemed to have the same interests as Arthur Ellis. You’d think that after two Arbitration Committee cases, someone would be watching those pages closely. And after dealing with so many Arthur Ellis sockpuppets, shouldn’t administrators have protected those pages from editing by ordinary users?
Spoonkymonkey was a steady, but not prolific editor. He seemed to stop editing in the summer of 2014 but reappeared in the fall of 2018, and all told, he’s racked up about 3,000 edits over the years. His four most-edited articles are Warren Kinsella, Mark Bourrie, Mike Duffy, and Rachel Marsden. (We’ll discuss Duffy below). His sixth-most-edited article just happens to be the biography of Warren Kinsella’s father, which he tried to have deleted –twice.
It should be noted that the second-most-prolific editor on the Warren Kinsella article is none other than Arthur Ellis. Coming in at 20th place is Arthur Ellis sockpuppet Stompin’ Tom. On Mark Bourrie’s article, Spoonkymonkey is the top editor and Arthur Ellis is second.

Mark Bourrie’s Wikipedia history
Let’s talk a little bit about Mark Bourrie’s history with Wikipedia before we break out the pushpins and red string. The Mark Bourrie user account was created in January 2006; that account’s first edits were, of course, to the Warren Kinsella article. In one posting to Jimmy Wales’ talk page, he complains about the Rachel Marsden article and signs himself “Mark Bourrie M.J., PhD (cand), Dept of History, University of Ottawa, Canada.” By the end of February 2006, Mark Bourrie had already been blocked three times for edit warring and blanking Marsden’s article. In March, he asked that his username be changed to Ceraurus. (Ceraurus, by the way, is a type of trilobite.)
Mark Bourrie/Ceraurus nominated Rachel Marsden’s article for deletion on March 4, 2006, but the discussion was quickly closed. On March 7, an account called Isotelus renominatedit. (Isotelus, by the way, is another type of trilobite.) That request was also quickly closed, but not before someone accused Isotelus of being the same person as Mark Bourrie/Ceraurus. A checkuser investigation confirmed that Isotelus was indeed Mark Bourrie/Ceraurus and all the accounts were indefinitely blocked. (Incidentally, a third deletion nomination of Marsden’s article was made in December 2006, by an account identified as a sockpuppet of Arthur Ellis.)
Although Arthur Ellis denied being Mark Bourrie/Ceraurus in the June 2006 checkuser case, by July the connection was deemed “likely” by a checkuser. In August, seven Wikipedia Arbitrators agreed that “there is substantial evidence” that the users (and numerous sockpuppets) were one and the same. If that’s true, Mark Bourrie is not just an indefinitely blocked user, he is also under Arbitration Committee sanctions and “community banned” (as Arthur Ellis).

 

The Mike Duffy connection
Mike Duffy is a Canadian senator and former television journalist. In 2015, Duffy was on trial over misuse of government money, and during the trial it was revealed that Duffy had (through an intermediary) paid Mark Bourrie $500. In 2009, Duffy had asked Bourrie to, in Bourrie’s words, “do some research work on how to deal with troll posts on the Internet.” According to media reports of the trial, Bourrie helped Duffy get insulting comments removed from various websites, including Wikipedia.

Duffy was ultimately acquitted of the charges, but there was some fallout for Bourrie. Even before his testimony, a Canadian news blog, Canadaland, published the revelation that Bourrie (a political journalist) had been paid by Duffy (a politician). Bourrie published a rebuttalon Canadaland, challenging the claims of its author, David Akin.

It isn’t clear how Mark Bourrie approached his task of getting things changed on Mike Duffy’s Wikipedia article, or if he was successful. In fact, apart from some anonymous IP vandalism in the early part of 2009, there really wasn’t much editing of either the article or the article’s talk page. If Bourrie approached Wikipedia by email or otherwise, no result is apparent from the article’s history. In May of 2009, however, Spoonkymonkey removed three paragraphs critical of Duffy. One of those paragraphs was about a ruling by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council that Duffy violated Canadian broadcasting codes and ethics. Although it had multiple sources, Spoonkymonkey returned to remove it again and again. And again. It does not appear in the current version of the article.

Just days after the Canadaland pieces were published, someone editing under just an IP address tried to have David Akin’s Wikipedia article summarily deleted. When that didn’t work, they attempted to start a deletion discussion. The very first edit from that same IP, which geolocates to Ottawa, Canada, is worth examining. The IP editor posted to the discussion page of Warren Kinsella’s article, claiming to be Mark Bourrie. Recall that by then, Bourrie was indefinitely blocked on Wikipedia and should not have been editing at all, even as an IP. Recall also that the Arbitration Committee had connected the Arthur Ellis account to Bourrie and it was not only banned from Kinsella’s article specifically – and Canadian politics generally – but also banned from editing by the Wikipedia community. The IP continued editing though, including 33 edits to Bourrie’s own article, and… one edit to the Spoonkymonkey’s user page. Oops.

More recently, in January 2019, Spoonkymonkey gutted Jesse Brown’s biography. This comes soon after an attempted hatchet job by an account named Midlandino. Both Spoonkymonkey and Midlandino made similar changes to the Canadaland article.

Someone appears to be holding a grudge.

Mark Bourrie is a great guy!
Mark Bourrie is a very accomplished man; he’s a journalist, professor, lawyer, and author. He has written for the Midland Free Press (Wikipedia article created by Spoonkymonkey). He helped launch Blacklock’s Reporter (Wikipedia article also created by Spoonkymonkey), and he wrote a book about prospector Viola MacMillan (again, Spoonkymonkey). And as mentioned above, Bourrie is a trilobite enthusiast – just like Hit Parader magazine editor Andy Secher (yep, Spoonkymonkey).
Bourrie began working for the Chinese news agency Xinhua beginning in late 2009 or early 2010. Spoonkymonkey removed sections critical of Xinhua from their Wikipedia article in July of 2010 and again in September of that year. (In 2012, Bourrie resigned because he felt that he was being asked to gather intelligence for the Chinese government.)
Along with all his other accomplishments, Bourrie also appears several times on Rachel Marsden’s podcasts as an expert in both censorship and propaganda. Just recently, Spoonkymonkey removed quite a lot of sourced material from Marsden’s Wikipedia entry. If you thought that issue had been settled a decade ago with the Marsden Arbitration Committee case, you were wrong. And if you thought the Arbitration Committee would take the obvious steps to prevent the dispute from continuing like this, you were wrong again. As Warren Kinsella said, Bourrie’s “unusual Wikipedia preoccupation with Rachel Marsden… could be the subject of an important psychological study.”
Around the time of Bourrie’s testimony at the Duffy trial, political reporter Kady O’Malley was asked what Bourrie’s Wikipedia user name was. She replied, “I have a vague recollection someone suggested it was Spoonkymonkey.”

It’s clear that whoever Spoonkymonkey is, he shares a lot of the same interests with Mark Bourrie, and the same enemies. (We should also point out that nothing Spoonkymonkey has been doing on Wikipedia is illegal, despite what some Wikipedians might have us believe.) And by the way, here’s a really odd thing – Spoonkymonkey and Bourrie also have very similar taste in tables. Here’s a photograph of a trilobite uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Spoonkymonkey. And here’s a photograph of a trilobite from Bourrie’s trilobite site. Weird coincidence, eh?

What happens now?
If history is any guide, Wikipedia editors will read this report, someone will poke a checkuser, and a few blocks will be handed out. A few articles may get protected temporarily. Nothing will be done to prevent the same thing from happening again to these very same articles, let alone a different set of articles.


What should be done?

The same thing that should have been done when Qworty was exposed. First, acknowledge that there are people who use Wikipedia to attack other people, sometimes for years. Second, acknowledge that every biography is a potential target for this. Third, protect every single biography of a living person with the existing pending revisions system. Fourth, ensure that every new biography gets protected this way by an admin-bot. Fifth, fully and permanently protect articles that are obvious problems (like Rachel Marsden’s).
All of these actions could be done right now, with only a modicum of effort. And while none of them directly address the sockpuppetry issues, they would go a long way to cut down on cases like this going forward.

· Our Mission:
· We exist to shine the light of scrutiny into the dark crevices of Wikipedia and its related projects; to examine the corruption there, along with its structural flaws; and to inoculate the unsuspecting public against the torrent of misinformation, defamation, and general nonsense that issues forth from one of the world’s most frequently visited websites, the “encyclopedia that anyone can edit.”

· How you can participate:
· Visit the Wikipediocracy Forum, a candid exchange of views between Wikipedia editors, administrators, critics, proponents, and the general public.

Letterkenny, Irelandhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letterkenny
Letterkenny (Irish: Leitir Ceanainn, meaning "hillside of the O'Cannons"), nicknamed "the Cathedral Town",  is the largest and most populous town in County Donegal in Ulster, Ireland. It lies on the River Swilly in East Donegal and has a population of 19,274. It is the 36th largest settlement in all of Ireland by population and hovers around being the 13th or 14th largest settlement by population in all of Ulster.

What is a Wiki War?

http://wikipediawehaveaproblem.com/2015/05/what-is-a-wiki-war/


WIKIPEDIA, WE HAVE A PROBLEM


May 7, 2015 wwhp Wiki Wars, Wikipedia


Wiki wars, defined somewhat.

War, like the man said, is hell. A wiki war is perhaps is no different.

Wiki wars are literally conflicts between individuals or groups fighting over the control or influence of narratives published on the internet, primarily Wikipedia and a number of various MediaWiki platforms, which play off of Google’s search engine algorithm for broad public and global awareness.

Wiki wars, from my direct experience, truly are “battles to the death for insanely low stakes” as put by veteran Wikipedia editor and RationalWiki brain trustee, David Gerard.

A wiki war occurs across a digital, contextual, and psychological battlefield. A landscape comprised of WikiMedia platforms and extending their reach into Google search, subReddits, and WordPress blogs which become weaponized to influence perceptions, support various ideological or commercial agendas, suppress edits by groups of online users, or to intimidate and harass other users on the web.

Even bots are used in wiki wars, with counter bots created to battle them in return.

Wiki Wars are very complex, and in a heated event, they can often require 8 – 16-hour full-time days in heated arguments, consensus building, research, and three-dimensional chess strategies between admins and editors gaming the process.

Wiki wars often begin from one single event, an ‘edit war’ that occurs on Wikipedia between the editors on an article.

The edit war turns to wiki war when working through disagreements on the sly, employing various tactics of editor suppression to remove the dissenting editors from the article.

One aggressive event to remove an editor from an article can trigger hundreds of defensive, and then regressive responses, igniting communities around the web into a much larger event which can play out for years. (see GamerGate, from which emerged the alt-right, and one could argue, eventually helped win the Trump presidency through digital persuasion, trolling, targeting, meme generation, and likely unintentional interaction with Russian or foreign agents riding the wave.)

Wiki wars are far more nefarious than just a bunch of nerds arguing over Oxford commas.

Wiki wars are comprised of more sophisticated manipulations for online misinformation and harassment, comparatively to their social media “sisters” such as Facebook and Twitter which do not provide the contextual completeness that a MediaWiki can offer.

In my case study on WikiWars- one group of Wikipedia trolls were applying just as sophisticated methods as were used by foreign agents in the 2016 election, and just as effective in many cases. I believe by studying these type of events, especially some of the “trolls” encountered – we can develop highly effective tools for building trusted online collaboratives.

WikiWars emerge from dark collaboratives, groups of users who are comfortable practising deception on the internet in any form and then evolved upon the design sensibility of WikiMedia software and playing off of PageRank algorithm for Google search.

Therefore while Wikipedia often is the center, these WikiWars spread outside of Wikipedia, to other WikiMedia platform sites such as RationalWiki, Encyclopedia Dramatica, Metapedia, Conservapedia, RightPedia, KiwiFarms, the newly emerging InfoGalactic, and a host of other wikis.

Wiki wars can easily be initiated by any interest-based group or individual, for any reason, political, polemic, persuasive, or just in some instances, no reason at all.

The winner in the wiki war controls the broadcast signal around a specific narrative.

The encyclopedic voice of Wikipedia is credibility, notability, and reliability for searchable information. This is the grand prize for controlling a narrative, walking into global credibility and influence with perfectly targeted discoverability, reaching the exact people who are searching that particular topic, with Wikipedia being a highly likely “first stop” in the discovery of any subject. The most valuable real estate on the web. GoogleSearch. A zero-sum game that, from my experience, attracts a peculiar psychological type, quite probably sociopathic in nature – like bullies, stalkers, and obsessives.

Wikipedia’s own guidelines encourage us to trust the narrative voice on Wikipedia with its emphasis on ‘neutral point of view’ editing, a paradise where only disinterested editors without any bias are tirelessly improving the encyclopedia.

WikiMedia Foundation broadcasts this optimistic and utilitarian message through PR and TED talks.

The value of Wikipedia as a powerful online publisher gives any shrewd agenda editor a touch point to disseminate references, context, and in some cases misinformation and misdirection to influence every one interested in a search topic.

The losers in a wiki war are banned from editing an article in the least and can face harsher repercussions, such as doxxing, harassment, reputation destruction, and stalking; as detailed in this study.

Note; many “losers” in the wiki war on Wikipedia can often rush off to another WikiMedia software platform, and restore their lost narrative on a host of other wikis, each one catering to a specific worldview, such as RationalWiki, RightPedia, InfoGalactic, or Conservapedia.

Many other “wikis” on the web actually emerged from wiki wars happening on Wikipedia, such as RationalWiki and Conservapedia, and now with the emerging alt right “InfoGalactic”.

Other than GamerGate, we don’t hear about wiki wars much, really.


WikiMedia Foundation is, as one would naturally expect, the most influential voice broadcasting about all things “Wikipedia”.

Because of this, ‘Wiki Wars’ are sometimes reported as ‘cutesy’ little fun things happening on the worlds greatest thing since sliced bread or only reserved for a dozen or so highly significant topics which Wikipedia always seems to be able to account for.

GamerGate did get some mainstream attention on them, but the complexity of the problem overclouded the mediums that gave it life.

So one reason we don’t hear about them much is primarily that we hear of all the good things about Wikipedia from WikiMedia more, a testimony to truthfully how powerful and impressive Wikipedia has been adopted

Wiki Wars are “buried out in the open”.


The other reason I believe they are difficult to bring attention to is just the complexity of the software itself. Why? Because a wiki war is so mind-numbingly awfully complex to follow, highlight, and detail.

This complexity of the software itself cloaks discoverability of what is actually occurring in one, and unless someone has been directly involved, they are almost impossible to bring attention to.

Wikimedia software functions as a foundation for wiki war activities.

One of the hurdles in producing this site was actually detailing the full arc of events in a wiki war while working through the labyrinth of the platform’s software.

“Wikis” in general are widely adopted via WikiMedia’s software, which is the underlying platform housing the majority of most online wikis beyond Wikipedia.

Any flaw, therefore, on Wikipedia is repeated across all wikis running off of Wikimedia’s software.

The Psychology of a Wiki War

In a wiki war, a number of online psychological forces appear to converge, sometimes erupting in a ‘perfect storm’ of miscommunication, mistrust, and misinformation. In this sense, a wiki war is a ‘whole system’ psychology, with varying social dynamics that find a balance inside of one.

I see three clear psychological distinctions playing out, which I refer to as digital wildfires, wiki noise, and social propaganda.

I’ll do the best I can to define each one.

What is a Digital Wildfire?

Digital Wildfire is a more academic term used to describe events such as “PizzaGate”. According to the Macmillian online dictionary – a digital wildfire is ‘false or suspicious information’ that spreads virally on the internet.  A ‘dark meme’ that is collaboratively constructed by a mob type mindset. A false rumor that uses online social networks to spread at ‘breakneck’ speed.

In 2014, the World Economic Forum declared ‘digital wildfires’ a leading global threat to stability. And that was published before the 2016 election.

Since election 2016, the term “digital wildfire” has been replaced in the mainstream by what we now call fake news and online misinformation – now a dominant tactic of war between nations, states, shareholders, and citizens.

I see digital wildfires as representing bad distribution with questionable attribution, an arc or story comprised of false or unknown information distributed at network scale by very real, human, visceral reactions to what is believed to be true.

While there is plenty of evidence I believe to show that things like PizzaGate were also intentional digital wildfires manipulated by deceptive actors, what really gave it adoption were well-intentioned people on the internet who genuinely believed the contents. They really believed they were white knights, defending children against a great evil in the world. In my own case study, my harassers claim to me they view themselves as “the good guys”.

In the belief that we are doing the right thing, we can easily participate in a “digital wildfire” without realizing the harm we are causing or the repercussions that can follow.

Reactions at scale

Digital wildfires, just like wildfires in nature, can be started intentionally, or unintentionally. I believe what accelerates them spreading is rather human, things like deception, misunderstanding, and confusion – all of which become amplified by digital technology and act like dried tender, just waiting to be ignited.

Just like forest fires, digital wildfires only require one online user with the intention of causing disruption to ignite.

I believe the majority of digital wildfires, however, are unintentional. I think it may be easier to understand them and build solutions for them by distinguishing that set from the more nefarious and intentional ones.

Unintentional wildfire: Wiki Noise.

Wiki noise is what creates, relative to each media environment, what some media professors are now calling context collapse.

Let’s refer to wiki noise as just ‘semantical confusion’ that arises uniquely in a digital environment. Something we just have to work through in an online collaborative to avoid any misunderstanding, a breakdown in “seeing what each other means”.

That is really all ‘wiki noise’ is, a common misunderstanding. And often it can be a feature/flaw of language or the medium itself, not any one’s intention.

Left unattended, wiki noise is like dried tinder, waiting to be ignited through individual reactions to what is believed to be true, but isn’t.

Digitally, especially with the limitations of WikiMedia software, this type of noise can be amplified.

Sci-Fi author Robert Anton Wilson coined this as ‘semantic noise‘ back in the 1980’s. I always loved the stories RAW would write about it. Say or write the words, “I love fish” and one group interprets it as a preference for dining, another as a fondness for a home aquarium, without even being aware there was any disagreement at all.

“I’m Watzlavic!”  “No, you are!”

The infamous ‘I’m Watzlavic!’ story told by Wilson and Dr. Paul Watzlavic, a communications theorist and psychologist, highlights how a ‘communication jam’ coming from different contexts being perceived in a conversation can even lead to perceptions of insanity or paranoia about others.

Dr. Watzlavic told the story of his own personal account as a new staff member at a hospital. His first day on the job, he reported to the office, where he found a woman sitting at the desk. He assumed it was the director’s secretary and approached her.

“I’m Watzlavick” he said, assuming the ‘secretary’ would know he had an appointment.

She responded with “I didn’t say you were.”

A bit taken aback, Dr. Watzlavick exclaimed “But I am!”

To which he heard her reply ”Then why did you deny it?”

Dr. Watzlavic at this point classified her as a schizophrenic patient and was concerned she had wandered into the staff offices. Naturally, he became very careful in ‘dealing with’ her.

However, from the woman’s point of view, Dr. Watzlavick himself had appeared as a schizophrenic patient.

To her, a strange man had approached and said, ‘I’m not Slavic.’ Her own experience with paranoids taught her they often begin conversations with such assertions, vitally important to them, but sounding a bit strange to the rest of us.

When she replied – “I didn’t say you were,” she was trying to soothe him.

When she heard him reply ”But I am!” she added schizophrenia to paranoia in her assessment of him.

She then replied, “Then why do you deny it?”

She then became very careful in ‘dealing with’ him in return.

Dealing with these natural and unintentional communication jams can be serious business in online consensus building. It is easy for anyone to mirror their own personal psychology to filter out semantical noise or the confusion inherent in text and meaning.

This suggests that even if all participants in an online collaborative are all well-intentioned individuals, the inherent flaws of the communication medium itself can sow the seeds of mistrust, even paranoia, in the consensus.

So a digital wildfire can be informed by nothing more than the inherent flaws of our own communication mediums and language, even without intention.

“Misunderstanding” is of course not the only thing that can ignite a digital wildfire – what can also ignite a digital wildfire is social propaganda, intentional misinformation.

Intentional wildfire: Social Propaganda.

 

Social Propaganda, unlike ‘wiki noise’, is intentional.

Social Propaganda is similar to just plain old propaganda, with the exception that it is used towards influencing the attitudes of others in a ‘small or closed social groups’ online to accept or discredit new voices coming into the group while boosting their own.

It is also somewhat an ‘anti-social’ methodology of raising status or lowering status of different voices and perspectives in any form of online consensus with information or misinformation timed to target, embarrass, threaten or compete with someone.

In online consensus building, any type of activist group or individual, any disgruntled commenter, will use a tactic I refer to in this study as “flag waving”.

Flag waving strategies are methods used in social propaganda campaigns to misdirect or mislead an online community, a mixture of persuasion and deception.

There are various subtle, even petty misinformation strategies that are easy to perform and surprisingly effective in scope.

In wiki and consensus building groups – social propaganda tags such as ‘sock puppet’ and ‘troll’ are used to favor dissent against an opponent, and on Wikipedia my direct experience proved can be used as a tactic for editor suppression.

I’ve witnessed my own ‘propaganda’ campaign, instigated by the notorious online troll Oliver D Smith and his brother, spread across multiple platforms, attempting to redefine the narrative of who I am, and of course to discredit this website.

Combining social propaganda with wiki noise, we have the ingredients of a digital wildfire that flow from wiki wars and continue to play out on any medium it can find a home.

So just how common are ‘wiki wars’ on Wikipedia?

Currently, there is no way to tell other than by visiting various noticeboards on Wikipedia and trying to figure that out from reams of discussions and accusations flying back and forth. There is no way to have a platform-wide accounting of the problem because ultimately, no one is really accountable on Wikipedia.

However, the more time that carries on – the more the faulty architecture of Wikipedia becomes exposed, and what’s becoming exposed is that Wikipedia has no real solution to the problem. So if the problem happens a lot – then the leading source for global public education can only head down a path of discredit for Wikipedia if no solution emerges.

The crisis of wiki idealism.

The idealist message of what the internet can offer can often distract from genuine real-world problems, such as fraud, harassment, fake news, propaganda, manipulation, slander, libel, and tracking that are occurring online.

It’s no different on Wikipedia.

If we are to obtain the utilitarian ideal of what knowledge building, collaborative platforms offer, these darker problems will need to find a resolution.

The conflict however that I see is that historically, WikiMedia has promoted the idealistic message while somewhat sweeping under the rug the very real world type problems that are occurring because of it.

WikiMedia conveniently passes responsibility to a community that will not arrive at a consensus.

Currently, I believe there is no solution to the problem likely to be adopted on Wikipedia. WikiMedia software itself creates too much of a competitive environment, creating a competition while amplifying opportunities to exploit anonymity and twist it into deception and manipulation.

WikiMedia takes a handoff approach, touting idealism. Thumbing their noses at revenue models, or paying editors or admins, they give the responsibility to a community with no tools to arrive at it.

Therefore any changes to Wikipedia’s structure, or the adoption of a new one, would need to find community consensus, which is prevented by the same software that facilitates it.

They tend to sort of stick their heads in the sand, removing themselves legally from any liability for any abuse that occurs on the platform they created, pass of the responsibility to an unmanaged and anonymous online community with plenty at stake with little to no proper oversight.

Free of having to worry about core problems in community editorializing like any responsible publisher would normally have to, all Wikimedia has to worry about is fundraising and spreading the utopian message at TED talks, receive the adulation of the world, a massive PR friendly message by every web search.

It makes one question who is really benefitting from giving all the power and responsibility to a community that is growing toxic.

Comments

Nenesse  MAY 9, 2015 AT 4:59 PM

I read pretty extensively into the issue with the feminists getting banned, and it was very clear that they had broken Wikipedia’s established rules. Say what you want about truth and agendas, but enforcement of Wikipedia’s long established policies was correctly carried out here–nobody was treated unjustly. To frame this as feminists being silenced because of an agenda is very dishonest.

Rome Viharo  MAY 9, 2015 AT 6:08 PM

When it comes to gamergate – there are many different points of view regarding what occurred. Regardless of what occurred, it’s simply a fact that women are a minority voice on the encyclopedia, even Jimbo Wales talkes about and acknowledges that problem. There are plenty people who would disagree with your assessment. Mark Bernstein’s own essays lauding Wikipedia showed this. The reason gamergate is mentioned in this study is because it showed how Wikipedia is unable to deal with *any* form of agenda based editing.I’m not involved with either feminism or gamergate – I’m just using that as the most public example of a consistent problem which I do not believe there is any solution for.

Cole Pram   MAY 9, 2015 AT 1:56 AM

Yeah, I always thought wiki was bias. I’ve never used it for more than a place to get source to learn about a topic, along with Google of course.

#GamerGate is still going and I’ve been intimately active in it since August 2014. It’s amazing how twisted the Wiki editors have made the article. So many are hell bent on making #GamerGate about gender politics, they chased off and banned most of the editors that were willing to leave some of the “it’s about sexism” in the article, but wanted it to be mostly about the ethics and journalist corruption side of it. Editors break Wiki’s own rules constantly on what is a reliable source and then they make exceptions for articles from the same (un)reliable sources as long as the article says what they want.

That in turn affects Google, BTW, since Google’s search algorithm assigns weights to pages based on how they’re linked from other sites. Something I think Google is working on is moving to a “fact” based algorithm rather than how connected a page is it’s raking will be based on how “factual” the information is.

Adrian Meredith   MAY 7, 2015 AT 2:26 PM

Wiki wars are, more often than not, fought between competing government agendas. If it is a government agenda versus an individual, the individual soon finds themselves banned from Wikipedia, with their name smeared through the mud. If it is two individuals fighting, then nobody really cares all that much. The interest comes when they can’t decide what lies to tell, and what lies to expose. The US government perspective is, obviously, the majority one, since this is a US government site, but what if two allies of the US are fighting over a perspective? What if more than two are fighting over what lies to tell? This happens in real life, over such things as just why Indonesia executed those two Australian drug dealers, where we have 4 or more different national government agencies who are telling lies about it, and they keep changing their mind as to which lies to tell. That’s when they are problems.

If you are an individual fighting a “wiki war” against a government agency, your chances of success are about as high as if you are fighting a real war against real government agents. So unless you have some high ranking terrorist friends, or some competing governments to help you out, you can’t win. And even if you do have such friends, you are going to lose later on anyway, because, after all, they are the ones in power.

Info wars are no laughing matter, as they decide what truth is out there. There are numerous examples of truths that have been changed thanks to Wikipedia. The most obvious one that I know of is their truth changing about the Port Arthur massacre, where they changed what the general public thought. See here: http://encyc.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_truth_changing.


Wikipedia exposed: Dominated by drug company trolls; health information totally wrong

https://www.naturalnews.com/054407_Wikipedia_drug_companies_health_information.html 


 Monday, June 20, 2016 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

Tags: Wikipedia, drug companies, health information


(NaturalNews) It is a running joke in credible circles that Wikipedia is one of the worst online resources for obtaining truthful information about pretty much any topic. And a new study has confirmed that the popular user-generated "fauxpedia" website is completely overrun with misinformation, particularly in areas relating to health and medicine.

The study out of Campbell University in North Carolina found that up to 90 percent of the medical information posted on Wikipedia is false, and that people simply can't rely on it for learning about health conditions and treatments. In virtually all major areas of health and disease, posted entries were found to contain factual errors that either failed to keep up with scientific developments or were flat out inaccurate.
"Researchers should not use [Wikipedia] as a primary resource because those articles do not go through the same peer-review process as medical journals," stated Robert Hasty, lead author of the study. "The best resource when looking for a diagnosis is to speak with your physician, who can take into account your medical history and other factors to determine the best course of treatment."

At least 20,000 of Wikipedia's more than 31 million entries deal with health-related issues, and the website typically shows up among the first few entries when conducting internet searches related to health. Because of this, many people view Wikipedia as a reliable source of information when, based on the facts, it simply is not.

"Wikipedia's prominence has been made possible by its fundamental design as a collaborative database," wrote the authors. "However, it is this very feature that has raised concern in the medical community regarding the reliability of the information it contains."


Wikipedia actively censors holistic options, caters to drug companies and other special interestsIn theory, the collaborative aspect of Wikipedia's design should allow for varying perspectives on health to be presented alongside respective sources that back them. After all, if people from all walks of life and educational backgrounds are truly allowed to contribute to the site's content, then it should contain a full spectrum of information that the public can use to form an educated opinion.
But this is often not the case, especially when it comes to "alternative" or holistic medicine that bucks the status quo. Wikipedia has proven itself time and time again to be controlled by special interests, including drug companies that actively troll health-related entries to ensure that pharmaceuticals are cast in the most positive light while minimizing their potential side effects.

The same is true for the conditions outlined in the new study, which include things like high blood pressure and heart disease. Rather than present multiple options for treatment and prevention of these and other diseases, Wikipedia actively censors information that deviates from the conventional norm of drugs and surgery, ignoring the nutrition aspect, for instance.
"Drug companies have... been accused of editing Wikipedia to remove references to harmful side effects," explains Mail Online. "In 2009, employees at AstraZeneca allegedly deleted a sentence claiming that a treatment for manic depression made teenagers 'more likely to think about harming or killing themselves.'"

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has also lashed out against critics who question the site's selective information offerings. Honest scientific discourse about unconventional approaches to healthy living are ignored or mocked by Wikipedia, and Wales has made it clear that he is not interested in allowing modern developments in medicine to be cited on the site.
"In some fields and some topics, there are groups who 'squat' on articles and insist on making them reflect their own specific biases," stated Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, referring to the scientific "skeptics" who routinely abuse the site. "There is no credible mechanism [at Wikipedia] to approve versions of articles."

Sources for this article include:


http://www.dailymail.co.uk
http://www.change.org
http://thenextweb.com
http://www.jaoa.org  


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Rome Italy

Rome (Latin and Italian: Roma [ˈroːma] ( listen)) is the capital city and a special comune of Italy 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome 

Rome (Latin and Italian: Roma [ˈroːma] ( listen)) is the capital city and a special comune of Italy (named Comune di Roma Capitale). Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi),[1] it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City (the smallest country in the world)  is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Jimmy Wales with journalist Irina Slutsky at SXSW 2006, taken from her program Geek Entertainment TV

Seoul,South Korea

Seoul (/soʊl/, like soul; Korean: 서울 [sʌ.ul] ( listen); lit. "Capital"), officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital  and largest metropolis of South Korea. With surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province, Seoul forms the heart of the Seoul Capital Area.
Strategically situated along the Han River, Seoul's history stretches back over two thousand years, when it was founded in 18 BCE by the people of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. The city was later designated the capital of Korea under the Joseon dynasty. Seoul is surrounded by a mountainous and hilly landscape, with Bukhan Mountain located on the northern edge of the city. As with its long history, the Seoul Capital Area contains five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine, Namhansanseong and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty.  More recently, Seoul has been a major site of modern architectural construction – major modern landmarks include the N Seoul Tower, the 63 Building, the Lotte World Tower, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Lotte World, Trade Tower, COEX, and the IFC Seoul. Seoul was named the 2010 World Design Capital. As the birthplace of K-pop and the Korean Wave, Seoul received over 10 million international visitors in 2014,  making it the world's 9th most visited city and 4th largest earner in tourism. 

Wilmington, Delaware, USA  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilmington,_Delaware   Wilmington (Lenape: Paxahakink / Pakehakink)[6] is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Delaware. The city was built on the site of Fort Christina, the first Swedish settlement in North America. It is at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine River, near where the Christina flows into the Delaware River. It is the county seat of New Castle County and one of the major cities in the Delaware Valleymetropolitan area. Wilmington was named by Proprietor Thomas Penn after his friend Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, who was prime minister in the reign of George II of Great Britain.

​Jimmy Wales: The birth of Wikipedia, TED, 2005
Q&A with Jimmy Wales, C-SPAN, 2005

Wikipedia exposed!_Re_ Margaret  Catherine Rogers and Kent Hovind and Judge Rogers, whose professional conduct and objectivity was called into question during a case involving IRS structuring charges against Kent Hovind and his taxdeductible ministry on 19, 2007.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Av7m8VMK-0

Jonathan Lankford Published on May 24, 2015
Censored Wiki edit: https://1drv.ms/t/s!Ak3siTFpv0yehbhFM...
Category People & Blogs


Comments
Jonathan Lankford
This is why no one should believe anything on Wikipedia until it has been confirmed by 2 or 3 PRIMARY sources and the background/context is fully known and understood. #Wikipedia #KentHovind #FreeKentHovind #FreeKent #MargaretCRodgers
TheMedia-Hacker
I noticed Wikipedia discredit Anything that's not Main Stream NWO SPONSORED agenda
John McTavish
Yo Jonathan, I clicked on your link to check out the document so that I could paste it into the BIAS ARTICLE. The document was not there. Is there another link that you could post for us? I too believe that Wikipedia is GARBAGE and want to expose it for the Satanic Shill that it is. God bless you brother!

Jimmy Wales at the Creative Commons Board Meeting in June 2008

London, United Kingdom
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London
London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, and the largest city in the European Union.  Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans.  The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits.  The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Moscow, Russia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow
Moscow (/ˈmɒskoʊ/, in US mainly: /ˈmɒskaʊ/;  Russian: Москва́, tr. Moskvá, IPA: [mɐskˈva] ( listen)) is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area  and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities. Moscow is the major political, economic, cultural, and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city (both by population and by area) entirely on the European continent.

Purple Mountain or Zijin Shan, located to the east of the walled city of Nanjing, China is the origin of the nickname "Jinling". The water in the front is Xuanwu Lake

Frankfurt, Germany
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt 
Frankfurt (officially: Frankfurt am Main (German: [ˈfʁaŋkfʊɐ̯t ʔam ˈmaɪn] ( listen); lit. "Frank ford at the[a] Main")) is a metropolis and the largest city of the German federal state of Hesse, and its 746,878 (2017) inhabitants make it the fifth-largest city of Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne. On the River Main (a tributary of the Rhine), it forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring city of Offenbach am Main, and its urban area has a population of 2.3 million. The city is at the centre of the larger Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region, which has a population of 5.5 million  and is Germany's second-largestmetropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr Region. Since the enlargement of the European Union in 2013, the geographic centre of the EU is about 40 km (25 mi) to the east of Frankfurt's central business district. Like France and Franconia, the city is named after the Franks. Frankfurt is the largest city in the Rhine Franconian dialect area (West Central German).

 Wikipedia Controversies
Since the launch of Wikipedia in January 2001, a number of controversies have occurred. Wikipedia's open nature, in which anyone can edit most articles, has led to various concerns, such as the quality of writing, the amount of vandalism, and the accuracy of information on the project.
The media have covered a number of controversial events and scandals related to Wikipedia and its parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). Common subjects of coverage include articles containing false information, public figures and corporations editing articles for which they have a serious conflict of interest, paid Wikipedia editing and hostile interactions between Wikipedia editors and public figures.
The Seigenthaler biography incident led to media criticism of the reliability of Wikipedia. This incident began in May 2005 with the anonymous posting of a hoax Wikipedia article with false, negative allegations about John Seigenthaler, a well-known American journalist.
In March 2007, Wikipedia was again the subject of media attention with the Essjay controversy, which involved a prominent English Wikipedia editor and administrator who claimed he was a "tenured professor of religion at a private university" with a "Ph.D. in theology and a degree in canon law" when in fact he was a 24-year-old who held no advanced degrees.
The 2012 scandals involving paid consultancy for the government of Gibraltar by Roger Bamkin, a Wikimedia UKboard member, and potential conflicts of interest have highlighted Wikipedia's vulnerabilities. The presence of inaccurate and false information, as well as the perceived hostile editing climate, have been linked to a decline in editor participation. Another controversy arose in 2013 after an investigation by Wikipedians found that the Wiki-PR company had edited Wikipedia for paying clients, using "an army" of sockpuppet accounts that purportedly included 45 Wikipedia editors and administrators.
 In 2015, the Orangemoody investigation showed that businesses and minor celebrities had been blackmailed over their Wikipedia articles by a coordinated group of fraudsters, again using hundreds of sockpuppets.

Controversies within and concerning Wikipedia and the WMF have been the subject of several scholarly papers This list is a collection of the more notable instances.


Wikipedia Exposed As Part Of Climategate Scandal


Saturday, 30th January 2010

https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/wikipedia-exposed-part-climategate-scandal  

Wikipedia, the notorious online encyclopedia, which features the likes of Chip Berlet among its "editors," has been caught in the center of the climategate swindle. According to a report by Lawrence Solomon published in the National Post of Canada, a Wikipedia editor and UK Green Party activist named William Connolley, doctored literally thousands of entries, to conceal the fact that, during the Medieval period, there was a global warming spell, following the Little Ice Age. The fact of this Medieval Warm Period exposes the lie about man-caused global warming, the chief argument for radical population reduction and deindustrialization.
Beginning in Feb. 2003, Connolley began rewriting or editing posted entries refuting the global warming lies. According to Solomon:
#All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, nowever, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn't like the subject of a certain article, he removed it--more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred--over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions.
The Medieval Warm Period ran from 1000-1400 AD, and the warming resulted in a flourishing of agriculture, increased life expectancy and other benefits, according to the historical record cited by Solomon. Many of the email messages that surfaced from East Anglia University discussed the "problem" with the Medieval Warm Period, which "diluted the message" of the climate change fanatics. The IPCC report codified the banning of any mention of the Medieval Warm Period, by producing the so-called "hockey stick" graph, which blacked out the 400-year period of global warming, claiming a constant temperature for 1,000 years, leading into the industrial age when things heated up due to evil industrialization and other ills of modern society. According to Solomon's account, a rapid-reaction team was established to kill off all criticism of the global warming hoax, centered around a website called RealClimate.org. Connolley was one of the nine members of this group, and he used Wikipedia as a major base for their Big Lie campaign.
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Wikipedia exposed as junk science propaganda platform for Big Pharma

DAVID 8 August 2016


https://www.davidicke.com/article/381217/wikipedia-exposed-junk-science-propaganda-platform-big-pharma

According to Bolen Report, Wikipedia is not a website we should be trusting when it comes to unbiased, accurate information. Wikipedia is an example of "skeptic" leadership – with the "skeptics" actually being an organized hate group that claim to be the sole protectors of intellectual truth. 
"Skeptics" are in favor of vaccines, mammograms, pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medication – and opponents of nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, massage therapy, energy medicine and homeopathy, as reported by Natural News.' 
Read more: Wikipedia exposed as junk science propaganda platform for Big Pharma

Wikipedia and Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales
Wikipedia began with its launch on 15 January 2001, two days after the domain was registered ..... free content. Nupedia was founded by Jimmy Wales, with Larry Sanger as editor-in-chief, and funded by the web-advertising company Bomis.
Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales (born August 7, 1966) is an American Internet entrepreneur, best known as the co-founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia and the for-profit web hosting company Wikia. .... The intent behind Nupedia was to have expert-written entries on a variety of topics, and to sell advertising .
​Jimmy Wales

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Wales

Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland.    
Dunbar is a town on the North Sea coast in East Lothian in the south-east of Scotland, approximately 30 miles east of Edinburgh and 30 miles from the English border north of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Dunbar is a former royal burgh, and gave its name to an ecclesiastical and civil parish.Wikipedia

Above
Where Popular Apps Are Under Assault
Number of Countries where the following apps are restricted/users were arrested in 2016

Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales
'It’s completely insane and it needs to be fixed.' Photograph: Suki Dhanda for the Observer

by Juliette Garside @JulietteGarside  Sat 2 Aug 2014 20.06

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/02/wikipedia-page-google-link-hidden-right-to-be-forgotten

Google is set to restrict search terms to a link to a Wikipedia article, in the first request under Europe's controversial new "right to be forgotten" legislation to affect the 110m-page encyclopaedia.
The identity of the individual requesting a change to Google's search results has not been disclosed and may never be known, but it is understood the request will be put into effect within days. Google and other search engines can only remove the link – as with other "right to be forgotten" requests, the web page itself will remain on Wikipedia.
In May, the European Court of Justice ruled that citizens could ask search engines to remove particular links from results for a search made under their name, if the material was deemed to be out of date, no longer relevant or excessive.
 Google has already begun to implement the ruling, with tens of thousands of links removed from its European search results to sites ranging from the BBC to the Daily Express. Among the data now "hidden" from Google is an article about the 2009 Muslim conversion of Adam Osborne, brother of the chancellor, George Osborne.

Jimmy Wales, who co-founded Wikipedia in 2001 and has overseen its transformation into the sixth most visited site on the internet, told the Observer: "It's completely insane and it needs to be fixed."
Wales is one of 10 members of an advisory council formed by Google to decide how to handle takedown requests. The council will travel Europe, with a first hearing scheduled in Madrid on 9 September, before writing guidance for Google and other search engines, such as Microsoft's Bing, on implementing the new law.
It was a test case brought by a Spaniard called Mario Costeja González, who wanted a 1998 article about his home being repossessed removed from search results, that triggered the change in legislation.

"In the case of truthful, non-defamatory information obtained legally, I think there is no possibility of any defensible 'right' to censor what other people are saying," Wales has said. "You do not have a right to use the law to prevent Wikipedia editors from writing truthful information, nor do you have a right to use the law to prevent Google from publishing truthful information. Wikipedia can and should work hard to do a good job, just as Google can and should work hard to do a good job."

On Thursday, Google revealed that France, with 17,500 requests, had made more demands for changes to search results than any other European nation. Germany had made 16,500 requests, and 12,000 requests originated in the UK. Some 8,000 requests came from Spain, 7,500 from Italy, and 5,500 from the Netherlands.
By 18 July, Google had received 91,000 takedown requests in total, relating to 300,000 pages. Its privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, revealed it had refused around 32% of them, asked for more information on 15%, and removed 53%.

The European ruling is not intended to tackle incorrect information, with many of the links removed so far being to news articles whose accuracy has not been challenged. Wikipedia's open editing system means any member of the public can request a change to articles, so long as any new claims are underpinned by independent sources.

Las Vegas, USA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Vegas  
Las Vegas (/lɑːs ˈveɪɡəs/,  Spanish for "The Meadows"; Spanish: [laz ˈβeɣas]), officially the City of Las Vegas and often known simply as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, and the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert.  Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known primarily for its gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment, and nightlife. The Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Nevada.

​​Jimmy Wales at the tenth anniversary celebration of the Bengali Wikipedia

Boise, Idaho. USA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boise,_Idaho 
Boise (/ˈbɔɪsi/) is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho, and is the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River in southwestern Idaho, the population of Boise at the 2010 Census was 205,671, the 99th largest in the United States. Its estimated population in 2018 was 228,790

Wikipedia exposed

 By Alek Boyd  First Published in 2007

http://infodio.com/content/wikipedia-exposed  

To those who like me have been reporting the evolving crisis in Venezuela the news came as no surprise: Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, is, to put it mildly, utterly unreliable. It didn't surprise us because we bear witness of how Hugo Chavez's and Venezuela's pages have been edited almost beyond recognition. In fact apologists of Hugo Chavez have expressed their pride on their 'editing work' in Wikipedia. Logically the only natural conclusion one could reach in light of it is that no Wikipedia entry can be trusted.
The revelation of the true identity of Essjay -aka Ryan Jordan- reinforces apprehensions towards the online encyclopedia. A 24 year old managed to con not only the Wikipedian community but also Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder. The fact that Wales went as far as establishing a working relationship with Jordan without even bothering to undertake the perfectly normal credential-checking processes to be expected between an employer and its employees speaks volumes about Wales duty of care towards his pet project.
Wikipedia does not check the credentials of its editors, that much is known. However knowledge about its editing processes and criteria remains scant. A request to remove links to my site -vcrisis.com- from all Chavez related pages was introduced by another anonymous Wikipedian. Flanker, as his online name goes, argued that vcrisis.com was not a reliable sources of information with regards to Venezuela. But who is this Flanker character and what reasons prompted him to make such request? What I know is that he is an avowed apologist of Hugo Chavez and frequents comments sections of sites publishing commentary on Venezuela in order to advance the premise that Chavez's Venezuela is the closest approximation to paradise on earth. I also suspect that he is not even Venezuelan, neither is Sandy, that other Wikipedian involved in the issue. So how come people characterized by their superficiality of knowledge and partisanship about our issues get to decide what constitutes reliable information sources? Furthermore how come they are allowed to rewrite history without providing credible evidence to substantiate their claims?

Recently another Wikipedian (Maracucho) created a page about me that draw the ire of Chavez's fans and so they started editing it. When I noticed it I tried to delete the whole thing, knowing full well the infantile approach that Wikipedians have for facts. I could not, but was advised to take the issue with the Wikipedia Information team [info-en@wikimedia.org] that granted my request to have my page deleted.

I guess the take away message is that orthodox encyclopedias, with responsible editing processes, will continue being the preferred choice of serious people.


Minsk,Belarus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minsk  

Minsk (Belarusian: Мінск, pronounced [mʲinsk]; Russian: Минск) is the capital and largest city of Belarus, situated on the Svislač and the Nyamiha Rivers. As the national capital, Minsk has a special administrative status in Belarus and is the administrative centre of Minsk Region (voblasć) and Minsk District (rajon). The population in January 2018 was 1,982,444,  (not including suburbs) making Minsk the 11th most populous city in Europe. Minsk is the administrative capital of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and seat of its Executive Secretary.. The earliest historical references to Minsk date to the 11th century (1067), when it was noted as a provincial city within the Principality of Polotsk. The settlement developed on the rivers. In 1242, Minsk became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It received town privileges in 1499  From 1569, it was a capital of the Minsk Voivodeship, in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was part of a region annexed by the Russian Empire in 1793, as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. From 1919 to 1991, after the Russian Revolution, Minsk was the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, in the Soviet Union. In June 2019, Minsk hosted the 2019 European Games. Tourists who have accreditation cards or tickets to sporting events can visit the country from 10 June till 10 July 2019 without a visa.

Tolyatti, Russia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolyatti  Tolyatti (Russian: Толья́тти, IPA: [tɐlʲˈjætʲ(ː)ɪ]), also known in English as Togliatti, is a city in Samara Oblast, Russia. Population: 719,632 (2010 Census); 702,879 (2002 Census); 630,543 (1989 Census). It is the largest city in Russia which does not serve as the administrative center of a federal subject.

Common Knowledge?:  An Ethnography of Wikipedia By Dariusz Jemielniak
The Knowledge Revolution At The Gates


https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=24010

Scholarly Excellence Award from the Chair of Polish Academy of Sciences

Winner of the 2015 Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding 


With an emphasis on peer–produced content and collaboration, Wikipedia exemplifies a departure from traditional management and organizational models. This iconic "project" has been variously characterized as a hive mind and an information revolution, attracting millions of new users even as it has been denigrated as anarchic and plagued by misinformation. Have Wikipedia's structure and inner workings promoted its astonishing growth and enduring public relevance?

In Common Knowledge?, Dariusz Jemielniak draws on his academic expertise and years of active participation within the Wikipedia community to take readers inside the site, illuminating how it functions and deconstructing its distinctive organization. Against a backdrop of misconceptions about its governance, authenticity, and accessibility, Jemielniak delivers the first ethnography of Wikipedia, revealing that it is not entirely at the mercy of the public: instead, it balances open access and power with a unique bureaucracy that takes a page from traditional organizational forms. Along the way, Jemielniak incorporates fascinating cases that highlight the tug of war among the participants as they forge ahead in this pioneering environment.


About the author

Dariusz Jemielniak is Professor of Management at Kozminski University in Warsaw, Poland, where he heads the Center for Research on Organizations and Workplaces. Beyond academia, he is a heavily-engaged Wikipedian and was elected in 2015 to the Board of Trustees of WIkimedia Foundation

 

The contrasting philosophies (liberalism vs. The new left; increasing human freedoms vs. The system of new oppressions; peer production as altruistic collective endeavour vs. Being brainwashed into free labor) do not have to be mutually exclusive. Wikipedia may partly rely on normatife and ideological control, yet the dark side of that control, observable in commercial organisations (Barley & Kunda, 2004; Fleming & Spicer, 2004), does not occur in Wikipedia because of the entirely voluntary and nonprofit character of the organization.

Wikipedia may also be an example of  “peer progression” (S. Johnson, 2012,. 45), characteristic of the digital natives, and combine the concepts traditionally associated with right (liberalism, distributed intelligence prevailing over centralised planning) with the traditionally ascribed to the left (cooperative work, developing and protecting the commons and public good).



Where Do We Go From Here?


As I have shown in this book, the Wikimedia movement is a unique and fascinating phenomenon of spontaneous social ordering, self regulation, and collective production for the common good. The Wikipedia movement is community is deeply value driven; it is disputatious and quarrelsome but altruistic. Even though I am not aware of any good, culturally rich studies of the ideological involvement of Wikipedians, quite clearly they are often activists in other movements, too, even those not following radical ideologies related to Internet presence. This radicalism is visible in the approaches to free speech (considered on of the most important values, as described in Chapter 7) and also privacy. The hatred of censorship in any form is the main reason for the impasse in filtering of controversial content. Regarding privacy, an interesting though typical dichotomy can be observed: Wikimedians believe in the need for radical transparency and public access to most information, as long as it is not related to individuals. While organisations of power (e.g., governments, corporations, nongovernment organisations, Wikimedia movement committees).

Additionally, currently Wikipedians assume the same adult level of reading ability (even Simple Wikipedia does so, while using simplified language for nonnative speakers’ convenience). At some point, Wikimedia projects may decide to diversify their articles in this respect and allow  readers to decide for themselves which level of difficulty to see, consequently rewriting all articles in such a way that different levels of comprehension are allowed.

Conclusion

This book is a result of a deeply participative and intimate immersion in an open-collaboration organization. Participation was used as a research method and is discussed in Appendix. Wikipedia has a unique social organiztion, with peculiarities, dysfunction, and problems but also with an amazing efficiency, openness,and egalitarian culture
Wikipedia is an insanely ambitious project to compile all human knowledge in a single, organized, and structured piece of work and make it accessible for free to everyone. Although dome authors believe that it is nearing completion (Rosen, 2012), according to other estimates it is far from it.
Whatever the practical saturation may be, there is still much to do when all languages and all considered.


Proposals for Reasonable Technology Regulation and an Internet Court Reasonable Technology Regulation and an Internet Court
April 1, 2019 by Jeff Jarvis

I have seen the outlines of a regulatory and judicial regime for internet companies that begins to make sense to me. In it, platforms set and are held accountable for their standards and assurances while government is held to account for its job — enforcing the law — with the establishment of internet courts.

I have not been a fan of net regulation to date, for reasons I’ll enumerate below. Even Mark Zuckerberg is inviting regulation, though I don’t agree with all his desires (more on that, too, below). This is not to say that I oppose all regulation of the net; when there is evidence of demonstrable harm and consideration of the impact of the regulation itself — when there is good reason — I will favor it. I just have not yet seen a regulatory regime I could support.

Then I was asked to join a Transatlantic High-Level Working Group on Content Moderation and Freedom of Expression organized by former FCC commissioner Susan Ness under the auspices of Penn’s Annenberg Public Policy Center and the University of Amsterdam’s Institute for Information Law. At the first meeting, held in stately Ditchley Park (I slept in servants’ quarters), I heard constructive and creative ideas for monitored self-regulation and, intriguingly, a proposal for an internet court. What I’m about to describe is not a summary of the deliberations. Though discussion was harmonious and constructive, I don’t want to present this as a conclusion or as consensus from the group, only what most intrigued me. What I liked about what I’m about to outline is that it separates bad behavior (defined and dealt with by companies) from illegal behavior (which must be the province of courts) and enables public deliberation of new norms. Here’s the scenario:

A technology company sets forth a covenant with its users and authorities warranting what it will provide. Usually, this document obligates users to community standards to govern unwanted behavior and content. But this covenant should also obligate the company to assurances of what it will provide, above and beyond what the law requires. These covenants can vary by platform and nation. The community of users should be given opportunity for input to this covenant, which a regulator may approve.
In the model of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, liability arises for the company when it fails to meet the standards it has warranted. A regulator tracks the company’s performance and responds to complaints with the enforcement cudgel of fines. This monitoring requires the company to provide transparency into certain data so its performance can be monitored. As I see it, that in turn requires the government to give safe harbor to the company for sharing that data. Ideally, this safe harbor also enables companies to share data — with privacy protected — with researchers who can also monitor impact. (Post Cambridge Analytica, it has become even more impossible to pry data from tech companies.)

Now draw a hard, dark line between unwanted behavior and illegal acts. A participant in the meeting made an innovative proposal for the creation of national internet courts. (I wish I could credit this person but under Chatham House Rule, they wished to remain unnamed though gave me permission to write about the idea.) So:

Except in the most extreme matters (e.g., tracking, reporting, and eliminating terrorist incitement or child porn), a company’s responsibility to act on illegal content or behavior arises after the company has been notified by users or authorities. Once notified, the company is obligated to take action and can be held liable by the government for not responding appropriately.
The company can refer any matters of dispute to an internet court, newly constituted under a nation’s laws with specially trained judges and systems of communication that enable it to operate with speed and scale. If the company is not sure what is illegal, the court should decide. If the object of the company’s actions — take-down or banning — wishes to appeal, the court will rule. The company will have representation in court and affected parties may as well.
The participant who proposed this internet court argued, eloquently and persuasively, that the process of negotiating legal norms, which in matters online is now occurring inside private corporations, must occur instead in public, in courts, and with due process.
The participant also proposed that the court would be funded by a specific fee or tax on the online companies. I suspect that the platforms would gladly pay if this got them out of the position of having to enforce vague laws with undue speed and with huge fines hanging over their heads.

That is a regulatory and legal regime — again, not a proposal, not a conclusion, only the highlights that impressed me — which strikes me as rational, putting responsibilities in the appropriate bodies; allowing various platforms and communities to be governed differently and appropriately for themselves; and giving companies the chance to operate positively before assuming malign intent. Note that our group’s remit was to look at disinformation, hate speech, and other unacceptable behavior alongside protection of freedom of expression and assembly and not at other issues, such as copyright — though especially after the disastrous Articles 11+13 in Europe’s new copyright legislation, that is a field that is crying for due process.

The discussion that led here was informed by very good papers written about current regulatory efforts and also by the experience of people from government, companies (most of the largest platforms were not represented by current executives), and academics. I was most interested in the experience of one European nation that is rather quietly trying an experiment in regulation with one of the platforms, in essence role-playing between government and a company in an effort to inform lawmakers before they write laws.

In the meeting, I was not alone in beginning every discussion urging that research must be commissioned to inform any legislative or regulatory efforts, gathering hard evidence and informing clear definitions of harm and impact.These days, interventions are being designed under presumptions that, for example, young people are unable to separate fact from falsity and are spreading the latter (this research says the real problem is not the kids but their grandpas); or that the internet has dealt us all into filter bubbles (thesestudies referenced by Oxford’s Rasmus Kleis Nielsen do not support that). To obtain that evidence, I’ll repeat that companies should be given safe harbor to share data — and should be expected to then do so — so we can study the reality of what is happening on the net.

At Ditchley, I also argued — to some disagreement, I’ll confess — that it would be a dangerous mistake to classify the internet as a medium and internet companies as publishers or utilities. Imagine if Facebook were declared to be both and then — as is being discussed, to my horror, on the American right — were subjected to equal-time regulation. Forcing Facebook to give presence and promotion to certain political views would then be tantamount to walking into the Guardian editor-in-chief’s office and requiring her to publish Nigel Farage. Thank God, I’m confident she wouldn’t. And thank our constitutional authors, we in the United States have (at least for now) a First Amendment that should forbid that. Rather than thinking of the net as a medium — and of what appears there as content — I urged the group (as I do to anyone who’ll read me here) to think of it instead as a mechanism for connections where conversation occurs. That public conversation, with new voices long ignored and finally heard, deserves protection. That is why I argue that the net is neither publisher nor utility but something new: the connection machine.

There were other interesting discussions in the meeting — for example, about whether to ban foreign interference in a nation’s elections and political discussion. That idea unraveled under examination as that could also prevent organizing international campaigns for, say, climate reform or democracy. There was also much discussion about the burden regulation puts on small companies — or larger companies in smaller countries — raising the barrier to entry and making big companies, which have the lawyers and technologists needed to deal with regulation, only bigger and more powerful.

Principles for legislation

It is critical that any discussion of legislative efforts begin at the level of principles rather than as a response to momentary panic or political point-scoring (in Europe, pols apparently think they can score votes by levying big fines on large, American companies; in America, certain pols are hoping to score by promising — without much reason, in my opinion — to break successful companies up).

According to many in the working group meeting, the best place to begin is with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, namely:

Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

It is no easy matter to decide on other principles that should inform legislation. “Fake news” laws say that platforms must eradicate misinformation and disinformation. Truth is a terrible standard, for no one — especially not the platforms — wants to be its arbiter and making government that arbiter is a fast track to authoritarianism (see: China). Discerning truth from falsehood is a goal of the public conversation and it needs to flow freely if bumptiously to do that.

Civility seems an appealing standard but it is also troubling. To quote Joan Wallach Scott in the just-published Knowledge, Power, and Academic Freedom: “The long history of the notion of civility shows that it has everything to do with class, race, and power.” She quotes Michael Meranze arguing that “ultimately the call for civility is a demand that you not express anger; and if it was enforced it would suggest there is nothing to be angry about in the world.” Enforcement of civility also has a clear impact on freedom of expression. “Hence the English laws regulating language extended protection only to the person harmed by another’s words, never to the speaker,” explains Debora Shuger in Censorship & Cultural Sensibility: The Regulation of Language in Tudor-Stuart England. When I spoke with Yascha Mounk on his podcastabout this question, he urged holding onto civility, for he said one can call a nazi a nazi and still be civil. Germany’s NetzDG leans toward enforcement of civility by requiring platforms to take down not only hate speech but also “defamation or insult.” (Google reported 52,000 such complaints and took down 12,000 items as a result.) But again, sometimes, insult is warranted. I say that civility and civilization cannot be legislated.

Harm would be a decent standard if it were well-researched and clearly defined. But it has not been.

Anonymity is a dangerous standard, for requiring verified identity endangers the vulnerable in society, gives a tool of oppression to autocratic regimes, and is a risk to privacy.

Of course, there are many other working groups and many other convenings hashing over just these issues and well they should. The more we have open discussion with input from the public and not just lobbyists, the less likely that we will face more abominations like Articles 11+13. This report by Chris Middleton from the Westminster eForum presents more useful guidelines for making guidelines. For example, Daniel Dyball, UK executive director of the Internet Association,

proposed his own six-point wishlist for regulation: It should be targeted at specific harms using a risk based approach, he said; it should provide flexibility to adapt to changing technologies, services, and societal expectations; it should maintain the intermediary liability protections that enable the internet to deliver benefits to consumers, society, and the economy; it should be technically possible to implement in practice; it should provide clarity and certainty for consumers, citizens, and internet companies; and finally, it should recognise the distinction between public and private communications — an issue made more difficult by Facebook….

Middleton also quotes Victoria Nash of the Oxford Internet Institute, who argued for human rights as the guiding principle of any regulation and for a commitment to safe harbor to enable companies to take risks taken in good faith. “Well-balanced immunity or safe harbor are vital if we want responsible corporate behavior,” she said. She argued for minimizing the judgments companies must make in ruling on content. “Nash said she would prefer judgments that concentrate on illegal rather than ‘legal but harmful’ content.” She said that laws should encourage due process over haste. And she said systems should hold both companies and governments to account, adding: “I don’t have the belief that government will always act in the public interest.” Amen. Cue John Perry Barlow.

All of which is to say that regulating the internet is not and should not be easy. The implications and risks to innovation and ultimately democracy are huge. We must hold government to account for careful deliberation on well-researched evidence, for writing legislation with clearly enforceable standards, and for enforcing those laws.

Principles for company covenants

Proposing the covenants internet companies should make with their users, the public at large, and government — and what behavior they demand from and will enforce with users — could be a useful way to hold a discussion about what we expect from platforms.

Do we expect them to eliminate misinformation, incivility, or anonymity? See my discussion above. Then how about a safe space free of hatred? But we all hate nazis and should be free to say so. See Yascha Mounk’s argument. Then how about banning bigots? There’s a good start. But who’s a bigot? It took the platforms some time to decide that Alex Jones was one. They did so only after the public was so outraged by his behavior that companies were given cover to delete him. What happens in such cases, as I argue in this piece for The Atlantic, is that standards become emergent, bottom-up, after-the-fact, and unenforceable until after the invasion.

I urge you to read Facebook’s community standards. They’re actually pretty good and yet they certainly don’t solve the problem. Twitter has rules against abusive behavior but I constantly see complaints they are not adequately enforced.

This, I think, is why Mark Zuckerberg cried uncle and outright asked for regulation and enforcement from government. Government couldn’t figure out how to handle problems online so it outsourced its job to the companies. Now the companies want to send the task back to government. In response to Zuckerberg’s op-ed, Republican FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr pushed back again: “Facebook says it’s taking heat for the mistakes it makes in moderating content. So it calls for the government to police your speech for it. Outsourcing censorship to the government is not just a bad idea, it would violate the First Amendment. I’m a no.” Well, except if it’s government that forces Facebook to take action against speech then that is tantamount to government interference in speech and a violation of the First Amendment. The real problem is the quasi-legal nature of this fight: governments in Europe and the U.S. are ordering platforms to get rid of “harmful” speech without defining harm in law and without due process. It’s a game of hot potato and the potato is in midair. [Disclosure: I raised money for my school from Facebook but we are independent of it and I receive no money personally from any platform. Through various holdings and mutual funds, I probably own stock in most major platforms.]

Zuckerberg urges a “more standardized approach” regarding harmful content as well as privacy and definitions of political advertising. I well understand his desire to find consistency. He said: “I also believe a common global framework — rather than regulation that varies significantly by country and state — will ensure that the Internet does not get fractured, entrepreneurs can build products that serve everyone, and everyone gets the same protection.”

But the internet is fractured and nations and cultures are different. A recent paper by Kieron O’Hara and Wendy Hall says the net is already split into four or five pieces: the open net of Silicon Valley, the commercial web of American business, the regulated “bourgeois internet” of Europe, the authoritarian internet of China, and the misinformation internet of Russia and North Korea.

I worry about Zuckerberg’s call for global regulation for I fear that the net will be run according to the lowest common denominator of freedom and the highest watermark of regulation.

None of this is easy and neither companies nor governments — nor us as the public — can shirk our duties to research, discern, debate, and decide on the kind of internet and society we want to build. This is a long, arduous process of trial and error and of negotiation of our new laws and norms. There’s no quick detour around it. That’s why I want to see frameworks that are designed to include a process of discussion and negotiation. That’s why I am warming to the structure I outlined above, which allows for community input into community standards and requires legislative consideration and judicial due process from government.

What I don’t want

I’ve been highly critical of much regulation to date and though I’ve written about that elsewhere, I will include my objections here, for context. In my view, attempts to regulate the net to date too often:

Spring from moral panic over evidence (see Germany’s NetzDG hate-speech law);
Are designed for protectionism over innovation (see Articles 11+13 of Europe’s horrendous new copyright law and it’s predecessors, Germany’s Leistungsschutzrecht or ancillary copyright and Spain’s link tax);
Imperil freedom of expression and knowledge (see 11+13, the right to be forgotten, and the French and Singaporean fake news laws, which make platforms deciders of truth);
Are conceived under vague and unenforceable standards (see where the UK is headed against “harmful content” its Commons Report on Disinformation and “fake news”);
Transfer government authority and obligations to corporations, which now act in private and without due process as legislature, police, judge, jury, jailer, and censor (see the right to be forgotten and NetzDG);
Result in misallocation of societal resources (Facebook hired, by latest count, 30,000 — up from 20,000 — monitors looking for hate while America has fewer than 30,000 newspaper reporters looking for corruption);
Fall prey to the law of unintended consequences: making companies more responsible makes them more powerful (see GDPR and many of the rest).
And newly proposed regulation gets even worse with recent suggestions to require government permits for live streaming or to mandate that platforms vet everything that’s posted.

If this legislative juggernaut — and the moral panic that fuels it — are not slowed,


I fear for the future of the net. That is why I think it is important to discuss regulatory regimes that will first do no harm.

https://buzzmachine.com/2019/04/01/proposals-for-reasonable-technology-regulation-and-an-internet-court/  


https://youtu.be/N_bara_VrIs

Portland, Oregon, USA   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland,_Oregon Portland is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Oregon and the seat of Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacific Northwest, at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. As of 2018, Portland had an estimated population of 653,115, making it the 25th most populated city in the United States, and the second-most populous in the Pacific Northwest (after Seattle)

Houston, Texas, USA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston  

Houston (/ˈhjuːstən/ ( listen) HEW-stən) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth most populous city in the United States, as well as the sixth most populous in North America, with an estimated 2018 population of 2,325,502.[6] Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, with a population of 6,997,384 in 2018.[7][8]

Internet freedom is getting worse, and that’s bad news for Facebook
BusinessInsider.com Jeff Dunn November 25th, 2016


https://www.businessinsider.com/internet-freedom-censorship-facebook-chart-2016-11?r=US&IR=T

Global internet freedom is on the decline. According to a November report released by nonprofit Freedom House, 2016 marked the sixth consecutive year where governments around the world collectively tightened their grip on citizens' internet usage.
As this chart from Statista shows, that crackdown is particularly harsh on social media and messaging apps — the likes of which could be used to coordinate protests, quickly inform the public of injustices, and generally make it harder for governments to dictate the flow of information.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest of those social media companies, Facebook, has been hit the hardest. According to Freedom House's research, Facebook users have been arrested for posting political, religious, or social content in 27 nations, and the platform itself is barred altogether in eight. Facebook-owned WhatsApp has faced similar restrictions.

This seems to have created a conflict of business. On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that Facebook was internally testing a censorship tool that could be used to persuade China to enable the social media site in its massive, untapped market. According to Freedom House, China was the worst abuser of internet freedom in 2016.

Wikipedia Management Misuse Of Funds: Wikipedia Just Admitted It Spent All $77 Million In User Donations Decking Out The Entry For Mayonnaise

https://lifestyle.clickhole.com/misuse-of-funds-wikipedia-just-admitted-it-spent-all-1825123690

Here’s a story that’s going to make your blood boil.
















No one is immune to mistakes, but it seems like Wikipedia just had a pretty inexcusable lapse in judgment: The online encyclopedia, which comprises more than 40 million articles, has admitted they spent all $77 million of its users’ donations to completely trick out its page for mayonnaise.
Yikes. There’s simply no way around it: This was a serious misuse of funds.
In a press release this morning, Wikipedia’s board of trustees confessed to blowing all the donations they received in 2016 on completely decking out the entry for mayonnaise. The nonprofit said it spent tens of thousands of dollars developing custom fonts and borders for the page, $100,000 commissioning Jonathan Franzen to write the “History” section, and a whopping $300,000 to hire renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz for a two-week, seven-continent shoot aimed at capturing “the diversity of the mayonnaise experience.”

Leibovitz’s portraits certainly look beautiful, but we sincerely doubt they were worth the hefty $300,000 price tag. This is definitely not a good look for Wikipedia.

The site also hired the entire team at Blizzard Entertainment to create an open-world MMORPG that lets users battle other condiments from the point of view of a jar of mayonnaise. And when the game struggled to catch on, Wikipedia doubled down on its losses by paying elite gamers to populate the game through a massively costly guerrilla marketing campaign.

Hey, Wikipedia? Next time, you might want to try thinking first before you drop close to $80 million on a single page.
In a press release, the nonprofit issued a sincere apology to any of the readers it disappointed with its ill-advised spending.
“In retrospect, spending every last dime we had on the entry for mayonnaise was a tremendous mistake. We sincerely regret these actions and further regret that we were forced to lay off 300 members of our hardworking editorial staff to offset the costs of this error. To them, and to our users, we are deeply sorry.”

Good on Wikipedia for owning up to its misdeeds, though it’s unclear how it plans to correct the damage. According to company sources, the site still has an elite team of linguists from Harvard working around the clock to translate the mayonnaise page into several dead languages, and the entire copy-editing staff of The New York Times remains on its payroll, standing by to review any future changes users may make to the entry’s “Nutritional Information” section.

Um, yeah. From the looks of it, it’s going to take Wikipedia a long time to move past this one.

ON CONTACT

Wikipedia

 A Tool Of The Ruling Elite

Helen writes for RT

And is on
Twitter @Bellocirapture23

http://www.helenofdestroy.com/

RT America: Published on Oct 20, 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDPrpKDjQ5U

On the latest episode of On Contact, investigative journalist Helen Buyniski exposes Jimmy Wales' egalitarian Wikipedia 

as yet another tool of the ruling elite. More from Helen here: http://helenofdestroy.com/index.php/4...

Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/ 

Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/ 

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Category: News & Politics

ON CONTACT: Wikipedia – A Tool Of The Ruling Elite
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDPrpKDjQ5U

Two Clintons -41 years - $3 Billion


https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/clinton-money/??noredirect=on


A Washington Post investigation reveals how Bill and Hillary Clinton have methodically cultivated donors over 40 years,
from Little Rock to Washington and then across the globe. Their fundraising methods have created a new blueprint 
for politicians and their donors.
The Clintons have raised $3 billion in support of their political and philanthropic efforts over four decades. Nearly 
all the funds went to support six federal campaigns and their family foundation.


By Matea Gold, Tom Hamburger and Anu Narayanswamy - Published on Nov. 19, 2015

LITTLE ROCK — Over four decades of public life, Bill and Hillary Clinton have built an unrivaled global network of 
donors while pioneering fundraising techniques that have transformed modern politics and paved the way for them to
potentially become the first husband and wife to win the White House.
The grand total raised for all of their political campaigns and their family’s charitable foundation reaches at least 
$3 billion, according to a Washington Post investigation.
Their fundraising haul, which began with $178,000 that Bill Clinton raised for his long-shot 1974 congressional bid, 
is on track to expand substantially with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 White House run, which has already drawn 
$110 million in support.
The Post identified donations from roughly 336,000 individuals, corporations, unions and foreign governments in support 
of their political or philanthropic endeavors — a list that includes top patrons such as Steven Spielberg and George Soros, 
as well as lesser-known backers who have given smaller amounts dozens of times. Not included in the count are an 
untold number of small donors whose names are not identified in campaign finance reports but together have given 
millions to the Clintons over the years.
The majority of the money — $2 billion — has gone to the Clinton Foundation, one of the world’s fastest-growing charities, 
which supports health, education and economic development initiatives around the globe. A handful of elite givers have 
contributed more than $25 million to the foundation, including Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra,who is among
the wealthy foreign donors who have given tens of millions.
Separately, donors have given $1 billion to support the Clintons’ political races and legal defense fund, making capped
contributions to their campaigns and writing six-figure checks to the Democratic National Committee and allied super PACs.
The Post investigation found that many top Clinton patrons supported them in multiple ways, helping finance their 
political causes, their legal needs, their philanthropy and their personal bank accounts. In some cases, companies 
connected to their donors hired the Clintons as paid speakers, helping them collect more than $150 million on the 
lecture circuit in the past 15 years.
The couple’s biggest individual political benefactors are Univision chairman Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl, who have 
made 39 contributions totaling $2.4 million to support the Clintons’ races since 1992. The Sabans have also donated at 
least $10 million to the foundation.
The Clintons kept big contributors in their orbit for decades by methodically wooing competing interest groups — 
toggling between their liberal base and powerful constituencies, according to donors, friends and aides who have 
known the couple since their Arkansas days.
They made historic inroads on Wall Street, pulling in at least $69 million in political contributions from 
the employees and PACs of banks, insurance companies, and securities and investment firms. Wealthy 
hedge fund managers S. Donald Sussman and David E. Shaware among their top campaign supporters, 
having given more than $1 million each.
The Clintons’ ties to the financial sector strained their bonds with the left, particularly organized labor. 
But unions repeatedly shook off their disappointment, giving at least $21 million to support their races. 
The public employees union AFSCME has been their top labor backer, giving nearly $1.7 million for their campaigns.
The Clintons’ fundraising operation — $3 billion amassed by one couple, working in tandem for more than four decades — 
has no equal.
By comparison, three generations of the Bush family, America’s other contemporaneous political dynasty, have raised
about $2.4 billion for their state and federal campaigns and half a dozen charitable foundations, according to a 
Post tally of their fundraising from 1988 through 2015 — even though the family has collectively held the presidency 
longer than the Clintons.

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.

."..".. Wikipedia is meant to function with unpaid volunteers who can create and edit 
Wikipedia web pages about different subjects and  people ...over the years the editor user base built up to a peak of 
around 100,000 volunteer unpaid editors in around 2007 and then gradually started to decline ... the  volunteer 
unpaid editors would then create a Wikipedia Web Page and all put their input into editing a Wikipedia Web Page 
until there was a general  consensus   reality as to what the facts of the person or subject matter was on the 
particular topic of the Wikipedia Web Page was ... then as these things start to calcify ... the hierarchy of Wikipedia 
takes place and control ... so now Wikipedia is not completely egalitarian ... there are administrators ...a sort of 
Wikipedia Supreme Court ... the Arbitration committee which  obviously ends up with various factions vying for 
power ...by 2007 Wikipedia become the Utopia of Rules ...to use a phrase...".. 
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges..." ... Wikipedia say they have around 100,000 volunteer editors ..
.congressmen ... business people become extremely concerned about what is on their Wikipedia page…”
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges..." A report on Wikipedia stated stated that editors 
found hundreds of what you call "Sock Puppets"  linked to one company... Wiki PR which explained that it employed
not only of the garden variety by also professional administrative editors capable of deleting and freezing pages  .. 
Wiki PR claimed over 12,000 clients from household names Viocom to Priceline to minor firms .. whose pages 
were repeatedly deleted for not meeting Wikipedia's notability standards ... "

Sock Puppets

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.... " Sock Puppets are basically fake accounts that are all run by one person 
but pretend to be multiple people ... in Wikipedia if there is a disagreement you want to have other people to come 
in and take your side ... because in that way there is some sort of democratic element to it... but the Wiki Pr Scandal 
was because they were openly advertising there services on this website and finally it emerged that they were 
advertising on their website but they were not advertising who they were on Wikipedia ...so ... the fact that they 
had corralled admin people in Wikipedia to help them edit and delete websites ... the admin people in Wikipedia 
are meant to be more trust worthy ... these business es are concerned because when you Google their business 
name and their Wikipedia entry turns up and nobody wants to look bad.. "
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges..... "you were right about the USA Government interfered  
in Wikipedia ...  a tracing program called Wiki Scanner discovered that computers at CIA headquarters did edits to 
entries on the US invasion of Iraq and the biographies on the former CIA Head William Colby and former 
US Presidents Ronald Regan and Richard Nixon .. also an FBI computer was also used the edit the Wikipedia page 
on Guantanamo Bay  Detention Facility....  e-voting machine-vendor Diebold deleted 15 paragraphs from a 
Wikipedia article on e-voting machine-vendor Diebold, excising an entire section critical of the company's machines....  
while the Vatican and the British Labour Party were also prolific in editing Wikipedia pages ... since the intelligence 
agencies have had to try and  camouflage  their edits or outsource their edits or outsource them to third parties"...
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.." it was pretty easy to do that ...just get some guy to front for them ... 
they were being so obvious about it.. well as its  anonymous   ... anyone can do it... lets just edit from our work computer .... 
that's like really bad upset  …
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges..... "... so you have a huge network of entities outside Wikipedia ... 
constantly revising and editing Wikipedia and one of the things that you point out in your article is that often the 
prime target of these edits are those critical of capitalism, imperialism, such as George Galloway ...and there have 
been all sorts of fake entities as somebody presenting themselves as Philip Cross who made 14 edits to my own 
Wikipedia page ... but goes after figures such as George Galloway and Jeremy Corbyn ... if it is a single person ... 
who knows... made hundreds of thousands of edits ... 130,000 edits to more than 30,000 pages and all of them ... 
are about defaming critics ... "
George Galloway is a British politician, broadcaster and writer. Between 1987 and 2015, with a gap in 2010–12, 
he represented four constituencies as a Member of Parliament, elected as a candidate for the Labour Party and later 
the Respect Party. 
Jeremy Bernard Corbyn is a British politician serving as Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition 
since 2015. Corbyn was first elected Member of Parliament for Islington North in 1983. Ideologically, he identifies
himself as a democratic socialist. 
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.." ... this is one of these obsessive types ... he will make a tiny little change and 
if it is left alone he will  edit it a little bit more ... this is obviously the sign on an extremely obsessive person ...
or a team that is working in concern ... I mean .... if you look at the amount of time editing .. it is the equivalent of 
a full time job and then some ... so I find it difficult to believe it is a single person ... but there is definitely a 
political double standard ..I mean people like Philip Cross are allowed to go after the left wing... the progressives ... 
the anti capitalists ...anti imperialists ..."
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. "... so as you point out while they are defaming those figures ... 
there's very clear intent ... on he part of the managers of Wikipedia to prop up other figures such as Hillary Clinton ... "
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.." ... yes Hillary Clinton was the beneficiary of the most obvious  
Wikipedia PR Campaign that was coming straight from the top .. they hired the Clinton Foundation's PR Firm .. 
the Manasion Group ... yeh ... Wiki Media the non profit arm of the Wikipedia ... they made around $75 million 
last year on revenue .. in the form of donations .. it used to be donations form users ,.. now its donations from 
users and large corporations and governments ... like the government of Kasistan ... they'll take money form anybody ... 
you pay the money and you get the right desired coverage ... its no surprise if you look at the list of companies 
that have donated to Wikipedia ..they have pretty nice Wikipedia pages .. you are not going to find any Philip Cross 
us there mucking up their nice material up on their Wikipedia Pages .."
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. "... what about the Hilary Clinton page compared 
with the Donald Trump page..."
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."...  well if you look at the Hillary Clinton Wikipedia Page compared to 
the Donald Trump Wikipedia Page .. there will be all sorts of unsighted and unsourced allegations against 
Donald Trump that he said something racist about this and that ... you will see a whole page devoted to the 
Russiangate Conspiracy .... whereas with Hillary Clinton... her Wikipedia Page is so sanitised ... 
I think its much shorter ..."
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. "... you as an outsider cannot make any changes..."
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."...  yes it is protected ... there are varying levels it is protected .. ... 
otherwise 
there would be users coming into regularly trying to set the record straight and  edit the Hillary Clinton Wikipedia Page ... 
there was definitely a user who regularly came in and changed any edits made on the Hillary Clinton Wikipedia Page .. 
such as edits stating that the Clinton Foundation had taken off with a lot of money from Haiti ... non of these edits 
were allowed to remain  on Wikipedia during election season ... nothing negative such as the emails scandal 
surrounding Hillary Clinton .... was allowed to remain during election season ... I don't know the full level of protection ....
there seems to be varying levels of protection .... there are protected pages and ever more highly protected pages .. t
here is no doubt that Hillary Clinton has definitely got Secret Service Protection of her Wikipedia Page ..."
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... "..The New York Police Department white wash 
dozens of Wikipedia entries in March 2015 when Wiki Scanner Technology linked hundreds of edits to computers 
at the NYPD... what were they doing?..."
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."...    oh they were all covering up all sorts of NYPD scandals ... 
of which there are many ..."
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " .... including the death of Eric Garner .. 
the Satan Island man that was choked to death.."
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."...  yeh ... for supposedly selling untaxed cigarettes ... 
he wasn't even selling untaxed cigarettes ...which was left out of most accounts of the story ... 
that they they tried to make out other victims of the NYPD were much more threatening than they are ... "
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... "... Sean Bell ..."
Sean Bell was shot in the New York City borough of Queens, New York, United States, on November 25, 2006
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."...  yeh... they tried to remove the entry on Shawn Bell.. .. Paul Cello .. 
he's not notable ... it has to be noteable if is going to be in Wikipedia ...I think a guy leaving his bachelor party 
riddled with 50 bullets if pretty notable .. but ... I don;t know ... I'm not the NYPD .... they modified the entry to 
make it sound like a much more reasonable procedure than it really was ... the other ones are allowed to  make 
the changes until somebody catches them ... then there is a big scandal.."
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges ... "... look at Jeremy Corbin... 
describe Jeremy Corbin's  and the Labour Party ..."
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."..  this is one of the insidious ones ... it is not like they are outright
lying about the guy ... but there is a question of the undue weight they give to different materials..... 
part is about his political party and his political achievements ..ans then the bottom half is all the 
allegations of his comments of anti-semitism and the labour party .. it just like making this guy out to be Adolf Hitler .... 
you know ... you guys need to write about something else .... "
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " from you conclusion Wikipedia is pretty amicable 
to these kinds of changes... "
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."...  oh yeh ... there is definitely a double standard ...   as you said ... 
they go after the anti capitalists ... the anti imperialist ones... 
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges ... "... I want to talk about Wales ... the head of Wikipedia .. 
tell me a little bit about him.."
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."..   well Jimmy Wales got his start on the Internet running 
a Porn Search Engine...Bomis or Bommis? .. I'm not sure how to pronounce  it .. then there was this side project of an encyclopedia  .. 
but it was too expensive and took too long to create the information to put onto the website... as it was not making any money ..
then they came up with the idea of outsourcing the edits... but then he realised that he could not run adds on it and 
thus did not want to work for him ...if he was going to put adds on there which was meant to be an depository of knowledge ...
he quickly turned Wikipedia into a non profit ... and since found a way to cash in that way ...."
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges ... ".. well the people writing the pages .... 
number one they are anonymous ...  number two ... they often have no background of the subjects they are writing about ... 
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski "..   there is actually an antipathy against experts ... 
which is one of the reasons why the two co-founders split ... Jimmy Wales tried to white wash the other 
co-founder out of history ..this guy Larry Sanger who ... Wikipedia really was his pet project ... 
who didn't like the whole anti-elitism of the thing ... he said the trolls came in and took over and this 
is what the story of Wikipedia has been ever since ...the trolls came in and took over ... so its like ..."
RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges .... " .. you quote ... is it ..'Kings Indian'..the user name  ... 
this person writes ... 'would anyone accept a newsroom where anonymous contributions with undisclosed 
conflicts of interest argue about things? Where expertise is irrelevant? Where contributors' work is unpaid?

There is no editor or copy editor, and no one takes responsibility for the final product?'  ....   "
Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."..  and that's what you've got with Wikipedia ...  
it's treated with this sacred information source .. Google uses it as a fact check .. so does YouTube and ... FaceBook 
was going to use it for a while and know their using snopes.com (The definitive Internet reference source for 
urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation) ... which is just as bad ... yeh its the first thing you see 
when you Google you're name ... if you're a notable person .. if you Google a company ... or you Google anything ...so ... 
Wikipedia are the Sacred arbiter of knowledge ... its terrifying when you look at who's doing the editing ... "


RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " you argue that those who have close personal 
relationships with Jimmy Wales ... such as Tony Blair ... or one can assume Hillary Clinton ... from her Wikipedia Page ... 
are edited in such a way to take out anything that is remotely negative against them .... talk about Tony Blair for instance ... 

I didn't know this but Tony Blair's financial wealth is 37 homes, ten houses an 27 flats ... worth £27 million pound plus 
millions of pounds distributed through a network  ... I don't know this ... I suppose that is what you get for selling 
out the Labour Party ... and shoving the Iraq War down our throat ... working as public relations on behalf of 
dictators in Kuwait ... in Egypt and everywhere else ..."
 Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."..   yep .. and Jimmy Wales doesn't really want anybody to know about that ...
so Jimmy Wales will through temper tantrums if someone mentions that when the Kazakhstan Scandal broke that Wikipedia had ..."

RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... "... please explain as this is a kind of window of how it works... "


Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."... also Wiki Media ... the non profit arm of Wikipedia was funding someone 
affiliated with the government  of  Kazakhstan   to basically to basically beef up and expand the  Kazakhstan   
the Wikipedia page ... because they have Wikipedia for most of the world's languages at this point .. 
and they tried to make out that this was an independent Wikipedia Organisation in  Kazakhstan   ... 
when the guy used to work for the  State TV Station ... the guy that runs  Kazakhstan   Wikipedia ... Wiki- Billiom ... 
I believe its called ... and its funded by the Kazakhstan Sovereign Wealth Fund ... so this guy is so tied in with 
the dictators of Kasistan ...its not even funny ... but Jimmy Wales goes ... 'no its independent ... 
I have nothing to do with  Kazakhstan   ... this is an outrage ... and of course this was the same time that 
Tony Blair was consulting .. made  $13 million dollars consulting PR for  Kazakhstan   and so its very incestuous ... 
and the fact that Jimmy Wales tries to pretend that this is not in any way objectionable morally is hard to swallow .."

RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " ... what do the pages look like? ..."

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."... its basically the official line of everything from the Government of  Kazakhstan and they basically took entries from the Kazakhstan  State Encyclopaedia  and put them into Wikipedia ... well why would you want people to write their own? ....."

RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " in 2011 ... this was the year that Wikipedia's founder was named Wikipedian of the Year ... being the same year 14 police massacred 14 protesters during an Oil Field Strike that turned into a riot ... and the government declares a state of emergency and restricts access to journalists ...."

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."...   yep... so the only information you are going to get out of Kazakhstan 
is by reading the Wikipedia page on Kazakhstan ... something tells me that this massace wasn't going to be 
on the Kazakhstan Wikipedia page ... "

RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " ...what has this done to our system of information ... 
I'm surprised as somebody who has watched ... i do not go onto my Wikipedia site too much ... but when I go on there ... 
there are always trolls that have written in garbage ... often falsehoods ... or an you say ... it maybe nominally sourced falsehoods ..
.what is this doing to our system of information...?.."

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski  ..." well its just ...its the fact that people take this as value is really 
degrading the meaning of the concept of truth ... for one thing ... because it has become this  consensus   thing ... 
where anybody who has an axe to grind and get in there and ruin somebody's reputation .. and sometimes 
you try to fix that  lie they have told about you and it is impossible and you can't get your page taken down ... 
they pride themselves in not taking people's pages down ... "

RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " also it is about which publications they consider 
credible and those which they don't...

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."...  that too ...."

RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " ... so Mother Jones of the Nation are not considered 
credible sources ... basically any source outside of the mainstream ... "

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."..  so any alternative media are not allowed ... so..." 


RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " ... what about Fox News?.."

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."..   Fox News was only made 10 years ago  which is primarily  an advertising network... 
and now its pretending to be respectable...but this is now considered to be mainstream media  ...so..."

RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " ... how effective do you think its been in terms of 
altering public perception .."

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."..   I unfortunately think its been quite effective ... because if somebody isn't very 
well versed in this topic ... like say progressive and leftist politics ... and they go to Google somebody's name ...or they 
look them up on Wikipedia ... and that is what they will see .. and they don't really know ... because they are only interested 
in these things on a surface level ... they don't know to question .. I mean .."

RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... "... they also don't know the biases of the people editing 
the Wikipededia Page .... because they are anonymous ... we don't know who they are .... "

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."... you can see there is a page for edit history where you can at least see the 
editor's username and you can at least see the editor/user's other edits are but ... most people do not have time or the 
inclination to do that  ... there are obviously some ideology motivated actors ...  which only just work on a certain thing... 
which is supposed to be against the rules ... but one again the rules only apply to some people ... "

RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " you say there is not way to tell whether the editor is 
an editor or malicious actor ... in 2007 a prolific Wikipedia editor who claimed to be a graduate professor with degrees 
in theology and in Canon Law ... is revealed to be a 24 year old college drop out ... Ryan Jordan who contributed 
16,000 Wikipedia  entries during his time on the site rose to become a member of the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee ... 
Wikipedia's Supreme Court before he was unmasked .... it is a simple matter for powerful groups like pharmaceutical 
Industry and the CIA to infiltrate Wikipedia and liable their enemies ... people like Gary Null, John Pilger ... 
Seymour Hersh and Glen Greenwald who have a history of shinning the spotlight on the corruption and criminality 
of our institutions ... how better to silence them than to assassinate their Character ..."
Glenn Edward Greenwald (born March 6, 1967) is an American attorney, journalist, and author, best known for his role 
in a series of reports published by The Guardian newspaper beginning in June 2013, detailing the United States and 
British global surveillance programs, and based on classified documents disclosed 
https://theintercept.com/staff/glenn-greenwald/

Glenn Greenwald is one of three co-founding editors of The Intercept. He is a journalist, constitutional lawyer, and author of 
four New York Times best-selling books on politics and law. His most recent book, “No Place to Hide,” is about the 
U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. Prior to co-founding 
The Intercept, Glenn’s column was featured in the Guardian and Salon. He was the debut winner, along with Amy Goodman, 
of the Park Center I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism in 2008, and also received the 2010 Online
Journalism Award for his investigative work on the abusive detention conditions of Chelsea Manning. For his 2013 NSA
reporting, he received the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting; the Gannett Foundation Award for 
investigative journalism and the Gannett Foundation Watchdog Journalism Award; the Esso Premio for 
Excellence in Investigative Reporting in Brazil (he was the first non-Brazilian to win), and 
the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award. Along with Laura Poitras, Foreign Policy magazine named him 
one of the top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013. The NSA reporting he led for the Guardian was awarded the 
2014 Pulitzer Prize for public service.

Gary Michael Null (born 1945) is an American talk radio host and author who advocates for alternative medicine and 
naturopathy..Gary takes on the real issues that the mainstream media is afraid to tackle. Tune in to find out the latest 
about health news, healing, politics, and the economy.
https://thegarynullshow.podbean.com/

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."...  yep .. just try and get your page taken down ..  there's a function so you 
can have an alert set ..so that even if they do succeed in sending in other editors to change their pages or try to 
remove their pages to eradicate the libels against them on Wikipedia .. they can just have their Ruling Class
representatives come right back in and change it back .. so its a losing game until it becomes much more obvious 
to the world at large that Wikipedia is a website that should have any credibility at all ... then ... I mean ... 
it would be one thing if Wikipedia was just considered to be a bias source ... like sort of a trash rag ... like the bathroom wall .... 
I like to call it ... but Wikipedia is not ... Wikipedia is considered the holy oracle of truth, and its really anything but ... "

RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " ... well ... as many writers will tell you ... 
I do events where people get up and read to my horror... will just get up as an introduction and read a section 
of my Wikipedia Page ... "

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."... .. its intellectual laziness basically ... well you don't want to dig to find the 
real information so you just go to this sort of feeding trowel of lazy trolls ... and dreg up what you get there and then I mean..."

RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " ... well its part of the whole salt on scholarship ... 
on research ... on verifiable fact ... its just one more mechanism by which ... public discourse is contaminated ..."

Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."..  very much so ...  there's the whole thing about if  you're not paying for 
something in the Internet ... then your the product ... so this just creates this replicable sort of brainwashed entity ... 
its not even brainwash .. there is not even that much work that goes into it ... but its just like empty ... 
your need for a higher level of knowledge is not there ..."

RT America’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Chris Hedges.. ... " ... 
well this is what happens when society severs itself from a print based culture ..."

.Investigative journalist Helen Buyniski.."...  unfortunately that's true .."
That was an interview with  investigative journalist Helen Buyniski ... her work can be found on
www.helenofdestroy.com
Helen of desTroy live on INN World Report w/Tom Kiely - 2 Apr 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tiqg2ZCORyQ

Helen of Destroy: Published on Apr 15, 2019

Talking with INN World Report's Tom Kiely about the future (or lack thereof) of the free internet post-Article 13, 
the ignominious demise of Russiagate, the weaponization of climate change, & the perils of attempting to defy 
the Second Law of Thermodynamics. (go to www.helenofdestroy.com for more)

 ​





















PRISM has been largely forgotten in the wake of more recent NSA/CIA scandals

PRISM has been largely forgotten in the wake of more recent NSA/CIA scandals, but at the time of its exposure, 
Facebook and Google were in the process of creating secure portals to allow the NSA to more easily access their data, 
and it’s absurd to think they halted that project because of a silly leak. The Snowden revelations managed to change 
precisely nothing about how Americans interact with the security state, except to erode the expectation of privacy we 
once had. A browser plugin, back doored to the NSA, tracking one’s un-American activities, is the setup for the worst 
kind of Minority-Report-esque pre-crime detention. And thanks to the same National Defense Authorization Act that 
allowed the Pentagon to turn its venerable propaganda apparatus on American citizens, the security state can detain us 
indefinitely without a warrant should the mood strike - even mow us down like dogs in our homes if it doesn’t like our
web history.
NewsGuard itself is supposedly staffed by “real journalists” as opposed to the algorithm that protects us from 
conspiracy theories on YouTube, and it has already been exposed as hopelessly corrupt. Those in the 
mainstream media who’ve heard of NewsGuard were perplexed by its rating of Fox News as “trustworthy,” 
believing a right-leaning network could not possibly rate the coveted green checkmark. All was made clear 
when Fox broadcast a puff piece hailing NewsGuard as the “killer app” that would save journalism - a clip 
NewsGuard immediately added to the list of "endorsements" on their website. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
This corruption became even clearer when NewsGuard was persuaded to change its “untrustworthy” rating 
of the Daily Mail, the British tabloid which was also the first mainstream news source to be declared untrustworthy 
by just a handful of editors on Wikipedia. The Mail, for all its flaws - and there are many - has more traffic than 
any other online news outlet (not counting aggregators like Drudge). When an anonymous Mail editor wrote a 
polite point by point refutation and sent it to NewsGuard, their rating was changed to green, ensuring the Mail 
would not publish a scathing attack on the noble censor - which could have smothered it in its cradle - while 
also making the plugin look eminently reasonable (see, they do change their ratings if they’re wrong!). 
Everybody wins! MintPress, of course, tried the same thing months ago, only to be ignored and vilified.
Breitbart, miffed after being slighted by the NewsGuard team despite their diligent cheer leading for every 
neocon regime-change operation, compiled a telling list of proven hoaxes the extension has approved. 
More than anything else, the list highlights the obvious perils of a blacklist - scare stories like the 
Washington Post’s infamous “Russia hacked Vermont utilities” are never properly retracted because they’re
designed to percolate in the reader’s subconscious so the next time they read about Russian malfeasance 
they’re more favorably inclined toward the idea. Facts are stupid things that merely get in the way of a good 
narrative. In the same way, a story published on Breitbart or RT - even if it came from ur-Reliable Source 
the Associated Press - gets the scarlet shield of shame through guilt by association. NewsGuard is laughably,
irredeemably flawed, and no intelligent person would ever download it.

 
Helen of desTroy live on INN World Report w/Tom Kiely - 2 Apr 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tiqg2ZCORyQ

Helen of Destroy: Published on Apr 15, 2019


 Talking with INN World Report's Tom Kiely about the future (or lack thereof) of the free internet post-Article 13, 
the ignominious demise of Russiagate, the weaponization of climate change, & the perils of attempting to defy the Second Law of Thermodynamics. (go to helenofdestroy.com for more)

Category: People & Blogs
Keith Duran
The UK has passed a law giving up to 15 year jail sentence for viewing "terrorist" websites. Next they will declare Wikileaks a "terrorist" organization. Happy (belated) 70th Birthday to NATO! Now Go Home, You've Outlived Your Purpose

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUSA2mGJLRU

Helen of Destroy: Published on Apr 9, 2019

NATO was founded 70 years ago to "contain" communism as embodied in the Soviet Union. This means it has lived nearly 30 years past its expiration date. Without an enemy to keep it in check, NATO has metastasized in a way that would turn any cancerous tumor green with envy, growing with leaps and bounds even as its raison d'être faded into memory. It now contains more than twice as many countries as it did when formed, some of which abut Russia's borders, and seems to exist for the sole purpose of provoking Russia - and extorting tribute payments from its component countries, with a hint that something nasty could befall them should they fail to cough up 2% of GDP. Anyone who smirks at this suggestion need only research Operation Gladio - the real mission NATO covered for, which continues to this day. Any countries that got out of line - leaning a little too far to the left, say, or (in more recent years) calling out the war crimes of one particular non-NATO US ally - might suddenly find themselves victim of a terror attack (spoiler alert: there's no "might" here - it never fails). "That's a nice country you got dere - would be a shame if anything happened to it..." related: https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-its-... if you like this video, please SHARE it & SUBSCRIBE. YouTube is actively suppressing this channel - watch view counts go backwards before your very eyes - & if we leave it up to them no one will ever see this material. wouldn't want that on your conscience, would you?! at least share it to jab a pointy stick in the Polyphemus-eye of Google. because if they hate me enough to sit on my channel i'm clearly doing something right. also subscribe on bitchute for the inevitable day this channel is memory-holed: helenofdestroy. & for MOAR, MOAR, ALWAYS MOAR go to helenofdestroy.com

Category: People & Blogs

False Flag Weekly News 8 March 2019


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUzCcMy3AnA

Helen of Destroy: Published on Mar 31, 2019

(this is a mirror of my first guest appearance on Kevin Barrett's False Flag Weekly News. NoLiesRadio lost its YouTube channel after telling too much truth, so the only place their videos are currently available is Vimeo, which no one uses. original description follows:) False Flag Weekly News is a weekly investigative news program that covers extremely controversial subjects. We want to remind our viewers that “Questioning” of Official Government or Mainstream Media Stories Is Not Hate Speech, nor is it Fake News, it is Free Speech that is protected by the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution. Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/06/19/supreme-court-unanimously-reaffirms-there-is-no-hate-speech-exception-to-the-first-amendment/ The False Flag Weekly News anchored by Dr. Kevin Barrett and Prof. Tony Hall looks behind the headlines and main stream media stories to get at what’s really going on in the world. From violations of international law to initiating WWIII, you don’t want to miss what they and their guests have to say about the stories behind the stories. Today's Guest Host: Helen Buyniski Click here for today's news story links: noliesradio.org/archives/163051

Category: People & Blogs

Photos of Nanjing, Republic of China

The story behind Jar’Edo Wens, the longest-running hoax in Wikipedia history

Internet Culture
By Caitlin Dewey April 15, 2015

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/04/15/the-great-wikipedia-hoax/?utm_term=.bea8861ce6c7


​​Jar’Edo Wens is an Australian aboriginal deity, the god of “physical might” and “earthly knowledge.” He’s been name-dropped in books. Carved into rocks.

And, as of March, conclusively debunked.


There is no such figure, it turns out, in aboriginal mythology; instead, Jar’Edo Wens was a blatant prank, a bald invention, dropped into Wikipedia nine years ago by some unknown and anonymous Australian. By the time editors found Jar’Edo Wens, he had leaked off Wikipedia and onto the wider Internet.

He had also broken every other Wikipedia hoaxing record. At nine years, nine months and three long days, Jar’Edo Wens is the longest-lived hoax found on the free encyclopedia yet. 

Ask any diehard Wikipedian about hoaxes, of course, and they’ll call them a natural byproduct of the Wikipedia project: Since the day the open-sourced encyclopedia opened for business in 2001, pranksters, vandals and other saboteurs have done their best to disrupt it.

[Beyonce fans wrecked Beck’s Wikipedia page after the Grammys]

But in the past year, Wikipedia hoaxes appear to have grown far more frequent — or at least far more visible. Editors have uncovered 33 major hoaxes since January, including several about fake bands and fake political parties. Of Wikipedia’s 16 most egregious hoaxes, 15 were discovered in the past six months. There’s no telling, of course, exactly how many hoaxes we simply haven’t yet dug up.

There’s a lot of nonsense on Wikipedia that gets papered over,” sums Gregory Kohs, a former editor and prominent Wikipedia critic. “Wikipedia is very good at catching obvious vandalism, like swearing and caps-lock. But non-obvious vandalism?” — not so much, he says.

To understand how misinformation spreads on Wikipedia, you must first understand how the site works. Anyone can edit Wikipedia, of course: More than 130,000 readers have done so in the past 30 days. But because wide-open editing is an obvious recipe for disaster, the site is undergirded by a vast volunteer bureaucracy. These editors and administrators aren’t paid, and they aren’t technically affiliated with Wikipedia or Wikimedia, the aloof nonprofit that oversees the site. But whether because they believe in Wikipedia’s mission or they like the power or they’re bored, they spend hours policing the site’s new changes, checking links and tweaking grammar and arguing on internal message boards.

Their success rate, by all accounts, is a pretty high one; in a recent interview with “60 Minutes,” Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales boasted that he no longer saw vandalism as much of a problem. And yet, critics like Kohs and his colleagues at the Wikipedia watchdog Wikipediocracy maintain that there are untold errors that editors don’t even know about, let alone fix.

[Men’s rights activists: A feminist conspiracy is ruining Wikipedia]

On Monday night, Kohs wrapped up an experiment in which he inserted outlandish errors into 31 articles and tracked whether editors ever found them. After more than two months, half of his hoaxes still had not been found — and those included errors on high-profile pages, like “Mediterranean climate” and “inflammation.” (By his estimate, more than 100,000 people have now seen the claim that volcanic rock produced by the human body causes inflammation pain.)

And there are more unchecked hoaxes where those came from. Editors only recently caught a six-year-old article about the “Pax Romana,” an entirely fictitious Nazi program. Likewise “Elaine de Francias,” the invented illegitimate daughter of Henry II of France. And the obvious, eight-year-old hoax of “Don Meme,” a Mexican guru who materializes at parties and mentors hipster bands.

 

Googling “Don Meme” turns up this YouTube video. That cartoon indicates the poster is trolling. (YouTube)

 

Just this week, the librarian and writer Jessamyn West uncovered the origins of a long-running urban legend involving neckbeards, Louisa May Alcott and Henry Thoreau: The story was invented in a Wikipedia article eight years ago.

“I think this has proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it’s not fair to say Wikipedia is ‘self-correcting,’” Kohs said.

There is, surprisingly, not much data to conclusively confirm or deny this. While Wikipedia’s accuracy has been a favorite subject of study for Internet-minded academics, the usual methodology compares articles from an authoritative reference work with their Wikipedia equivalents. Since the Encyclopedia Britannica doesn’t have articles on Jar’Edo Wens or Don Meme or Elaine de Francias, most studies that have trumpeted Wikipedia’s accuracy haven’t accounted for intentional hoaxes.

According to Wikipedia’s own, self-admittedly spotty records, once a hoax crosses the one-year mark, it can be expected to survive for another three years.

Chasing Jar’Edo Wens

No one knows who started the Jar’Edo Wens hoax, but I have one (admittedly spotty) guess. On May 29, 2005, an anonymous editor created that page, and another page, from an Australian IP address. The editor never returned to Wikipedia, but a pseudonymous, Melbourne-based avant-garde writer did refer to the “god” on a message board in 2009. The editor’s pseudonym, like Jar’Edo Wens, was an odd amalgamation of a first and last name. The editor hasn’t posted on that alias since 2012, but my money’s on him all the same.

It’s easier to see the Wikipedians who came after: Wikipedia logs every change to every article page on a tab called “history,” just as it logs discussion of every article on the so-called “talk” page. Editors didn’t stop by Jar’Edo Wens’s page too frequently — it was, after all, pretty obscure — but someone did make a quick grammar fix in 2006, and someone flagged the page for lacking sources three years later.


A mask carving of “Jar’Edo Wens” by the French artist Noyo. ( DeviantArt /Creative Commons 3.0)

 

In November 2014, an anonymous user tagged the page as a possible hoax: “Not found in several [reliable sources] on Aboriginal religion,” the user noted. The page still wasn’t immediately taken down; it’s Wikipedia policy to debate articles, sometimes at great length, before deleting them.

“Lacked sources for almost a decade,” one editor argued.

“The letters D, J, O and S are not used in the Arrente [Aboriginal] language,” another said.

On March 3, prompted by a Wikipediocracy post that made fun of the long deletion process, veteran Wikipedia administrator Ira Matetsky deleted the “blatant and indisputable hoax,” calling it an “embarrassment.”

And yet Matetsky, like many of his fellow Wikipedians, counts the incident less as a loss than as a win. In the end, the system worked; the hoax was deleted. The growing number of hoaxes could suggest that Wikipedians are getting better at uncovering them.

“Wikipedia is uniquely vulnerable to deliberate mistakes,” Matetsky said. “But Wikipedia is also uniquely gifted at its ability to fix misinformation.”

Dozens of sophisticated, automated programs crawl the encyclopedia and delete vandalism, according to an evolving (and overwhelmingly accurate) algorithm. On top of those bots are the editors themselves, many of whom keep an eye on controversial articles or watch for suspicious additions to the “new page” feed.

Wikipedia’s “New Pages” feed, where editors can watch for hoaxes and vandals in real time. (Wikipedia)

As of this writing, there were 5,476 unreviewed pages in the English Wikipedia, the oldest of which had been around 111 days. I spotted a probable hoax — an unsourced article on an otherwise un-Googleable “new world religion” — within minutes of loading the page.

It’s not perfect, exactly. But Matetsky points out that newspapers and books and GPS systems also make minor errors every day.

“The question is not whether Wikipedia is more or less reliable than a day at the New York Public Library,” Matetsky said. “The question is whether Wikipedia is more or less reliable than whatever other results top Google search.”

When there are no other Google results, of course, it’s hard to call either way. Or worse: When the other results spring from a Wikipedia error, a phenomenon named “citogenesis” by the Web comic xkcd. For years, the Internet record has claimed that “chicken azid” is another term for the dish “chicken korma,” and that Amelia Bedelia was inspired by a Cameroonian maid.

Even Jar’Edo Wens managed the leap from Wikipedia fiction to something approaching reality: The fake god is name-checked in a book about atheism and the falseness of religion — which is pretty ironic, considering.

Wikipedia’s big problem

But even given the growing awareness of hoaxes, what’s a Wikipedian to do? There are 4.8 million pages on the site’s English version, but only 12,000 veteran editors. That works out to roughly 400 pages per volunteer — far more than at any other time in the site’s history.

“Wikipedia could acknowledge that by now it contains hundreds of thousands of articles on marginal topics that its volunteer system is simply unable to curate responsibly,” said Andreas Kolbe, another contributor to the watchdog site Wikipediocracy. Instead, he says, the Wikimedia Foundation has taken an alternate approach: Dismiss each hoax as a one-off deception, and “lament how terrible it is that someone abused their trust.”

Reformers, both within and outside the site, insist there are other ways. You hear frequent references to a feature called “pending changes,” which was promised by Wikimedia in 2010 and again in 2012. The feature would hold new edits in a queue until an experienced editor could review them. On German Wikipedia, where “pending changes” has long been the norm, that little speed bump seems to work quite well.

Wikipedians have proposed other reforms, too. The Wikimedia Foundation is funding research into more robust bots that could score the quality of site revisions and refer bad edits to volunteers for review. Another proposed bot would crawl the site and parse suspicious passages into questions, which editors could quickly research and either reject or approve.

[The bot that made Swedish Wikipedia the second largest in the world]

Still, none of this changes the numbers problem at the core of Wikipedia. The site’s editor base has atrophied since 2007, and today’s editors are largely young, white, Western men. It’s no coincidence that, in Kohs’s vandalism experiment, an error on an obscure New York canal was corrected, while lies about Ecuadorian customs, Indian legends and Japanese history were not. Likewise the Wiki-troll Jagged85, who meddled with articles about Islamic history for years; it was only when he messed with a video game page that he finally got kicked off.

“If the Jar’Edo Wens hoax had been about Greek or Roman or Norse mythology, it would’ve been found faster,” Matetsky admits. “If we had more indigenous Australian editors, it would’ve been picked up and fixed.”

And yet, there’s some suggestion that even that wouldn’t have helped, that even snazzy new initiatives and more moderators couldn’t save the Internet from itself. For years, a group of interested editors waged an organized campaign to improve articles about indigenous Australians, including a page on “Aboriginal deities” that listed Jar’Edo Wens.

They added a photo and changed the page title. They grouped the deities under regional headings. Gradually, the campaign broke up, all without anyone noticing the invented aboriginal spirit: god of earthly knowledge — and its inevitable limits.

Liked that? Try these:

Gamergate, Wikipedia and the limits of ‘human knowledge’

The science of Wikipedia controversy

The 15 worst Internet hoaxes of 2014


Melbourne, Australia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne
Melbourne (/ˈmɛlbərn/  MEL-bərn) is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania.  Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi),  comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 5 million (19% of the population of Australia), and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia
https://www.cnet.com/news/corruption-in-wikiland-paid-pr-scandal-erupts-at-wikipedia/
A Wikipedia trustee and a Wikipedian In Residence have been editing the online encyclopedia on behalf of PR clients. Add the discovery of an SEO business run on the side, and this tempest is out of its teapot.
BY VIOLET BLUESEPTEMBER 18, 2012

Concerned Wikipedians raised the alarm Monday that two trusted men -- one a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation UK, the other a respected Wikipedian In Residence -- are allegedly editing Wikipedia pages and facilitating front-page placement for their pay-for-play, publicity-seeking clients.

Jimmy Wales is not pleased.
It began this week when an interesting discussion started on the DYK ("Did You Know") discussion page.

Roger Bamkin, trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation UK, whose LinkedIn page describes him as a high-return-earning PR consultant, appeared to be using Wikipedia's main page "Did You Know" feature and the resources of Wikipedia's GLAM WikiProject (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) initiative to pimp his client's project.

Bamkin's current client is the country of Gibraltar.
In August, Gibraltar was featured as a Wikipedia DYK front page feature an astonishing seventeen times - that's an unusual frequency of every 2-3 days.
Other than the Olympics, it is the only repeated topic throughout the month.
The "Did You Know" section on Wikipedia's Main Page publicizes new or expanded articles - the publicity viewership on Wikipedia's front page is estimated in the hundreds of millions per month.

Wales: "wildly inappropriate"

When Wikipedia's founder was told about Bamkin's client in relation to Wikimedia UK, Jimmy Wales wrote:
It is wildly inappropriate for a board member of a chapter, or anyone else in an official role of any kind in a charity associated with Wikipedia, to take payment from customers in exchange for securing favorable placement on the front page of Wikipedia or anywhere else. - Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:54, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
At the same time Bamkin's consulting work as a representative of Wikimedia Foundation reared its ugly head, Wikipedia community members exposed the SEO-focused, PR-strategy Wikipedia page editing business run by respected GLAM editor Max Klein.
Both Klein and Bamkin are "Wikipedians In Residence," a role held by Wikipedia editors in high esteem who liaison with galleries, libraries, archives and museums to facilitate information between the organizations and Wikipedia community editors.
Wikipedians In Residence are not allowed to operate if there are conflicts of interest and are not allowed to edit the pages of the organization they liaison with.
Maximillion Klein runs a consulting business called "untrikiwiki" whose self-description explains:
A positive Wikipedia article is invaluable SEO: it's almost guaranteed to be a top three Google hit. Surprisingly this benefit of writing for Wikipedia is underutilized, but relates exactly the lack of true expertise in the field. ... WE HAVE THE EXPERTISE NEEDED to navigate the complex maze surrounding 'conflict of interest' editing on Wikipedia. With more than eight years of experience, over 10,000 edits, and countless community connections we offer holistic Wikipedia services.
When the concerned Wikipedia editors asked Jimmy Wales about untrikiwiki (in the thread about Roger Bamkin) Wales commented:
I was unaware of this case, and haven't had time to look into it. If what you say is accurate, then of course I'm extremely unhappy about it. It's disgusting.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:54, 17 September 2012
No specific Wikimedia UK policy on "paid editing"
At this time, there is no Wikimedia UK policy against "paid editing" for Wikipedia pages, though Jimmy Wales has said that paid editing is against Wikipedia values and policy.
However, there's no doubt that the lack of a clear policy casts a shadow over the public's perception of Wikipedia's ethical standing.
If PR editing from Wikipedia's representatives -- paid or not -- were to be openly tolerated, Wikipedia's reputation will most certainly be harmed in a way that is different from the harm done from vandalism or covert PR editing.
In the case of Roger Bamkin, a director of Wikimedia UK is advertising himself, as a Wikimedia UK director, for paid consultancy jobs, and directs and engages in editing on Wikipedia in the service of his personal client.

Roger Bamkin's Experience 
Consultant Victuallers Ltd May 2012 - Present (5 months) 

I've been involved with QRpedia and Monmouthpedia which have delivered > £2m paybeack on £50K investment.
Bamkin's formal Declaration of Interests for Wikimedia UK states there is no conflict of interest (COI) with his role, access to Wikipedia resources and contract with Gibraltar as there is no official relationship between Gibraltar and Wikimedia UK.
But to the outside eye this might appear as a financial conflict of interest among the people who are handling the money donated to support Wikipedia. Not to mention how unfair it is.
You may be wondering how the country of Gibraltar ended up in the middle of a Wikipedia PR editing scandal. To answer that question, we can visit Wikipedia.
Monmouthpedia is a Wikipedia project that links Wikipedia and the town of Monmouth in South Wales by the use of smartphone scannable QR codes.
As the story is told, the idea for Monmouthpedia came when Roger Bamkin and Steve Virgin (former Wikimedia UK board member, current PR consultant and Bamkin's business partner) gave a TEDx talk about their Wikipedia QR-code project QRpedia. From the audience, Wikipedia editor Steve Cummings (also Bamkin's business partner) suggested they "do a whole town."

Wales Online wrote:
He [Bamkin] picked Gibraltar, at the southern tip of Spain, as his next project after being flooded with invitations from places around the world hoping to be the second Wikipedia town.
Enter Gibraltarpedia. In a feature yesterday, BBC News explained Gibraltarpedia as the way in which Gibraltar is using QR codes and Wikipedia to target and attract tourists.
While not as straightforward as untrikiwiki's open offer to navigate tricky Wikipedia conflict of interest rules as a service for for paying clients, Gibraltarpedia may be a cool idea but it still comes off as little more than free advertising for tourism - setting up a walled garden of articles all with an eye to promoting tourism - and potential investment - in Gibraltar.
Seventeen features on Wikipedia's front page in one month is in equal measures strangely admirable, somewhat saddening and completely worrying.

From a 2009 statement by Jimmy Wales:
It is not ok with me that anyone ever set up a service selling their services as a Wikipedia editor, administrator, bureaucrat, etc. I will personally block any cases that I am shown. (...)
(...) Would we block a good editor if we found out after the fact is a very different question. We have traditions of forgiveness and working with people to improve their behavior and ours whenever we can - things are never so simple. Of course it is possible to imagine a situation where someone can and should be forgiven... because that's very common.
That's not the same as saying that it would ever be ok, as a matter of policy. Just imagine the disaster for our reputation.
I think many people would consider the idea of "Did You Know" - and Wikipedia's front page - being successfully used in a for-profit commercial venture by any entity to be harmful to Wikipedia, reputation or otherwise. 
But then again, Wikipedia and alleged conflicts of interest are not known to be handled with practicality - or clarity. Just ask Philip Roth.
Google Play: We've cracked down on bad apps: Google says it rejected at least 55 percent more app submissions in 2018.
The best meal kit delivery services: Are you an enthusiastic cook with not enough time? These services can help.

The Wikipedia Fund Raising went from around $2 million in 2007 to $82 million in 2016​

Where truth dies online…
http://wikipediawehaveaproblem.com/2014/05/where-truth-dies-online/

May 2, 2014 wwhp activism, online harassment, Wikipedia

Spiked online just published a broad review of the unaccountability issue on Wikipedia. Much of it is not new, but I was happy to see Wikipedia’s influence being understood as a method of manipulation for influencing public opinion, and if abused properly an essential tool in propaganda.
 By controlling Wikipedia they could set the media agenda, shape public opinion and even influence court proceedings in Italy where there has now been one trial and two appeals. Italian jurors are encouraged to read widely and do their own research – the polar opposite of the UK system – and this makes trials vulnerable to interference from outside the court. 

Wikipedia: Where truth goes to die.
Wikipedia: where truth dies online
Run by cliquish, censorious editors and open to pranks and vandalism, Wikipedia is worthless and damaging.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2014/04/29/wikipedia-where-truth-dies-online/#.U2PbEK1dWFd


NIGEL SCOTT
29th April 2014

A man knocks at your door. You answer and he tells you he is an encyclopaedia salesman.
‘I have the largest and most comprehensive encyclopaedia the world has ever seen’, he says.
‘Tell me about it!
Wikipedia is worthless and damaging.

NIGEL SCOTT
29th April 2014
TopicsSCIENCE & TECH

A man knocks at your door. You answer and he tells you he is an encyclopaedia salesman.
‘I have the largest and most comprehensive encyclopaedia the world has ever seen’, he says.
‘Tell me about it!’
‘It has more editors and more entries than any other encyclopaedia ever. Most of the contributors are anonymous and no entry is ever finished. It is constantly changing. Any entry may be different each time you go back to it. Celebrities and companies pay PR agencies to edit entries. Controversial topics are often the subject of edit wars that can go on for years and involve scores of editors. Pranksters and jokers may change entries and insert bogus facts. Whole entries about events that never happened may be created. Other entries will disappear without notice. Experts may be banned from editing subjects that they are leading authorities on, because they are cited as primary sources. University academics and teachers warn their students to exercise extreme caution when using it. Nothing in it can be relied on. You will never know whether anything you read in it is true or not. Are you interested?’

‘I’ll think about it’, you say, and close the door.

News that civil servants in Whitehall hacked the Wikipedia entry for the Hillsborough disaster and inserted gratuitous insults about the men and women who died in the worst football-ground disaster in British history was greeted with predictable anger last week. This anger was directed at the anonymous vandals who posted the edits, rather than the organisation and website that facilitated the defamation. But, it must be said, Wikipedia is not blameless in this. It allows misinformation to flourish and provides it with a cloak of respectability. It is under-resourced and is unable to police itself adequately.

Wikipedia was launched in January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger but was predated by an earlier Wales/Sanger project, Nupedia, also a free online encyclopaedia, but one that was written and peer-reviewed by experts. In its three-year life, Nupedia only produced 25 articles, with a further 74 in progress when it was shut down. The lesson learned from the Nupedia experiment was that this protracted process with meagre output would never produce a comprehensive and up-to-date online encyclopaedia. The experts and peer reviews would have to go. Wikipedia would take over where Nupedia left off and would be a free for all for anyone and everyone who wanted to edit it. Quality would have to give way to quantity so a complicated system of checks and balances evolved, intended to ensure accuracy and accountability, though, despite the best intentions of its founders, this has never really been achieved.

Wikipedia has been a massive success but has always had immense flaws, the greatest one being that nothing it publishes can be trusted. This, you might think, is a pretty big flaw. There are over 21million editors with varying degrees of competence and honesty. Rogue editors abound and do not restrict themselves to supposedly controversial topics, as the recently discovered Hillsborough example demonstrates.

Attempts to tighten up procedures by introducing more arcane and complicated editing processes and rules have themselves been criticised. Kat Walsh, a chair of the Wikimedia foundation, said ‘It was easier when I joined in 2004… Everything was a little less complicated…. It’s harder and harder for new [Wikipedia editors] to adjust.’

Wikipedia itself helpfully publishes a page of notable hoaxes that have littered its past decade. In 2007, the Sun alleged that Labour MP Chuka Umunna edited his own page. Umunna denied this but conceded that one of his campaign team may have set up the page. In 2013, the London Evening Standard further alleged that an edit to Umunna’s Wikipedia page was made in 2008 on a computer located at the law firm where he worked. Once again, Umunna repeated that he ‘could not recall’ editing the page. Umunna is not the only politician who has been accused of organising his or her own page edits. It would be easier to find a politician who has not done so.

But politicians are easy targets. Organisations are no better. Last year Wiki-PR, a company that was set up specifically to offer page editing for commercial clients, was issued with a cease-and-desist letter by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wiki-PR employed 45 staff who edited pages using ‘sock puppet’ (fake) accounts and advertised its services online. Sock puppets are a big problem for Wikipedia because so many of its editors are anonymous. This makes it almost impossible to verify bona fide users. Wikipedia literally has no idea who many of its editors are.

Another embarrassment for Wikipedia was the recent revelation that a hoax page had survived for five years and had won several awards. The ‘Bicholim conflict’ entry was a detailed but fictitious account of a war in Indian Goa that never took place. It was rated as one of Wikipedia’s top pages and received a quality award that only one per cent of all Wikipedia articles achieve.

Wikipedia exposed: Bullying and harassment tactics of activist editors in a wiki war- a case study


https://www.sott.net/article/276298-Wikipedia-exposed-Bullying-and-harassment-tactics-of-activist-editors-in-a-wiki-war-a-case-study 

Rome Viharo
Wikipediawehaveaproblem.com
Sat, 21 Dec 2013 21:54 UTC 

 Introduction 

According to a tiny handful of Wikipedia editors and admins, I'm the engineer of a vast and co-ordinated global social media experiment for creating conflict. I'm a 'fringe' promoter, a conspiracy theorist, a charlatan for 'pseudoscience' and hold 'views' outside the mainstream. I'm also a well known internet troll with an anti-social personality disorder and am borderline autistic, a ringleader for countless sock puppets and in bed with PR agencies as well as just being plain old incompetent. According to them, as colorful as such a description it is, I'm just that sort of 'peculiar person'. This description of me was then used to get admins on Wikipedia to ban me indefinitely from the platform in addition to further off Wikipedia site harassment. 

I'm not that interesting of a person to get this much scrutiny. I am a casualty of a 'wiki' war. The article I was editing is not even something controversial, it was not an article about Israel/Palestine, Islam, Jesus or JFK conspiracy theories. I was simply editing a biography of a living person - a notable individual who has as many detractors as he does supporters. 

If this reads to you like another case of online harassment, it is. If you think that Wikipedia must have clear policies and guidelines against this sort of thing - they do. If you think admins should guard and protect against this from happening - they didn't. 

Please don't think however that I take this as a victim or just a disgruntled editor who lost his voice. I'm not. 

I'm a huge supporter of collective editing platforms and the usefulness of their utility and a developer of a collective editing platform myself. Harassment and bullying may be a disruptive annoyance on Facebook or discussion forums, but in an online collaborative environment its poisonous to consensus building. 

Since my own sanction in Oct of 2013, other editors who have joined the article have been threatened with similar treatment and banned. It's still happening, other admins are literally threatening recently banned editors that if they do not go quietly from Wikipedia, they may find similar 'media attention' as other problem editors, i.e. yours truly. 

Activist editors game Wikipedia, a case study 

This entire case study is a detailed summary with evidence provided in links which shows how Wikipedia's own guidelines, notice boards and committees are gamed by activist editors. It shows how personal attacks are leveraged by experienced editors and admins. It is suggested by this study that this may be a symptom of an increasingly shrinking and increasingly insular community who may be blind to its own toxicity to its core principle of neutrality. 

Other points of view on the issue 

This happens more than you think, as this recent discussion on Reddit reveals. Its turning away countless new editors and is responsible for more leaving. Sophisticated studies are showing that Wikipedia is in decline. 'Polluted' editor culture is often mentioned. 

In case you think I'm driven by my own bias in writing this, see how neutral editors with no opinions on the topic note the same. 

We simply can't have bullying influence articles on Wikipedia 

I write this account both for selfish and unselfish reasons. My selfish reasons are to clear my name online and the attack on my reputation that was waged on me from editing on Wikipedia. 

The unselfish reason is that this is simply 'wrong', both morally, ethically, and yes perhaps even legally. That Wikipedia is turning a blind eye to its own internal online harassment is troubling and I believe a genuine and reasonable concern. What happens when the largest repository of knowledge becomes run amok with bands of activist editors who have bullied their way to the top of the food chain? 

This case study shows this happening in one particular instance. It is the hope that seeing how this can happen in one instance may prevent it happening in another. I believe this study may be unique because the evidence shows where the flaws are in Wikipedia's own internal process. 

Admittedly, I may appear to bring a 'idealistic enthusiasm' to this project, but if I do I do so without apologies. 

As a big supporter of collective editing platforms, even a developer of one myself, I believe we must not allow online bullying and harassment to 'work' on any consensus building platform, much less the worlds largest website and repository of knowledge. 

Even Google and Apple assume the credibility of Wikipedia's meta data and distribute it directly to their users, regardless if its corrupted meta data gamed by agitated editors. 

So while my case study is about me - the problem on Wikipedia is not. And that is what my case study addresses. 

A Biography of a Living Person poses a unique problem 

This happened on a very well known and contentious article on Wikipedia about biologist Rupert Sheldrake and a 'bona fide' wiki war occurring there long before my arrival. This wiki war has captured the attention of the BBC, Forbes, The New Republic, The Huffington Post and a microsphere of bloggers, with mainstream skeptics like Jerry Coyne and Sheldrake supporters such as Deepak Chopra escalating the wiki war to the mainstream. 

I was surprised to find detractors of a notable living person controlling his biography on Wikipedia 

To me it did not seem appropriate that vocal detractors of a living biography would be allowed to control his Wikipedia article. It was as if members of the Tea Party would be allowed to control the biography of Barak Obama, or if the biography of George Bush was controlled by the editorial staff at the Huffington Post. Regardless of the ideologies or beliefs, that's clearly not an environment that would produce a neutral point of view nor is it in line with the principles of Wikipedia. 

I was just one of a handful of outside editors or bystanders that came in to help. Speaking for pretty much most of the other editors on the page, we just wanted the article to be more neutral. 

I took this challenge of getting the page towards a more keen neutrality pretty seriously too. I spent weeks doing research into Wikipedia guidelines and even hired an experienced Wikipedian as a consultant to make sure my participation was in tune with Wikipedia's rules. This is partially why this whole experience was so surreal to me. I made such an effort to operate with integrity to Wikipedia's principles. I was shocked to see all of these guidelines and rules as I understood them ignored and editors like myself who diligently tried to stick to them harassed and banned. 

Overview: Harassed in first three days of participating 


Within three days of my six week presence on Rupert Sheldrake's 'Talk' page, I was outed and harassed by a Wikipedia editor called Vzaak who immediately issued several warnings to me and then exposed personal information about me on the site. This is was only one of many forms of bullying, harassment, and personal attacks. 

I took Vzaak's behavior into dispute resolution on day four - causing Vzaak to pull back her attempts to harass me. 

Although Vzaak offered me an olive branch (a sign of resolution between editors) and agreed to stop harassing me with my personal information, she continued anyway after I accepted her peace offering. 

Continuing Sept 20th, Vzaak initiated a campaign of 'reputation destruction and disruption' against me through the talk pages of other editors throughout Wikipedia. This campaign was used to ban me indefinitely from Wikipedia and harm my identity off Wikipedia, which continues to this day. 

Overview: Hunted and hounded 

As evidence shows, Vzaak became the ring leader in a co-ordinated effort with other editors to harass and personally attack me further, continually spreading personal information about me and seeking to sanction me off of Wikipedia. 

Vzaak's campaign for reputation distortion became apparent to me when I presented my 'Request for a New Consensus' on the 'Talk' page in question on Oct 8th. 

Vzaak, IRWolfie, Louie Louie and Roxy the Dog plotted various ways to create a 'sanctionable' event against me, beginning first to sanction me for spreading 'conspiracy theories'. This backfired. A few days later they found found a third way to sanction me for 'sock puppetry', accusing me of operating more than one account on one Wikipedia article. 

One user I was accused of being even came back to Wikipedia to clear my name and his. And even though their tools used to verify such accusations determined it was technically unlikely we were the same person - he was sanctioned anywayby Mark Arsten and instigated by Vzaak because he showed up to defend me in the AE hearing as you see here. 

Overview: Five attempts to sanction me, one finally works 

Just as an admin was set to clear me of sock puppeting charges, and Vzaak tried to stop it - a second AE hearing on me started. This time the charge was 'trolling'. The evidence of me trolling was based on the personal information from eight years ago Vzaak continued to spread around. Not one admin noted that this was a personal attack, or cared. Any personal attack was good enough for them. No evidence of my behaviors in 'Talk' were ever substantiated, indeed my contributions were supported by an equal number of other editors who strongly opposed the banning. Not one admin respected anything they said. 

They then made a pillory, with admins and editors hailing my trollish ways, completely oblivious to the traumatizing experience they were delivering. This second hearing was an incredibly organized process that concluded in under 24 hours with less than half of the support of everyone commenting. 

Overview: Highly questionable sanction 

My banning was challenged by other editors quite powerfully, as found in this AE noticeboard here, other editor talk pages and admins pages involved. More recently, TheCapn instigated an Arbitration Request for a hearing on the issue. His requested was deflected to the lower appeal Arbitration Enforcement to handle the problem. 

Overview: Tumbleman ban sets off 'cultural' war momentarily 

After I was banned admins and editors jumped in and wrote on my talk page, calling me incompetent, autistic, a troll, an ego maniac, a conspiracy theorist, and a heap of other awkward and libelous associations. If the intention behind this 'mob mind' was not so abusive, the entire affair would be comical, as one editor commented it was like watching Monty Python's 'Blasphemy' sketch. 

Shortly thereafter a wiki war began to happen on my own talk page. Admins and activist editors began an argument with supportive editors, with the final attack being an article created about me on Rational Wiki. Craig Weiler blogged about 'The Trial of the Tumbleman' and somehow I unwittingly became involved in a cultural war between skeptic activists and supporters of Rupert Sheldrake's research. 

Ironically - the entire experience as the evidence will show was almost step for step with a 'humorous' essay on Wikipedia called 'How to Ban a POV you don't like'. Its meant to be written as a joke, but the irony is its exactly what happened. 

Don't take my word for it, please check the evidence 
Although my story is going to be covered with my own point of view, what protects you from my unavoidable bias is that Wikipedia records everything. Everything that happened is archived. I present evidence with each claim I make in each link provided. This article you're reading now is the wireframe for everything. Each link provides and overview of the context of what happened to links on Wikipedia that support it in evidence and the chapter for context. 
I believe we need to shine some light in these dark little crevices. I believe we need to give this a proper review. This is a factual case study of how harassment and bullying is used to control an article on the worlds most popular site. This is what it looks like. This is how it happens. This is how it will continue to happen. 
So hello world, come meet your guardians of knowledge. 


Wikipedia, we have a problem. 

http://wikipediawehaveaproblem.com/
Rome Viharo 

Jimmy Wales with his second wife, Christine Rohan

Hong Kong,  China  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong  Hong Kong (/ˌhɒŋˈkɒŋ/ ( listen); Chinese: 香港, Hong Kong Cantonese: [hœ́ːŋ.kɔ̌ːŋ] , officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a special administrative regionon the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities[d] in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

​​​​​​​Wikipedia and Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales
Wikipedia began with its launch on 15 January 2001, two days after the domain was registered ..... free content. Nupedia was founded by Jimmy Wales, with Larry Sanger as editor-in-chief, and funded by the web-advertising company Bomis.
Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales (born August 7, 1966) is an American Internet entrepreneur, best known as the co-founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia and the for-profit web hosting company Wikia. .... The intent behind Nupedia was to have expert-written entries on a variety of topics, and to sell advertising .

Jimmy Wales
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Wales


Jimmy Wales 2014 on CeBITGlobal Conferences, Wikipedia Zero


​      

 Jimmy Wales at the Creative Commons Board Meeting in June 2008


Jimmy Wales appearing as a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees at Wikimania 2007



Jimmy Wales with journalist Irina Slutsky at SXSW 2006, taken from her program Geek Entertainment TV


Jimmy Wales: The birth of Wikipedia, TED, 2005
Q&A with Jimmy Wales, C-SPAN, 2005


Lecture Jimmy Wales: Understanding failure as a route to success, Maastricht University, 2015

Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales (born August 7, 1966) is an American Internet entrepreneur, best known as the co-founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia and the for-profit web hosting company Wikia.
Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, where he attended Randolph School, a university-preparatory school.

Later, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in finance from Auburn University and the University of Alabamarespectively.
While in graduate school, Wales taught at two universities; however, he departed before completing a PhD to take a job in finance and later worked as the Research Director of a Chicago futures and options firm. In 1996, he and two partners founded Bomis, an adult web portal featuring entertainment and adult content. The company would provide the initial funding for the peer-reviewed free encyclopedia, Nupedia (2000–03), and its successor, Wikipedia.
On January 15, 2001, with Larry Sanger and others, Wales launched Wikipedia—a free, open contentencyclopedia that enjoyed rapid growth and popularity; as Wikipedia's public profile grew, he became the project's promoter and spokesman. He is historically cited as a co-founder of Wikipedia, though he has disputed the "co-" designation, declaring himself the sole founder.
Wales serves on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, the non-profit charitable organization that he helped establish to operate Wikipedia, holding its board-appointed "community founder" seat. His role in creating Wikipedia, which has become the world's largest encyclopedia, prompted Time magazine to name him in their 2006 list of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World".[12]


 
Early Life
Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, shortly before midnight on August 7, 1966; however, his birth certificate lists his date of birth as August 8. His father, Jimmy,[15] worked as a grocery store manager, while his mother, Doris Ann (née Dudley), and his grandmother, Erma, ran the House of Learning, a small private school in the tradition of the one-room schoolhouse, where Wales and his three siblings received their early education.
As a child, Wales enjoyed reading.

When he was three, his mother bought a World Book Encyclopedia from a door-to-door salesman. As he grew up and learned to read, it became an object of reverence. It put at his fingertips an abundant supply of knowledge complete with maps, illustrations, and a few cellophane layers of transparencies one could lift to explore such things as the muscles, arteries, and digestive system of a dissected frog. But Wales soon discovered that the World Book had shortcomings: no matter how much was in it, there were many more things that were not. World Book sent out stickers for owners to paste on the pages in order to update the encyclopedia, and Wales was careful to put the stickers to work, stating, "I joke that I started as a kid revising the encyclopedia by stickering the one my mother bought."
During an interview in 2005 with Brian Lamb, Wales described his childhood private school as a "Montessori influenced philosophy of education", where he "spent lots of hours poring over the Britannicas and World Book Encyclopedias". There were only four other children in Wales's grade, so the school grouped together the first through fourth-grade students and the fifth through eighth-grade students. As an adult, Wales was sharply critical of the government's treatment of the school, citing the "constant interference and bureaucracy and very sort of snobby inspectors from the state" as a formative influence on his political philosophy.

After eighth grade, Wales attended Randolph School, a university-preparatory school in Huntsville, graduating at sixteen.


Wales said that the school was expensive for his family, but that "education was always a passion in my household ... you know, the very traditional approach to knowledge and learning and establishing that as a base for a good life."

He received his bachelor's degree in finance from Auburn University in 1986.

He began his Auburn education when he was 16 years old.

Wales then entered the PhD finance program at the University of Alabama before leaving with a master's degree to enter the PhD finance program at Indiana University. At the University of Alabama, he played Internet fantasy games and developed his interest in the web.

He taught at both universities during his postgraduate studies but did not write the doctoral dissertation required for a PhD, something he ascribed to boredom.

The following places as at the 24th of April, 2019 are already viewing the www.wikipediaexposed.org website, which only launched on the 23rd of April. 2019:

1. Ashburn, Virginia, United States of America : Ashburn is a census-designated place in Loudoun County, Virginia. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 43,511. It is 30 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. and part of the Washington metropolitan area. 70 percent of the world's Internet traffic passes through Ashburn.

2. Manassas,, Virginia, United States of America : Manassas is a town in northern Virginia. It’s known for the Manassas National Battlefield Park, site of 2 major Civil War battles and a landmark stone bridge, rebuilt in 1884. The Manassas Museum has exhibits on the Civil War and local history. Classical music, opera and theater are staged at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Ben Lomond Historic Site features a Federal-style plantation house and a rose garden

www.WikipediaExposed.org comment: 

We understand that the USA/CIA Julian Assange USA Prosecutors in Virginia are already taking a keen interest of what www.WikipediaExposed.org is exposing 

3. China

4. Australia

5. Germany

6. Kiev Ukrane:Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine, located in the north-central part of the country on the Dnieper. The population in July 2015 was 2,887,974, making Kiev the 7th most populous city in Europe. Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational and cultural center of Eastern Europe

7.  France

8. Ireland

9. Other places in the world

Lecture Jimmy Wales: Understanding failure as a route to success, Maastricht University, 2015

Nanjing, Republic of China
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanjing  

Nanjing , alternatively romanized as Nanking and Nankin, is the capital of Jiangsu province of the People's Republic of China and the second largest city in the East Chinaregion,  with an administrative area of 6,600 km2 (2,500 sq mi) and a total population of 8,270,500 as of 2016. The inner area of Nanjing enclosed by the city wall is Nanjing City (南京城), with an area of 55 km2 (21 sq mi), while the Nanjing Metropolitan Region includes surrounding cities and areas, covering over 60,000 km2(23,000 sq mi), with a population of over 30 million.
Situated in the Yangtze River Delta region, Nanjing has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having served as the capital of various Chinese dynasties, kingdoms and republican governments dating from the 3rd century to 1949, and has thus long been a major center of culture, education, research, politics, economy, transport networks and tourism, being the home to one of the world's largest inland ports. The city is also one of the fifteen sub-provincial cities in the People's Republic of China's administrative structure,  enjoying jurisdictional and economic autonomy only slightly less than that of a province. Nanjing has been ranked seventh in the evaluation of "Cities with Strongest Comprehensive Strength" issued by the National Statistics Bureau, and second in the evaluation of cities with most sustainable development potential in the Yangtze River Delta. It has also been awarded the title of 2008 Habitat Scroll of Honor of China, Special UN Habitat Scroll of Honor Award and National Civilized City.
Nanjing has many high-quality universities and research institutes, with the number of universities listed in 100 National Key Universities ranking third, including Nanjing University which has a long history and is among the world top 10 universities ranked by Nature Index.  The ratio of college students to total population ranks No.1 among large cities nationwide. Nanjing is one of the top three Chinese scientific research centers, according to the Nature Index, especially strong in the chemical sciences.
Nanjing, one of the nation's most important cities for over a thousand years, is recognized as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. It has been one of the world's largest cities, enjoying peace and prosperity despite wars and disasters.  Nanjing served as the capital of Eastern Wu (229–280), one of the three major states in the Three Kingdomsperiod; the Eastern Jin and each of the Southern dynasties (Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang and Chen), which successively ruled southern China from 317–589; the Southern Tang (937–75), one of the Ten Kingdoms; the Ming dynasty when, for the first time, all of China was ruled from the city (1368–1421);[17] and the Republic of China (1927–37, 1946–49) prior to its flight to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War.[18] The city also served as the seat of the rebel Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (1853–64) and the Japanese puppet regime of Wang Jingwei (1940–45) during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It suffered severe atrocities in both conflicts, including the Nanjing Massacre.
Nanjing has served as the capital city of Jiangsu province since the establishment of the People's Republic of China. It has many important heritage sites, including the Presidential Palace and Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. Nanjing is famous for human historical landscapes, mountains and waters such as Fuzimiao, Ming Palace, Chaotian Palace, Porcelain Tower, Drum Tower, Stone City, City Wall, Qinhuai River, Xuanwu Lake and Purple Mountain. Key cultural facilities include Nanjing Library, Nanjing Museum and Nanjing Art Museum.

Jimmy Wales 2014 on CeBITGlobal Conferences, Wikipedia Zero

The Śarīra pagoda in Qixia Temple in Nanjing, China. It was built in ad 601 and rebuilt in the 10th century.

Canadian Sen. Mike Duffy (image via Wikimedia Commons)

Wikipediocracy
Because you can’t talk about Wikipedia flaws on Wikipedia

Why this Site?
http://wikipediocracy.com/2019/09/05/melania-trump-is-a-former-sex-worker-and-porn-star/

Our Mission:
We exist to shine the light of scrutiny into the dark crevices of Wikipedia and its related projects; to examine the corruption there, along with its structural flaws; and to inoculate the unsuspecting public against the torrent of misinformation, defamation, and general nonsense that issues forth from one of the world’s most frequently visited websites, the “encyclopedia that anyone can edit.”

How you can participate:
Visit the Wikipediocracy Forum, a candid exchange of views between Wikipedia editors, administrators, critics, proponents, and the general public.
'Like' our Wikipediocracy page on Facebook.
Follow Wikipediocracy on Twitter!


Categories
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Wikidata: Melania Trump was a “former sex worker and porn star”
Guest post by Wikipedia editor Fram


Editor’s note: Fram submitted the essay below to Wikipediocracy on June 23rd, 2019, in lieu of a statement that had apparently been requested by one or more of our forum members regarding actions that had been recently taken against him by the Wikimedia Foundation. We declined to publish the essay immediately, however, since this might have been seen as our “officially” taking sides in the dispute. At this point, we don’t think that really matters anymore, so we’re publishing this updated version (modified by Midsize “Somey” Jake and one or two others who have chosen to remain nameless), which gives the durations of the “vandal-edit” examples cited in the original. Please note that at the time of the original submission, none of these vandal-edits had been fixed.

Melania Trump was a “former sex worker and porn star” — or at least that’s what people visiting Wikimedia Commons, Simple-English Wikipedia (aimed mostly at children), and Wikidata (the Wikipedia data repository) read for nine days after her Wikidata entry was vandalized on June 15th, 2019.

This is just one example of a problem that has faced Wikidata for years without ever being formally addressed: The almost-complete lack of vandal fighters on the site. Wikidata prides itself on the enormous number of items stored there (database dumps of all Wikipedia articles, bibliographic information on millions of scientific articles, and an unknown amount of random information of little or no value at all). Many edits are made there every day (though most of these are small, repetitive changes made by bots), and they are even accepted as an “authority source” by the Library of Congress and the like.

But the actual number of editors, people interested not in their own pet subject but in keeping Wikidata correct and vandalism-free, is very small. Since they are all volunteers, it’s perfectly understandable that they don’t want to spend their time on boring tasks. But at the same time, Wikidata administrators and the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) want to use Wikidata as a central repository of data that is automatically shown on every language-version of Wikipedia.

One of the things they’ve done, largely without the Wikipedia community being aware of it, has been to show the description “tag” from Wikidata at the top of Wikipedia pages in mobile view. Wikipedia editors don’t see this description, nor are they able to change this description from Wikipedia. This has removed key editorial decision-making from Wikipedians, as well as vandalism control — even though this description is the first thing mobile viewers see for each article subject, and is also displayed in search engines and when hovering over links.

This issue was raised with the WMF in August 2016, but was largely shrugged off by WMF employees and apologists with responses such as “It seems… like a problem that doesn’t actually exist in practice.”

I then raised the issue at en.wiki in March 2017.

After a Request for Comment and much stalling from the WMF, they turned off this “feature” on en.wiki, though it was later revealed that they only did that for some cases, not all. The history of this whole sorry episode is documented, and efforts to get rid of these descriptions on en.wiki are still ongoing, more than two years later.

Apparently, no one at the WMF realized that if the English Wikipedia had these problems, then all other language versions would have them as well. And sure enough, it is painfully easy to find severe attacks on living people at Wikidata which remain in place for days or weeks because no regular vandalism checks are done there. These are then shown to people on Simple and Commons, but also on other non-English Wikimedia sites, including the French, German, and (especially) Spanish Wikipedias.

Mrs. Trump’s entry is one of the more egregious examples; she’s hardly an obscure topic, regardless of what you might think of her or her husband. But for nine days starting on June 15th, 2019, she was described as “First Lady of the United States, former Slovenian model, former sex worker and porn star” on Commons and the Simple-English Wikipedia.

Similar problems often occur with less-visible pages, but for the persons involved it can be just as hurtful (and in many cases also demonstrates another of the WMF’s gender-related problems).

Ana Villafañe was tagged as a “pornographic actress” for nine weeks, starting on June 8th. She isn’t a highly-notable person like Melania Trump (her en.wiki article only gets about 100 page views per day), but she still deserves some basic respect and protection from a site that claims to be an “authority control” for the world.

The same goes for Sara Ali Khan, labeled an “Indian pornographic actress” for four weeks starting on June 5th. She’s a fairly major (and non-pornographic) star in India; her article gets 6,000 page-views per day on en.wiki alone. The vandalism was hidden at en.wiki on June 11th, when an editor added a local short description, but it remained elsewhere.

Other examples:

· On June 11th, Mexican actor César Bono got a new name and was tagged as a porn actor for eight weeks

· Starting on June 6th, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a large stadium in Australia, was described as a “gaydium” for three weeks

· Actress Emily Browning was renamed to “Camila Medina” on June 7th (at the top of the infobox to the right) for three weeks

· Nicolas del Caño’s English and Spanish labels were changed to a Spanish-vernacular insult (“Coño,” often used as a euphemism for “shit”); starting on June 8th, this lasted for six weeks

Popular Mexican actress Violeta Isfel was first labeled a pornographic actress on June 16th, and edit-warring over this continues to this day. The description was finally suppressed on en.wiki, but the WMF hasn’t taken the next logical step of doing the same for Wikipedias in other languages, failing badly in their job to protect living persons against such defamatory material. The description is still visible for every mobile reader of her page in Spanish (and note that mobile users now account for more than 50% of all readers).

A better-known example to most Wikipediocracy blog readers is Jason Momoa (star of Aquaman, “Khal Drogo” from Game of Thrones, and the husband of Lisa Bonet). His Spanish Wikipedia article gets more than 2000 page-views per day. In the first line of that article, Spanish mobile readers saw him described as an “actor, escritor, productor, director, modelo , homosexualizador de hombres.” I’m not fluent in Spanish, but I don’t think “homosexualizador de hombres” is something one would expect to see at the top of an encyclopedia article, even if it’s meant to be more flattering than insulting. This change was made on the 10th of June and lasted for five weeks, so apparently it simply wasn’t spotted by any regular vandal-fighters who may have happened by.

In the Portuguese language, Brazilian actors Tony Ramos and Antonio Calloni were both tagged on June 14th as porn actors for two weeks. (The latter was referred to as a “Russian porn actor and sunscreen,” according to Google Translate.)

Teala Dunn is a young actress with 3.6 million subscribers to her Youtube channel who has never appeared in an adult film, but not according to her Spanish Wikidata tags. There, she was tagged in December of 2017 as a “porn actress,” and that lasted for 18 months.

Max Berliner, an Argentine actor, was tagged in August of 2017 as a “porn actor” in English. Guess what — he still is, as of today (Sept. 6th).

Lastly, did you know that in the Mapuche language (spoken in Chile and Argentina), Billy Ray Cyrus has been described by Wikidata as a “chaman, actris porno y cantante de regaeton post modernista” since at least 2015?

Such vandalism happens every day, and to be fair, some of it is fixed reasonably quickly. For example, on June 23rd, right-wing French politician Marine Le Pen stopped existing completely on Wikidata, where you instead had to look for “Booba,” but only for about one full day. Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund soccer player Leroy Sané became “dudu Sané,” but only for about two days. So we know it’s at least possible for the situation to improve.

The English Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation were seriously embarrassed by the Seigenthaler incident in 2005. This (among other factors) led to the creation of the Biographies of Living Persons (BLP) policy, and improved vandalism control — much of it through the use of highly efficient anti-vandalism bots. For high profile pages like Melania Trump’s, such vandalism normally remains there for a few minutes at most.

But while the English Wikipedia has taken its lessons to heart, the same cannot be said for the Wikimedia Foundation, which has left a known vulnerability in place for more than two years on a site notorious for its lack of vandal fighting — thereby exposing readers of numerous WMF sites to the results of these egregious attacks.


 

Wikipedia is asking for donations again—here’s how much cash it already has in the bank
https://www.businessinsider.com/wikipedia-donations-profit-money-chart-2016-11?r=US&IR=T 
Businessinsider.com- Jeff Dunn - Nov. 28, 2016

Head over to Wikipedia on Monday and you'll see a familiar sight: a big, bold banner asking US users to donate some cash. Once again, it's the time of year where the Wikimedia Foundation — the nonprofit behind the free, openly editable online encyclopedia — asks its millions of readers to lend a few bucks in an effort to help keep the site free of ads.
If this chart from Statista is any indication, those requests are working. In the past fiscal year, Wikimedia received more than $80 million in donations and other contributions. That's a far cry from the roughly $2 million the organization received in 2007.
So if Wikipedia is a nonprofit, and it doesn't pay its writers, and it's already bagged a ton of cash, why does it keep asking for more?
Well, for one, hosting a site as massive as Wikipedia costs money. Note the red bars — as the site gets bigger, that cost only goes up. Second: reserves. Building up a big emergency stash isn't terribly uncommon in the nonprofit world; the idea is to keep some spare cash handy in case things tank down the road.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census recorded its population to be 113,934, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan.  Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan. The university significantly shapes Ann Arbor's economy as it employs about 30,000 workers, including about 12,000 in the medical center. The city's economy is also centered on high technology, with several companies drawn to the area by the university's research and development infrastructure.  Ann Arbor was founded in 1824, named for wives of the village's founders, both named Ann, and the stands of bur oak trees. The University of Michigan moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor in 1837, and the city grew at a rapid rate in the early to mid-20th century. During the 1960s and 1970s, the city gained a reputation as a center for left-wing politics. Ann Arbor became a focal point for political activism, such as opposition to the Vietnam War and support for the legalization of cannabis.

Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincy,_Massachusetts
Quincy (/ˈkwɪnzi/ KWIN-zee) is the largest city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of Metropolitan Boston and one of Boston's immediate southern suburbs. Its population in 2014 was 93,397, making it the eighth-largest city in the state.  Known as the "City of Presidents," Quincy is the birthplace of two U.S. presidents—John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams—as well as John Hancock, a President of the Continental Congress and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, as well as being the 1st and 3rd Governor of Mas
sachusetts.

 Wikipedia swears to fight 'censorship' of 'right to be forgotten' ruling
Announcing its first transparency report, Wikipedia reveals that Google has received five requests to remove links to its pages

Alex Hern @alexhern  Wed 6 Aug 2014 
 
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/06/wikipedia-censorship-right-to-be-forgotten-rulinghttps://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/06/wikipedia-censorship-right-to-be-forgotten-ruling


Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales has revealed new details about what he describes as the site’s “censorship” under the EU’s “right to be forgotten” laws.
Wales revealed that Google has been asked to remove five links to Wikipedia in the last week. Now the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit group which runs the collaboratively edited encyclopaedia, has posted the notices of removal from Google online.
Among the articles removed from search results are an image of a young man playing a guitar, a page about the former criminal Gerry Hutch, and a page about the Italian gangster Renato Vallanzasca.
Speaking at the launch of Wikimedia’s transparency report, Wales attacked people who would use the “right to be forgotten” ruling to remove links to Wikipedia.
“History is a human right and one of the worst things that a person can do is attempt to use force to silence another,” he said. “I’ve been in the public eye for quite some time. Some people say good things, some people say bad things … that’s history, and I would never use any kind of legal process like to try to suppress it.”
Wales, who founded Wikipedia in 2001, has been outspoken against the right to be forgotten, frequently describing it as “censorship” and “tyrannical”.
He argued that Google’s decision over what to index should be seen as “editorial judgement”, the same as a newspaper’s decision about what goes on its front page, and that the state interfering in that decision is censorious.
Google has always argued that it does not want to impose editorial judgment over its search results, and emphasises the “neutrality” of machine-determined results.
Geoff Brigham, Wikipedia’s general counsel, said that many more links may have been removed without Wikimedia’s knowledge.
“We only know about these removals because the involved search engine company chose to send notices to the Wikimedia Foundation,” he said. “Search engines have no legal obligation to send such notices. Indeed, their ability to continue to do so may be in jeopardy.
“Since search engines are not required to provide affected sites with notice, other search engines may have removed additional links from their results without our knowledge. This lack of transparent policies and procedures is only one of the many flaws in the European decision.”
Lila Tretikov, the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, described the ruling as creating Orwellian “memory holes”. “Accurate search results are vanishing in Europe with no public explanation, no real proof, no judicial review, and no appeals process,” she said.
“We find this type of veiled censorship unacceptable. But we find the lack of disclosure unforgivable. This is not a tenable future. We cannot build the sum of all human knowledge without the world’s true source, based on pre-edited histories.”
While accepting that there should be remedies for people who were the subjects of inaccurate information published on the internet, such as libel laws or corrections, all three of the Wikimedia executives were adamant that accurate, if out-dated, information should stay online, and should continue to be linked to by search providers such as Google. They all also insisted that there was no historical information that they themselves were tempted to remove.
Zero requests granted
The revelations about Wikipedia pages being censored under the right to be forgotten were made at the launch of Wikimedia’s transparency report. The foundation has followed in the steps of firms such as Twitter, Apple and Tumblr by publishing information about requests by state actors for user data and for content to be taken down.
Between July 2012 and June 2014, the period the first report covers, Wikimedia received 304 requests for content to be taken down or altered, but did not grant a single one.
One such request was to remove a “selfie” taken by a monkey, on the grounds that it infringed the copyright of the human photographer who posted the pictures. Wikipedia declined, arguing that the photographer did not, in fact, own the copyright.
Another request came from a Tasmanian aboriginal language centre, demanding the removal of the English-language article on “palawa mani”, arguing it owned copyright over the entire language. Wikimedia says that “copyright law simply cannot be used to stop people from using an entire language, or to prevent general discussion about the language.
Wikimedia was also asked to give up personal information 56 times during the period, and complied with the request 14% of the time.
The foundation has also not been asked to give up data under laws such as the US’s National Security Letters, which gag the recipients from revealing the request. This disclosure is a form of “warrant canary”: if Wikimedia stops saying it, it can be assumed to have received its first letter, Wales explained.










Profile: Jimmy Wales - champion of free speech
Wikipedia: meet the man who has edited 3m articles













 (L-R) General Counsel or the Wikimedia Foundation, Geoff Brigham; Wikimedia Foundation Chief Executive, Lila Tretikov and Wikipedia co-founder, Jimmy Wales, attend a press conference in central London on August 6, 2014 ahead of the Wikimania conference. 


The Observer profile Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales: digital champion of free speech

As he prepares to host a Wikimania festival in London, the Wikipedia co-founder is also gearing up to challenge Europe's controversial 'right-to-be-forgotten' legislation


https://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2014/aug/03/observer-profile-jimmy-wales-wikipedia








 



Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia co-founder, looking into the right-to-be-forgotten legislation. 

Juliette Garside @JulietteGarside  Sun 3 Aug 2014


When Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales married Tony Blair's long serving aide Kate Garvey, they chose a chapel in the heart of London's tech city. The maid of honour, a Croydon schoolfriend of Garvey's, joked in her speech that the bride had succeeded in marrying the only world-famous internet entrepreneur not to have become a billionaire.
The event was an unusual mix of digital royalty and British political leaders, with a decorative sprinkling of celebrities. Blair's spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, played the bagpipes, while Tony and Cherie sipped champagne with Lily Cole. David Cameron's former adviser, Steve Hilton, and his wife, Rachel Whetstone, Google's communications chief, shared canapes with Mick Hucknall, and David Miliband turned up with a present wrapped in pink tissue paper.
Not your typical silicon valley nuptials, but then Wales is not your typical silicon valley entrepreneur.
Despite creating the planet's sixth most visited website – the online encyclopedia attracts more traffic than Amazon – Wales receives no salary from Wikipedia. The organisation is not-for-profit, raising $50m a year in donations to pay for the server farms that host its pages, and a select group of researchers and administrators, but there are no shares to sell on. Wales's 2011 divorce settlement with his second wife put his assets at $943,000, barely enough for a small flat in central London. But the UK capital is where he has chosen to settle. He and Garvey, who tied the knot in 2012 and now have two daughters, live in Marylebone. London is also the venue for this week's Wikimania festival, the annual gathering of mostly unpaid volunteers who have created Wikipedia's 110m web pages.

More than 1,300 people are expected to descend on the Barbican Centre for the five-day event, where the talks have titles such as "Now that Wikipedia has done everyone's homework, what's left to teach?" A young scientist called Jack Andraka will tell how he invented a test for pancreatic cancer aged 15 using information found on Wikipedia and in a State of the Wiki address, Wales will attempt to answer the following question: "We are growing from a cheerful small town where everyone waves off their front porch to the subway of New York City where everyone rushes by. How do you preserve the culture that has worked so well?"
Wikipedia has around 35,000 human contributors and a growing number of digital ones: computer programs known as bots that hoover up content from other sources. One bot, created in Sweden, is responsible for 2.7m articles, many of them cataloguing animal species. The site now has 4.5m entries in the English language and many more in 286 other tongues. The Chechen version has nearly 50,000 entries, while the Nigerian language Igbo has just passed 1,000. There are even 100,000 entries written in Latin.
Sitting atop his tower of babel of knowledge, Wales describes himself as little more than a figurehead. He is a mouthpiece who speaks for a global movement, but has little real power over Wikipedia's army of men and machines. "I'm the constitutional monarch," Wales has said. "Like the Queen. It doesn't mean I have any actual power. I do a lot of waving."
In recent years, he has taken the broader role of defending free speech online. He successfully opposed the snooper's charter, legislation that would have given British intelligence agencies the ability to track the websites visited by any given citizen, and spoke his mind when Cameron used an emergency vote to push through similar measures this summer.
On 9 September, he will travel to Madrid as a member of a Google-appointed panel, charged with drawing up guidance for search engines on how to handle requests to remove links to web pages under Europe's controversial right to be forgotten legislation. It is an issue close to home – Google is understood to be about to remove its first link to a Wikipedia page. "The legislation is completely insane and needs to be fixed," says Wales.
Open internet campaigner, hedge fund speculator and even internet pornographer – a colourful career has seen Wales take on many roles. As the editing wars that continually revise his Wikipedia biography suggest, even the most informed observers have found it hard to define the real Jimmy Wales. The man even has two birthdays – his mother maintained he was born on 7 August 1966, but his passport states 8 August.
Jimmy Donal Wales, or Jimbo as he is known online, grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, where his father was a retail manager and his mother ran a private school. It was here that Wales and his brother received their early education, in small classes where several year groups shared a teacher.
Memories of his mother's struggles with school inspectors inspired a DIY approach to learning, and the Wales family were among the first in Huntsville to own a computer – a Tandy TRS80. "My mother was always a super gadget freak," recalls Wales.
He received a bachelor's degree in finance from Auburn University in Alabama, and at the tender age of 20 married Pamela Green, whom he had worked with at a grocery store. He began studying for a Phd, but after separating from Pamela and abandoning his dissertation, Wales decided to make his fortune, heading for Chicago to join a hedge fund.
Soon he was married to a steel trader, Christine Rohan (with whom he has a 13-year-old daughter called Kira) and studying coding in his spare time. He was working on his own web browser when the 1995 initial public offering of Netscape saw the company's value rise to $3bn on its first day of trading. Later he said: "When Netscape went public I realised that their web browser was better than what I had been writing in my spare time, but not billions of dollars better."
The next year, with a colleague from Chicago Options Associates and his friend Tim Shell, he set up a search engine called Bomis. It began as an information resource, but things really took off when Bomis started not only linking to adult content, but selling it.
A promotional photograph taken at the time features Wales at the wheel of a yacht, with a glamour model on each arm, in shades and a rather dapper captain's hat. As a father of the modern internet and a fellow of Harvard Law School, it is an image Wales would probably like Google to forget, but the profits from Bomis funded Wikipedia.
The site went live on 15 January 2001, and on 11 September that year, as clouds of dust drifted over New York, Wikipedia awoke. Entries began to flood in, on the planes, the buildings, and the history of al-Qaida, as America struggled to make sense of the tragedy. Wales had created his legacy.
He makes a living as a well-paid public speaker and from sitting on boards. He is co-chair of the People's Operator, a Shoreditch-based mobile phone service that gives part of its profits to charity and is soon to launch in America. He also has shares in Wikia, which takes advertising and organises user-generated content into themes such as Brickipedia, a database of Lego products.
Wales could be said to have arrived on the international stage in 2007 when he was invited to a meeting at Davos by Bono. The rock star introduced him to world leaders, and Wales credits his wife with extending his social circle even further. Now a director at the public relations firm Freud Communications, Garvey's clients have included Queen Rania of Jordan and the London Olympics. "My wife, you know, knows everyone," he has said.
Wales still has a touching ability to appear starstruck. In July, he and Kira visited Pinewood studios, to watch his friend JJ Abrams filming the latest instalment of the Star Wars saga. "I am so excited. Going to visit JJ on the set of Star Wars. Will beg him to kill Jar Jar Binks," he tweeted beforehand.
Wales, who named his second daughter after Ada Lovelace, a British mathematician who wrote what is believed to be the first machine algorithm, would love his daughters to enter the industry. He plays Minecraft with Kira and has begun to teach her coding, and is working to remove Wikipedia's gender bias, by welcoming women editors and redesigning the editing interface to make it simpler to contribute. One thing that will never change, says Wales, is the site's not-for-profit status. Its contributors would revolt against commercialisation. The academic and artificial intelligence researcher Nigel Shadbolt, who will talk about machine learning at Wikimania, says Wales is in good company when it comes to being unable to exploit the fruits of his invention. Tim Berners-Lee has suffered the same fate.

"The ethos of open for them trumps everything else," says Shadbolt.

"Power is often in what you deny others. Jimmy has worked hard to make this thing not identical to him. Wikipedia has a structure and a foundation that will persist beyond him."

•This article was amended on 5 August 2014 to correct the chronology around Jimmy Wales's first web browser and the public offering of Netscape; to clarify his invitation to a Davos meeting and to make clear his interest in the potential offered by collaborative online games while at university.

Wikipedia has around 35,000 human contributors and a growing number of digital ones: computer programs known as bots that hoover up content from other sources. One bot, created in Sweden, is responsible for 2.7m articles, many of them cataloguing animal species. The site now has 4.5m entries in the English language and many more in 286 other tongues. The Chechen version has nearly 50,000 entries, while the Nigerian language Igbo has just passed 1,000. There are even 100,000 entries written in Latin.

Sitting atop his tower of babel of knowledge, Wales describes himself as little more than a figurehead. He is a mouthpiece who speaks for a global movement, but has little real power over Wikipedia's army of men and machines. "I'm the constitutional monarch," Wales has said. "Like the Queen. It doesn't mean I have any actual power. I do a lot of waving."

In recent years, he has taken the broader role of defending free speech online. He successfully opposed the snooper's charter, legislation that would have given British intelligence agencies the ability to track the websites visited by any given citizen, and spoke his mind when Cameron used an emergency vote to push through similar measures this summer.

On 9 September, he will travel to Madrid as a member of a Google-appointed panel, charged with drawing up guidance for search engines on how to handle requests to remove links to web pages under Europe's controversial right to be forgotten legislation. It is an issue close to home – Google is understood to be about to remove its first link to a Wikipedia page. "The legislation is completely insane and needs to be fixed," says Wales.

Open internet campaigner, hedge fund speculator and even internet pornographer – a colourful career has seen Wales take on many roles. As the editing wars that continually revise his Wikipedia biography suggest, even the most informed observers have found it hard to define the real Jimmy Wales. The man even has two birthdays – his mother maintained he was born on 7 August 1966, but his passport states 8 August.

Jimmy Donal Wales, or Jimbo as he is known online, grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, where his father was a retail manager and his mother ran a private school. It was here that Wales and his brother received their early education, in small classes where several year groups shared a teacher.

Memories of his mother's struggles with school inspectors inspired a DIY approach to learning, and the Wales family were among the first in Huntsville to own a computer – a Tandy TRS80. "My mother was always a super gadget freak," recalls Wales.

He received a bachelor's degree in finance from Auburn University in Alabama, and at the tender age of 20 married Pamela Green, whom he had worked with at a grocery store. He began studying for a Phd, but after separating from Pamela and abandoning his dissertation, Wales decided to make his fortune, heading for Chicago to join a hedge fund.

Soon he was married to a steel trader, Christine Rohan (with whom he has a 13-year-old daughter called Kira) and studying coding in his spare time. He was working on his own web browser when the 1995 initial public offering of Netscape saw the company's value rise to $3bn on its first day of trading. Later he said: "When Netscape went public I realised that their web browser was better than what I had been writing in my spare time, but not billions of dollars better."

The next year, with a colleague from Chicago Options Associates and his friend Tim Shell, he set up a search engine called Bomis. It began as an information resource, but things really took off when Bomis started not only linking to adult content, but selling it.

A promotional photograph taken at the time features Wales at the wheel of a yacht, with a glamour model on each arm, in shades and a rather dapper captain's hat. As a father of the modern internet and a fellow of Harvard Law School, it is an image Wales would probably like Google to forget, but the profits from Bomis funded Wikipedia.

The site went live on 15 January 2001, and on 11 September that year, as clouds of dust drifted over New York, Wikipedia awoke. Entries began to flood in, on the planes, the buildings, and the history of al-Qaida, as America struggled to make sense of the tragedy. Wales had created his legacy.

He makes a living as a well-paid public speaker and from sitting on boards. He is co-chair of the People's Operator, a Shoreditch-based mobile phone service that gives part of its profits to charity and is soon to launch in America. He also has shares in Wikia, which takes advertising and organises user-generated content into themes such as Brickipedia, a database of Lego products.

Wales could be said to have arrived on the international stage in 2007 when he was invited to a meeting at Davos by Bono. The rock star introduced him to world leaders, and Wales credits his wife with extending his social circle even further. Now a director at the public relations firm Freud Communications, Garvey's clients have included Queen Rania of Jordan and the London Olympics. "My wife, you know, knows everyone," he has said.

Wales still has a touching ability to appear starstruck. In July, he and Kira visited Pinewood studios, to watch his friend JJ Abrams filming the latest instalment of the Star Wars saga. "I am so excited. Going to visit JJ on the set of Star Wars. Will beg him to kill Jar Jar Binks," he tweeted beforehand.

Wales, who named his second daughter after Ada Lovelace, a British mathematician who wrote what is believed to be the first machine algorithm, would love his daughters to enter the industry. He plays Minecraft with Kira and has begun to teach her coding, and is working to remove Wikipedia's gender bias, by welcoming women editors and redesigning the editing interface to make it simpler to contribute. One thing that will never change, says Wales, is the site's not-for-profit status. Its contributors would revolt against commercialisation. The academic and artificial intelligence researcher Nigel Shadbolt, who will talk about machine learning at Wikimania, says Wales is in good company when it comes to being unable to exploit the fruits of his invention. Tim Berners-Lee has suffered the same fate.

"The ethos of open for them trumps everything else," says Shadbolt.

"Power is often in what you deny others. Jimmy has worked hard to make this thing not identical to him. Wikipedia has a structure and a foundation that will persist beyond him."

• This article was amended on 5 August 2014 to correct the chronology around Jimmy Wales's first web browser and the public offering of Netscape; to clarify his invitation to a Davos meeting and to make clear his interest in the potential offered by collaborative online games while at university.

Wikipedia has around 35,000 human contributors and a growing number of digital ones: computer programs known as bots that hoover up content from other sources. One bot, created in Sweden, is responsible for 2.7m articles, many of them cataloguing animal species. The site now has 4.5m entries in the English language and many more in 286 other tongues. The Chechen version has nearly 50,000 entries, while the Nigerian language Igbo has just passed 1,000. There are even 100,000 entries written in Latin.

Sitting atop his tower of babel of knowledge, Wales describes himself as little more than a figurehead. He is a mouthpiece who speaks for a global movement, but has little real power over Wikipedia's army of men and machines. "I'm the constitutional monarch," Wales has said. "Like the Queen. It doesn't mean I have any actual power. I do a lot of waving."

In recent years, he has taken the broader role of defending free speech online. He successfully opposed the snooper's charter, legislation that would have given British intelligence agencies the ability to track the websites visited by any given citizen, and spoke his mind when Cameron used an emergency vote to push through similar measures this summer.

On 9 September, he will travel to Madrid as a member of a Google-appointed panel, charged with drawing up guidance for search engines on how to handle requests to remove links to web pages under Europe's controversial right to be forgotten legislation. It is an issue close to home – Google is understood to be about to remove its first link to a Wikipedia page. "The legislation is completely insane and needs to be fixed," says Wales.

Open internet campaigner, hedge fund speculator and even internet pornographer – a colourful career has seen Wales take on many roles. As the editing wars that continually revise his Wikipedia biography suggest, even the most informed observers have found it hard to define the real Jimmy Wales. The man even has two birthdays – his mother maintained he was born on 7 August 1966, but his passport states 8 August.
Jimmy Donal Wales, or Jimbo as he is known online, grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, where his father was a retail manager and his mother ran a private school. It was here that Wales and his brother received their early education, in small classes where several year groups shared a teacher.
Memories of his mother's struggles with school inspectors inspired a DIY approach to learning, and the Wales family were among the first in Huntsville to own a computer – a Tandy TRS80. "My mother was always a super gadget freak," recalls Wales.

He received a bachelor's degree in finance from Auburn University in Alabama, and at the tender age of 20 married Pamela Green, whom he had worked with at a grocery store. He began studying for a Phd, but after separating from Pamela and abandoning his dissertation, Wales decided to make his fortune, heading for Chicago to join a hedge fund.
Soon he was married to a steel trader, Christine Rohan (with whom he has a 13-year-old daughter called Kira) and studying coding in his spare time. He was working on his own web browser when the 1995 initial public offering of Netscape saw the company's value rise to $3bn on its first day of trading. Later he said: "When Netscape went public I realised that their web browser was better than what I had been writing in my spare time, but not billions of dollars better."
The next year, with a colleague from Chicago Options Associates and his friend Tim Shell, he set up a search engine called Bomis. It began as an information resource, but things really took off when Bomis started not only linking to adult content, but selling it.
A promotional photograph taken at the time features Wales at the wheel of a yacht, with a glamour model on each arm, in shades and a rather dapper captain's hat. As a father of the modern internet and a fellow of Harvard Law School, it is an image Wales would probably like Google to forget, but the profits from Bomis funded Wikipedia.
The site went live on 15 January 2001, and on 11 September that year, as clouds of dust drifted over New York, Wikipedia awoke. Entries began to flood in, on the planes, the buildings, and the history of al-Qaida, as America struggled to make sense of the tragedy. Wales had created his legacy.
He makes a living as a well-paid public speaker and from sitting on boards. He is co-chair of the People's Operator, a Shoreditch-based mobile phone service that gives part of its profits to charity and is soon to launch in America. He also has shares in Wikia, which takes advertising and organises user-generated content into themes such as Brickipedia, a database of Lego products.
Wales could be said to have arrived on the international stage in 2007 when he was invited to a meeting at Davos by Bono. The rock star introduced him to world leaders, and Wales credits his wife with extending his social circle even further. Now a director at the public relations firm Freud Communications, Garvey's clients have included Queen Rania of Jordan and the London Olympics. "My wife, you know, knows everyone," he has said.
Wales still has a touching ability to appear starstruck. In July, he and Kira visited Pinewood studios, to watch his friend JJ Abrams filming the latest instalment of the Star Wars saga. "I am so excited. Going to visit JJ on the set of Star Wars. Will beg him to kill Jar Jar Binks," he tweeted beforehand.
Wales, who named his second daughter after Ada Lovelace, a British mathematician who wrote what is believed to be the first machine algorithm, would love his daughters to enter the industry. He plays Minecraft with Kira and has begun to teach her coding, and is working to remove Wikipedia's gender bias, by welcoming women editors and redesigning the editing interface to make it simpler to contribute. One thing that will never change, says Wales, is the site's not-for-profit status. Its contributors would revolt against commercialisation. The academic and artificial intelligence researcher Nigel Shadbolt, who will talk about machine learning at Wikimania, says Wales is in good company when it comes to being unable to exploit the fruits of his invention. Tim Berners-Lee has suffered the same fate.

"The ethos of open for them trumps everything else," says Shadbolt.

"Power is often in what you deny others. Jimmy has worked hard to make this thing not identical to him. Wikipedia has a structure and a foundation that will persist beyond him."

• This article was amended on 5 August 2014 to correct the chronology around Jimmy Wales's first web browser and the public offering of Netscape; to clarify his invitation to a Davos meeting and to make clear his interest in the potential offered by collaborative online games while at university.


Wikipedia: meet the man who has edited 3m articles

Svenker Johansson’s software has created and updated millions of Wikipedia articles - yet he says anything requiring creativity still needs a human brain

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/05/wikipedia-meet-the-man-who-has-edited-3m-articles


 The era of hand-crafting articles could be ending as bots, automated programmes that write and update articles, become more common. 

Alex Hern @alexhern Tue 5 Aug 2014 

Sverker Johansson is, indirectly, one of the most prolific editors on Wikipedia, the collectively-edited online encyclopaedia.


The Swedish science teacher, who goes by the username Lsj on the website, is the creator of Lsjbot, an automatic editor of wikipedia which helped makethe Swedish language version of the site the eighth in the world to hit one million articles.
So far, Lsjbot has created 3m articles across multiple versions of the site, and racked up more than 10m individual edits. Its main task, according to Johansson, is creating articles about all species of plants and animals, and most of those ten million edits are related to that task one way or another.
re, but Johansson says that these days they’re an increasingly important part of the machinery of Wikipedia. His own story is typical: “At first, around 2007, I started editing Wikipedia ‘by hand’, the same way as everybody else; then, in 2011, I started editing by bot.”
There are limits to what can be done by bots, of course. “Anything requiring real creativity or real language understanding requires a human mind directly at the keyboard,” Johansson explains. But of the tasks that can be done automatically, an increasing amount are.
“[They do] lots of maintenance work. Locating and sometimes fixing syntax errors and other anomalies in articles. Identifying vandalism.” On English Wikipedia, the bots are also used for “repairing vandalism.” And everywhere, they can be found “updating stuff, archiving old discussions, adding date stamps to manual problem reports, etc. Changing [for example] the categorisation of articles.”

Robots writing Nasa’s history?

A major hazard of that approach, though, is that articles end up being created, not because they to the sum of human knowledge, but because they can be created automatically.

In 2008 – almost prehistory, by Wikipedia bot standards – an algorithm called ClueBot II “wrote” 15,000 articles on asteroids, by parsing and rewriting public data from NASA’s database.

Those articles sat there, being edited by other bots – one changed the tags, another linked to the Japanese version, a third corrected a style guide issue – until an actual human realised that having “an out of date, broken, copy of the NASA web site” wasn’t the best way to run an encyclopaedia.

In 2012, the creation was finally undone, and today, all of Cluebot’s work lives in one ‘list of minor planets’.

‘Bots go through an approval process’

Erik Möller, the deputy director of the Wikimedia Foundation, which oversees the site, is unconcerned by examples like Cluebot.
“There is a comprehensive policy governing the use of bots,” he told the Guardian.

“Bots typically go through an approval process where a determination is made by humans whether the task they perform is useful. Bots that merely perform unnecessary busywork are either not approved in the first place or shut down.”
But he concedes that “the structured data in Wikimedia projects in particular will increasingly be maintained in automated ways, which should help keep things up-to-date and reduce the potential for human error in manually importing or updating numbers”.

Robot: freeing journalists to do journalism

Wikipedia is by no means the only site seeing an increase in the amount of content created by algorithms. Perhaps the most notable example is the Associated Press, which announced in June that a robot would be taking over the majority of US corporate earnings stories.
The AP’s managing editor, Lou Ferrara, reassured readers that the technology would “free journalists to do more journalism and less data processing”.
“We are going to use our brains and time in more enterprising ways during earnings season,” he added.
Johansson, for his part, defends the practice of automatically creating thousands of articles.

“Once in a while some really obscure place ends up in the news – say there is a plane crash in some hamlet you never heard of… But since we can’t know in advance which hamlet will be in the news tomorrow, better make a stub about every single hamlet.”

• Wikimania, the annual Wikimedia Foundation conference, runs from 7-9 August at London’s Barbican Centre

• Wikipedia link to be hidden in Google under ‘right to be forgotten’ law

Wikipedia link to be hidden in Google under 'right to be forgotten' law

Request for blocking of search results granted to anonymous applicant is first to affect an entry in the online encyclopaedia

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/02/wikipedia-page-google-link-hidden-right-to-be-forgotten

 Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales:

'It’s completely insane and it needs to be fixed.' Photograph: Suki Dhanda for the Observer​​

Wikipedia exposed 2006By Alek Boyd

http://infodio.com/

http://infodio.com/content/wikipedia-exposed

To those who like me have been reporting the evolving crisis in Venezuela the newscame as no surprise: Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, is, to put it mildly, utterly unreliable. It didn't surprise us because we bear witness of how Hugo Chavez's and Venezuela's pages have been edited almost beyond recognition. In fact apologists of Hugo Chavez have expressed their pride on their 'editing work' in Wikipedia. Logically the only natural conclusion one could reach in light of it is that no Wikipedia entry can be trusted.

The revelation of the true identity of Essjay -aka Ryan Jordan- reinforces apprehensions towards the online encyclopedia. A 24 year old managed to con not only the Wikipedian community but also Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder. The fact that Wales went as far as establishing a working relationship with Jordan without even bothering to undertake the perfectly normal credential-checking processes to be expected between an employer and its employees speaks volumes about Wales duty of care towards his pet project.

Wikipedia does not check the credentials of its editors, that much is known. However knowledge about its editing processes and criteria remains scant. A request to remove links to my site -vcrisis.com- from all Chavez related pages was introduced by another anonymous Wikipedian. Flanker, as his online name goes, argued that vcrisis.com was not a reliable sources of information with regards to Venezuela. But who is this Flanker character and what reasons prompted him to make such request? What I know is that he is an avowed apologist of Hugo Chavez and frequents comments sections of sites publishing commentary on Venezuela in order to advance the premise that Chavez's Venezuela is the closest approximation to paradise on earth. I also suspect that he is not even Venezuelan, neither is Sandy, that other Wikipedian involved in the issue. So how come people characterized by their superficiality of knowledge and partisanship about our issues get to decide what constitutes reliable information sources? Furthermore how come they are allowed to rewrite history without providing credible evidence to substantiate their claims?

Recently another Wikipedian (Maracucho) created a page about me that draw the ire of Chavez's fans and so they started editing it. When I noticed it I tried to delete the whole thing, knowing full well the infantile approach that Wikipedians have for facts. I could not, but was advised to take the issue with the Wikipedia Information team [info-en@wikimedia.org] that granted my request to have my page deleted.

I guess the take away message is that orthodox encyclopedias, with responsible editing processes, will continue being the preferred choice of serious people.


www.wikipediaexposed.org


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Without going into details it is a fact that  https://www.wikipedia.org completely removed an important Wikipedia page because there was pressure from powerful people and organisations  in the city which the Wikipedia page wrote about .... which talked about a series of books that were purchased by the state government reference library ...... that exposed endemic corruption in the legal, police, court, public trustee, political, business, media, finance circles of the capital city of this particular state. This led to the reasonable belief that professional journalists are paid on a full time basis by people and organisations to write Wikipedia articles in the way  powerful want such Wikipedia articles written ...... and to also monitor all Wikipedia articles that are written about the city and state they are asked to monitor ..... and if any such Wikipedia articles have not been written in the way these powerful people and organisations are happy with ... then to gather together a few senior Wikipedia editors that will agree to completely remove such non approved Wikipedia articles .... so that the history of the city and state is written about in the way these powerful people and organisations would like ....


https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/1388995

The triumph of truth / by Stephen Carew-Reid

Bib ID 1388995
Format [Book] Book
Author
Carew-Reid, Stephen
Edition 2nd ed. 
Description Perth : The Weekend News, 1996 
v. <1> : ill., ports., facsims. ; 30 cm. 
Notes
Typescript (Photocopy)
Subjects Carew-Reid, Stephen.  |  Political corruption -- Western Australia.  |  Misconduct in office -- Western Australia.  |  Corporations -- Corrupt practices -- Western Australia.  |  Police corruption -- Western Australia.  |  Western Australia -- Moral conditions.  |  Australian
Also Titled

Triumph of truth : who's watching the watchers?
Triumph of the truth


https://catalogue.slwa.wa.gov.au/search/?searchtype=X&SORT=D&searcharg=triumph+of+truth&searchscope=2&submit.x=30&submit.y=16

The triumph of truth 
Carew-Reid, Stephen.
Perth, W. A. : The Weekend News, 1996-2004. 


LOCATION CALL NO STATUS NOTE MESSAGE
 3rd Floor Stack  Q 364.1323 CAR  Volume 1: Introductory Volume, 2nd edition    NOT FOR LOAN  
 2nd Floor Heritage Stack  Q 364.1323 CAR  Volume 1: Introductory Volume, 2nd edition    FOR USE IN STATE LIBRARY  REQUEST RETRIEVAL
 3rd Floor Stack  Q 364.1323 CAR  Volume Two 2nd ed.    NOT FOR LOAN

Author Carew-Reid, Stephen.
Title The triumph of truth / by Stephen Carew-Reid.
Published/Produced Perth, W. A. : The Weekend News, 1996-2004.



​https://catalogue.slwa.wa.gov.au/search~S2/?searchtype=X&searcharg=triumph+of+truth+by+stephen+carew+reid+&searchscope=2&sortdropdown=-&SORT=DZ&extended=0&SUBMIT=Search&searchlimits=&searchorigarg=Xtriumph+of+truth%26SORT%3DD

LOCATION CALL NO STATUS NOTE MESSAGE
 3rd Floor Stack  Q 364.1323 CAR Volume 1: Introductory Volume, 2nd edition    NOT FOR LOAN  
 2nd Floor Heritage Stack  Q 364.1323 CAR Volume 1: Introductory Volume, 2nd edition    FOR USE IN STATE LIBRARY  REQUEST RETRIEVAL
 3rd Floor Stack  Q 364.1323 CAR Volume Two 2nd ed.    NOT FOR LOAN  
 2nd Floor Heritage Stack  Q 364.1323 CAR Volume Two, Edition Two    FOR USE IN STATE LIBRARY  REQUEST RETRIEVAL
 3rd Floor Stack  Q 364.1323 CAR Volume Two, Edition Three (Part A)    NOT FOR LOAN  
 3rd Floor Stack  Q 364.1323 CAR Volume Two, Edition Three (Part B)    NOT FOR LOAN  
 3rd Floor Stack  Q 364.1323 CAR Volume Three    NOT FOR LOAN  
 3rd Floor Stack  Q 364.1323 CAR Volume Four, Part A, Second Edition    NOT FOR LOAN

Details

Call Number Q 364.1323 CAR
Cover title Triumph of truth : who's watching the watchers?
Description v. <1-4> : ill., ports., facsims. ; 30 cm.
Notes Typescript (Photocopy)
Volume 1: Introductory Volume, 2nd edition (1996) -- Volume Two 2nd ed./Edition Two (1999) -- Volume Two, Edition Three: Part A (1999) -- Volume Two, Edition Three: Part B (1999) -- Volume Three (2001) -- Volume Four: Part A, Second Edition (2004).
Other publishing history: Vol. One, Introductory Volume, First Edition published in 1996, Volume Two, Edition One published in 1998. Volume 4, First edition published in 2002, Volume 4, Edition Two (Parts A, B, C, D & E) published in 2004.
Subjects Carew-Reid, Stephen.
Political corruption -- Western Australia.
Misconduct in office -- Western Australia.
Corporations -- Corrupt practices -- Western Australia.
Police corruption -- Western Australia.
Western Australia -- Moral conditions.Type your paragraph here.

​ Jimmy Wales appearing as a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees at Wikimania 2007

A Crisis of Cognition-
In journalism, we think our job is to “get the story.”
  https://buzzmachine.com/
April 25, 2019 by Jeff Jarvis

journalism, storytelling
https://youtu.be/p-kzc3t3psQ

 

 












In journalism, we think our job is to “get the story.” We teach the skill of “knowing what a story is.” We call ourselves “storytellers.” We believe that through stories — or as we also like to say when feeling uppish, “narrative”— we attract and hold attention, impart facts in engaging fashion, and explain the world.

My greatest heresy to date — besides questioning paywalls as panacea — is to doubt the primacy of the story as journalistic form and to warn of the risk of valuing drama, character, and control over chaotic reality. Now I’ll dive deeper into my heretical hole and ask: What if the story as a form, by its nature, is often wrong? What if we cannot explain nearly as much as we think we can? What if our basis for understanding our world and the motives and behaviors of people in it is illusory? What would that mean for journalism and its role in society? I believe we need to fundamentally and radically reconsider our conceptions of journalism and I start doing that at the end of this post.
Alex Rosenberg, a philosopher of science at Duke, pulled this rug of storytelling out from under me with his new book How History Gets Things Wrong: The Neuroscience of Our Addiction to Stories. In it, heargues that the human addiction to the story is an extension of our reliance on the theory of mind. That theory holds that in our brains, humans balance beliefs and desires to decide on action. The theory, he explains, springs from lessons we as humans learned on the veldt, where we would mind-read — that is, use available information about our environment and others’ goals and past actions to predict the behavior of the antelope that is our quarry; the lion we are competing with; and our fellow tribesmen with whom we either compete or must trust to collaborate. “Since mind readers share their target animals’ environments, they have some sensory access to what the target animals see, hear, smell, taste, and so on,” Rosenberg says.
Humans in the bush became proficient at predicting the immediate behavior of other animals and humans, which led their literate descendants to believe they could not only predict behavior in the now but also explain the past. Rosenberg questions historical narrative, pointing out that if we really could ascertain the motives of actors in the past with verifiable accuracy, there would not be so many books with dueling theories as to why the King or Kaiser did this or that. The theory of mind also fails when trying to predict human behavior ahead of time — just look at how awful political pundits are at foretelling elections. Rosenberg writes:
The progression from a (nearly) innate theory of mind to a fixation on stories — narrative — was made in only a few short steps. We went from explaining how and why we did things in the present, to explaining how and why we did things in the past, to explaining how and why others did things in the present, then the past, and finally to explaining how others did things with, to, against, and for still others.

Voilá narrative.
And we love narrative. “Neuroscientists have shown that hearing a story, especially a tension-filled one in which the protagonists’ emotions are involved, is followed by the release of pleasure-producing hormones such as oxytocin, which is also released during orgasm…” (Indeed, research showsthat oxytocin improves “mind-reading” in humans.) Rosenberg says later: “Narratives move us. In fact, they move entire nations.” (See: Edward Bernays Propaganda.)
But Rosenberg’s coup de grâce against the theory of mind — and the basis of his book — is that neuroscience cannot find a sequence in the brain that balances stored beliefs with desires to arrive at a behavior. He writes that “the theory of mind and neuroscientific theory turn out to be logically incompatible.” I will leave it to you to buy his book and read his detailed scientific explanation of meaning and memory, of neurons and content, of rats’ brains and humans’. For the sake of this brief provocation, suffice it to say that neuroscientists’ observation of the brain does not confirm the theory of mind, the fundamental belief about human behavior that informs our every speculation about motives and actions in the stories we create.

What, then, of the first draft of history?
If that is Rosenberg’s view of history, I wondered what his view would be of the first draft of history — journalism. So I emailed to ask him and he kindly responded, observing that journalists “keep asking the question ‘how did you feel about…’ that invites the interviewee to roll out the beliefs and desires that drove their actions.” He acknowledges that our business model drives us to attract large audiences “in the face of the public’s demands for a good story.” Indeed, Rosenberg himself admits he is a sucker for a good story; we all are.
So what do we turn to instead of the story? “My message isn’t that journalists have to work harder to dig out the real motives behind the actions they report,” Rosenberg emailed me. “It’s that they need to change their target and their approach to it. Stop trying to explain what people do as actions driven by motives, and start taking on major social trends and figure out how the structure of cultural variation and selection imposes outcomes.”
In a panel about the seduction of storytelling I organized at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, I was asked to reread that last sentence of Rosenberg’s email three times, so boggling is it for us storytellers. Rosenberg is on one level saying that we journalists should focus on issues and trends over personalities and predictions — something friend Jay Rosen argues often. In that panel, Rosen said that the report, the discussion, and the investigation are more reliable units of journalism than the story and our skill is more verification than storytelling. But on a more foundational level, Rosenberg is warning in his email — as he does in his book — that society’s progress is a product of natural selection and that we are all subjects in a giant matrix of game theory. That is to say that journalists or historians cannot predict or explain human behavior based on motive or purpose but instead should analyze changes in society based on the harsh reality of natural selection and survival of the fittest: life as a nasty, brutish competition. Sounds about right, eh?
To put this worldview in greater context, Rosenberg says that Newton robbed us of our belief that the universe had purpose — divine purpose — and was instead ruled by laws of nature and science. Darwin did likewise regarding biology on earth, robbing evolution of grander purpose in favor of natural selection and survival of the fittest. Now, Rosenberg says, neuroscience robs us of our belief in our own purpose. “Neuroscience has shown that, despite their appearance, human behaviors aren’t really driven by purposes, ends, or goals,” he writes. Yes, we appear to have a goal when we choose one path versus another, but Rosenberg argues that decision could be determined by patterns in memory — experience or instinct — or rewards. “As in all the rest of the biological domain, there are no purposes, just a convincing illusion of purpose,” Rosenberg says. “Neuroscience is completing the scientific revolution by banishing purpose from the last domain where it’s still invoked to explain and predict.”

The more we know, the less we can explain


Let that last notion about banishing purpose from our lives sink into your epistemological guts, then I’ll deliver another swift kick, courtesy of my friend David Weinberger, coauthor of the seminal work of web culture from exactly 20 years ago this month, The Cluetrain Manifesto, and author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined, Everything is Miscellaneous, and Too Big to Know. His new book, Everyday Chaos, is out in May (on May 15 he and I will be discussing it in New York; you can reserve a seat at that link and preorder the book now).























​​Everyday Chaos

Technology, Complexity, and How We're Thriving in a New World of Possibility

'A Mind-blowing, Game-Changing, Fun-To-Read Race Into The Future _Seth Godin

by David Weinberger



In Everyday Chaos, Weinberger examines the implications of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other data-fed and algorithmically driven means of predicting events and behaviors.


Says Weinberger, even simple A/B testing “works without needing, or generating, a hypothesis about why it works.” In other words, data and formulae can predict human behavior more accurately than fellow humans can, relying as we do on our theory of mind and storytelling. These machines cannot be expected to always provide explanations; they sometimes simply predict what will happen without having to say why. So much for the fifth W of journalistic ledes. Weinberger writes:

Deep learning’s algorithms work because they capture better than any human can the complexity, fluidity, and even beauty of a universe in which everything affects everything else, all at once.

As we will see, machine learning is just one of many tools and strategies that have been increasingly bringing us face to face with the incomprehensible intricacy of our everyday world. But this benefit comes at a price: we need to give up our insistence on always understanding our world and how things happen in it.”

Yes, machine learning may enable us to better predict cancer or market movements or traffic accidents, saving time, money, even lives. Weinberger says: “Our new engines of prediction are able to make more accurate predictions and to make predictions in domains that we used to think were impervious to them because this new technology can handle far more data, constrained by fewer human expectations about how that data fits together, with more complex rules, more complex interdependencies, and more sensitivity to starting points.” But with that benefit, we need to give up on our belief in stories and the theory of mind, not to mention our reliance on always being able to uncover knowable laws. We need to give up on our expectation of explanation for why things happen — even for why we do things.

Returning to Rosenberg, he sent me another piece he wrote in which he said that artificial intelligence algorithms work like our brains, “employing a Darwinian learning algorithm and so do we.” But that process of testing possible outcomes before deciding on one does not bring insight or explanation. “When success is a matter of tinkering, trying anything and seeing what works, there is no scope for insight, no need for it.”

In all of this I see a coming crisis of cognition. If change and uncertainty have led us to the apparent crisis of civilization we are seeing today — with the powerful (white, male) incumbents fearful of their dethroning by alien man or machine — I shudder to think what happens to the public conversation when its fundamental grounding in the theory of mind and certainty of the neat narrative arc of the story is exploded.

I also shudder to think what becomes of media. Says Weinberger :

Why have we so insisted on turning complex histories into simple stories? Marshall McLuhan was right: the medium is the message. We shrank our ideas to fit on pages sewn in a sequence that we then glued between cardboard stops. Books are good at telling stories and bad at guiding us through knowledge that bursts out in every conceivable direction, as all knowledge does when we let it.

But now the medium of our daily experiences — the internet — has the capacity, the connections, and the engine needed to express the richly chaotic nature of the world.

Chaos is what journalism promises to tame. But journalism fails. It always has. The world is less explainable than we would like to admit.

Radical reformulation of journalism

Mind you, I’m not killing the story; it is too ingrained in literal DNA to extinguish. Let’s also be clear that the word “story” is overused in our field to refer to what should usually be called articles as well as topics.

I do, however, celebrate efforts to free journalism from the presumption of the story. This is why I am enthused about my current entrepreneurial student Elisabetta Tola’s efforts to demonstrate journalism in the scientific method. It’s why I am equally excited about Eve Pearlman’s efforts at Spaceship Mediato build journalism around the public conversation, not media’s content, as we teach at Newmark in Social Journalism. I am eager for more examples.

But Rosenberg and Weinberger inspire a more radical reformulation of journalism. Journalism requires a different starting point: not getting and writing stories to fill a Gutenberg-era product called a publication, not convincing ourselves and our public that we can summarize and explain their world in the neat confines of text, not merely saying what happened today or will tomorrow. Instead, I want to imagine a journalism that begins with the problems we see and reaches across disciplines to seek solutions. (You might expect me to turn to technology but, no, I am looking to academic fields of study that have much to teach us about the society we serve.) Thus a reimagined journalism would not act as gatekeeper but as bridge.

If, for example, we believe a key problem in society today is the demagogues’ demonization of The Other, then let us look to neuroscience for understanding of the instincts authoritarians exploit. See this article in Foreign Affairs by Stanford neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky about our responses to group identity and threat. “Our brains distinguish between in-group members and outsiders in a fraction of a second, and they encourage us to be kind to the former but hostile to the latter,” Sapolsky writes. “These biases are automatic and unconscious and emerge at astonishingly young ages.” But Sapolsky says we can realistically hope for change. “The Swedes,” he points out, “spent the seventeenth century rampaging through Europe; today they are, well, the Swedes.” He continues: “Although human biology makes the rapid, implicit formation of us-them dichotomies virtually inevitable, who counts as an outsider is not fixed. In fact, it can change in an instant.” Thus the question is, how do we make outsiders insiders? Or as I’ve been fond of putting it, how do we make strangers less strange? This might mean enabling the outsiders to tell their stories (you see, I’m not unalterably opposed to stories). It might mean educating one group about another’s circumstances. It might mean bringing strangers together to model peaceful behavior. It might mean trying to get people to like each other more than our stories. (How about oxytocin levels as a metric to replace page views? [I’m joking…. I think.])

To understand and reflect communities to each other, we can turn to anthropology with its discipline of observation and evidence, which does not — as news stories too often do — take one person as the exemplar for a large, odd group (for example, The New York Times teaching us that white nationalists, too, eat at Panera). In his survey, Anthropology: Why it Matters, Tim Ingold of the University of Aberdeen decrees, “Taking others seriously is the first rule of my kind of anthropology.” Just like journalists, anthropologists grapple with the concept of objectivity, of distance from subjects, of exploitation of their stories. Ingold rejects objectivity. His purpose “is not to interpret or explain the ways of others; not to put them in their place or consign them to the ‘already understood’. It is rather to share in their presence, to learn from their experiments in living, and to bring this experience to bear on our own imaginings of what human life could be like, its future conditions and possibilities.” Ingold echoes the great journalism teacher James Carey when he talks about the primacy not of conclusions but of conversation.

This is not to catalogue the diversity of human lifeways but to join the conversation. It is a conversation, moreover, in which all who join stand to be transformed. The aim of anthropology, in short, is to make a conversation of human life itself. This conversation is not just about the world…. It is the world. It is the one world we inhabit.

In a sense, journalists ask, “How do they live.” Ingold says the question the communities ask is, “How should we live?” Enter the verb “should” and we turn to philosophers and ethicists, who pose larger questions about how we are treating each other today, about the kind of society we want to build, about how we see ourselves in how we treat others. Perhaps the journalist’s job then could be to ask factions of society to reflect on their own behavior or to give those excluded from power the opportunity to reflect themselves. For this, we have disciplines devoted to African-American, Latinx, women’s, and LGBTQ studies to help.

Let us say the problem to attack is our epistemological crisis and alternative facts. We could look to cognitive science to understand how misinformation lodges in the brain; see this article by a professor in that field, Julian Matthews of Monash University. Of course, we also need to look to education to understand how to dislodge misinformation and propaganda and install reason and facts. See also this excellent review by Daniel Kreiss of three books about the 2016 election, inspiring various solutions: One book, Cyberwar, measures impact by the Russians (and a solution may be to judge American media for its complicity and vulnerability); another, Network Propaganda, argues the problem is Fox News et al (and proposes, as I have, the need to fund responsible conservative competition); the third, Identity Crisis, says the problem is not epistemology but identity — our ongoing American identity crisis regarding racism (to which, of course, there is no simple solution).

Another heresy of mine is debating the value of news literacy because it is too media-centric — if journalism needs a user manual, then the problem is probably journalism itself — and is perhaps aimed at the wrong population: the young. Weeks ago, I wrote about an NYU/Princeton study that found it’s not kids who are sharing disinformation online but instead people who look like me: old, white men. I thought about writing a book for them — Dear Grandpa — and as I outlined the idea, I realized that the problem isn’t Grandpa’s parsing of facts but instead his anger. How did this privileged white man become so mad? We probably know the answer: Fox News and talk radio. But what made him so vulnerable to manipulation? For this, we should turn to psychology. Then we might decide that what we really need is not stories about political fights but instead massive group therapy: journalism as couch.

I could go on — and will in the future. But you get the point. We have been too insular in journalism, looking to ourselves for solutions to the field’s problem and defining that problem too narrowly as finding ways to maintain what we have always done. That’s why I so welcome Rosenberg’s and Weinberger’s challenges to our ways of thinking about our most fundamental ideas of ourselves as storytellers and explainers. With no rug underneath us, we are forced to reconsider everything: what society needs, what journalism should do, what journalism is. To do that, we need to listen outside of ourselves, to the communities we serve (and especially those we haven’t served) and to disciplines other than our own — all those I mentioned above plus design, economics, sociology, data science, computer science, engineering, criminal justice (or rather, just justice), law, public policy, and others — each of which can help us reconsider society’s problems and goals from different perspectives. Then we can redefine journalism. What’s needed is radical thinking. I, for one, have not been radical enough. I will try harder.

If, perchance, you’ve not had enough of the topic, here’s video of that panel on the story at the International Journalism Festival.


https://youtu.be/p-kzc3t3psQ

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brisbane
Brisbane (/ˈbrɪzbən/ )[8] is the capital of and the most populated city in the Australian state of Queensland,[9] and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of approximately 2.5 million,  and the South East Queensland metropolitan region, centred on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3.6 million.

Beijing, China   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing
Beijing (/ˌbeɪˈdʒɪŋ/ BAY-JING, nonstandard /ˌbeɪˈʒɪŋ/ BAY-ZHING;[10][11] Mandarin pronunciation: [pèi.tɕíŋ], alternatively romanized as Peking (/ˌpiːˈkɪŋ/ PEE-KING)[11], is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the world's third most populous city proper, and most populous capital city. The city, located in northern China, is governed as a municipality under the direct administration of central government with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts.  Beijing Municipality is surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin Municipality to the southeast; together the three divisions form the Jingjinjimetropolitan region and the national capital region of China.

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