> 2010/1/21 David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com>:
> > Does anyone have a summary of the articles deleted in the present
> > blood-crazed axe frenzy? Is there a list up? And/or a description of
> > the general type of BLP deleted?
> > I understand many were hardly-viewed articles with no edits in the
> > last six months. Which sounds innocuous enough, but remember that
> > [[John Seigenthaler]] was one of those until the subject noticed.
> Here you go,
> It only includes deletions by one admin so far, but I plan to add more
> tomorrow. Also useful things like google cached versions for
> I also have a list at
Deletions by five admins, not containing PROD nominations. My impression is
that the notability varies from borderline to medium to quite high, with
most in the middle. Completely non-notable people just don't stay for years.
I have been able to find sources for 90% of the deleted articles I have
tried to restore, and perhaps 80% would pass an ordinary AfD. Among them are
former prime ministers, many former cabinet of smaller countries, national
legislature members and of course a lot of athletes and artists from
non-English countries of varying notability.
The meme that unsourced articles are pure crap is just wrong. Some are quite
well written, but by someone who didn't know (or care?) about our sourcing
"But Google can do something that cowboys can’t: create more real
estate. The company is sponsoring a contest to encourage students in
Tanzania and Kenya to create articles for the Swahili version of
Wikipedia, mainly by translating them from the English Wikipedia. The
winners are to be announced Friday, with prizes including a laptop, a
wireless modem, cellphones and Google gear.
So far the contest, Google says, has added more than 900 articles from
more than 800 contributors.
“Our algorithms are primed and ready to give you the answer you are
looking for, but the pipeline of information just isn’t there,” said
Gabriel Stricker, Google’s spokesman on search issues. “The challenge
for searches in many languages for us no longer is search quality. Our
ability to get the right answer is hindered by the lack of quality and
lack of quantity of material on the Internet.”
Sitting in a Google cafeteria, Mr. Stricker outlined all the ways
information eludes the search engine — wrong language, not digitized,
too recent, doesn’t exist but should. Feeding the maw is clearly an
obsession of Google’s. After all, the search engine’s
comprehensiveness is an edge against a new, well-financed competitor,
Bing from Microsoft.
In e-mail interviews, two of the finalists in the Swahili contest said
the arrival of Google on their campuses changed them from passive
users of Wikipedia to active contributors. Still, they expressed mixed
feelings about receiving material rewards for sharing knowledge.
One of the finalists, Jacob Kipkoech, a 21-year-old from the Rift
Valley of Kenya who is studying software engineering at Kenyatta
University in Nairobi, has created 17 articles so far that were given
points. Among the topics were water conservation, Al Qaeda and
afforestation, the process of creating forests.
“Wikipedia has been a good online research base for me,” he wrote,
“and this was a way I could make it possible for people who can’t use
English to benefit from it as well.”
Another finalist, Daniel Kimani, also 21, is studying for a degree in
business information technology at Strathmore University in Kenya. He
said that contests were an effective way to attract contributors but
that “bribing,” or paying per article, “is not good at all because it
will be very unfair to pay some people and others are not paid.”
“I believe in Wikipedia,” he said, “since it is the only free source
of information in this world.”
Swahili, because it is a second language for as many as 100 million
people in East Africa, is thought to be one of the only ways to reach
a mass audience of readers and contributors in the region. The Swahili
Wikipedia still has a long way to go, however, with only 16,000
articles and nearly 5,000 users. (Even a relatively obscure language
like Albanian has 25,000 articles and more than 17,000 contributors.)
Mr. Kimani and Mr. Kipkoech represent one of the challenges for
creating material in African languages. The people best equipped to
write in Swahili, or Kiswahili as it is sometimes known, are
multilingual university students. And yet Mr. Kimani wrote that he
used “the English version more than Kiswahili since most of my school
work is in English.”
Translation could be the key to bringing more material to non-English
speakers. It is the local knowledge that is vital from these Kenyan
contributors, the thinking goes, assuming that Swahili-English
translation tools improve.
Mr. Kimani wrote one entry in English and Swahili about drug use in
Mombasa, the second-largest city in Kenya. It says that the “youth in
this area strongly believe that use of bhang or any other narcotic
drug could prevent one from suffering from ghosts attacks.”
Now the article lives in English and Swahili, although the English
Wikipedia editors have asked for citations and threatened to remove
At 06:05 PM 1/23/2010, David Gerard wrote:
>On 23 January 2010 23:00, Ryan Delaney <ryan.delaney(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> > Repeat after me: Pure Wiki Deletion.
>Last time the subject came up, I believe the advocates were asked for
>any examples, anywhere, of wikis that use Pure Wiki Deletion. I don't
>think they came up with any at all.
Uh, Wikipedia? For information in articles, and using redirects for
articles. Also, in effect, Wikipedia was this way with articles too,
at the beginning, but then, if I've heard the history correctly,
certain privileges became restricted to administrators.
WP:PWD was perhaps not well-expressed because it implied a software
change was necessary. That change is optional, it was a proposal that
blanked pages would show up as redlinks when linked. It might be
better if a particular category were dedicated to that. (I.e., if an
article has the category, it would be redlinked just as if it did not
exist.) In this way, the page might not be totally blanked, but might
contain bot-generated text on why the article was blanked, and a link
to a page that covers, for the uninitiated, how to see the blanked
article, how to restore it, etc. The redlink would then encourage
actual article improvement through making the deficiency noticeable
again. (This is an improvement over the present situation, where the
existence of the article suppresses the redlink, even if the article
is really inadequate even as a stub.)
But that's optional, simply a further improvement, not a necessity.
>Are there any?
>(Is it possible that the biggest and most popular wiki in the world
>might not be the best place to make the very first one?)
Mmmmm. The biggest wiki probably needs to figure some things out for
the first time, because only the biggest has the severe problems of
scale that are the difficulty here, but PWD is actually, in essence,
the way it was at the beginning, roughly. If everyone is an
administrator and can read deleted articles, isn't PWD and
non-oversight deletion the same thing? Both require an extra step to
read the allegedly inadequate text. Both are easy to fix, for
administrators. PWD, however, makes fixing a problem blanking
available to every editor, and, most importantly, every editor can,
by looking at the history, read what was deleted and may then be more
easily able to find references.
(Or to complain about illegal text, which might then call for
revision deletion, requiring an administrator.)
If the proposal involved some new risk or hazard, sure, caution would
be entirely in order. But blanking and replacement with a neutral and
informative page that invites improvement? This is very close, only
one step further, than stubbing, which is done all the time, and
which can also be done by anyone.
Doing this by bot would be simple, and would quickly resolve the BLP
problem with all those unreferenced articles, while doing no harm. If
it turned out to be a problem, each of those articles would have a
category on it that would make identification and bot-reversion easy.
Any editor -- or any registered editor if semiprotected -- could, in
a flash, restore the article the way it was. But then this editor
would be responsible for restoring BLP information without sourcing.
And the editor, as well, would now, by default, be a watcher of the article.
What, exactly, is not to like? Perhaps administrators would rather
fight over this?
It seems a settlement has been reached between Google Books and those
taking action against it. Anyone here know what this means in terms of
what we do and how we use Google Books?
Re [[Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Biographies of living people]]
The sad thing about the current deletion spree is that it started only
a fortnight after DASHBot started gently chiding authors about their
supposedly unsourced BLP contributions. I think the next logical step
would be to have a similar bot inform wiki projects about unsourced
BLPs relevant to that project. The preceding step should have been to
change our article creation processes to require sources for all new
The risks of the current approach are that some contributors may be
lost to the project, a whole bunch of poorly sourced BLPs will be
hastily brought to a standard that will keep them safe for a few more
years, lots of good if poorly sourced material will be lost, and some
really damaging stuff will slip through the net because so much
attention is currently focussed on low traffic mostly harmless bios.
There will be really damaging stuff on the pedia that we won't find
for months and I bet much of it will be in articles that at least
appear to be sourced.
Anyone who wants an example of a non BLP vandalism worse than anything
I've seen found in these old bios is welcome to ask me at the next
London meetup - which should be on the 14th Feb.
Okay, I'm slightly inconvenienced, or relieved, due to being
currently blocked, so I'll make this suggestion here. Pass it on if
you dare be accused of "proxying for a blocked editor." Caveat emptor.
See WP:PWD. This is a general solution for unreferenced articles, not
just BLP, but it would be extremely useful, and even helpful in this
case, and shouldn't raise deletionist hackles as much as keeping the
articles, and it shouldn't offend the inclusionists nearly as much as
deletions, which damage the process by which new and referenced
articles evolve. Indeed, this could stimulate the process.
Don't delete the articles. PWD suggests not deleting *any* articles
that aren't positively identified as being illegal, but never mind
that for now, just think about BLP, where policy does suggest
removing such articles from the visible encyclopedia.
Replace the article text with a notice that an article on the topic
existed but was blanked because of policy on Biographies of Living
Persons and it was unreferenced. Place a cat tag on the article that
allows quick finding of all such articles.
Additional information in the new article text would vary with the
exact details of what was done and why.
Anyone who wants to see the old article can retrieve it from history,
particularly if a link is provided.
If it is desired to salt these articles, to require a request to an
admin to unprotect, then the blanked version is protected. If
registered editors are to be allowed to delete, it's semiprotected.
Both protections require admin attention to undo, of course.
This edit will trigger watchlists, if there is anyone watching the
article. It will allow the article to be easily restored whenever
someone pays sufficient attention to reference it. If there is
semi-salting, it would allow any registered editor to undo it, which
would decrease burden on administrators.
More sophisticated, if protection is used: a note is place on a Talk
page for the article, and the addition of a certain category to the
Talk page can bring the situation to the attention of a BLP
wikiproject or a bot. How about "Articles referenced for review to
unsalt." Make it quick, make it easy. All depends on how much effort
the project wants to require to undo it.
Any illegal text should not just be blanked, it should be removed
from history through revision deletion, so that's a separate process
(and there should be a flag or category for that). What's described
here is to be done by bot, and is legally equivalent for most
purposes. Illegal text exists in many BLPs, and is routinely simply
taken out, not revision-deleted. As an RCPer, I certainly didn't
request revision deletion for all the crap I saw! In fact, for none.
So it remains available in history routinely.
~~ Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2010: Call for Proposals ~~
* where: London, UK
* when: Saturday 24th April, 2010
* www: http://www.okfn.org/okcon/
* last year: http://www.okfn.org/okcon/2009/
* cfp: http://www.okfn.org/okcon/cfp/ (deadline: Jan 31st 2010)
* hashtag: #okcon2010
OKCon, now in its fifth year, is the interdisciplinary conference that
brings together individuals from across the open knowledge spectrum for
a day of presentations and workshops.
Open knowledge promises significant social and economic benefits in a
wide range of areas from governance to science, culture to technology.
Opening up access to content and data can radically increase access and
reuse, improving transparency, fostering innovation and increasing
This is a time of great change. In addition to high profile initiatives
such as Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap and the Human Genome Project, there is
enormous growth among open knowledge projects and communities at all
levels. Moreover, in the last year, many governments across the world
have begun opening up their data.
And it doesn't stop there. In academia, open access to both publications
and data has been gathering momentum, and similar calls to open up
learning materials have been heard in education. Furthermore this
gathering flood of open data and content is the creator and driver of
massive technological change. How can we make this data available, how
can we connect it together, how can we use it collaborate and share our
Join us to discuss all of this and more!
We welcome proposals on any aspect of creating, publishing or reusing
content or data that is open in accordance with
http://opendefinition.org. Topics include but are not limited to:
* Semantic Web and Linked Data in relation to open knowledge
* Platforms, methods and tools for creating, sharing and curating open
* Light-weight, adaptive interaction models
* Open, decentralized social network applications
* Open geospatial data
### Law, Society and Democracy
* Open Licensing, Legal Tools and the Public Domain
* Open government data and content (public sector information)
* Open knowledge and international development
* Opening up access to the law
### Culture and Education
* Open educational tools and resources
* Business models for open content
* Incentive and rewards open-knowledge contributors
* Open textbooks
* Public domain digitisation initiatives
### Science and Research
* Opening up scientific data
* Supporting scientific workflows with open knowledge models
* Open models for scientific innovation, funding and publication
* Tools for analysing and visualizing open data
* Open knowledge in the humanities
## Submission Details
* Submission deadline: January 31st 2010
* Notification of acceptance: March 1st
* Camera-ready papers due: March 31st
We are accepting three types of submissions:
1. Full papers of 5-10 pages describing novel strategies, tools,
services or best-practices related to open knowledge.
2. Extended talk abstracts of 2-4 pages focusing on novel ideas,
ongoing work and upcoming research challenges.
3. Proposals for short talks and demonstrations
OKCon will implement an open submission and reviewing process. To make a
Depending on the assessment of the submissions by the programme
committee and external reviewers, submissions will be accepted either as
full, short or lightning/poster presentations.
Proceedings of OKCON will be published at http://ceur-ws.org. If you
want your submission to be included in the conference proceedings you
have to prepare a manuscript of your submission according to the LNCS
### Programme Committee
* Sören Auer, AKSW/Universität Leipzig
* Christopher Corbin, UK Advisory Board on Public Sector Information
* Adnan Hadzi and Andrea Rota, Goldsmiths College, University of London
* Claudia Müller-Birn, Carnegie Mellon University
* Peter Murray-Rust, University of Cambridge
* Rufus Pollock, Open Knowledge Foundation and Emmanuel College,
University of Cambridge
* Joseph Seddon, Wikimedia UK
* John Wilbanks, Science Commons
The Open Knowledge Foundation
"The pivotal fact of Gaiman’s childhood is one that appears
nowhere in his fiction and is periodically removed from his Wikipedia
page by the site’s editors. When he was five, his family moved to East
Grinstead, the center of English Scientology, where his parents began
taking Dianetics classes. His father, a real-estate developer, and his
mother, a pharmacist, founded a vitamin shop, G & G Foods, which is
still operational. (According to its Web site, it supplies the Human
Detoxification Programme, a course of vitamins, supplements, and other
alleged purification techniques, which Scientology offers at disaster
sites like Chernobyl and Ground Zero.) In the seventies, his father,
who died last year, began working in Scientology’s public-relations
wing and over time rose high in the organization. Gaiman has two
younger sisters, both still active in Scientology; one of them works
for the church in Los Angeles, and the other helps run the family
At times, Scientology proved awkward for the Gaiman children.
According to Lizzy Calcioli, the sister who stayed in England, “Most
of our social activities were involved with Scientology or our Jewish
family. It would get very confusing when people would ask my religion
as a kid. I’d say, ‘I’m a Jewish Scientologist.’ ” Gaiman says that he
was blocked from entering a boys’ school because of his father’s
position and had to remain at the school he’d been attending, the only
boy left in a classroom full of girls. These days, Gaiman tends to
avoid questions about his faith, but says he is not a Scientologist.
Like Judaism, Scientology is the religion of his family, and he feels
some solidarity with them. “I will stand with groups when I feel like
they’re being properly persecuted,” he told me."
It is entertaining to read the relevant talk page sections:
On 17 Jan 2010 09:13:08, Fred Bauder wrote:
> > I'm so torn. On the one hand, the hypocrisy is blinding - filtering
> > its search results is exactly what Google was doing in China. On the
> > other hand, it's Encyclopedia Dramatica...
> > --
> > gwern
> Oh, they're cool; shine it on...
> Fred Bauder
But they're just implementing your brilliant ArbCom decision of a few
years ago, which launched the BADSITES Wars!
== Dan ==
Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/
On Sun, Jan 17, 2010 at 12:13 PM, Anthony <wikimail(a)inbox.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 17, 2010 at 11:58 AM, Anthony <wikimail(a)inbox.org> wrote:
>> If censoring some things (like "the most offensive sorts of racial
>> vilification you could possibly find"), and refusing to censor other things
>> (like an historical account of a pro-democracy demonstration), is hypocrisy,
>> then let me be the first to say that I'm in favor of hypocrisy.
Silly Anthony. Don't you know that China was simply asking Google to
comply with local laws against morals-destroying smut, the propaganda
of life-destroying evil cults, and the subversion of mass-murdering
What's some peculiar racist humor compared with *that*? Strange moral
standards you have there.
> But then, treating one country differently from another country is not
> hypocrisy. Treating one situation differently from another situation is not
> hypocrisy. Looking at the relevant part of the Google statement, it was
> this: "We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our
> results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing
> with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an
> unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all."
> It was a statement specifically about the Chinese government, and about
> results on google.cn. Google did not claim or even imply that it was
> stopping all censorship altogether. So I don't see the hypocrisy.
It is, at the very least, inconsistent. One set of rules for the
Chinese (and the world), and another set for the Australians. What
difference is there between the 2 situations that justifies this? If
there is no difference, then it's a plain contradiction. (Oh, you
happen to agree with one and not the other? I see...)