This might be of interest to folks here :) Some of these are to be
expected, some are pretty interesting/surprising (Henri Matisse?)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dmitry Chichkov <dchichkov(a)gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 1:12 PM
Subject: [Wiki-research-l] Most reverted pages in the en-wikipedia
If anybody is interested, I've made a list of 'most reverted pages' in
the english wikipedia based on the analysis of the enwiki-20100130
dump. Here is the list:
This list was calculated using the following sampling criteria:
* All pages from the enwiki-20100130 dump;
** Filtered pages with more than 1000 revisions;
** Filtered pages with revert ratios > 0.3;
* Sorted in descending revert ratios.
Page revision is considered to be a revert if there is a previous
revision with a matching MD5 checksum;
BTW, if anybody needs it, the python code that identifies reverts,
revert wars, self-reverts, etc is available (LGPL).
-- Regards, Dmitry
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Arthur Richards <arichards(a)wikimedia.org>
Date: 17 August 2010 03:29
Subject: [Internal-l] Help test Wikimedia's fund raising fraud protection system
Due to a high volume of fraudulent transactions during past fundraisers,
the Foundation is working to implement new fraud prevention measures for
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Macedonia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Ukraine and Vietnam) to help us
test and improve the system we are putting into place.
In short, one of the systems that we are using to help detect fraud
compares the geographic location of a transaction to the billing
information for the credit card with which the transaction was made.
There are some things that the system weights heavier in assessing
whether or not a transaction may be fraudulent, which includes the
country in which the transaction is made. If the originating country is
considered 'high risk', then a transaction has a higher chance of being
considered potentially fraudulent.
Because of the international nature of the movement, we are particularly
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Click on 'Donate by credit card' and then fill out the form that follows.
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> Message: 2
> Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2010 04:00:56 +0100
> From: Ian Woollard <ian.woollard(a)gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Destructionism
> To: English Wikipedia <wikien-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> It seems to me that the isms we get are to do with the relatively poor
> decision making process we have. I think the current 'judicial' system
> involve admins is rather broken.
> The problem is that the RFCs/AFDs etc are too prone to vote stuffing
> of one form or another, the most benign source of which is probably
> 'noticeboards', whereas the most malign is presumably sockpuppets or
> even paid stooges.
> In theory admins should sort most of these problems out, as they're
> supposed to follow the policies, rather than treat it as a vote, but
> because the admins are voted in/out via a popularity contest they
> usually go with the popularist vote.
> Perhaps the wikipedia would do much better to go with a random jury
> selection process to make the actual decision, and then have an admin action it.
> There would be downsides but I would tend to think that that would
> probably be more normative to what the reader expects when they read
> the article.
> -Ian Woollard
There are many criticisms I would and have made of RFA, but it isn't a
popularity contest, though it can be an unpopularity contest as the
70-75% threshold for success means that only a relatively small number
of foes are needed to derail an RFA. And admins are definitely not
voted out by a popularity contest, though replacing Arbcom with some
sort of lynch mob does get unsuccessfully proposed every few months.
Having a jury system instead of anyone who cares enough about that
article or deletions in general would be a tad unwiki, and I suspect
only the extremists on both sides would willingly serve on such juries
in any number. Even then I doubt you would get large enough numbers to
As for sockpuppetry, traditionally Wikipedia has been very relaxed
about this. It would be technically feasible to be much more rigorous,
we might need to invest a little in software and hardware - we'd
certainly need to amend our privacy policies both to keep data on the
IPs used by logged in editors for much longer, and to go on fishing
trips. But if we wanted to we could have software that notified the
checkusers whenever two accounts that sometimes used the same IP voted
in the same AFD, and I suspect we could permanently store IP and
editing pattern info on serious miscreants so that the system could
warn checkusers of their possible return. We'd certainly need to allow
for more false positives, but I suspect I'm not the only Wikipedian
who would welcome a somewhat beefed up approach to sockpuppetry.
Destructionism: The tendency for Wikipedia articles which have reached
an advanced degree of completeness and encyclopedic value to be edited
in increasingly destructive ways, simply because perfection has
already been achieved or nearly achieved, yet articles remain open to
I'm working on a blog post about this, but here's an infographic from David
McCandless (who does some nice work, i.e. Information is
about Wikipedia edit wars. Full thing
At least it acknowledges its source is
which is intentionally humorous, but sure wasn't made with statistical
precision in mind. So he's done something else: it looks to the average
reader like 11,000 edits were spent on the subject of Freddie Mercury's
ethnic history in early 2002, but he's clearly taking the total number of
edits and that's the oldest record of the article on Wikipedia. It also
categorizes incidents glibly (or just inaccurately) listing Jimbo and
Wikipedia-related subjects as "Religion" -- and the question over which
Palin was more famous occurred in 2008 (which makes sense) not 2003 (which
doesn't) as it's listed in there.
Maybe I'm making too much of this, but while I think it's one thing for
Cracked or Something Awful to joke about Wikipedia, I think if you're
offering up visual representations of information, more care should be given
to accuracy. Erik Zachte does some great work -- it would be nice to see
more of that developed for visual interest of non-Wikipedians. That's
something else I've been thinking about, but I'm curious to hear what others
William W. Beutler | Writer + Consultant
FB: /williambeutler <http://www.facebook.com/williambeutler> | TW: @
http://blogpi.net | http://thewikipedian.net
You are absolutely right, thanks for pointing it out; the information presented is very misleading, and people will misinterpret it. However, I do not think it will sets back public understanding. It certainly does a very poor job of representing statistics, but people will misunderstand the specifics, no matter how they are presented.
Despite the mendacity, it remains interesting, simply because it raises the issue. Of course, a more accurate analysis of disputes and some concept of their proportions would be great. Yes, this one will be largely misunderstood, but it may provoke discussion of Wikipedia DRAMA problems, and from that comes suggestions, realisations, improvements and more input to the project.
'Lamest' is humerous, but it also serves a useful purpose, illustrating that such debates which - whilst I hesitate to call them 'trival' - consume an absurdly disproportionate amount of our most precious resource, editors with time. Some self-reflection by the community can help improve our productivity.
The basic message is clear: if we could channel just a tiny fraction of the (sometimes erudite, thoughtful, informed, etc) debates on Wikipedia into actual content improvement, then we would have lots more decent articles.
> Message: 4
> Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 22:37:10 -0400
> From: William Beutler
> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] "Articles of War" -- Wikipedia infographic
> To: English Wikipedia
> Message-ID: AANLkTikntjnAbeQy_TRU6ZpHOBSo9krfOh-zUzBLfTef(a)mail.gmail.com
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> Thanks, Phoebe. I finally finished my post on this, now
> here. http://thewikipedian.net/2010/08/12/wikipedia-infographic-lamest-edit-wars/
> Although it's a little more rant-y than I usually get, I hope McCandless
> finds this, takes it well and goes back to the drawing board. Getting
> Gizmodo to post that if it happens... well, one can dream.
> As I've alluded to, I am working on a visualization project involving
> Wikipedia, so if there is any list or on-wiki group to know about, someone
> please let me know!
> And if there is not a more rigorous study or project about edit wars, I'd
> love to see that, too.
Pages with 100s of references seem to be slow to load all of the listed
references. Is this a server speed thing? Or is it our slow internet in
Try it with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kylie_Minogue
Alan Liefting 107 Warrington Street Mairehau Christchurch (03)385-3830