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The Atlantic on Wikipedia as the Last Bastion of Shared Reality

Alexis C. Madrigal for The Atlantic has written an important piece on the site’s role in preventing informational anarchy. [R]ight as Wikipedia’s position as arbiter of truth has become most important, the dystopian forces that have laid waste to the rest of the informational landscape threaten the last, best utopian project of the first internet boom…. read more »


I was reading through the edits of Wikipedian and lawyer Staxringold and noticed that he described himself as a WikiOgre. What is that you might ask? A WikiOgre (feminine WikiOgress) is a mythical WikiCreature, typically yet not always accurately depicted as large, hideous and manlike. It usually goes for long stretches making few or no edits, but for short periods… read more »

WSJ Reports on ArbCom

“Wikipedia, the vast online crowdsourced encyclopedia, has a high court. It is a panel called the Arbitration Committee, largely unknown to anyone other than Wiki aficionados, which hears disputes that arise after all other means of conflict resolution have failed,” reports the WSJ. Corrine Ramey notes that some of the cases decided by ArbCom are… read more »

Wikipedia Metaphors

Metaphors for Wikipedia An ant farm. As discussed by Andrew Lih in his book The Wikipedia Revolution, many have made the comparison between Wikipedia and an ant farm. That comparison does not make sense if you think of ants as having a centralized authority in the form of queen. But actually ants operate in a… read more »

Why Wikipedia Has No Fake News Problem – Jimmy Wales – NPR

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales took part in a fantastic interview with NPR over the weekend. Here’s a highlight from the piece: Jimmy Wales, co-founder of the crowdsourced encyclopedia, has been thinking about how to tackle the problem of “fake news.” On Thursday, he delivered a keynote address on “the future role for evidence-based journalism” at… read more »

Wikipedia’s Siegenthaler Biography Incident

Andrew Lih’s The Wikipedia Revolution describes the drama and impact surrounding Wikipedia’s Siegenthaler biography incident (Wiki article). According to the subject’s Wikipedia article, In May 2005, an anonymous editor posted a hoax article in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia about journalist John Seigenthaler.[1] The article falsely stated that Seigenthaler had been a suspect in the assassinations of U.S. PresidentJohn F. Kennedy and U.S. Attorney GeneralRobert F. Kennedy. The… read more »

Takeaways from The Wikipedia Revolution

I’ve been reading Andrew Lih’s 2009 book The Wikipedia Revolution and finding it still has some great insights about how the encyclopedia got started and the encyclopedia’s key philosophical underpinnings. Here are some key takeaways thus far with the relevant page numbers in case anyone else is interested: Freedom of Cyberspace. “The tech elite who… read more »