Wikipediocracy logo

Wikipediocracy screenshot taken May 18, 2013
Type of site
Blog and forum
Available in English
Alexa rank 224,159 [1]
Commercial No
Registration Optional, required for some features
Users 745[2]
Launched March 16, 2012 (2012-03-16)
Current status Active
Content license
Copyright retained by authors
IP address

Wikipediocracy is a website for discussion and criticism of Wikipedia.[3][4] Its members have brought information about Wikipedia's controversies to the attention of the media. The site was founded in March 2012 by users of Wikipedia Review,[5] another site critical of Wikipedia.[6][7]

The site is "known for digging up dirt on Wikipedia's top brass", wrote reporter Kevin Morris in the Daily Dot.[8] Novelist Amanda Filipacchi wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the site "intelligently discusses and entertainingly lambastes Wikipedia’s problematic practices."[9]

Website user activism

Wikipediocracy contributors have investigated problems, conflicts, and controversies associated with Wikipedia, some being reported by mainstream media. The site's stated mission is "to shine the light of scrutiny into the dark crevices of Wikipedia" and related projects. In a doctoral thesis, Heather Ford, a specialist in Internet policy and law, commented on Wikipediocracy's role, saying, "As Wikipedia’s authority grows, and more groups feel disenfranchised by its processes, the growth of watchdog groups like Wikipediocracy who act as translators of Wikipedia’s complex structures, rules and norms for mainstream media and who begin to give voice to those who feel that they have been excluded from Wikipedia’s representational structures will continue."[10]

Revenge editing

In 2013, Wikipediocracy members contacted reporter Andrew Leonard to alert him about the "Qworty fiasco."[11][12] User Qworty had attracted attention for his provocative comments in a debate on Wikipedia's treatment of female writers.[13] It emerged that many of his past contributions affected the site's treatment of (and targeted rivals of) writer Robert Clark Young.[3][14] This background information led to Leonard's challenging Young, in an article Revenge, Ego, and the Corruption of Wikipedia, which identified Young as Qworty. Just before the publication of Leonard's article, because of this behavior, Qworty had been banned from editing Wikipedia biographies of living persons.[3][11]

Discussion of governments

Wikipediocracy contributors' criticisms of Wikipedia have been discussed in news stories covering Jimmy Wales's relationship with the government of Kazakhstan,[15][16][17] the Gibraltarpedia controversy,[18][19] and an anonymous edit made from a U.S. Senate IP address that labelled whistle-blower Edward Snowden a "traitor".[20][21]

In May 2014, The Telegraph, working with Wikipediocracy, uncovered evidence identifying the civil servant who had allegedly vandalized the Wikipedia articles on the Hillsborough disaster and Anfield.[22]

Wikimedia Foundation

A Wikipediocracy blog post reported in 2013 that Wikipedia was being vandalized from IP addresses assigned to the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF).[8][23] Responding to the allegations, WMF spokesman Jay Walsh stated that the IP addresses belonged to WMF servers and were not used by the WMF offices. He stated that the addresses were assigned to some edits by IPs due to a misconfiguration, which was corrected.[8]

Other issues

A Wikipediocracy forum discussion identified the Wikipedia account responsible for a hoax article Wikipedia administrators had recently deleted. The "Bicholim conflict" article described a fictitious 1640–41 Indian civil war. It was awarded Wikipedia's "Good article" status in 2007, and retained it until late 2012, when a Wikipedian checked the article's cited sources and found that none of them appeared to exist.[24]

A September 2013 story resulting from a Wikipediocracy tip-off concerned commercial plastic surgeons editing Wikipedia's plastic surgery articles to promote their services. Concerns with violations of conflict of interest guidelines and the provision of misinformation in the relevant articles had also been raised by Wikipediocracy members on Wikipedia itself.[25]

In January 2014, a Wikipediocracy blog post pointed out that according to official Wikimedia statistics, page views for all major language versions of Wikipedia had experienced significant and unprecedented drops over the course of 2013. The blog post linked these falls to the introduction of the Google Knowledge Graph.[26]

In February 2015, Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee banned a user after finding he had edited to promote the Indian Institute of Planning and Management and added negative material to the article on another university. The user's edits had been noted in Wikipediocracy in December 2013.[27]

See also


  1. " info". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  2. "Wikipediocracy - Index Page". Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 Leonard, Andrew (17 May 2013). "Revenge, ego and the corruption of Wikipedia". Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  4. Murphy, Dan (1 August 2013). "In UK, rising chorus of outrage over online misogyny: Recent events in Britain draw more attention to endemic hostility towards women online". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  5. Hersch, Global moderator (15 March 2012). "Welcome". Mission statement and welcome to the public. Wikipediocracy. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  6. LaPlante, Alice (14 July 2006). "Spawn Of Wikipedia". InformationWeek. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  7. Shankbone, David (June 2008). "Nobody's safe in cyberspace". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  8. 1 2 3 Morris, Kevin (23 April 2013). "Wikipedia says its staffers are not vandalizing Wikipedia". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  9. Filipacchi, Amanda (10 July 2013). "My Strange Addiction: Wikipedia". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  10. Ford, Heather, "Fact factories: Wikipedia and the power to represent", Kellogg College, Oxford, August 2015, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.4068.9361 Archived November 26, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. 1 2 Nichols, Martha; Berry, Lorraine (20 May 2013). "What Should We Do About Wikipedia?". Talking Writing. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  12. "Qworty: the fallout". Wikipediocracy. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  13. Leonard, Andrew. "Wikipedia's Shame". Salon. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  14. Manhire, Toby (5 June 2013). "Wikipedia and the scourge of "revenge editors"". New Zealand Listener. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  15. Morris, Kevin (25 December 2012). "Wikipedia's odd relationship with the Kazakh dictatorship". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  16. Hermans, Steven (8 January 2013). "Critics question neutrality of Kazakh Wikipedia". NET PROPHET. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  17. Williams, Christopher (24 December 2012). "Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales restricts discussion of Tony Blair friendship". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  18. Alfonso, Fernando (25 October 2012). "Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales breaks silence on resurgence of influence-peddling scandal". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  19. Orlowski, Andrew (26 October 2012). "Wales: Let's ban Gibraltar-crazy Wikipedians for 5 years". The Register. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  20. Joe Kloc (3 August 2013). "Is a U.S. senator trolling Snowden's Wikipedia page?". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  21. Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai (6 August 2013). "Wikipedia Editor Traced to U.S. Senate Changes Snowden's Bio to 'Traitor'". Mashable. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  22. Oliver Duggan (21 May 2014). "Civil servants behind 'sickening' Hillsborough slurs identified". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
    Kashmira Gander (21 May 2014). "Hillsborough Wikipedia posts: Suspected civil servant a Merseyside resident". The Independent. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
    Oliver Duggan (17 June 2014). "Civil servant fired after Telegraph investigation into Hillsborough Wikipedia slurs". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
    Mark Tran (17 June 2014). "Civil servant sacked for offensive Wikipedia edits on Hillsborough". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
    Oliver Duggan (17 June 2014). "How The Telegraph identified the Hillsborough Wikipedia vandal". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  23. Hogsky, Roger (22 April 2013). "Busy day at the Wikimedia Foundation office?". Blog. Wikipediocracy. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  24. Morris, Kevin (1 January 2013). "After a half-decade, massive Wikipedia hoax finally exposed". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  25. Schroeder, Audra (20 September 2013). "Are plastic surgeons nip/tucking ads into high-profile Wikipedia articles?". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  26. Orlowski, Andrew (13 January 2014). "Google stabs Wikipedia in the front. Is Knowledge Graph killing its readership?". The Register. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
    Kloc, Joe (8 January 2014). "Is Google accidentally killing Wikipedia?". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
    van Lier, Helen (14 January 2014). "Bezoek Wikipedia fors gedaald door Google". de Volkskrant. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
    Belfiore, Guillaume (13 January 2014). "Google Knowledge Graph aurait causé une baisse du trafic de Wikipedia en 2013". Clubic. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
    Dojcsák, Dániel (13 January 2014). "A Google megfojtja a Wikipediát". HWSW. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
    van Riet Paap, Jeroen (13 January 2014). "'Google helpt Wikipedia om zeep'". Webwereld. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  27. Chari, Mridula (25 March 2015). "Wikipedia bans editor for consistent bias in favour of Arindam Chaudhuri's IIPM". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
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