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Missing Wikipedians: An Essay
Heather Ford, a former Wikimedia advisory board member and researcher/writer
in South Africa has written an essay, "The Missing Wikipedians" about
systematic bias on English Wikipedia (especially) against new users and
topics pertinent to Africa and other diverse places/people.

As an example, she cites the English Wikipedia article [[Makmende]] and the
deletion request made, biting the newbie.

http://hblog.org/2011/02/16/the-missing-wikipedians/

Please read and discuss. What might we do to help make Wikipedia a more
welcoming place for newbies and for such diverse topics?

Cheers,
Katie (@aude)
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Re: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay [ In reply to ]
On 18 February 2011 23:24, aude <aude.wiki@gmail.com> wrote:
> Heather Ford, a former Wikimedia advisory board member and researcher/writer
> in South Africa has written an essay, "The Missing Wikipedians" about
> systematic bias on English Wikipedia (especially) against new users and
> topics pertinent to Africa and other diverse places/people.
>
> As an example, she cites the English Wikipedia article [[Makmende]] and the
> deletion request made, biting the newbie.
>
> http://hblog.org/2011/02/16/the-missing-wikipedians/
>
> Please read and discuss.

Author appears to be living in 2006 (deletionists vs inclusionists)
and apparently this represents a clash between the two groups:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Makmende

Where in practice it's a pretty standard if rather one sided AFD.

>  What might we do to help make Wikipedia a more
> welcoming place for newbies

Since they seem to be determined to read the listing on AFD process as
deletion not much we can do. Some changes to

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Article_for_deletion/dated

perhaps but keeping it within the current length could be tricky.

>and for such diverse topics?

Drop a prompt to add sources into the article creation process and
make adding sources easy.

--
geni

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Re: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 7:17 PM, geni <geniice@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 18 February 2011 23:24, aude <aude.wiki@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Heather Ford, a former Wikimedia advisory board member and
> researcher/writer
> > in South Africa has written an essay, "The Missing Wikipedians" about
> > systematic bias on English Wikipedia (especially) against new users and
> > topics pertinent to Africa and other diverse places/people.
> >
> > As an example, she cites the English Wikipedia article [[Makmende]] and
> the
> > deletion request made, biting the newbie.
> >
> > http://hblog.org/2011/02/16/the-missing-wikipedians/
> >
> > Please read and discuss.
>
> Author appears to be living in 2006 (deletionists vs inclusionists)
> and apparently this represents a clash between the two groups:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Makmende
>
> Where in practice it's a pretty standard if rather one sided AFD.
>

That was after the article was speedy deleted three times and the fourth
time. They finally recreate the article with the edit summary "Introduction
of this superhero character -- this is not vandalism"

Then, Ethan Zuckerman blogged about this and chimed in on the article's talk
page, surely drawing attention and support in the AFD.

http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2010/03/24/makmendes-so-huge-he-cant-fit-in-wikipedia/


> > What might we do to help make Wikipedia a more
> > welcoming place for newbies
>
> Since they seem to be determined to read the listing on AFD process as
> deletion not much we can do. Some changes to
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Article_for_deletion/dated
>
> perhaps but keeping it within the current length could be tricky.
>
> >and for such diverse topics?
>
> Drop a prompt to add sources into the article creation process and
> make adding sources easy.
>

Before speedy deleting, how about tagging the article for needing sources,
leave the author a note on their talk page, and not be so quick to delete?

Cheers,
Katie



>
> --
> geni
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 5:00 PM, aude <aude.wiki@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 7:17 PM, geni <geniice@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On 18 February 2011 23:24, aude <aude.wiki@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Heather Ford, a former Wikimedia advisory board member and
>> researcher/writer
>> > in South Africa has written an essay, "The Missing Wikipedians" about
>> > systematic bias on English Wikipedia (especially) against new users and
>> > topics pertinent to Africa and other diverse places/people.
>> >
>> > As an example, she cites the English Wikipedia article [[Makmende]] and
>> the
>> > deletion request made, biting the newbie.
>> >
>> > http://hblog.org/2011/02/16/the-missing-wikipedians/
>> >
>> > Please read and discuss.
>>
>> Author appears to be living in 2006 (deletionists vs inclusionists)
>> and apparently this represents a clash between the two groups:
>>
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Makmende
>>
>> Where in practice it's a pretty standard if rather one sided AFD.
>>
>
> That was after the article was speedy deleted three times and the fourth
> time.  They finally recreate the article with the edit summary "Introduction
> of this superhero character -- this is not vandalism"
>
> Then, Ethan Zuckerman blogged about this and chimed in on the article's talk
> page, surely drawing attention and support in the AFD.
>
> http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2010/03/24/makmendes-so-huge-he-cant-fit-in-wikipedia/
>
>
>> >  What might we do to help make Wikipedia a more
>> >  welcoming place for newbies
>>
>> Since they seem to be determined to read the listing on AFD process as
>> deletion not much we can do. Some changes to
>>
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Article_for_deletion/dated
>>
>> perhaps but keeping it within the current length could be tricky.
>>
>> >and for such diverse topics?
>>
>> Drop a prompt to add sources into the article creation process and
>> make adding sources easy.
>>
>
> Before speedy deleting, how about tagging the article for needing sources,
> leave the author a note on their talk page, and not be so quick to delete?

This is to some degree a question of balance in approach.

Every day, thousands of absolutely idiotic, non notable articles get
started that really have no point or hope. Every day, new page
patrollers find (most) of those, and they go "kerpoof". It would
largely be a waste of time to prod them, mark them "citation needed"
talk to the new user. The user never had any intention of
contributing legitimately to an online information resource /
encyclopedia, they're just trying to insult/promote/blab about their
friend/school/work/favorite whatever.

We could emphasize a more positive engagement intended to get the
message to these people about what an encyclopedia is, what Wikipedia
is, and what contributions would be appropriate. But by and large
these driveby contributions aren't intended to really stick. They're
an advanced form of vandalism, and the perpetrators know it.


Every day, a few legitimate new articles (and every few days, one
about something Really Important, but that has not yet arrived at
worldwide consciousness) get swept up in that. And we lose valuable
new information, contributors, etc.


If we just turn the knob too abruptly, it makes newpage patrollers'
jobs too hard, and we start getting more "leakers" in the
article-as-vandalism category. Which is bad enough when it's
nonsense, but terrible when it's a BLP violation against some teacher,
principal, junior high school student whose rival is now claiming
falsely that they're gay and having sex with a teacher, etc.

This particular phenomenon appears to have hit an uncomfortable corner
of our verifiable information space - where it becomes notable outside
the western-oriented internet users usual comfortable horizon, and
appears in ways we can look up primarily in blogs and so forth, which
are generally not reliable sources.

We can turn that knob down some, but we've had plenty of vicious
vandals do things with disinformation campaigns by creating multiple
fake blogs and websites and then trying to get Wikipedia articles
changed to libel someone or do horrible BLP violations and so forth.
There are reasons why we have reliability filters on sources.


So - It's not just a matter of turning knobs. Our principles are
colliding, in a way that squeezes new phenomena and users associated
with them out of the encyclopedia.

It's not appropriate either to turn the knobs and just allow these
things in blind to the side effects that will have. It's also not
appropriate to ignore that those policies are making us insular. As
with the women-in-Wikipedia problem, it's complicated.


--
-george william herbert
george.herbert@gmail.com

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Re: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay [ In reply to ]
On 18 February 2011 23:24, aude <aude.wiki@gmail.com> wrote:
> Heather Ford, a former Wikimedia advisory board member and researcher/writer
> in South Africa has written an essay, "The Missing Wikipedians" about
> systematic bias on English Wikipedia (especially) against new users and
> topics pertinent to Africa and other diverse places/people.
>
> As an example, she cites the English Wikipedia article [[Makmende]] and the
> deletion request made, biting the newbie.
>
> http://hblog.org/2011/02/16/the-missing-wikipedians/
>
> Please read and discuss. What might we do to help make Wikipedia a more
> welcoming place for newbies and for such diverse topics?
>
> Cheers,
> Katie (@aude)
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

There's some interesting points in that essay, and no one can deny
that there are systemic biases in Wikipedia. But this particular
example is portrayed absolutely incorrectly.

Deletion log for Makmende:
* 00:37, 24 March 2010 Flyguy649 (talk | contribs) deleted “Makmende”
? (CSD G3: Pure Vandalism)
* 22:53, 23 March 2010 Malik Shabazz (talk | contribs) deleted
“Makmende” ? (G12: Unambiguous copyright infringement (CSDH))
* 18:30, 23 March 2010 JoJan (talk | contribs) deleted “Makmende” ?
(G1: Patent nonsense, meaningless, or incomprehensible)

The entire content of the first version to be deleted?
"Makmende. Kenyan Superhero. Spawned. Not born. Amphibious. Breaths underwater."

And the second was indeed a copyvio of the very page it linked as a
reference (http://liwani.com/?p=167), which provides no clues as to
the "memeness" and also looks rather spammy. The third was an exact
recreation of the second. All of these deletions occurred before the
Wall Street Journal blog post was made.

Soon after this Ethan Zuckerman finds the deleted page, deletion log
and the WSJ entry. He posts to his own blog about it. [1] Just a few
seconds after his post a new page is created, with significantly more
context and a link to the WSJ entry. [2] This undergoes rapid
improvement.

From the essay:
> Wikipedia editors claimed that the article needed to be deleted because there existed ‘no reliable sources, and no claims of notability’.

No. One editor did, taking a later version to AfD with this reasoning.
[3] The decision was unanimously to keep, and the article underwent
further improvement during the AfD. [4]

From the essay:
> The article was deleted once again, prompting Ethan Zuckerman to write a blog post...

Despite coming later in the essay, presumably this refers to the third
deletion. As I've pointed out this was exactly the same as the second,
and came before the WSJ post.

Honestly, I think this is an example of Wikipedia working pretty well.
The only problem was perhaps a misleading third deletion summary.

Pete / the wub

[1] http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2010/03/24/makmendes-so-huge-he-cant-fit-in-wikipedia/
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Makmende&oldid=351782499
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Makmende
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Makmende&action=historysubmit&diff=352988064&oldid=351864233

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Re: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay [ In reply to ]
In a message dated 2/19/2011 4:18:52 PM Pacific Standard Time,
thewub.wiki@googlemail.com writes:


> Deletion log for Makmende:
> * 00:37, 24 March 2010 Flyguy649 (talk | contribs) deleted “Makmende”
> ? (CSD G3: Pure Vandalism)
> * 22:53, 23 March 2010 Malik Shabazz (talk | contribs) deleted
> “Makmende” ? (G12: Unambiguous copyright infringement (CSDH))
> * 18:30, 23 March 2010 JoJan (talk | contribs) deleted “Makmende” ?
> (G1: Patent nonsense, meaningless, or incomprehensible)
>
> The entire content of the first version to be deleted?
> "Makmende. Kenyan Superhero. Spawned. Not born. Amphibious. Breaths
> underwater."
>

I have a problem with this admin comprehending what exactly "Vandalism"
means.
In what way is the initial version "vandalism".

If I cared enough I would suggest that re-training might be appropriate
here.

W
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Re: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay [ In reply to ]
On Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 7:53 PM, <WJhonson@aol.com> wrote:

> I have a problem with this admin comprehending what exactly "Vandalism"
> means.
> In what way is the initial version "vandalism".
>
> If I cared enough I would suggest that re-training might be appropriate
> here.
>
> W
>

The third incarnation of the article (the one that was labeled "vandalism")
was labeled as a "hoax" under CSD G3 by an IP editor. It looks like the
admin meant to delete it as a hoax, but picked the wrong option from the
drop-down box -- G3 covers both "vandalism" and hoaxes, and there are
separate deletion summaries for each.

As for whether it's a hoax, obviously it wasn't a "hoax"; that said, most of
the article is written almost like a fictional story, and it could have come
across as a hoax or something similar, particularly on first glance. Also,
it was a copyvio, exactly like the second version that was deleted. So to
me, it looks like the admin made the right call, but the reason given for
deleting it was incorrect.

--
[[User:Ral315]]
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Re: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay [ In reply to ]
On 2/20/11, Ryan Lomonaco <wiki.ral315@gmail.com> wrote:
> The third incarnation of the article (the one that was labeled "vandalism")
> was labeled as a "hoax" under CSD G3 by an IP editor. It looks like the
> admin meant to delete it as a hoax, but picked the wrong option from the
> drop-down box -- G3 covers both "vandalism" and hoaxes, and there are
> separate deletion summaries for each.
>

Please consider that this is foundation-l and for many people CSD G3
is pretty meaningless
Cruccone

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Re: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay [ In reply to ]
On 20 February 2011 10:57, Marco Chiesa <chiesa.marco@gmail.com> wrote:
> Please consider that this is foundation-l and for many people CSD G3
> is pretty meaningless
> Cruccone


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:CSD#G3

But we are talking about en's deletion procedures. Not being able to
work out what G3 is could make this tricky.


--
geni

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Re: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay [ In reply to ]
I have read this article this morning,

Well this is a similar problem I am having with adding details to, or new
articles about Kosovo,
even my attempts are getting deleted. Having problems even getting the
Turkish, Bosnian or Albanian alternative names added without being deleted,
even if sources, let alone a coverage of members of parliament (list of them
deleted as not notable).
Also local pop-stars who are not notable by English newspapers are deleted,
even if they are well know and unavoidable.

If you have any interest in learning about a minor place, its politics,
culture and so forth then you would want to keep these articles.
My suggestion was to create a list of politicians, which if not notable
themselves, as a total should be interesting.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/List_of_politicians_in_Kosovo
I based this upon the local election that recently took place, and this
article was deleted. you can see my backup here,
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Mdupont/List_of_politicians_in_Kosovo

Similar lists could be made of local items in other countries, at least they
would not pollute the global name-space of articles, but an interested party
would find time.

Anyway, I can give you more examples of similar problems if you are
interested.
Btw, we are working on raising funds to help promote editors to work on core
articles on the sq.wikipedia, and that might be a good solution to get more
people working on that, it is less disputed.

mike



On Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 12:24 AM, aude <aude.wiki@gmail.com> wrote:

> Heather Ford, a former Wikimedia advisory board member and
> researcher/writer
> in South Africa has written an essay, "The Missing Wikipedians" about
> systematic bias on English Wikipedia (especially) against new users and
> topics pertinent to Africa and other diverse places/people.
>
> As an example, she cites the English Wikipedia article [[Makmende]] and the
> deletion request made, biting the newbie.
>
> http://hblog.org/2011/02/16/the-missing-wikipedians/
>
> Please read and discuss. What might we do to help make Wikipedia a more
> welcoming place for newbies and for such diverse topics?
>
> Cheers,
> Katie (@aude)
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
James Michael DuPont
Member of Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova and Albania flossk.org
flossal.org
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Re: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay [ In reply to ]
On 2/20/11, geni <geniice@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 20 February 2011 10:57, Marco Chiesa <chiesa.marco@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Please consider that this is foundation-l and for many people CSD G3
>> is pretty meaningless
>> Cruccone
>
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:CSD#G3
>
> But we are talking about en's deletion procedures. Not being able to
> work out what G3 is could make this tricky.

What I was meaning is that if you talk about a specific process of one
project on a more general mailing list, because you think that the
problem goes beyond that project (which I agree) you need to let
everyone understand what you're talking about. En.wikipedia does not
own this mailing list.
Cruccone

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Re: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay [ In reply to ]
On 20 February 2011 15:49, Marco Chiesa <chiesa.marco@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 2/20/11, geni <geniice@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 20 February 2011 10:57, Marco Chiesa <chiesa.marco@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Please consider that this is foundation-l and for many people CSD G3
>>> is pretty meaningless
>>> Cruccone
>>
>>
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:CSD#G3
>>
>> But we are talking about en's deletion procedures. Not being able to
>> work out what G3 is could make this tricky.
>
> What I was meaning is that if you talk about a specific process of one
> project on a more general mailing list, because you think that the
> problem goes beyond that project (which I agree) you need to let
> everyone understand what you're talking about. En.wikipedia does not
> own this mailing list.
> Cruccone

Actually one of the points of this debate is that it does. The article
we are debating is on en not Swahili. As a result it appears that en's
policies and actions that will shape the foundation's future in the
relevant area.


--
geni

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Re: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay [ In reply to ]
Ral I know you'd like to give the benefit of good faith to all admins.
However, if we actually have admins who are deleting articles so quickly
that they fat-finger the *reasons* then we have a serious problem.

No thinkee is quite close to admin abuse.
As a community we should be bending over backward to *at any cost* (any,
any, at any) avoid the creation of more vandals.
At.. Any... Cost.

We want more productive editors. We do not want to create more people
feeling wounded ego.
If we have to put up with stubs, nonsense, and similar things for a tiny
bit, it's well worth the effort of inclusiveness.

The net is not paper.

W



In a message dated 2/20/2011 1:22:07 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
WJhonson@aol.com writes:

In a message dated 2/19/2011 4:18:52 PM Pacific Standard Time,
thewub.wiki@googlemail.com writes:


> Deletion log for Makmende:
> * 00:37, 24 March 2010 Flyguy649 (talk | contribs) deleted “Makmende”
> ? (CSD G3: Pure Vandalism)
> * 22:53, 23 March 2010 Malik Shabazz (talk | contribs) deleted
> “Makmende” ? (G12: Unambiguous copyright infringement (CSDH))
> * 18:30, 23 March 2010 JoJan (talk | contribs) deleted “Makmende” ?
> (G1: Patent nonsense, meaningless, or incomprehensible)
>
> The entire content of the first version to be deleted?
> "Makmende. Kenyan Superhero. Spawned. Not born. Amphibious. Breaths
> underwater."
>
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