News and Notes: censored in Turkey, Wales starts WikiTribune, and a newbie writes her own Wikipedia entry

As many have done before her, Amy Osmond Cook, an entrepreneur from a famous family, tried to write her own Wikipedia entry, and learned the hard way what it’s like to be a Wikipedia newbie: “What I Learned When a Wikipedia Troll Deleted My Page: The real rules of the game are hidden, political, and bizarre.

Turkey blocks Wikipedia. A Turkish court rejected Wikipedia’s appeal. Jimmy Wales was scheduled to travel to Turkey for the World Cities Expo, but his invitation was canceled.

But Turkey’s loss was Saudi’s gain, and Wales traveled to Riyadh to give a keynote speech at the UNESCO NGO Global Forum hosted by the Muhammad Bin Salman Foundation, founded by Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense. According to the English language Saudi Gazette:

Wales spoke to the need for societies to encourage young people to take risk, try something new, and be confident in their ability to deliver success through failure. Wales highlighted some of his own failures, including from an online menu idea in 1996 to a search engine he named The Three Apes, as he set out on a path to launching Wikipedia….

“I also advise you not to tie your ego to a particular business, and most importantly, to enjoy yourselves along the way. If you are doing something interesting and you think it is meaningful, even if just does not work out, it means at least that you can do something interesting and meaningful.”

Jimmy Wales has launched a new business venture, Wikitribune, which is to combat “fake news” by combining professional journalists with crowd-sourced fact-checking from volunteers.

China has launched a new state-sponsored Wikipedia to be written by experts. They have hired 20,000 “scholars from state-run universities” to write it.


Two RFCs for gender neutral language in policy, guidelines, and help pages were introduced, one on Commons and one on English Wikipedia. The proposal on Commons passed easily, although it was not unanimous. The proposal on English Wikipedia had 58% support votes, but was closed by Seraphimblade as not implemented.

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