In the news: Tajikistan and spelling, Facebook combats “fake news” with Wikipedia

Facebook tests Wikipedia-based “context” button

In an effort to combat “fake news”, Facebook is testing a new “context” button that will allow users to pull in information from other sources, including Wikipedia, without leaving the Facebook platform. The announcement came the day after the U.S senate asked Facebook, Google, and Twitter to testify about Russian efforts to manipulate the 2016 election campaign. Facebook has already turned over to Congress some 3000 ads linked to Russia.

Tajikistan demands Wikipedia correct “spelling mistakes”

The state language committee of Tajikistan has demanded that Wikipedia correct “spelling mistakes” in the Tajik Wikipedia or face legal action.  One of the “mistakes” pointed out was the use of the word ‘ensiklopediya’ instead of ‘donishnoma’. The committee opposes the use of Persian loan words.

Wikipedia shapes science

A randomized study has found that scientific material that has been added to Wikipedia is more likely to be cited in scientific literature.  The study concludes that making scientific information more publicly available is a cost effective way to advance science and to improve access to information in developing countries.

Jimmy Wales in the news

Jimmy Wales received a President’s Medal from the British Academy, a UK charity that promotes humanities and the social sciences.  Wales has added his name to a list of signatories asking the UN to intervene in the Rohingya situation. In an interview, Wales called initial coin offerings (ICOs) an “absolute scam”, but predicted that crypto-currencies would be around for a long time.

Buzzfield reveals Breitbart emails

Buzzfeed reports a series of leaked emails that were sent to Milo Yiannopoulos, one of which resulted in a Breitbart story about the Wikipedia arbitration committee. Former Slate technology writer David Auerbach was contacted on the same email address, and denied writing the emails, however after seeing the screenshots of the emails as published, had no comment.

Ellen van Neerven article vandalized

The article for indigenous Australian writer Ellen van Neerven was vandalized repeatedly after her poem “Mango” was used for the HSC (Higher School Certificate) exam given to secondary school students in Australia.  The Wikipedia article was protected, but abusive memes continued on Facebook and Twitter.

Encyclopaedia Dramatica lawsuit

Wikipedia’s “evil twin”, Encyclopaedia Dramatica is being sued by gaming entrepreneur Jonathan Monsarrat for $750,000 for copyright infringement after they posted a digitally manipulated photo of him.  They have posted a fund-raising banner, and their legal defense fund now stands at $7,208. Encyclopedia Dramatica is a NSFW archive of troll memes from the earlier days of the internet which has been largely superseded by the websites “Urban Dictionary” and “Know Your Meme”.

Wikipedia cartoons from xkcd

The cartoon that brought you the “citation needed” cartoon, xkcd, has two new Wikipedia-themed cartoons: Jet Lag and Frequency.




  1. As you say (in the far-right corner) “September: Back to School” 🙂

  2. Are you taking the course? There is also

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.