Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Single

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The Signpost
Single-page Edition
4 February 2023
Disinformation report
Wikipedia on Santos

New for The Signpost: Author pages, tag pages, and a decent article search function

Just two short weeks ago, you were promised the world by a heady editor with a gleam in his eye. Well okay, you were promised "something". I'm pleased to announce a couple of somethings (this issue going out late is not one of them). The chief developments we've gotten out of the last couple weeks have been a usable article search function, individual byline pages and tag series pages, made possible by Module:Signpost and Wegweiser (with some bug fixes on the last made possible by the heroism of Mr. Stradivarius).

Byline pages

Everyone else has these, and now so do we. For example, Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Author/Michael Snow will bring you an automatically generated index of every article from our first editor-in-chief, Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Author/Smallbones will bring you a weal of hard investigative reporting, and Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Author/JPxG will bring you a bunch of articles written by JPxG. An index of all individual byline pages is here, and a sortable table of all authors in the history of the Signpost can be found here.

While there are far too many individual authors to reasonably make byline pages for everyone (which would be nearly a thousand pages), limiting it to authors with at least ten article credits brought it to a more manageable hundred-and-some. There was intense effort involved in getting WegweiserBot to parse all of the author data, and then going through it to eliminate the weird errors from the initial run. Since we've gone 18 years without a systematic effort to clean up the metadata, there were plenty of author fields with weird stuff in them like "3 July 2006", "03 July 2006", or "{{{2}}}". Also, we had stuff like "brassratgirl" versus "Brassratgirl", or "Andreas Kolbe" versus "Andreas Kolbe (leads" versus "Andreas Kolbe 1 April 2016 19:58 (UTC)" versus "Andreas Kolbe 19 March 2016 21:12 (UTC)".

After spelunking into the depths and cleaning up all that garbage, my conclusion is that there have been 926 distinct authors in the Signpost's history. Of these, all 926 (duh) have written at least one article, but only 415 have written two or more, and only 122 have written ten or more. The distribution looks something like this:

This many people have written at least this many articles
0 500
1 450
1 400
2 350
3 300
3 250
4 200
7 150
18 100
34 50
41 40
54 30
72 20
90 15
122 10
192 5
223 4
289 3
415 2
926 1

Man, wouldn't that be a neat graph? Too bad I don't feel like making one.

Tag series pages

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Foundation update on fundraising, new page patrol, Tides, and Wikipedia blocked in Pakistan

Maryana Iskander in 2022 02.jpg
Wikimedia CEO Maryana Iskander

In a post at the Village Pump on 25 January 2023, WMF CEO Maryana Iskander provided an update on a number of topics covered in recent issues of the Signpost:

  • the December fundraising campaign and the related Request for Comment (RfC) survey (see Signpost coverage last November),
  • software updates in Commons (see Signpost coverage last October),
  • PageTriage updates for New pages patrol (see Signpost coverage last August),
  • the Foundation's relationship with the Tides Network, and specifically the Knowledge Equity Fund, which will now be moved back into the Foundation (see Signpost coverage last October).

Iskander said:

I am back to post a brief follow up message to my November note. Following the close of the RfC, the Wikimedia Foundation set up a co-creation page to seek input from community members on proposed messaging for banners. We posted regular updates on the campaign's performance to this page. In brief, over 450+ banners were tested during this year's campaign, and $24.7M of revenue was raised against an original $30M goal (a shortfall of $5.3 million). During the first few days the new banners resulted in about 70% less revenue than on the corresponding days in the prior year. Additional information on the campaign results are posted here. Next year, the fundraising team will continue to engage with the community on banner messaging. We look forward to building on the process we created this year.

I wanted to provide further updates on a few other issues that were raised:

  • Given the reduced revenue from the English campaign, the Wikimedia Foundation has reduced its budget projections for the current year. At this point, we don’t expect to see the same year-on-year growth in the Foundation’s budget next year. We will have more information by April on future financial projections.
  • The Foundation’s annual planning this year is being led by the needs of our Product & Technology departments. This will be the first time since about 2015 that these two departments will undertake joint planning. @SDeckelmann-WMF has asked me to pass along this update: "We've made progress on PageTriage issues raised by New Page Patrollers in an open letter. In the last 120 days, 141 patches have been reviewed through collaboration between the Foundation and the community. There have also been several meetings between community members and staff to talk about the future of PageTriage and the newcomer experience, and there is now work planned in Q4 to update the extension. We continue to engage with Commons as we are making critically needed software upgrades to community prioritized tools. The Foundation's Wishathon (leading up to the community wishlist kickoff for 2023) involved about 40 staff contributing time over a week in December to deliver 71 patches and 4 wishes granted. We are working with the community to make Vector 2022 the default skin, after 3 years of development work, feedback and iteration with wiki communities. More to come in March!"

  • Some comments were made in the RfC about the unclear role of the Tides Foundation in managing the Knowledge Equity Fund. Over the next few months, we will be moving the remainder of the Equity Fund from Tides back into the Foundation. The Wikimedia Endowment has received its 501(c)(3) status from the US Internal Revenue Service, so we are in the process of setting up its financial systems and transitioning out of Tides.

The message was warmly received by volunteers.

On 31 January 2023 Maryana also posted a longer "One Year Update" on the Wikimedia-l mailing list, marking her first full year in office. This covered some of the same ground as the above update but added further detail, especially as regards the months ahead:

On strategy, the Board of Trustees will meet this March in New York to consider a few topics that require taking a multi-year view:

  1. Wikimedia's financial model and future projections for revenue streams in online fundraising (which we anticipate will not continue to grow at the same rate), the next phase of the Wikimedia Endowment, and the lessons we have learned so far from Wikimedia Enterprise's first year of operation.
  2. Re-centering the Foundation's responsibility in supporting the technology needs of the Wikimedia movement by understanding the needs of our contributor communities, as well as emerging topics like machine learning/artificial intelligence and innovations for new audiences.
  3. Beginning more focused conversations to establish frameworks and principles for understanding the Foundation's core roles and responsibilities. This is intended to help to provide inputs into the movement charter deliberations and broader movement strategy conversations.

Members of the Movement Charter Drafting Committee and Wikimedia Endowment Trustees will join in the March sessions, and we will share a report with you after the meeting.

The update marking Maryana's first year in office is also available as a wiki page on Meta-Wiki. AK

Pakistan temporarily restricts, then blocks access to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects

Ahmadiyya-Pakistan flags.png
Pakistan tried in 2020 to censor Wikipedia content related to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community—a religious group whose practices are subject to strict restrictions in the Islamic Republic—and is now threatening to block Wikipedia over "sacreligious content".

UPDATE: Pakistan's Prime Minister has stepped in and ordered the TPA on 6 February 2023 to restore access to Wikipedia in Pakistan. – AK

On 1 February 2023 the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) published an announcement indicating that access to Wikipedia in the Muslim country had been restricted[Note 1] for 48 hours after failing to remove and/or block what the government agency described as "sacrilegious content". The Pakistani government agency stated that it had provided notice to "Wikipedia" for failure to abide by "applicable law and court order(s)" and had previously issued a takedown request on the offending content that was not complied with.

Dawn, Pakistan's flagship English-language newspaper, reports that the PTA had previously issued takedown notices related to Wikipedia's content in 2020. A contemporaneous report from Dawn describes these notices having objected to Wikipedia's characterization of Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the current leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, as being a Muslim.

Ahmadiyya teachings differ significantly from most Sunni and Shia Muslim groups; its teaching that 19th-century Punjabi author and religious leader Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was both the Messiah and the Mahdi is rejected by most other Muslims who consider Muhammad to be God's final prophet. Pakistan's constitution defines the nation's state religion as Islam and a constitutional amendment passed in 1974 declared that people who practice Ahmadiyya are to be considered non-Muslims. Subsequent legislation, such as the 1984 Ordinance XX, have banned Ahmadis from publicly describing themselves as Muslim and have generally restricted the public practice of Ahmadiyya. In Pakistan, it remains illegal for Ahmadis to recite the Islamic call to prayer, to proselytize, and to use various Islamic Honorifics to refer to people within the Ahmadiyya community.

Wikimedia Foundation logo - vertical.svg
Following Pakistan's block of Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation released a statement calling on Pakistan to restore access to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

In 2020, the PTA had also objected to Wikimedia content containing what was described as "blasphemous caricatures" of Muhammad. Disputes involving images of Muhammad have long been a contentious topic on Wikipedia, though the Arbitration Committee recently rescinded its authorization for the use of discretionary sanctions on pages relating to the topic; the authorization thereof was terminated effective November 2022.

The PTA stated on 1 February that it would permanently block Wikipedia if the free encyclopedia would not comply with its censorship demands, though neither the Pakistani government nor the Wikimedia Foundation made public the exact scope of the demands.

On 3 February Bloomberg reported that Pakistan had blocked Wikipedia services in Pakistan, citing a statement by PTA spokesman Malahat Obaid. Later that day, the Wikimedia Foundation released a statement confirming that it had been blocked in Pakistan, saying that the foundation's internal traffic reports showed that Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects had been blocked in Pakistan and urging the Pakistani government to unblock Wikipedia in the country. The full statement reads as follows:

On Friday, February 3, 2023 Pakistan’s Telecommunications Authority blocked Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects. The Wikimedia Foundation calls on Pakistan to restore access to Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects in the country immediately.

The Wikimedia Foundation received a notification from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on February 1, 2023, stating “the services of Wikipedia have been degraded for 48 hours” for failure to remove content from the site deemed “unlawful” by the government. The notification further mentioned that a block of Wikipedia could follow, if the Foundation failed to comply with the takedown orders. As of Friday, February 3, our internal traffic reports indicate that Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects are no longer accessible to users in Pakistan.

The Foundation believes that access to knowledge is a human right. Wikipedia is the world’s largest online encyclopedia, and the main source of trusted information for millions. It’s an ever-growing record of history, and gives people from all backgrounds the opportunity to contribute to everyone’s understanding of their religion, heritage, and culture.

In Pakistan, English Wikipedia receives more than 50 million pageviews per month, followed by Urdu and Russian Wikipedias. There is also a sizable and engaged community of editors in Pakistan that contribute historical and educational content. A block of Wikipedia in Pakistan denies the fifth most populous nation in the world access to the largest free knowledge repository. If it continues, it will also deprive everyone access to Pakistan’s knowledge, history, and culture.

Wikipedia is written by nearly 300,000 volunteer editors. Together, this global community of volunteers has designed robust editorial guidelines that require strict citations and references to verified sources of information. Content on Wikipedia is mined from secondary sources; it does not allow original research. The community is guided by values of neutrality, reliability, and equitable access to information.

The Foundation does not make decisions around what content is included on Wikipedia or how that content is maintained. This is by design to ensure that articles are the result of many people coming together to determine what information should be presented on the site, resulting in richer, more neutral articles. We respect and support the editorial decisions made by the community of editors around the world. There are dedicated response channels available to individuals, organizations, or governments that would like to raise concerns about the site’s content directly with volunteer editors for their consideration and review. This contributes to Wikipedia’s transparency and upholds its collaborative model.

We hope that the Pakistan government joins with the Foundation in a commitment to knowledge as a human right and restores access to Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects promptly, so that the people of Pakistan can continue to receive and share knowledge with the world.

Stephen LaPorte.jpg
Stephen Laporte (pictured in 2012), a WMF lawyer, addressed the Pakistan-imposed ban in an email to Wikimedia-l.

Stephen LaPorte, a lawyer for the Wikimedia Foundation, said in an email to public mailing list Wikimedia-l that the foundation "is already examining various avenues and investigating how we can help restore access, while staying true to our values of verifiability, neutrality, and freedom of information."

"For over twenty years, our movement has supported knowledge as a fundamental human right," LaPorte said in his email, "In defense of this right, we have opposed a growing number of threats that would interfere with the ability of people to access and contribute to free knowledge. We know that many of you will want to take action or speak out against the block. For now, please continue to do what is needed to remain safe. We will keep you updated on any new developments, actions we are taking, and ways which you can help return access to Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects in Pakistan."


Wikimedia Foundation board member Esra'a Al Shafei joins board of Tor project

Esra'a Al Shafei avatar.png
Esra'a Al Shafei has joined the Tor board.

Wikimedia Foundation Board member Esra'a Al Shafei has announced that she joined the Board of the Tor project on 15 December 2022.

In a post on the Wikimedia-l mailing list dated 24 January 2023 she says:

Tor's privacy technologies have been critical resources for my human rights advocacy work. It felt fitting to have this opportunity to support an organization and community that made my work and the work of many other activists possible, especially those who live in countries where censorship and surveillance are the norm.

In the rare event that any Board decision from Tor or Wikimedia Foundation may impact either organization, I will be fully recusing myself from them. Like the Foundation Board, this position is voluntary and unpaid.

Tor's own announcement is here. AK

New Endowment Board Directors

As announced in a Diff blog post, the Wikimedia Endowment has added two new "At-Large Directors" to its Board: Alex Farman-Farmaian and Lisa Lewin.

Alex Farman-Farmaian has been a Wikimedia donor for more than a decade and is passionate about Wikimedia’s vision of bringing free knowledge to all the world’s people. Since 2006, Alex has been Vice Chairman, Partner, and Portfolio Manager at Edgewood Management. Prior to Edgewood, he was a senior member of the Portfolio Management team at W.P. Stewart & Co., chairing the Investment Oversight Committee. Alex will bring his finance and investment expertise to the Wikimedia Endowment as a member of the Finance Committee. [...]

Lisa Lewin served on the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation from January 2019 through to September 2021. She is CEO of General Assembly, which has built transparent career pathways for over one million people and diverse talent pipelines for hundreds of the world’s leading employers. She brings to the Endowment Board a deep knowledge of the Wikimedia movement as well as 25 years of experience leading and advising private, public, and nonprofit sector organizations. Lisa will serve on the Governance Committee, helping to ensure the Board is governed efficiently and effectively.

The full Endowment Board roster can be found on the Wikimedia Endowment website.

The Diff blog post also quotes Jimmy Wales referring to the "fact that we met – and even surpassed – our expected timeline for the Endowment’s maturation into a 501(c)(3)." Readers of The Signpost will recall that WMF promises to transfer the Endowment to its own 501(c)(3) organization, which would then file public financial statements, date back as far as 2017 (see previous coverage).

Under the present arrangement with the Tides Foundation, the money held in the Endowment is not included in the net assets of the Wikimedia Foundation, as those funds are held by the Tides Foundation. Donations to the Endowment that are received by the Wikimedia Foundation as a pass-through are redirected and sent to the Tides Foundation. Therefore, they are not reflected on the Wikimedia Foundation's financials as revenue or net assets. When the Wikimedia Foundation makes special grants to the Endowment Fund, those are reflected as "Awards and Grants" expenses on the Wikimedia Foundation's Annual Independent Auditors' Report.

As stated in the above updates from Maryana Iskander, the Wikimedia Foundation is currently still in the process of "transitioning out of Tides", having restarted this process in 2021 and gained approval for its new 501(c)(3) organization last year (see previous coverage). AK

Investigative challenge

OpenAI Logo.svg
The logo of OpenAI, the creators of the ChatGPT chatbot
Will the first AI-generated Wikipedia article please stand up?
The staff of The Signpost have identified what we believe to be the first AI-generated article in English Wikipedia, created on 6 December 2022. We challenge our readers to find this article, or any earlier AI-generated mainspace article. In the Comments section below, please let us know how you did it and what methods you used.

While the Village Pump section about content generated by large language models draws toward a close, and Wikipedia:Large language models a draft proposal for their use on Wikipedia is beginning to take shape, new tools to assist in identifying this output are not far behind.

A number of websites currently offer access to models that attempt to detect LLM-generated text, some of them seedier than others:,,, and all offer quick free analysis, with at least one of them using the opportunity for a sidebar upsell on their own "undetectable" generative models. Most of these seem to be implementing some form of roberta-base-openai-detector, a model based on RoBERTa (Robustly-optimized Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers-approach) and freely available on Hugging Face. However, RoBERTa-BOAID was optimized for detection on OAI's 2019 GPT-2-1.5B model.

OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, have released a test version of a classifier model (account required) designed to detect if text was generated by current GPT-series models: GPT-3, InstructGPT, and GPT-3.5 (ChatGPT). There is currently no whitepaper associated with the classifier model, and OpenAI says in the model card that they "do not plan to release the model weights", continuing a trend that began after their release of GPT-2 and subsequent partnership with Microsoft.

The Signpost tested the current text of the article mentioned above, which has been edited by 18 editors a total of 67 times since its creation. The detector reported that "The classifier considers the text to be very unlikely AI-generated."

Another detector, GPTzero, was created by Edward Tian, a senior at Princeton University, and was also used to test the same text. It reported that "Your text may include parts written by AI" and identified 12 sentences that were "more likely to be written by AI".

OpenAI and GPTzero's creator were both contacted for comments on this article at short notice, but neither have, as yet, replied. – J, S, B,


WikiLearn, the free online learning platform created by the Community Development team at the Wikimedia Foundation, has come out of its beta testing period. It has a major new feature: course content translation.

For more info see Meta-Wiki. There is also a catalog listing courses people can enroll in right now, using their Wikimedia account (via OAuth, no password necessary). AK

Brief notes

Wikimedia Enterprise logo B&W.svg
  • Wikimedia Enterprise: WMF Legal has said that a passage in the Wikimedia, LLC Operating Agreement that ostensibly allows the WMF to admit additional members to the limited liability company that handles Wikimedia Enterprise's for-profit work, and allows it to transfer all or any part of the WMF's interest in the company to another individual or entity, is standard wording that was included by outside counsel drafting the document. WMF Legal's Shaun Spalding stated there was no intent on the part of the WMF for this language ever to be triggered, and said it would be removed in the ordinary course of business if or when the Operating Agreement is ever updated. He also stressed that no such change as the section nominally allows could be made without the approval of the WMF Board of Trustees. AK
Bandera LGBT en el Congreso.jpg
One of the projects of the Wikimedians of Peru User Group was a photo campaign covering Peru's 2022 LGBT pride events
Ibrahim Durmo 10.jpg
Serbian Wikimedians' collaboration with the Meridian sports news agency led to 175 photos of sporting events being uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.


  1. ^ Official documents described access as "degraded". Experts who talked with Geo News said that this took the form of blocking access to Wikipedia for some users in Pakistan, while the Editorial board of Dawn said that the government had "slowed down access" to Wikipedia.

Reader comments

Twenty-six words that created the internet, and the future of an encyclopedia

JPxG is a welder, forklift driver, software engineer, message board administrator, and Wikipedia editor who has written a number of articles for the Signpost, and a number for Wikipedia, including "Extremely Online", which he has been since some time around 1999.

In two major English-speaking countries, two separate legal mechanisms are working their way through two separate processes. The first is a United States Supreme Court case regarding §230 of the Communications Decency Act, and the second is a proposed Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom "intended to improve internet safety". Both have wide-ranging implications for posters, lurkers, and everyone in between, and both have been the subject of fierce debate. Both are also the subject of special reports in this issue of the Signpost – the other is at Special report.

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Reader comments

Wikipedia on Santos

George Anthony Devolder Santos was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 3rd district last November and he now has many problems. He lies. A lot. The Associated Press writes that Santos "admitted that … he lied". The New York Times quotes Santos's fellow Nassau County Republicans calling him a "liar" and a "serial liar". The usual qualifiers like "accused", "apparent", "alleged" or "seems" have not been added.

The Guardian calls him a "serial liar", as does Vanity Fair which also adds in "pathological liar." The Washington Post varies this menu with "serial fabulist" and "pathological liar".

New York Magazine, The Washington Post, and several other publications are keeping complete lists of his lies. But it's hard for them to keep up. It seems like there's a new lie, or at least an unusual purported fact about Santos, that is revealed every day.

If you have been following the Santos saga in the press, you may want to skip to the next paragraph since the following lies have been widely published and documented. Santos did not attend a fancy prep school. He did not graduate from Baruch University or star on its volleyball team, or get two knee replacements because of his sacrifices for the sport. He did not earn an MBA degree from New York University. He did not work at either Goldman Sachs or Citigroup. He is not Jewish – and, despite his claim, not even Jew-ish, nor Ukrainian. His mother was not one of the first successful female financial executives in New York. She didn't have an office at the World Trade Center and didn't die on 9/11/2001, nor years later from the effects of that tragedy. He doesn't have a real estate portfolio, unless you count the apartments that he left without paying his rent. His family was not rich, it's unclear where the $700,000 he lent to his congressional campaign came from. He did work for a firm that has been accused by the US Securities and Exchange Commission of being a Ponzi scheme.

But there are too many well-documented lies to continue.

His problems include the federal, state, and local prosecutors who have said they are investigating him, although they haven't issued indictments. He will also be investigated by the House Ethics Committee. A poll this week shows that 78% of his constituents in a Newsday poll believe that he should resign from Congress, so his political career is likely almost over.

But perhaps his main problem is that he has been identified too many times in the reliable press as a liar. Publications, reliable or otherwise, may now have little or no fear of a libel suit from Santos. We might expect even more news reports of his lying to continue.

In an environment where the news media is swarming around Santos, Wikipedians need to be careful in evaluating the report that Santos edited Wikipedia and claimed that he was a drag queen and had appeared in several Disney television shows, including in "Hanna Montana" [sic].

A user page

The most serious report was that Santos, using the name User:Anthonydevolder, performed two edits to his Wikipedia userpage in 2011, making bizarre claims amid a host of misspellings and grammatical errors. "Anthony" and "Devolder" are Santos's two middle names. He appears to have preferred using these names, rather than "George Santos", at different times or for different audiences.

User:Anthonydevolder did make two edits on April 29, 2011, about three months before Santos's 23rd birthday. See Special:Permalink/426494196. The user only edited their user page, and did not edit any article pages. On April 30, 2011, the user did attempt to create an article on Anthony Devolder, but was foiled by automatic edit filters. The attempted edit triggered three edit filters: a new article without references, vandalism in all caps, and users creating autobiographies. The attempted article creation would have been identical to the user page he created.

Born into a Brazilian family with european backround on july 22nd 1988,Anthony Devolder first startted his "stage" life at age 17 as an gay night club DRAG QUEEN and with that won sevral GAY "BEAUTY PAGENTS"!althought after meeting hollwood producer Ling kiu known for producing INDEPENDENTS DAY BY STEVEN SPILBERG) an older Anthony then took his step into the begining of his carrer in witch he started in a few T.V shows and DISNEY Channel shows such as "the suite life of Zack and Cody" and the hit Hanna Montana".but it wasn't untill he taped his very first movie in 2009 startting Uma Turman,Chris Odanald ,Melllisa George and Alicia Silver Stone in the movie "THE INVASION".

The user page was rarely viewed, with only 2 pageviews between July 2015 – when this data was first collected – through January 19, 2023. Similarly, his user talk page was never edited or viewed before January 20, 2023.

So, did George Santos write these words? We should remember that a Wikipedia editor's identity can never be completely determined simply by the public record of their edits. Somebody else may be impersonating a well-known person in order to embarrass them, a tactic known as a Joe job.

Who might want to embarrass Santos (or Devolder as he was better known then)? Everybody has some enemies, but Santos's were likely to have been limited at this time, as he spent much of 2008 to 2011 in Brazil. Still, he may have had enemies in his neighborhood or at his job. An impersonator would have to have known a lot about Santos – his birthday, his purported career as a drag queen, and his dreams of becoming a film star. Santos would have known all this information, but it is impossible to rule out that there may have been a Joe jobber.

The George Santos article

The Wikipedia article about Santos was created as a draft on November 4, 2020 – the day after the 2020 Congressional election that Santos lost to Tom Suozzi. There were only two references given in the article: one to a local Long Island newspaper, and the other to a Greek-American newspaper. The article was not very long, and didn't even mention that Santos lost the election.

The article remained a draft through its first 11 edits, until November 9, 2022 – the day after the 2022 election which Santos won – though his victory was not noted in the article. Only one new reference had been added to the article since it had been created. By the end of the day, 14 more edits had been made, and there were a total of 5 references. Bogus information about Santos's education had by then been included.

On November 11 User:Devmaster88 made their only two edits to Wikipedia: both of them to the Santos article, changing the subject's name from "George Anthony Devolder Santos" to "George Devolder-Santos".

User:Devmaster88 was later blocked as a likely sockpuppet of User:Georgedevolder22, whose Wikipedia career consisted entirely of seven edits to the Santos article on November 17 and November 19, mostly changing the subject's name from "George Anthony Devolder Santos" to "George Santos".

Does the name User:Georgedevolder22, and these editors' interests, indicate that Santos himself was the editor? It's possible, but it's also possible that one of Santos's enemies was trying to embarrass him.

Feel free to give your opinion in the comments section below.

Reader comments

Legal status of Wikimedia projects "unclear" under potential European legislation

In two major English-speaking countries, two separate legal mechanisms are working their way through two separate processes. The first is a United States Supreme Court case regarding §230 of the Communications Decency Act, and the second is a proposed Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom "intended to improve internet safety". Both have wide-ranging implications for posters, lurkers, and everyone in between, and both have been the subject of fierce debate.

Online Safety Bill

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Turkish Wikipedia censorship; "Can Wikipedia survive?"; PR editing
24 June 2015

Foundation takes aim at undisclosed paid editing; Greek Wikipedia editor faces down legal challenge
19 February 2014

China blocks secure version of Wikipedia
5 June 2013

French intelligence agents threaten Wikimedia volunteer
8 April 2013

Lawsuit filed against two Wikipedians
10 September 2012

Russian Wikipedia shuts down to fight censorship threat; E3 team and new tools; Wikitravel proposal bogged down
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Censorship, social media in schools, and more
30 March 2009

More articles

Reader comments

Furor over new Wikipedia skin, followup on Saudi bans, and legislative debate

Highway Safety Corridor Sign I-495, November 2014 (15846155695).jpg
Online safety laws strictly enforced...against Wikipedia?

UK Online Safety Bill

According to Wikipedia, the Online Safety Bill is "intended to improve internet safety" in the United Kingdom. The WMF, and many others, have a dim view of it. For more, see this issue's special report.

Section 230

Section 230.jpg
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has come under fire of late, from both sides of the U.S. political spectrum.
See prior Signpost coverage, and this issue's Section 230 report.

Media articles on the topic of the US Communication Decency Act's famous Section 230 include reactions to an anti-terrorism lawsuit, Gonzalez v. Google LLC, where plaintiffs blame YouTube for the Islamic State's 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

The Verge tells us: "A number of internet services – including ... the Wikimedia Foundation – filed briefs last week ... encouraging the [United States Supreme Court] not to narrow its definition of Section 230 [of the Communications Decency Act]." But – as pointed out by The Verge – it also comes at a time where the Supreme Court might curtail the Section 230 in the separate NetChoice lawsuits against new state laws in Texas and Florida to restrict online moderation that is defined by these states as viewpoint discrimination. An argument against these state laws is that they essentially compel speech by online hosts such as Wikimedia – what Eugene Volokh writing in Texas Law Review calls "compelled hosting" – which is likely a First Amendment violation. We don't know yet whether it is a violation, and this is what the Supreme Court case will sort out, maybe.

Additional media coverage includes Gizmodo sorting out the views of several participants in Gonzalez, and a number of legal scholars providing opinions and analysis around Section 230 in both cases:


Saudi bans, jail sentences

Osama Khalid and Ziyad Alsufyani.jpg
Osama Khalid (left) and Ziyad Alsufyani, the two Wikimedians jailed in 2020 for 32 and 8 years respectively

The story of the Wikimedia Foundation's ban of sixteen administrators and editors in the Middle-East/North Africa region and the two Saudi Wikimedians, Osama Khalid and Ziyad Alsufyani, who have been jailed in a Saudi Arabian maximum-security prison since 2020 (see previous Signpost coverage) has been attracting further press attention over the past two weeks.

Democracy Now! featured an interview with DAWN executive director Sarah Leah Whitson on 17 January.

On 18 January, a number of human rights organisations (Access Now, ALQST, Article 19, Global Voices, GCHR and IFEX) published a report that called for Osama's and Ziyad's release and also included a short WMF statement:

"We are saddened and deeply concerned about these arrests and the harm they have caused to the freedom and safety of Osama Khalid and Ziad Al-Sufyani. The Foundation shares a common belief with Wikimedia volunteer communities around the world that access to knowledge is a human right."

"Human Rights in Qatar" (37759524811).jpg
DAWN Advocacy Director Raed Jarrar

On 26/27 January, a Reuters story titled "Wikipedia Middle East editors ban shows risks for creators" was carried by outlets including the Bangkok Post, Jakarta Post, Deccan Herald, Jerusalem Post and CNBC Africa.

The report included quotes from the recent Signpost coverage as well as a statement from Raed Jarrar, DAWN's Advocacy Director, who questioned Wikimedia's "business model" which he said had created "two classes of humans" – those paid to manage Wikimedia, and the volunteers who produce and edit Wikipedia's content for free:

"The biggest question here is about Wikimedia's model of relying on volunteers who are operating in authoritarian countries, and putting them in danger, and not advocating for their release when they are in trouble."

Pat de Brún, head of artificial intelligence and big data at rights group Amnesty International, commented on the political dimension driving government interest in Wikipedia:

"A huge amount is at stake. Knowledge is power, and the power to rewrite history and do propaganda is valuable for governments who have a lot to hide and have a shameful human rights record."


Vector 2022

A few articles have been written around the web about the allegedly uncontroversial implementation of Vector 2022. Meanwhile, an RfC regarding the update, created on January 21, has a whopping million bytes of discussion on it. The main question – whether the WMF should roll back the new skin as the default – currently stands at 289 in support, 207 in opposition, and 17 neutral. Further down the page, a side RfC on unlimited text width has 79 in support and 57 in opposition.


In brief

Flag of Pakistan.svg
Bloomberg reports that Pakistan has blocked Wikipedia

Do you want to contribute to "In the media" by writing a story or even just an "in brief" item? Edit our next edition in the Newsroom or leave a tip on the suggestions page.

Reader comments

Estonian businessman and political donor brings lawsuit against head of national Wikimedia chapter

The author is the Executive Director of Wikimedia Estonia (WMEE), speaking for the WMEE. Their opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Wikimedia Foundation, The Signpost, or of other Wikipedians.

The Estonian businessman and Isamaa party sponsor Parvel Pruunsild has stated his dislike of the Wikipedia article about him and filed a claim in Tartu County Court to get it changed. This is the first time that an Estonian Wikipedian has been taken to court for his editing. The claim is directed against the chairman of Wikimedia Estonia Ivo Kruusamägi and two Reform Party politicians.

The main author of the article that triggered the lawsuit, Ivo Kruusamägi, says that this is a classical attempt to silence and censor Wikipedia. He points out that Wikipedia is not the original source of texts and investigations. "Wikipedia, like any other encyclopedia, publishes summaries of original sources. Those who do not like it are free to turn to, for example, the newspaper and demand they overturn their claims, and if they manage to convince the paper to do that, Wikipedia will report that the paper first said one thing about them and then something else," he offered.

The story goes back to a highly controversial pension reform that came into existence in Estonia in 2021. People were then allowed to take out their pension savings, and in September of that same year, around 1.3 billion euros exited retirement accounts. The reform was criticized by some, and even reached the Estonian Supreme Court. Estonian businessman and bank owner Parvel Pruunsild, on the other hand, was an avid supporter of this reform. The story gets interesting in 2022, when it was said in Estonian media that Pruunsild had much more influence in the political party Isamaa than was previously thought. In the wake of that public interest, a Wikipedia article was written about him, which mentioned news publications in 2019 expressing suspicions about why Pruunsild was supporting that pension reform. As a result, it was said that his bank could potentially gain millions in additional income. Newspapers even selected him as the 12th most influential man in Estonia in 2020, as a result of the pension reform passing in the parliament.

Prohibiting people from voicing their doubts about why a successful businessman is pushing an influential reform goes directly against the principle of freedom of speech. When that claim would be directed against the politicians, who argued that the likely reason for that reform might be a personal gain for Pruunsild, then it would be a classic strategic lawsuit against public participation. On this occasion, there was one additional step taken: Pruunsild also sued a Wikipedian who, in writing at Wikipedia, had the courage to refer to this topic, and who referred to the existence of his connection to the reform. What is even more unusual is that Pruunsild did not sue the journalists and newspapers who wrote about this topic in the first place in 2019. Wikipedia was only a secondary source, and only claimed that there were suspicions raised about his motivations.

Pruunsild's lawyers have admitted that before the filing of the lawsuit, they made several attempts to remove the section from Wikipedia by deleting it as anonymous editors (for example here). The paragraph, and its references, were restored three times, at which point Pruunsild's lawyers decided to take it to the courthouse. Estonian Wikipedians, on the other hand, have expanded the article even further and brought that directly to the attention of the media. It is not yet clear whether the court will accept the action, or when.

Reader comments

Study examines cultural leanings of Wikimedia projects' visual art coverage

The authors are a veteran Wikipedian working as a Wikimedian In Residence (Poulter) and an interdisciplinary scholar, author, and curator (Ahmed). Our research into how the Wikimedia projects cover visual art has recently been published in the peer-reviewed journal Digital Studies. The paper shows how far Wikimedia falls short of a global perspective on visual arts but also sets out actions the community and the global cultural heritage sector can take to improve the situation.

Gender gaps and geographical imbalances on Wikimedia are already well-researched. Our focus is a cultural gap which does not correspond exactly to geography. For example, on the English Wikipedia, List of sculptors is 99% Western, despite sculpture being common to many different cultures, Lists of painters by nationality is around 75% European, and List of contemporary artists is 80% European. Many countries with especially rich artistic traditions, such as Libya and Mali, do not even have dedicated articles about their art (in the same way as there exist exhaustive articles such as French art or Greek art). The English Wikipedia's Level-4 Vital Article list for visual artists currently includes six from non-Western cultures, out of 124 articles.

Khalili Collection Islamic Art MSS 1030-731a.jpg
"The musician Barbad conceals himself within a tree" Manuscript illustration, Tabriz, Iran, circa 1535

On Commons, the Gallery of Non-Photographic Media – Religious Art showcases ninety pieces of art relating to Christianity, alongside eight images for Buddhism, five for Judaism, five for Hinduism, and three for Paganism. Islam, with around two billion followers worldwide, has three examples of religious art (two of which we've uploaded).

It's unequivocally a good thing that Wikimedia projects make so much knowledge about art freely available. Our concern is that its overwhelming focus on the Western canon gives readers a misleadingly narrow picture of visual art and its role in human cultures. It's great that there are extensive articles about John Constable or the Bayeux Tapestry in English; we just want similar recognition for the artists or works from different cultures that are at least as important to those cultures as Constable is to British culture: Shibata Zeshin in Japan, or Raden Saleh in Indonesia, for example.

The Wikidata project Sum of All Paintings is extremely impressive in how it has drawn together details of more than 600,000 paintings from thousands of catalogues. While praising it, we have to be aware that a focus on paintings, usually by named artists, is itself a kind of bias towards European culture. The most celebrated art within another culture might be textile art, architectural features, or calligraphy; we should document these as well.

Researching the cultural gap

For our quantitative research, we consulted books and art experts to build lists of artists and works from cultures outside the Western canon. These were compared against lists of Western artists and works drawn from the Vital Articles lists on the English Wikipedia. Most of the non-Western masterpieces had no dedicated representation at all on the Wikimedia projects (though they might be mentioned in artists' biographies). So the main part of our research calculated the ratio of coverage of the two sets of artists (in terms of bytes of text, Commons files, or Wikidata statements). This measure is independent of the size of the Wikipedia, and allows us to place each Wikimedia project on a spectrum from "Western" to "global" for the visual arts.

Taking all languages in aggregate, Wikipedia gives seven times as many bytes of coverage to the Western artists as the artists from other cultures. Wikidata's coverage is more even, with four times as many statements for Western artists. Commons has 21 times as many files relating to Western artists. The individual language versions of Wikipedia formed a spectrum with Indonesian, Punjabi, and Bengali among the more "global" while Italian, Polish and Serbian were amongst the most "Western". The big surprises: English Wikipedia is one of the most "global" (a ratio of 4) and Thai Wikipedia the most focused on Western art (a ratio of 40).

Closing the gap

Like other biases on Wikipedia, this cultural imbalance results from a combination of factors outside and inside the project: the availability of sources and images as well as the interests of volunteers. So improving the situation involves both external outreach and on-wiki activity.

"Girl reciting Qur'an" by Osman Hamdi Bey

The external factors include the availability of reliable sources in the appropriate language, and of digital images of the appropriate content. We had seen that Commons in particular has a heavy bias toward the Western canon. So we are taking this message to cultural institutions that haven't worked with Wikimedia before. The Khalili Foundation is now reaching out to art museums to encourage them to share images and catalogue data with the Wikimedia projects. We have already uploaded more than 1,100 images of Islamic art and Japanese art as part of the Khalili Collections/Wikimedia UK cultural partnership. As part of the World Festival of Cultural Diversity, the Khalili Foundation is running a series of editathons with partner organisations in the UK.

We have put our lists of artists and masterpieces into a project page where you can see which links are red and which articles have the lowest quality assessments. This is also somewhere to share suggested references. We use Wikidata identifiers, which we hope will make it easy to implement the project page in other languages. The page is situated within WikiProject Visual Arts, but you do not have to be a member of that WikiProject to take part. Improving a linked article, creating a Wikidata item, or even finding a reference that could be used to create an article, are all welcome. We are not just looking to improve the coverage of topics mentioned in our research, but to diversify Wikipedia’s representation of art, so feel free to add artists or topics that you think are lacking.

Reader comments

Wikipedia's "moderate yet systematic" liberal citation bias

Wikimedia Research Newsletter Logo.png
A monthly overview of recent academic research about Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, also published as the Wikimedia Research Newsletter.

English Wikipedia's news citations found to have "moderate yet systematic" liberal bias

"Distribution of Wikipedia’s news media citation political polarization scores using Kernel Density Estimates (KDE). Negative: liberal; positive: conservative." (Figure 2 from the paper)

A preprint titled "Polarization and reliability of news sources in Wikipedia"[1] finds

[...] a moderate yet systematic liberal polarization in the [English Wikipedia's] selection of news media sources. We also show that this effect is not mitigated by controlling for news media factual reliability."

The study is based on a dataset of 30 million citations extracted in 2020, which the second author and others have already examined from different angles in other research publications (cf. our previous coverage: "6.7% of Wikipedia articles cite at least one academic journal article with DOI", "How Wikipedia keeps up with COVID-19 research", "A Map of Science in Wikipedia").

As with research examining other kinds of bias (like gender, language or geography), studying political bias involves the non-trivial problem of defining a "neutral" baseline against which to compare Wikipedia's content. For example, in a series of earlier papers that (among other results) found Wikipedia to be "more slanted towards Democratic views" than Britannica, although its "bias was moving from left to right", Greenstein and Zhu used the United States Congressional Record as a kind of gold standard of unbiased language. (Of course, this opened them up to the question whether the spectrum of opinions present among US federal lawmakers is an appropriate baseline for an international encyclopedia, even if their analysis was focused on articles related to US politics.) A 2017 paper studied both political and gender bias by comparing Wikipedia's coverage of topics to that of "political periodicals geared toward either liberal or conservative ideologies" (e.g. Mother Jones vs. National Review), and women's vs. men's magazines, respectively (see our earlier coverage: "English Wikipedia biased against conservative and female topics, at least when compared to US magazines").

The present study relies on a different source that has since become available:

To estimate the political polarization of Wikipedia citations, we use the Media Bias Monitor.[supp 1] This system collects demographic data about the Facebook followers of 20,448 distinct news media outlets [...]. These data include political leanings, gender, age, income, ethnicity and national identity. For political leanings, the Facebook Audience API[supp 2] provides five levels: Very Conservative, Conservative, Moderate, Liberal, Very Liberal. To measure the political leaning of an outlet, MBM firstly finds the fraction of readers having different political leanings, and then multiply the fraction for each category with the following values: very liberal (–2), liberal (–1), moderate (0), conservative (1), and very conservative (2). The sum of such scores provides a single polarization score for the outlet, ranging between –2 and 2, where a negative score indicates that a media outlet is read more by a liberal leaning audience, while a positive score indicates a conservative leaning audience. In the original paper, MBM is compared to alternative approaches used to infer the political leanings of news media outlets, finding that this method highly correlates with most alternatives."

Matching domain names between MBM and the "Wikipedia Citations" dataset, the study finds that

"The average Wikipedia citation polarization score (red line) is -0.51 (median -0.52) [on the aforementioned MBM scale from -2 (very liberal) to 2 (very conservative)], therefore leaning towards liberal. The bulk of citations also falls between the range -1 and 0."

"Distribution of Wikipedia citation political polarization scores for the top 10 WikiProjects" (figure from the paper)

Breaking down polarization ratings by ORES article topic areas, "we cannot see differences among macro topics". This "general trend" was also found for the top 10 (sub-)topic areas and the top 10 Wikiprojects, although with "minor shifts [...]. For example, the topic sports has a higher conservative-leaning fraction of citations, all the while maintaining a liberal-leaning skew. The WikiProjects Politics and India are more liberal-leaning than the average, instead. Taken together, these results confirm that the overall trend towards liberal political polarization is not specific to some areas of Wikipedia, but seems to be widespread across topics and WikiProjects."

"Distribution of Wikipedia’s news media citation reliability scores" according to Media Bias/Fact Check (figure 1 from the paper)

Motivating their second research question, the authors "speculate that editors may introduce political polarization in their sources in order to prioritise reliable ones" (which might remind one of Stephen Colbert's dictum "Reality has a well-known liberal bias"). To test this hypothesis, they use the reliability ratings of Media Bias/Fact Check (but not that site's bias ratings). They note in passing that "that, while there are only 1467 citations rated as 'VERY LOW' [reliability], there remains a sizable fraction of citations to low or mixed reliability outlets" on English Wikipedia, as of 2020. (It might have been interesting to conduct the same analysis with the English Wikipedia's own reliability ratings that the community has compiled for numerous news sources at WP:RSP - where, ironically, "Media Bias/Fact Check" is itself currently rated as "generally unreliable, as it is self published", somewhat in contrast to the present paper and the peer-reviewed publication that it cites in justification of using MBFC.)

However, in a linear regression analysis (which also takes article topic and WikiProjects into account), the authors "cannot see a clear pattern emerge. While high reliability shows a liberal skew, very high reliability shows a conservative skew in turn. Mixed sources tend to be more liberal, while low and very low reliability ones tend to be more conservative." Overall, they conclude that "the case for a possible association between low reliability and conservative news outlets disappear[s]" in the end.


Other recent publications

Other recent publications that could not be covered in time for this issue include the items listed below. Contributions, whether reviewing or summarizing newly published research, are always welcome.

"Political representation bias in DBpedia and Wikidata as a challenge for downstream processing"

From the abstract:[2]

"Diversity Searcher is a tool originally developed to help analyse diversity in news media texts [...] We compare two data sources that Diversity Searcher has worked with – [the Wikipedia-based] DBpedia and Wikidata – with respect to their ontological coverage and diversity, and describe implications for the resulting analyses of text corpora. We describe a case study of the relative over- or underrepresentation of Belgian political parties between 1990 and 2020 in the English-language DBpedia, the Dutch-language DBpedia, and Wikidata [...]. In particular, we came across a staggering overrepresentation of the political right in the English-language DBpedia."

From the "Method" section:

"As a null hypothesis, a knowledge source represents a political constellation in an unbiased way if the relative number of politicians from a given party who are represented as an entity in a knowledge source [...] equals the relative number of this party in a relevant real-life context. [... We] consider “having a Wikipedia page” (etc.) as an important contributor to public visibility of a person and their party. [...] The baseline is then – relatively – easy to define: the shares of the vote or the number of seats of parties Y at times T in a given political body. We started by concentrating on the national parliament, the Chamber of People’s Representatives (Kamer van volksvertegenwoordigers, henceforth KVV) and used the number of seats at the beginning of a legislature. We also looked at the regional (Flemish) parliaments (Vlaams parlement, VP) [...]"

From the "Results and interpretation" section:

"These results not only confirm our first informal observation of over-representation of rightwing parties (especially the N-VA) in the English-language DBpedia, with a trend growing over time. (During these years, the N-VA’s share of the popular vote increased, but the DBpedia growth clearly exceeds the baseline growth.) Different biases seem to occur in the Dutch-language DBpedia: although on the whole comparatively similar to the baseline, this ontology seems to over-represent the main centrist party (CD&V). Wikidata, in contrast, gives a rather accurate picture of party shares in the national parliament. The French-language Walloon parties are (understandably, given the language focus) under-represented in the Dutch-language DBpedia. Both the overrepresentation of rightist and centrist parties in media coverage have been identified in earlier international research [...]"

"Assuming Good Faith Online"

In this legal essay,[3] US legal scholar Eric Goldman (whom some Wikipedians might recall for his – later retracted – 2005 prediction of Wikipedia's demise due to volunteer burnout) contrasts Wikipedia's "Assume Good Faith" principle with current attempts by Internet regulators to rein in on user-generated content websites and Section 230 (see also this issue's "In the media").

Simulation of article disputes finds that "it is more important not to have intolerant editors than to have very tolerant ones"

From the abstract:[4]

"[...] we focus on how the editors' attitudes, namely being broad-minded or stubborn, affect the consensus-building process in a model of Wikipedia. We further investigate how banning editors affects the speed with which conflicts or debates can be resolved. For the analysis, we use an agent-based opinion model developed to simulate different aspects of Wikipedia. We show that, in most cases, banning agents from editing an article slows down the consensus-building process, and increases the system’s relaxation time. We show further, and counterintuitively, that with large groups of 'extremists' who hold other than the central opinion, consensus can be reached faster and the article will be less biased."

From the "Conclusion" section:

"[..] for the consensus [to be achieved] it is more important not to have intolerant editors than to have very tolerant ones.

Our results indicate that consensus is reached extremely slowly if the bias of the article can be changed only by a small amount. To resolve the conflict faster, one must either increase the change of bias in one edit or the ratio of extremists. In general, the latter cannot be controlled deliberately, but the former can be influenced.

In Wikipedia, there is already a method aimed at resolving disputes of that sort. The solution is to move the disputed questions into a new section (or page) where they can be discussed freely. The new trend to move disputed parts of the article into the Criticism or Controversy sections [which is actually discouraged in a widely cited community essay] is a good way to handle this problem. Assigning [sensitive] arguments and opinions to a small section of the article that is much easier to modify makes the full article less disputed. Thus, tolerance towards the main article increases [...]"

See also our review of a related earlier paper involving one of the authors: "More newbies mean more conflict, but extreme tolerance can still achieve eternal peace".

"The Role of Local Content in Wikipedia: A Study on Reader and Editor Engagement"

From the abstract:[5]

"About a quarter of each Wikipedia language edition is dedicated to representing 'local content', i.e. the corresponding cultural context —geographical places, historical events, political figures, among others—. To investigate the relevance of such content for users and communities, we present an analysis of reader and editor engagement in terms of pageviews and edits. The results, consistent across fifteen diverse language editions, show that these articles are more engaging for readers and especially for editors. The highest proportion of edits on cultural context content is generated by anonymous users, and also administrators engage proportionally more than plain registered editors [...]"

(cf. by some of the same authors: "The Wikipedia Diversity Observatory: A Project to Identify and Bridge Content Gaps in Wikipedia")

This paper is part of a 2021 monograph published on occasion of Wikipedia's 20th anniversary ("Wikipedia, veinte años de conocimiento libre"), which comprises various other research papers, most of which are in Spanish with an English abstract.

"Discussing the Past: The Production of Historical Knowledge on Wikipedia"

From the abstract:[6]

"This study explores how historical knowledge is produced on Wikipedia. The project is based on multiple methodologies ranging from qualitative analysis of Wikipedia pages related to history, survey with Wikipedia editors, to quantitative analysis of participatory practices within the Wikipedia community. The main argument is that Wikipedia allows people to discuss the past, express their opinions and emotions about history and its significance in the present and the future through the portal of “talk” [pages] that Wikipedia provides [...].

This dissertation includes detailed examinations of the history of discussions at Talk:Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Talk:Vietnam War and Talk:September 11 attacks.

"Producing Historical Knowledge on Wikipedia"

This is an earlier paper by the dissertation's author. From the "Conclusion" section:[7]

"Wikipedia’s capability of producing historical narratives, its self-critical character through the talk pages, and its open character are significant tools that should not be underestimated. The popularity of Wikipedia and, particularly, the popularity of the historical pages that are visited daily by a lot of people have to be studied and not be neglected as a kind of not “real history.” Wikipedia cannot change radically the historical scholarship but can bring the historian closer to the society."

InternetArchiveBot found to be over-eager in declaring links as "permanently dead" but late in archiving them

From the abstract:[8]

"Broken external references on Wikipedia which lack archived copies are marked as 'permanently dead'. But, we find this term to be a misnomer, as many previously dysfunctional links work fine today. For links which do not work, it is rarely the case that no archived copies exist. Instead, we find that the current policy for determining which archived copies for an URL are not erroneous is too conservative, and many URLs are archived for the first time only after they no longer work."


  1. ^ Yang, Puyu; Colavizza, Giovanni (2022-11-21), Polarization and reliability of news sources in Wikipedia, arXiv, doi:10.48550/arXiv.2210.16065 Code
  2. ^ Karadeniz, Ozgur; Berendt, Bettina; Kiyak, Sercan; Mertens, Stefan; d'Haenens, Leen (2022-12-29), Political representation bias in DBpedia and Wikidata as a challenge for downstream processing, arXiv, doi:10.48550/arXiv.2301.00671
  3. ^ Goldman, Eric (2022). "Assuming Good Faith Online". SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.4277296. ISSN 1556-5068. 30 Catholic U.J.L. & Tech. __ (Forthcoming), Santa Clara Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 4277296
  4. ^ Rudas, Csilla; Török, János (2018). "Modeling the Wikipedia to Understand the Dynamics of Long Disputes and Biased Articles". Historical Social Research. 43 (1): 72–88. doi:10.12759/hsr.43.2018.1.72-88. ISSN 0172-6404.
  5. ^ Ribé, Marc Miquel; Laniado, David; Kaltenbrunner, Andreas (2021-05-17). "The Role of Local Content in Wikipedia: A Study on Reader and Editor Engagement". Área Abierta. 21 (2): 123–151. doi:10.5209/arab.72801. ISSN 1578-8393.
  6. ^ Apostolopoulos, Petros (2022-04-28). "Discussing the Past: The Production of Historical Knowledge on Wikipedia". North Carolina State University. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help) (dissertation)
  7. ^ Apostolopoulos, Petros (2019-04-29). "Producing Historical Knowledge on Wikipedia". Madison Historical Review. 16 (1).
  8. ^ Nyayachavadi, Anish; Zhu, Jingyuan; Madhyastha, Harsha V. (2022-10-25). "Characterizing "permanently dead" links on Wikipedia". Proceedings of the 22nd ACM Internet Measurement Conference. IMC '22. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 388–394. doi:10.1145/3517745.3561451. ISBN 9781450392594.
Supplementary references and notes:
  1. ^ Filipe N Ribeiro, Lucas Henrique, Fabricio Benevenuto, Abhijnan Chakraborty, Juhi Kulshrestha, Mahmoudreza Babaei, and Krishna P Gummadi. Media bias monitor: Quantifying biases of social media news outlets at large-scale. In Twelfth international AAAI conference on web and social media, 2018.
  2. ^

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WikiProject Organized Labour

WikiProject Organized Labour was created by Canadian editor Bookandcoffee on 10 January 2006 with the title of WikiProject on Organized Labo(u)r. Already then, there was an appetite to focus on the global labour movement, not just in the Western hemisphere. Within one year, 48 members joined, including currently-active members Goldsztajn and Warofdreams.

Starbucks Workers Rally and March 10.jpg
Starbucks union rally in Seattle, Washington

The WikiProject mission has largely stayed the same 17 years later:

  1. To expand and globalize articles related to Organized Labour.
  2. To create and expand articles for individual labour organizations.
  3. To establish fair and consistent representation of labour in business, government, organizational, corporate and economic information articles.

The focus of WikiProject Organized Labour includes trade union organizations/people in each country, sector, strike actions, labour laws/history etc.. Today the project has a smaller but steady number of editors, who are actively contributing new articles, maintaining the existing 11,000 articles and countless more sections within company tagged articles. Previously Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost published an op-ed How to make your factory's safety and labor issues disappear by Zarasophos. Consider participating in our online edit-a-thon that is happening throughout February 2023.

Labo(u)r organi(s/z)ing is difficult

The question of MOS:ENGVAR already came up, with 3 different spelling variants including American English: Organized Labor, British English: Organised Labour and Oxford English which is notably used by the ILO: Organized Labour. Regardless of which variant was used, editors were in agreement that handy redirects should be created, so WP:LABOR and WP:LABOUR both work as expected. In some cases Labor union/Labour union pragmatically redirects to Trade union instead. Either way, we are here, with or without u!

Other language editions

Not all Wikipedia language editions have WikiProjects but of the ones that do, the following four language editions have WikiProjects dedicated to Organized Labour with activity varying mid-active to defunct.

Two years ago Zarasophos interviewed Shushugah about WP:LABOUR particularly its relations to unionization in the high tech sector. Now Shushugah wants to pay it forward and interview the rest of the Organized Labour Project members.


Why do you think it is important that WikiProject Organized Labour exists?

  • JJonahJackalope: I think the WikiProject is important because it helps to coordinate editing efforts, such as with the upcoming edit-a-thon, and serves as a hub where people can discuss topics related to the articles and content associated with organized labor.
  • Goldsztajn: I agree with JJonahJackalope, but more generally, it's important that projects exist because of the way in which they encourage collaboration amongst editors with shared interests.
  • Zarasophos: Because there is precious little activity related to labour organising here on Wikipedia already. If we didn't have the WikiProject, there probably wouldn't be any at all.

What are your favorite contributions in the project area?

  • JJonahJackalope: My favorite contributions have been articles that highlight the interconnectedness between organized labor and broader civil rights movements, such as the 1964–1965 Scripto strike and the Coors strike and boycott.
  • Goldsztajn: First, would be getting Member states of the International Labour Organization to featured list status – it took a bit more than 18 months of work from creation, with research covering most of the 20th century (chapeau Wikipedia Library!). Second, I enjoy working in areas with little coverage. It's particularly pleasing for me when I'm able to produce sourced content on parts of the world with previously limited coverage – for example, Trade unions in Saint Helena. Finally, I got involved in a limited way in template work and recoded one of the project's templates, so that it would differentiate between the ratification or declaration of an International Labour Convention (treaty) – somewhat of an obscure international public law difference, but important in terms of ensuring the information which appears on Wikipedia is accurate (less unreliable, if you will!).
  • Zarasophos: Basically what Goldsztajn wrote about. I worked a lot on trade unions in South and Southeast Asia, for which there were very few articles, and also did some work on templates listing trade unions for individual countries. That was quite a lot of work – try finding an authoritative source on what trade unions exist in some of those countries! One article I particularly like having written is the one on the 2012 Bavet shooting, where a town official (!) shot three striking garment workers (!!), who luckily were not permanently injured, and was imprisoned after three years of hiding for 18 months and afterwards rehabilitated (!!!).
  • czar: One of my favorite moments was to watch the major news outlets correct their headlines/reporting as they rediscovered that the "first Starbucks union" was in the 1980s, not 2001. I'd like to think that having it display prominently in the lede of the new article helped.

How does this WikiProject differ from or complement other related WikiProjects like Anarchism, Socialism and Companies?

  • Goldsztajn: I'm also active in the Women in Red and Women in Green projects (unfortunately, less than I'd like to be!). Beyond that, organised labour issues are transversal across so many areas; economics, politics (national and international), law, history, sociology, human rights, all forms of equality (gender, racial etc), so almost by definition, anyone working here is going to also be contributing to other topic areas. I think where trade unions are different (which impacts on the need for descriptive sourcing), it's that in a formal, structural sense, trade unions are unique organisations – as a group they're the world's largest democratic non-state actors (in practice as much as in breach!). They operate within increasingly constrained legal and political frameworks, there's fewer than a handful of countries I can think of which in the last 30 years have made trade union operations less restrictive. I'm not sure those aspects, although widely reported on and analysed elsewhere, have made it into our work as much as is necessary.
  • Zarasophos: I think broad ideologies are much easier topics to get into from a theoretical point of view, as in, "yeah, that sounds cool". That's true for the basic concept of a trade union, but then you get down into details and then stuff gets really minute and really boring really easily. Yeah, sure, garment workers are striking for the tenth time for a better minimum wage and will probably not succeed this time either, woohoo. I imagine that is one of the reasons why there are fewer people interested in writing all of this stuff up for the Wiki. Not that it's deterring me, but I'm a sucker for really minute and really boring stuff.
  • czar: I'd encourage other editors to view "WikiProjects" simply as editor affinity group in which helping other interested editors in turn promotes continued editing: digging up sourcing, peering review each other's work, resolving disputes, and so on. The groups are most effective as noticeboards for editors to continually bring good notices and topics for discussion. When each group stays active, the overall editor support network widens. For example, I've seen editors move into adjacent topical areas (with reviews and participating in edit drives) after participating in the anarchism noticeboard. This is good. It shows that Wikipedia and their fellow editors have sustained their interest. I anticipate there to be frequent crossover between adjacent noticeboards, each providing different flavors of useful tips and camaraderie.

During February 2023 we are hosting a month long edit-a-thon. What do you hope people prioritize/focus on?

  • Goldsztajn: We've got 29% of the project's articles marked for cleanup, with 4,087 issues identified. Getting that below 3,000 I think would be a great result.
  • Zarasophos: We need some more articles for women trade unionists. There are a lot of potential ones, they just need to be written.
  • czar: Do the one thing you set out to do and cheer others who accomplish the same

Can union/labor representation be used as an attack on an article subject?

  • Shushugah: I am rather irritated by the notion that an article about a corporation could ever be considered comprehensive when existing independent secondary sources covering workers and their organizational structures are absent. In high profile cases like Amazon Inc., all negative coverage was shifted over to Criticism of Amazon, but I managed to trim it down significantly by expanding Amazon worker organization which is global and adequately summarizing that in the original Amazon Inc article without being a WP:coat rack of all random labor issue at Amazon. One of my favorite essays is WP:CRITOFSOC which shuts down the false dichotomy between criticism and neutral encyclopedic coverage.
  • Goldsztajn: No more or less than any other area which involves social conflict. No matter what we write in such areas, it can be considered an "attack". Is a trade union campaign for an increase in wages an attack? For some employers (not all and there's certainly great variation on this depending on national origin of the company), any public statement on working conditions which is not positive can be viewed as an attack. It just reinforces the need, as everywhere with this encyclopaedia, how vitally necessary it is that we base our work on reliable sources bearing in mind due and undue weight as much as possible. I've got academic training, so I more or less default to peer-reviewed materials whenever I can. Nevertheless, that's not always possible. About 14 years ago I was involved in an extremely lengthy discussion/debate over the term union busting and its definition. It was somewhat resolved, but it taught me that in some areas despite discussions deeply rooted in reliable sources, it can still be very difficult to arrive at consensus, especially when national contexts produce extremely different viewpoints on a phenomenon which is global (or even interplanetary).
  • Zarasophos: It can be used like that, yes, but so can any other topic. As Shushugah and Goldsztajn have said, if workers are unhappy with their employer, that belongs in the article about their employer just as much as stock prices do.

Is it ironic that people interested in (paid) labour are committed to a project that is built on volunteer/unpaid labour? How do you reconcile the two?

  • Goldsztajn: Not really to me. The modern labour movement grew from volunteerism (see Tolpuddle martyrs). There are still currents within labour movements worldwide that are highly critical of trade unions that produce bureaucratic/paid structures. In some regions, South Asia comes to mind in particular, due to a mixture of history, necessity and ideology, almost all trade union officials are volunteers. Also, trade unions can be seen as a subset of organised labour, they're not necessarily synonymous. Historically there have also been movements of unemployed workers or people not paid for their labour (e.g., farmers and peasants) which can be seen as forms of organised labour grounded in volunteerism.
  • Zarasophos: I do find that a bit funny. I personally like contributing my time here, as a hobby, but it does make me a bit mad that at least in my home country there are tons of paid union people who would probably be using their time better by contributing to articles in our WikiProject (keeping COI rules in mind, obviously). That's maybe one reason for why I write mostly about countries where unions aren't as professionalised as in my home country.
  • czar: Isn't most rank-and-file union organizing also volunteered labor? And no, not particularly surprised, given that volunteering is often part of the "everyday communism" that makes the paid labor worthwhile!

Is there anything else you would like to say/share that has not been asked?

  • Goldsztajn: I encourage people interested in the topic to reach out and contribute – we're literally a collaborative crowd.
  • Zarasophos: We still need a section on unions / works councils in an {{Infobox company}}. We started a process for this a while ago, but I think there was some problem and we abandoned it again. I think this is one thing that would be really useful to have.

February 2023 Labour Edit-a-thon

2023 WikiProject Organized Labour/Online Edit-A-Thon
StateLibQld 1 259261 Railway strike at the Waterside Workers Union headquarters, Townsville, 1925-cropped.jpg
Hello, Wikipedia Signpost/Single!
During the entire month of February there will be an ongoing edit-a-thon on all labour related projects across English Wikipedia and sister projects. Register to track your edits and sign up on the edit-a-thon's project page as a participant. To invite other participants paste {{subst:WPLABOR/2023}} on their talk page! This event is organized by WP:WikiProject Organized Labour


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XTools: Data analytics for your list of created articles

Experienced Wikipedians often have a long list of articles they've created. But what do they know about those articles? How can they get some metrics or analytics to follow their collection?

XTools provides some insights about the list of articles created by a user[1]. The Pageviews API provides a way to get the number of pageviews for each article created by a user[2]. But what about the gender distribution of the biographies I've created? What is the main occupation of people I've written about? Where are the places located for which I've created an article? And if we come to the content of the articles: which is the longest? Which has the most references?

By using the XTools pages-created API, I've developed a set of new tools to answer all those questions.[3]

Screenshot of "User-level gender statistics for Wikipedia": Gender distribution of articles I've created in Wikipedia in French[4]

At first, I was very curious about the gender distribution of people I've created a biographical article about. So I've used the Wikidata API to get the value of the property sex or gender (P21) for all items corresponding to articles a user has created. This first tool is named "User-level gender statistics for Wikipedia".[5]

Screenshot of "Look at your list of created articles through Wikidata": Distribution of articles I've created in Wikipedia in French by instance of (P31).[6]

This tool can easily be extended to other Wikidata properties such as instance of (P31) and country (P17) (and for humans, country of citizenship (P27) and occupation (P106)). This led to another tool named "Look at your list of created articles through Wikidata".[7]

Another tool provides a map of your articles related to geolocated Wikidata items, using property coordinate location (P625).[8]

Screenshot of "Look at your list of created articles with the XTools Page Prose API": List of articles I've created in Wikipedia in English sorted by number of words and by number of references[9]

We can also gain insights about the content of our articles. The XTools page-prose API gives the number of words, references, unique references and sections in each article. So I've developed a notebook which computes this for all the articles created by a user.[10]

Screenshot of "Look at your list of created articles with the XTools Page ArticleInfo API": List of articles I've created in Wikipedia in English sorted by number of revisions and by number of editors.[11]

My last tool collects data about the number of revisions, the number of editors, the number of pageviews and the number of watchers for all of a user's articles, using the XTools articleinfo API.[12]

All my tools are developed in JavaScript using Observable (a data visualization platform created by Melody Meckfessel and Mike Bostock), which makes it very easy to design interactive tools. One shortcoming is that you may experience some timeout errors, since my tools rely on a high number of API calls. I can imagine that if you've created more than 2,000 articles, you may have a lot of timeout errors. And all my work is open source – so feel free to improve it and suggest better solutions. And, of course, all of your feedback is greatly appreciated.


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20,000 Featureds under the Sea

This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted from 1 to 15 January 2023. Quotes are generally from the articles, but may be abridged or simplified for length.

Well, here we are again! Thanks to the new twice monthly schedule, instead of covering a full month of content, we can just cover half a month, which should, in theory, have resulted in half the work.

You'd think that, wouldn't you? In the first half of January, we had exactly as many featured articles as in the whole of December (twenty-one). However, featured lists went the opposite direction, and we had only one of them. At least the number of featured pictures makes some sort of sense.

Ah, well. Things tend to get promoted in batches, and I think we just lined up with the promotions oddly. See you next fortnight!

Featured articles, part 1

Twenty-one featured articles were promoted this period.

23 Wall Street, nominated by Epicgenius
23 Wall Street (also known as the J.P. Morgan Building) is an office building in the Financial District of Manhattan in New York City, at the southeast corner of Wall Street and Broad Street. Trowbridge & Livingston designed the four-story building in the neoclassical style. Constructed between 1913 and 1914, it was originally the headquarters of J.P. Morgan & Co. Since the late 2000s, the building has remained unoccupied for long periods, although it has occasionally been used for events.
The Dark Knight, nominated by Darkwarriorblake
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan from a screenplay he co-wrote with his brother Jonathan. Based on the DC Comics superhero, Batman, it is the sequel to Batman Begins (2005) and the second installment in The Dark Knight Trilogy. The plot follows the vigilante Batman, police lieutenant James Gordon, and district attorney Harvey Dent, who form an alliance to dismantle organized crime in Gotham City. Their efforts are derailed by the Joker, an anarchistic mastermind who seeks to test how far Batman will go to save the city from chaos. The ensemble cast includes Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Morgan Freeman.
"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus", nominated by Eddie891
"Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished."
Marina Bay MRT station, nominated by ZKang123
Marina Bay MRT station is an underground Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) interchange station on the North South (NSL), Circle (CCL) and Thomson–East Coast (TEL) lines in Singapore. Located in the Downtown Core district near Marina Bay, the station serves the Marina One Residences, Marina Bay Suites and the Marina Bay Financial Centre.
Marina Bay station was one of the last stations to be completed in the early phases of the MRT network, opening on 4 November 1989. It was the terminus of the NSL until the line's extension to Marina South Pier station in 2014. The station became an interchange station with the CCL upon the completion of the two-station branch extension from Promenade station in January 2012. The TEL station platforms were completed in November 2022 as part of TEL Stage 3, becoming a triple-line interchange on the MRT network.
Manos Arriba, nominated by Aoba47
Manos Arriba (English: Hands Up) is an extended play (EP) by American singer Rosanna Tavarez released by her own record label Patacon Productions in March 2008. Tavarez adopted the stage name Chana while pursuing a music career in Latin alternative music and used it for the EP. Chana rose to prominence in 2001 as a member of the girl group Eden's Crush. Following their disbandment, she worked as a host on music television shows and decided to record Spanish-language music after meeting producer Marthin Chan. She had previously rejected working with Latin music producers because she did not want to pursue a career in conventional Latin pop.
American transportation in the Siegfried Line campaign, nominated by Hawkeye7
American transportation played a crucial part in the military logistics of the World War II Siegfried Line campaign, which ran from the end of the pursuit of the German armies from Normandy in mid-September 1944 until December 1944, when the United States Army was engulfed by the German Ardennes offensive. In August 1944, the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, elected to continue the pursuit of the retreating German forces beyond the Seine instead of pausing to build up supplies and establish the line of communications as called for in the original Operation Overlord plan. The subsequent advance to the German border stretched the American logistical system to its breaking point, and the advance came to a halt in mid-September.
The Germans attempted to delay the Allied advance until the onset of bad weather by denying access to ports and demolishing communications infrastructure in order to give their own forces time to recover. Between September and November, the American forces in Europe suffered from severe transportation problems. In September, Cherbourg was the only deep-water port in northwest Europe in Allied hands capable of handling Liberty ships, but it had been badly damaged, and took a long time to restore. Smaller ports could only handle small, shallow-draft coastal trading vessels known as "coasters". Two-thirds of the British coaster fleet, on which critical industries depended, was dedicated to the campaign. Over time rough seas, enemy action and continuous use laid up a quarter of the coaster fleet for repairs. Additional port capacity was obtained through the opening of Rouen and Le Havre in September and October respectively, and of Antwerp in November. The limiting factor then shifted to port clearance. Initially, motor transport was widely used, but as the railways were brought back into service, they shouldered the burden of moving supplies from the ports to the depots. Inland water transport was developed to relieve pressure on the railways. Four waterways were rehabilitated for military use: the Seine, Oise and Rhône rivers, and the Albert Canal. Air transport was the least economic form of transport, but in September and October, with road and rail transport unable to supply even the minimum daily requirements of the armies, it was called upon to supplement them.
Although logistical difficulties constituted a brake on combat operations, they were not the only factors that brought the Allied advance to a halt. The American forces also had to contend with rugged terrain, worsening weather and, above all, stubborn German resistance. The German recovery was sufficient to mount the Ardennes offensive in December. This threatened Antwerp and the depot areas around Liège, which also came under attack from German V-weapons and air raids. This placed immense strain on the American communications, but by the new year the American transportation system was more robust than ever, and preparations were under way to support the final assault on Germany.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, nominated by TheJoebro64
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is a 2008 platform game developed by Rare and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360. Set eight years after Banjo-Tooie (2000), Nuts & Bolts follows Banjo and Kazooie as they compete with the witch Gruntilda for ownership of their home. Although Nuts & Bolts retains the structure of previous Banjo-Kazooie games—collecting jigsaw puzzle pieces to progress—it shifts the focus from exploration to vehicle construction. The player designs vehicles, including automobiles, boats, and aeroplanes, and uses them to complete challenges across various worlds. In multiplayer modes, players can compete or share their vehicles over Xbox Live.
South Asian river dolphin, nominated by LittleJerry
South Asian river dolphins are toothed whales in the genus Platanista, which inhabit fresh water habitats in the northern Indian subcontinent. They were historically considered to be one species (P. gangetica) with the Ganges river dolphin and the Indus river dolphin being considered subspecies, but genetic and morphological evidence led to their being described as separate species in 2021. They are the only living members of the family Platanistidae and the superfamily Platanistoidea. Fossils of ancient relatives date to the late Oligocene.
South Asian river dolphins are small but stocky cetaceans with long snouts or rostra, broad flippers, and small dorsal fins. They have several unusual features. Living in murky river waters, their eyes are tiny and lensless. The dolphins rely instead on echolocation for navigation. The skull has large crests over the melon, which help direct their echolocation signals. These dolphins prey mainly on fish and shrimp and hunt them throughout the water column. They are active through the day and are sighted in small groups. Both species are listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List of mammals. Major threats include dams, barrages, fishing nets, and both chemical and acoustic pollution.
New Jersey's 1927 biannual elections proposal, nominated by Wehwalt
An unsuccessful attempt was made to pass an amendment to the Constitution of New Jersey in 1926 and 1927. The intent of the amendment was to have members of the New Jersey General Assembly serve two-year terms instead of one and also lengthen the terms of state senators and the governor from three years to four. The proposed amendment was passed twice by the legislature, and the text was approved by the Attorney General. On September 20, 1927, the people of New Jersey voted down the proposal, and Assembly members were elected annually until New Jersey instituted a new constitution in 1947.
MLS Cup 1999, nominated by SounderBruce
MLS Cup 1999 was the fourth edition of the MLS Cup, the championship soccer match of Major League Soccer (MLS), the top-level soccer league of the United States. It took place on November 21, 1999, at Foxboro Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and was contested by D.C. United and the Los Angeles Galaxy in a rematch of the inaugural 1996 final that had been played at the same venue. Both teams finished atop their respective conferences during the regular season under new head coaches and advanced through the first two rounds of the playoffs. United won 2–0 with first-half goals from Jaime Moreno and Ben Olsen for their third MLS Cup victory in four years.
Felix of Burgundy, nominated by Amitchell125
Felix of Burgundy (died 8 March 647 or 648), also known as Felix of Dunwich, was a saint and the first bishop of the kingdom of the East Angles. He is widely credited as the man who introduced Christianity to the kingdom. Almost all that is known about him comes from The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed by the English historian Bede in about 731, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Bede wrote that Felix freed "the whole of this kingdom from long-standing evil and unhappiness"
Providence and Worcester Railroad, nominated by Trainsandotherthings
The Providence and Worcester Railroad (P&W) (reporting mark PW) is a Class II railroad operating 612 miles (985 km) of tracks in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, as well as New York via trackage rights. The company was founded in 1844 to build a railroad between Providence, Rhode Island, and Worcester, Massachusetts, and ran its first trains in 1847. The P&W operated independently until 1888, when the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad (NYP&B) leased it; the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad took over when it purchased the NYP&B in 1892. The P&W continued to exist as a company, as special rules protecting minority shareholders made it prohibitively expensive for the New Haven to outright purchase the company. The New Haven continued to lease the Providence and Worcester for 76 years, until the former was merged into Penn Central (PC) at the end of 1968. Penn Central demanded the shareholder rules keeping P&W alive be rewritten, and also threatened to abandon the company's tracks. In response, a group of P&W shareholders launched a fight with PC, convincing the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to cancel the lease and let the P&W exit the New Haven's merger and go free. Against expectations, the ICC agreed, and following court battles P&W prevailed and began operating independently again after 85 years.

Featured pictures

Eleven featured pictures were promoted this period, including the images at the top and bottom of this article.

Featured lists

One featured list was promoted this period.

List of Volition games, nominated by PresN
Volition is an American video game developer located in Champaign, Illinois. It was founded in 1993 by programmers Mike Kulas and Matt Toschlog as Parallax Software. The company grew to eight employees while developing its first game, the first-person spaceship shooter Descent (1995), which was released to widespread acclaim. Volition would go on to make Summoner, Red Faction, Saints Row , various sequels and spinoffs to all the above, and a video game adaptation of the 2004 film The Punisher.

Featured articles, part 2

Chief U.S. Marshal James McShane and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, John Doar of the Justice Department, are pictured escorting James Meredith to class at Ole Miss after the riot. Large groups of federal agents and likely students are seen in the background.
Chief U.S. Marshal James McShane (left) and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, John Doar (right) of the Justice Department, escorting James Meredith to class at Ole Miss after the Ole Miss riot of 1962.
Ole Miss riot of 1962, nominated by HAL333
In the wake of the Supreme Court's 1954 decision Brown v. Board of Education, Meredith tried to integrate Ole Miss by applying in 1961. When he informed the university that he was African American, his admission was delayed and obstructed, first by school officials and then by Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett. In a bid to block his enrollment, Barnett even had Meredith temporarily jailed. Hoping to avoid violence and ensure Meredith's enrollment, President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy had a series of unproductive telephone negotiations with Barnett. In preparation for another registration attempt, federal law enforcement were dispatched to accompany Meredith to maintain order, but a riot erupted on campus. Partly incited by white supremacist General Edwin Walker, the mob assaulted reporters and federal officers, burned and looted property, and hijacked vehicles. Reporters, U.S. marshals, and the U.S. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach sheltered and were besieged in the Lyceum, the university's administrative building. Into the late morning of October 1, 27 marshals received gunshot wounds, and two civilians—including a French journalist—were murdered. Oblivious to the riot, President Kennedy made an Oval Office Address, saluting Mississippi's help in registering Meredith. Once informed, Kennedy invoked the Insurrection Act of 1807 and had U.S. Army squadrons under Brigadier General Charles Billingslea quell the riot, mobilizing over 30,000 troops, the most for a single disturbance in American history.
The riot and the federal crackdown were a major turning point in the civil rights movement and resulted in the desegregation of Ole Miss: the first integration of any public educational facility in Mississippi. Further, being the final time troops were deployed during the civil rights movement, it is regarded as the end of the segregationist tactic of massive resistance.
Shannon Lucid, nominated by Hawkeye7
Shannon Matilda Wells Lucid (born January 14, 1943) is an American biochemist and retired NASA astronaut. She has flown in space five times, including a prolonged mission aboard the Russian space station Mir in 1996, and is the only American woman to have stayed on Mir. From 1996 to 2007, Lucid held the record for the longest duration spent in space by an American and by a woman. She was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in December 1996, making her the tenth person and the first woman to be accorded the honor.
Hove War Memorial, nominated by Harry Mitchell and Hassocks5489
Hove War Memorial is a First World War memorial designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and located on Grand Avenue in Hove, part of the city of Brighton and Hove, on the south coast of England. Hove was the site of one of the earliest recruiting events at the beginning of the war and later of several military hospitals. Over 600 men from the town were killed during the war, a quarter of them from the local regiment alone. A war memorial committee was established in 1919 and Lutyens was engaged as architect, designing a Tuscan column on a three-staged base, topped with a statue of Saint George, patron saint of England. The base contains several dedicatory inscriptions but no names, which are instead recorded on plaques in the town's library.
Battle of Helena, nominated by Hog Farm
The Battle of Helena was fought on July 4, 1863, near Helena, Arkansas, during the American Civil War. Union troops captured the city in July 1862, and had been using it as a base of operations. Over 7,500 Confederate troops led by Lieutenant General Theophilus Holmes attempted to capture Helena in hopes of relieving some of the pressure on the Confederate army beseiged in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Helena was defended by about 4,100 Union troops led by Major General Benjamin Prentiss, manning one fort and four batteries. Differing interpretations of Holmes' order to attack at daylight resulted in Brigadier General James F. Fagan's troops attacking Battery D unsupported, and Major General Sterling Price's attack against the Union center was made after Fagan's had largely fizzled out. To the north, Confederate cavalry commanded by Brigadier Generals John S. Marmaduke and Lucius M. Walker failed to act in concert and accomplished little. The assaults failed, and Vicksburg fell the same day. Later in the year, Union troops used Helena as a staging ground for their successful campaign to capture Little Rock, Arkansas.
Japanese fire-bellied newt, nominated by An anonymous username
The Japanese fire-bellied newt (Cynops pyrrhogaster) is a species of newt endemic to Japan. The skin on its upper body is dark and its lower regions bright red, although coloration varies with age, genetics, and region. Adults are 8 to 15 cm (3.1 to 5.9 in) long. To deter predators, Japanese fire-bellied newts contain high levels of tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin accumulated mainly from their diet.
Christopher Nolan, nominated by Sammyjankis88 and FrB.TG
Christopher Edward Nolan CBE (born 30 July 1970) is a British-American filmmaker. Known for his Hollywood blockbusters with complex storytelling, Nolan is considered a leading filmmaker of the 21st century. His films have grossed $5 billion worldwide. The recipient of many accolades, he has been nominated for five Academy Awards, five British Academy Film Awards and six Golden Globe Awards. In 2015, he was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time, and in 2019, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to film.
Nolan developed an interest in filmmaking from a young age. After studying English literature at University College London, he made several short films before his feature film debut with Following (1998). Nolan gained international recognition with his second film, Memento (2000), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He transitioned from independent to studio filmmaking with Insomnia (2002), and found further critical and commercial success with The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), The Prestige (2006) and Inception (2010); the last of these earned Nolan two Oscar nominations—Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. This was followed by Interstellar (2014), Dunkirk (2017) and Tenet (2020). For Dunkirk, he earned two Academy Award nominations, including his first for Best Director.
Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, nominated by Juxlos
Sumitro Djojohadikusumo (EVO: Soemitro Djojohadikoesoemo; 29 May 1917 – 9 March 2001) was an Indonesian statesman and one of the country's most influential economists. He held senior positions under Presidents Sukarno and Suharto intermittently between 1950 and 1978. During his career in government, Sumitro served as Minister of Industry and Trade, Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Research in five different cabinets. He was also the Dean of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Indonesia.
Born into a Javanese family, Sumitro studied economics at the Netherlands School of Economics and remained there throughout the Second World War. Returning to Indonesia after the war, he was assigned to the country's diplomatic mission in the United States, where he sought to raise funds and garner international attention in the struggle against Dutch colonialism. After the handover of sovereignty in the 1949 Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference, in which he took part, he joined the Socialist Party of Indonesia and became Minister for Trade and Industry in the Natsir Cabinet. However, during the 1950s, Sumitro favoured foreign investment, an unpopular position at that time which brought him into conflict with nationalists and communists, and in the late 1950s, Sumitro fled Jakarta and joined the insurrectionary Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia in the late 1950s. Considered a leader of the movement, he operated from abroad, liaising with Western foreign intelligence organizations while seeking funds and international support. After the movement's defeat, Sumitro remained in exile as a vocal critic of Sukarno, continuing to agitate for the downfall of the government. After the overthrow of Sukarno and the establishment of the New Order under Suharto, Sumitro was invited to return from exile and in 1967 was appointed Minister of Trade. However, after disagreements with Suharto on policy in the early 1970s, Sumitro was reassigned as Minister of Research before his removal from government posts altogether.
Hughie Ferguson, nominated by Kosack
Hugh Ferguson (2 March 1895 – 8 January 1930) was a Scottish professional footballer. Born in Motherwell, he played for Parkhead at junior level as an amateur and was one of the most sought-after young players in Scotland before signing for his hometown club to begin his professional career. He established himself as a consistent scorer playing as a centre forward, finishing as the top goalscorer in the Scottish Football League on three occasions between 1918 and 1921. His 284 league goals remains a record at the club and, by 1925, he was the highest-scoring player in the history of the Scottish League.
David Kelly (weapons expert), nominated by SchroCat
David Christopher Kelly CMG (14 May 1944 – 17 July 2003) was a Welsh scientist and authority on biological warfare (BW). A former head of the Defence Microbiology Division working at Porton Down, Kelly was part of a joint US-UK team that inspected civilian biotechnology facilities in Russia in the early 1990s and concluded they were running a covert and illegal BW programme. He was appointed to the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in 1991 as one of its chief weapons inspectors in Iraq and led ten of the organisation's missions between May 1991 and December 1998. He also worked with UNSCOM's successor, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and led several of their missions into Iraq. During his time with UNMOVIC he was key in uncovering the anthrax production programme at the Salman Pak facility, and a BW programme run at Al Hakum.
A year after the publication of the 2002 dossier on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction—which stated that some of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons were deployable within 45 minutes—Kelly had an off-the-record conversation with Andrew Gilligan, a BBC journalist, about the claim. When Gilligan reported this on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he stated that the 45 minute claim was included at the insistence of Alastair Campbell, the Downing Street Director of Communications—Kelly denied that he said Campbell had forced in the reference. The government complained to the BBC about the claim, but they refused to recant on it; political tumult between Downing Street and the BBC developed. Kelly informed his line managers in the Ministry of Defence that he may have been the source, but did not think he was the only one, as Gilligan had reported points he had not mentioned. Kelly's name became known to the media, and he was called to appear on 15 July before the parliamentary Intelligence and Security and Foreign Affairs select committees. Two days later Kelly was found dead near his home.
Following Kelly's suicide Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, set up a government inquiry under Lord Hutton, a former Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. The inquiry concluded that Kelly had killed himself. Hutton also stated that no other parties were involved in Kelly's death. There was continued debate over the manner of Kelly's death, and the case was reviewed between 2010 and 2011 by Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General; he concluded that there was "overwhelmingly strong" evidence that Kelly had killed himself.

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Films, deaths and ChatGPT

This traffic report is adapted from the Top 25 Report, prepared with commentary by Igordebraga, Max BuddyRoo, and SSSB.

Ooh, that's where my family's buried and gone (January 15 to 21)

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 The Last of Us (TV series) 2,409,748 Dragon Con 2013 - The Last of Us (9681568733).jpg Ten years after Naughty Dog's acclaimed post-apocalyptic game series debuted on the PlayStation 3, HBO premiered a TV adaptation of Joel and Ellie trying to traverse the continental United States while facing off against the aggressive victims of a fungal infection.
2 The Last of Us 1,469,194
3 Lisa Marie Presley 1,440,847 Lisa Marie Presley 2006.jpg 45 and a half years ago, Elvis died. Now his only daughter with Priscilla Presley, who also went down the music path, is gone too, having suffered a cardiac arrest at the age of 54, leaving behind three daughters (the eldest of which is actress Riley Keough) and studio albums. Even if she once said "I'll shrink my head and put it in a glass box in the living room. I'll get more tourists to Graceland that way.", instead Lisa Marie still went to what she described in one of her songs as "the damn back lawn" of that house, where the Presley family grave is located.
4 ChatGPT 1,272,362 Hal 9000 Panel.svg There was already a ruckus regarding artificial intelligence art, so a chatbot that makes very articulate and legible texts rather than word salad is also a big subject of discussion.
5 Avatar: The Way of Water 1,269,079 Costumed Na'vi Dance.jpg Avatar continues to be on this list for the 6th week in a row, as it becomes one of the highest grossing movies of all time. After all, it might be overlong, it might follow the first movie in being hailed as forgettable, but it is the sort of spectacle that warrants been seen in a theater.
6 David Crosby 1,183,945 Croz In Clearwater.jpg #3 died two days after Jeff Beck, and six before this other acclaimed musician, best known as a member of both The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and who left behind a vast body of work of over six decades, including 8 solo albums.
7 Deaths in 2023 985,404 Creaturas006.jpg Let's go with a song featuring the above:
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep...
8 Priscilla Presley 879,568 Priscilla Presley @ Soldier Field, Sept 2003 (347407434).jpg #3's mother, who along with being the love of The King of Rock n' Roll's life will also have the biggest role of her actress career, in spite of extensive TV work, be as the love of Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun trilogy.
9 Varisu 858,862 Vamsi Paidipally.jpg This Indian film by Vamshi Paidipally came out last week and is already the highest grossing Indian movie of this year, although judging by the reviews it likely doesn't deserve to be.
10 R'Bonney Gabriel 802,721 Miss teen universe CORONA.jpg The latest edition of Miss Universe was won by this Texan, widening the lead of the United States' women with nine titles – and adequately, runner-up Amanda Dudamel hails from the second biggest winner, Venezuela (7), where only the oil industry is stronger than the beauty pageant one.

I'm thinkin' of you, you're out there so, say your prayers (January 22 to 28)

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 Pathaan (film) 3,999,949 SRK at Fan trailer launch.jpg Shah Rukh Khan is a huge deal in India (He is India and India is him, they said). So it is only appropriate that his comeback film after five years is breaking Hindi film records in its opening weekend. Pathaan (the title character) must stop a private terrorist organisation from releasing a deadly man-made virus into India. As usual, I have pathetically failed in my attempt to sell this film to you via the plot. So I will settle by telling you that critics are impressed.
2 The Last of Us (TV series) 1,664,646 Cosplay of Ellie and Joel from The Last of Us at Geek Kon 2014 (15073595816).jpg The HBO show based on #6 is receiving massive praise among both critics and audiences, earning a spot at #2.
3 ChatGPT 1,588,826 Kawaii robot power clipart.svg AI strikes again as this article appears for the 4th time in a row, as fears of the AI increase across the world, with people worrying it will replace jobs (with there being an even bigger AI on the way).
4 Republic Day (India) 1,456,310 Republic Day 2019.jpg Although India became independent in August 1947 (that's Independence Day), it wasn't until January 26, 1950, that the transition to independence was complete, when the Indian Constitution came into effect. The day is marked by parades and an awards ceremony, among other celebrations. The whole thing doesn't even end until November 29, when the Indian military performs a beating retreat.
5 Avatar: The Way of Water 1,123,418 Avatar Flight of Passage (33825577724).jpg Like its predecessor, the return of Jake Sully and the Na'vi has passed 2 billion dollars and earned a Best Picture nomination (which this writer thought was undeserved, as at least the first one had a compelling if derivative story compared to this overlong if impressive showcase of underwater visual effects).
6 The Last of Us 1,121,753 TLOU1.png #2 was based off of it, so people probably went here trying to find the show, if not discover where the plot is going.
7 Death of Tyre Nichols 1,003,941 Tyre Nichols Protest at the Ohio Statehouse (1).jpg America's latest case of police brutality. This time, five police officers in Memphis, Tennessee beat Tyre Nichols to death. When it was George Floyd people screamed racism, but this time all the officers involved were all black themselves. So the main conclusion to be drawn (at least from my perspective): the US police force need to be reformed – and it needs to happen now.
8 Deaths in 2023 971,918 A saint seated at a table with his right hand resting on a skull, from a portfolio of reproductions of the Imperial Gallery of Paintings in Vienna; plate 33 of the series MET DP836609.jpg The way she held your hand

The little things you planned
Her memory is with you yet
That's someone you never forget
That's someone you never forget

9 Justin Roiland 841,536 2010 Justin Roiland (cropped to face).jpg The creator of Rick and Morty was fired following the reveal of a past arrest for abuse, but the show already announced they will replace him as the voice actor for title characters.
10 Brock Purdy 783,649 BrockPurdy2021 (cropped).jpg When Purdy was drafted as Mr. Irrelevant at the 2022 NFL Draft everyone thought that would be the last they heard of him – and for a long time that was true. But after the San Francisco 49ers lost their first two quarterbacks to injury, Purdy had to step up. And he hasn't done too badly, winning all of the 7 games he has started. He also plays in the NFC Championship Game in an attempt to make it to Super Bowl LVII on February 12, but fell short.

Most edited articles

For the December 30-January 30 period, per this this database report; shout out to ElijahPepe for some of the write-ups below.

Title Revisions Notes
2023 Speaker of the United States House of Representatives election 3607 The 2023 Speaker of the United States House of Representatives election began and concluded on the first week of January, with Kevin McCarthy defeating Hakeem Jeffries to become Speaker of the House. Although the outcome was expected, the means were not; a far-right coalition of House Republicans prevented McCarthy from advancing as Speaker. McCarthy was able to flip several votes to his favor on Friday, although was unsuccessful in convincing several Republicans. Following an overnight vote, McCarthy was elected Speaker in the early hours of January 7.
Deaths in 2023 2321 January already had some famous deaths, such as Ken Block, Gina Lollobrigida and the above mentioned Lisa Marie Presley, David Crosby and Jeff Beck. Thankfully Jeremy Renner and Damar Hamlin (see below) were only close calls.
Bigg Boss (Tamil season 6) 2203 The latest edition of one of the Indian Big Brother shows (there are versions in every language, similar to how the movie industry that always brings in highly viewed articles is split in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, etc.).
2023 Australian Open – Men's singles 1304 Novak Djokovic won his record tenth title of this Grand Slam over Stefanos Tsitsipas.
George Santos 1209 New York's 3rd congressional district's new representative, well - he hasn't actually been sworn in yet. Santos has admitted to lying about virtually every aspect of his life (apparently in a bid to get elected in the first place). Meanwhile, Brazil has re-opened an investigation into allegations of cheque fraud. And he is additionally under investigation by federal, state and county authorities - presumably for other crimes, but I can't really be bothered to read the article. Santos has also already promised not to stand for re-election, and according to one expert may even be prevented from sitting, triggering a special election. Surely taking the record for the earliest case of either - let alone both.
Royal Rumble (2023) 1054 The latest wrestling pay-per-view, held in San Antonio and featuring Cody Rhodes and Rhea Ripley winning the title match.
2022–23 NFL playoffs 957 Gridiron's knockout tournaments were held, and the teams going to Super Bowl LVII on the 12th will be the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.
2023 Australian Open – Women's singles 953 Russian and Belarusian tennis players have been playing for no flag ever since the the invasion of Ukraine. Wimbledon downright banned players from those countries, leading the 2022 edition to give no points to the WTA rankings. And in Australia it converged in a final between a Belarusian, Aryna Sabalenka, and a Russian who won Wimbledon because she plays for Kazakhstan, Elena Rybakina, with the former prevailing.
2023 World Men's Handball Championship 945 Poland and Sweden hosted this tournament, and Denmark successfully defended the 2021 title.
Avatar: The Way of Water 833 Took 13 years, but James Cameron finally returned to Pandora, in an overlong movie with a lot of water, a combination that just begs for a bathroom break (or to buy more drinks). Audiences showed their eagerness to return to that world by making the movie earn two billion dollars.
Damar Hamlin 717 This American football safety collapsed on January 2, after tackling wide receiver Tee Higgins in a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin's collapse, caused by commotio cordis, ultimately led to the game being cancelled, for the first time in NFL history since 1935. Hamlin's collapse has, unfortunately, given COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theorists more ammunition.
Tornado outbreak of January 12, 2023 702 39 tornadoes hit the Southeastern United States, causing few deaths but widespread damage and power outages.
Wye College 699 Ed1964 is reforming the article on this defunct British university.
Death and funeral of Constantine II of Greece 682 The last King of Greece before the monarchy was abolished in 1973 died in January 10, at the age of 82.
Ronald Reagan 680 Entering the article on the 40th American President leads right away to a maintenance template regarding its neutrality, so a few editors are trying to fix that.
Pathaan (film) 652 A Bollywood thriller that is also breaking out internationally, finishing at third in its North American open weekend.
Death of Tyre Nichols 643 As noted above, the latest case of police brutality in the United States.
Yeti Airlines Flight 691 641 On 15 January 2023, this plane crashed while landing at Pokhara, killing the 72 occupants on board, becoming the deadliest accident with an ATR 72.
List of equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine 598 The resistance to Putin will receive tanks from both the United States (M1 Abrams) and Germany (Leopard 2). We hope it's not a precedent for something worse.
2023 Tripura Legislative Assembly election 591 It will only be held on February 16, but plenty has already happened for this Indian election.
Varisu 589 January might be one of the dump months of North American cinema, but not India. From Kollywood, Vijay's 66th film as a lead actor had a huge opening that already earned half its budget back.
2023 ICC Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup 588 The first edition for this tournament (whose adult, male version has been gathering lots of views in the last two editions) was won by India, as after all it's their favorite sport.
Death and funeral of Pope Benedict XVI 581 Joseph Ratzinger, the first Pope to quit in 700 years because he thought he was too old and frail for the job's demands, died at 95 on the last day of 2022, two months before the tenth anniversary of his resignation.
List of Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain, 1720–1739 564 All this is one editor on mobile. Mostly to erase full stops.
Moneybagg Yo 546 Elina9k has been cleaning up the article for this rapper. At least I won't have to discuss the Southern hemisphere equivalent of the Capitol invasion.


  • These lists exclude the Wikipedia main page, non-article pages (such as redlinks), and anomalous entries (such as DDoS attacks or likely automated views). Since mobile view data became available to the Report in October 2014, we exclude articles that have almost no mobile views (5–6% or less) or almost all mobile views (94–95% or more) because they are very likely to be automated views based on our experience and research of the issue. Please feel free to discuss any removal on the Top 25 Report talk page if you wish.

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