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Wikipediocracy screenshot taken October 10, 2019
Type of site
|Blog and forum|
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|Launched||March 16, 2012|
|Copyright retained by authors|
Wikipediocracy is a website for discussion and criticism of Wikipedia. Its members have brought information about Wikipedia's controversies to the attention of the media. The site was founded in March 2012 by users of Wikipedia Review, another site critical of Wikipedia.
The site is "known for digging up dirt on Wikipedia's top brass", wrote reporter Kevin Morris in the Daily Dot. Novelist Amanda Filipacchi wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the site "intelligently discusses and entertainingly lambastes Wikipedia’s problematic practices".
Wikipediocracy contributors have investigated problems, conflicts, and controversies associated with Wikipedia, some being reported by mainstream media. The site's stated mission is "to shine the light of scrutiny into the dark crevices of Wikipedia" and related projects. In a doctoral thesis, Heather Ford, a specialist in Internet policy and law, commented on Wikipediocracy's role, saying, "As Wikipedia's authority grows, and more groups feel disenfranchised by its processes, the growth of watchdog groups like Wikipediocracy who act as translators of Wikipedia's complex structures, rules and norms for mainstream media and who begin to give voice to those who feel that they have been excluded from Wikipedia's representational structures will continue."
In 2013, Wikipediocracy members contacted Salon.com reporter Andrew Leonard to alert him about the "Qworty fiasco". User Qworty had attracted attention for his provocative comments in a debate on Wikipedia's treatment of female writers. It emerged that many of his past contributions affected the site's treatment of (and targeted rivals of) writer Robert Clark Young. This background information led to Leonard's challenging Young, in an article "Revenge, Ego, and the Corruption of Wikipedia", which identified Young as Qworty. Just before the publication of Leonard's article, because of this behavior, Qworty had been banned from editing Wikipedia biographies of living persons.
Wikipediocracy contributors' criticisms of Wikipedia have been discussed in news stories covering Jimmy Wales's relationship with the government of Kazakhstan, the Gibraltarpedia controversy, and an anonymous edit made from a U.S. Senate IP address that labelled whistle-blower Edward Snowden a "traitor".
In May 2014, The Telegraph, working with Wikipediocracy, uncovered evidence identifying the civil servant who had allegedly vandalized the Wikipedia articles on the Hillsborough disaster and Anfield.
A Wikipediocracy blog post reported in 2013 that Wikipedia was being vandalized from IP addresses assigned to the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). Responding to the allegations, WMF spokesman Jay Walsh stated that the IP addresses belonged to WMF servers and were not used by the WMF offices. He stated that the addresses were assigned to some edits by IPs due to a misconfiguration, which was corrected.
A Wikipediocracy forum discussion identified the Wikipedia account responsible for a hoax article Wikipedia administrators had recently deleted. The "Bicholim conflict" article described a fictitious 1640–41 Indian civil war. It was awarded Wikipedia's "Good article" status in 2007, and retained it until late 2012, when a Wikipedian checked the article's cited sources and found that none of them appeared to exist.
A September 2013 story resulting from a Wikipediocracy tip-off concerned commercial plastic surgeons editing Wikipedia's plastic surgery articles to promote their services. Concerns with violations of conflict of interest guidelines and the provision of misinformation in the relevant articles had also been raised by Wikipediocracy members on Wikipedia itself.
In February 2015, Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee banned a user after finding he had edited to promote the Indian Institute of Planning and Management and added negative material to the article on another university. The user's edits had been noted in Wikipediocracy in December 2013.
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