Tag Archives: wikipedia

Canada needs a more open, networked model of government fit for the digital age

by Amanda Clarke, Policy Options

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Bots are waging passive-aggressive war on Wikipedia

by Devin Coldewey, Tech Crunch

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This is what happens when a bot writes an article about journalism

The bot, by the artist and programmer Darius Kazemi — you might recognize him from projects like @TwoHeadlines and Random Shopper – essentially functions like an automated, high-speed version of the so-calledWikipedia race: that “easy,” “fun” and frequently frustrating online sport wherein players try to navigate from a given Wikipedia page to a second, unrelated one by clicking on links. Kazemi’s algorithm copies text from the Wikipedia page for the topic you give it – “tomato” or “baseball,” for instance — then grabs a link to another Wikipedia page, heads to that page, and starts over.

The result is a meandering and only semicoherent collection of tangentially related facts. Or, in Internet vernacular, content. (Caitlin Dewey, The Washington Post)

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@Congressedits nabs Wikipedia change calling Snowden “American traitor”

The 33-word revision to the page for Pillay added that the commissioner has received “criticism for reffering (sic) to Edward Snowden, the American traitor who defected to Russia, as a ‘Human Rights Defender’ and saying that he should not face trial for his crimes.” The month before, Pillay made headlines when she said Snowden “should be seen as a human rights defender,” and “We owe a great deal to him for revealing this kind of information.” (David Kravets, ars technica).

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Twitter bots grow up and take on the world

The users of other bots take self-expression one step further. Mark Sample, a digital studies professor at Davidson College in North Carolina, sent out a public call last year for people to use bots more as instruments of protest. Sample himself has built multiple bots to satirise groups he disapproves of. One, @NSA_PRISMbot, imagines the kind of arbitrary data that the National Security Agency is collecting on Americans: “Judd Kutch of Port Vernon, California shared a photo named PROTESTANTISM on Instagram”. Another named @NRA_Tally combines reports of fake mass shootings with pro-gun arguments commonly made by the National Rifle Association. (Aviva Rutkin, New Scientist)

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Twitter account tracks anonymous Wiki edits from House of Commons addresses

Government of Canada Edits (@gccaedits) is a Twitter bot that automatically tweets whenever a Wikipedia entry is edited anonymously from a House of Commons-associated IP address.

In just six days, the account has publicized changes to numerous entries, includingbiographical notes for MPs, the list of Canadian Forces special operations units, the page on the defunct Ottawa Renegades CFL team, and — fittingly enough — the entry for the Canadian Museum of History. (Alex Boutilier, thestar.com)

Political biographies on Wikipedia have been altered by House of Commons-connected IPs — including the deletion of aspects of the Senate spending scandal from Pamela Wallin’s biography.

ADRIAN WYLD / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO

 

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For This Author, 10,000 Wikipedia Articles Is a Good Day’s Work

Mr. Johansson admits Lsjbot’s entries can be boring, but argues there is value.

Take, for instance, an item the Lsjbot created for Swedish Wikipedia in 2012 on Basey, a city of about 44,000 in the Philippines. It contains coordinates, population and other details. At the top of the page, a disclosure notes the entry was created by Lsjbot.

Last year, when Typhoon Yolanda hit Southeast Asia, newspapers ran headlines saying people died in Basey. Mr. Johansson had already created his entry on Basey, allowing people to access a map, an image and information on where it is.

Mr. Johansson says the short stubs allow other writers—who know more about each particular subject—to fill in additional information later. (Ellen Emmerentze Jervell, Wall Street Journal)

Ellen Emmerentze Jervell/The Wall Street Journal

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