Maggie Dennis admits they have "admin problems"

Because no one else is doing it--not even the media.
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ericbarbour
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Maggie Dennis admits they have "admin problems"

Post by ericbarbour » Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:50 am

https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/15/ ... hina_bans/

which refers to her "official statement"
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Office_ ... _statement
This all happened on Mandarin WP, which is currently banned in mainland China anyway. So why did Chinese government meatpuppets become admins there? So much goes unexplained.

Note:
Community “capture” is a real and present threat. For years, the movement has been widely aware of challenges in the Croatian Wikipedia, with documentation going back nearly a decade. The Foundation recently set up a disinformation team, which is still finding its footing and assessing the problem, but which began by contracting an external researcher to review that project and the challenges and help us understand potential causes and solutions for such situations.[4]
The WMF didn't like to admit that the Croatian WP had a "little problem" with certain admins being there just to push a right-wing nationalist viewpoint. And it's been happening for a looong-ass time, and it's still happening today. Serbian WP (Serbian is the same as Croatian but usually written in Cyrillic, that's why it is commonly called "Serbo-Croatian") has similar issues with fascist editors gaining power.

Also note that I wrote the following for the book notes....zh-WP has been having these problems for many MANY years. And NOW they're "doing something serious". I suspect most of the "Less major" language WPs are full of abuse and censorship. But if no one at the WMF can read them, it does not happen. The 2018 checkuser scandal wasn't fixed until someone hand-translated the zh-WP squabble into English so the Glorious James Alexander could read it. And all he did was toss some checkusers and walk away.
Zh-Wikipedia contained 507,000 articles and 1.255 million registered users as of mid-2012. By mid-2013 the number of articles had grown to 715,000, and to 919,000 by 2017. Apparently there are only about 250 heavy editors, and they are using translation bots to generate most of this "content" from en-WP articles. Google translation leaves something to be desired: "Wikipedia is a content free, anyone can participate, and multilingual encyclopedia cooperative program. Our goal is to create a complete, accurate and neutral encyclopedia."

Per this 2013 article:

"When Yuan Mingli posted the first Chinese-language entry on Wikipedia in November 2002, he had no idea that the website was on the verge of becoming a globally influential movement. Yuan, then a 26-year-old postgraduate student at Peking University, only intended to create an online "notebook". Wikipedia, the biggest online encyclopedia, run by the US-based non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, had only been launched the previous year and Yuan learned of it a few weeks before he made his first entry, when there was no Chinese version. The site impressed Yuan, who majored in mathematics, and so he spent about a month studying the English version and then two weeks building the Chinese homepage and some basic web pages."

"Many Chinese Wikipedians, unable to access the site for almost two years, switched to copycat sites, including Baidu and Hudong's encyclopedias. During the "Big Block", it was hard to find fellow Wikipedians to meet and chat with offline, Yuan says. He had organised mainland Wikipedians' first public gathering, in Beijing in July 2004. After graduating from Peking University in 2005, he moved to Shanghai and continued to meet other site contributors. The meetings, however, soon dried up. Mainland Wikipedians had organised 40 public gatherings since the inaugural event, but there were none in 2007 or 2008, and only one in 2009. "The community shrunk massively during the block," Yuan says. "Many newcomers left." It is still unclear why censors blocked the whole site and why it later became accessible again."

According to the EPIC-Oxford study of Wikipedia accuracy, published August 2012[32], they chose not to study the Chinese Wikipedia, because: "The Chinese Wikipedia was found to be heavily censored and was therefore excluded as it would possibly confound the research results." This information was derived from a "China Task Force" report compiled in 2009-2010, which is now prominently tagged on all pages "This wiki has been closed per community discussion." Heavily involved in this project: Philippe Beaudette, despite his not knowing how to read or speak Chinese. It prominently mentions that online encyclopedias run by Hudong and Baidu were far more popular than zh-WP. The talkpage mentions other encyclopedia projects that are more popular than zh-WP. The "China Task Force" project was subsequently closed down and forgotten.

In 2016 a stink ensued on zh-WP over administrator "AddisWang", who was accused of "corruption". Apparently by sockpuppet accounts which were claimed to have connections to the Chinese government. A little-noticed Meta RFC mentioned it. It received no media coverage. [33]

A little-noticed 2018 row involved the removal of all checkusers from zh-WP by the ever-glorious James Alexander, who mush-mouthed his way around the scandal. Apparently they were working for the Chinese Communist Party and using Wikipedia to look for "dissidents". As with the AddisWang controversy, this received almost no media attention. [34][35][36]

"The plain truth of things is that we are in an unspoken cultural war with the Chinese Communist Party, one we started by pushing market structures onto a Maoist state that had just come out of a Cultural Revolution. However the battleground is within both the United States and every country with a diaspora "overseas Chinese" community; the war in America is about promoting the glory of Chinese culture (as overseen/supported by the CCP), especially through the Confucius Institutes that have popped up in most of the major universities - they do cultural promotion and help colleges start or beef up their Mandarin Chinese courses. They also run Chinese language immersion in grade schools, but supposedly they won't talk about what happened in 1989, what happened to the kid who was the Dalai Lama's successor (or the resettlement of Han Chinese into Tibet, which is mangling Tibetan culture), why the Three Gorges Dam was a bad idea, the endless anti-corruption campaigns inside the CCP, etc. Did I mention that the People's Liberation Army pays for the Confucius Institutes? That certain universities have thrown their CI office out, while others (like San Diego State U.) have dug in even deeper? Everything going on at zh.Wikipedia or en.Wikipedia concerning Chinese subjects is part of this soft-power war as well, because the mainland Chinese state and Party sees all outside Chinese as possible future citizens and all Chinese culture as something they must manage. "
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As a reminder: Why Wikipedia Will Fail, 2015

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Re: Maggie Dennis admits they have "admin problems"

Post by ericbarbour » Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:24 pm

Techdirt almost never mentions Wikipedia or the WMF anymore, especially since I caught Techdirt founder Mike Masnick having his Wikipedia content created by his friend and co-worker Mike Ho. Confronted Masnick back in 2014, he raged and spluttered at me, and then blocked my email address. Lol.

The explosion over zh-WP being controlled by Chinese government agents was something Techdirt could not ignore.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20210 ... edia.shtml

The website is called TechDIRT. And normally they muckrake all aspects of the tech industry freely. But Wikipedia gets another "free ride" from Techdirt editors, if not outright Wiki-Luv.

More media coverage has been appearing. Not much though.
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-58559412
https://www.engadget.com/wikipedia-bann ... 43971.html
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/wiki ... -w2brbw7tt
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As a reminder: Why Wikipedia Will Fail, 2015

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