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Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection' 239

Posted by Soulskill
from the like-regular-protection,-but-super dept.
metasonix writes: As if the problems brought up during the recent 2014 Wikimania conference weren't enough, now Wikipedia is having an outright battle between its editor and administrator communities, especially on the German-language Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation, currently flush with cash from its donors, keeps trying to force flawed new software systems onto the editor community, who has repeatedly responded by disabling the software. This time, however, Foundation Deputy Director Erik Moeller had the bright idea to create a new level of page protection to prevent the new software from being disabled. "Superprotection" has resulted in an outright revolt on the German Wikipedia. There has been subsequent coverage in the German press, and people have issued demands that Moeller, one of Wikipedia's oldest insiders, be removed from his job. One English Wikipedia insider started a change.org petition demanding the removal of superprotection."
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Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

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  • by Verdatum (1257828) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @06:33PM (#47724483)
    A petition with 13 signatures is not worth mentioning. Any idiot can set one up.
  • TLDR (Score:5, Informative)

    by Moses48 (1849872) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @06:34PM (#47724491)

    The summary doesn't describe the "flawed system" or what superprotection means. Here it is from the change petition

    The "superprotect" page status introduced to keep the Media Viewer enabled is even more extreme: for the first time, a software feature has been designed to take the ability to edit pages away from Wikimedia project communities, giving that ability exclusively to unelected Wikimedia staff members.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples.gmail@com> on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:49PM (#47724983) Homepage Journal
    A subject is "notable" if it is the subject of substantial coverage in three unaffiliated reliable sources. If a subject is not notable, then it's not possible to make any verifiable claims about the subject.
  • Re:Media Viewer (Score:4, Informative)

    by mysidia (191772) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:23PM (#47725177)

    by default, and removed the ability for site admins to disable it by default

    The problem is these "admins" are acting on behalf of the various Wikipedia communities as a whole. How WP is run, is supposed to be decided by the community.

    If these "admins" actually administered the underlying infrastructure as well, this would be a non-issue, as they could simply refuse the software upgrade, or patch it.

    The WMF is entrusted with this task, but the WMF is betraying the trust of the community. I think I might ask for my donations to be returned to me, since they are no longer acting according to their mission.

  • by linuxrocks123 (905424) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @09:09PM (#47725397) Homepage Journal

    Yes, deletionists are asshats.

    One thing you can do is use the Wayback Machine to get the text of deleted articles. I learned about that trick on Wikipedia itself. Why can't they just include the page history of deleted pages well that's a really good question.

    Deletionpedia is the protest response against deletionist asshats, but it's just getting started. It would be nice if an administrator leaked the text of all previously deleted articles to Deletionpedia. They actually KEEP THE DELETED ARTICLES ON WIKIPEDIA'S SERVERS and just DON'T LET ANYBODY LOOK AT THEM except the Anointed Ones. It's not even a disk space issue why they delete stuff. There's no justification at all; it's pure Vogonism.

    So, come on, inclusionist administrators: which one of you would like to be the Internet's Prometheus? It wouldn't even be copyright infringement because the creators of the content licensed it CC to put it in Wikipedia to begin with. WE ALL own those deleted articles, not the tyrant bureaucrats at the Wikimedia Foundation. You'd be like Edward Snowden except you'd just be perma-banned from Wikipedia instead of your home country. Have some balls. Get 15 minutes of fame. BRING LIGHT TO THE WORLD.

    If someone wants to kickstart a campaign to bribe an administrator into leaking all deleted articles to Deletionpedia, I'll put up $100. Maybe more. I'm not kidding. THIS IS THE GOOD FIGHT.

    ---linuxrocks123

  • by morethanapapercert (749527) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @10:13PM (#47725701)
    For what it's worth, I *have* heard the term used that way. In fact it's the only usage I've ever heard. I had vaguely known there was some other historical use, but like cretin , imbecile and moron, it's become a common derogatory word.

    I suspect that it is a regional thing. English speaking nations all have their unique slang terms after all. And many English speaking countries are also large enough to have regional differences within them. I'm not likely to ever call a person a drongo, wombat, poof (Australian), berk, bint, chav or pikey (British) or wigger, jagoff, ratchet or ho (American)

    Despite being Canadian, I'd never call someone "b'y" (Newfoundland), skookum or siwash (British Columbia)

  • Re:say it again (Score:5, Informative)

    by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Friday August 22, 2014 @12:57AM (#47726385) Homepage Journal

    Actually if you read a lot of Wikipedia articles and history on them, the world was wrong and the system usually works.

    The rules are there for a reason, and contentious subjects have issues (cf. Abortion, Israel, Nazi, etc.) but for the most part articles grow and become better and more thoroughly fact-checked with time.

    Part of this is the much-hated reference requirement -- all facts in a Wikipedia page must have an external source to back them up. This rule alone causes a huge amount of strife among those who don't understand, but it also creates the most harmony by requiring reputable citations.

  • by Andreas Kolbe (2591067) on Friday August 22, 2014 @08:16AM (#47728039)
    For some real-world examples of made-up Wikipedia information entering other sources, sometimes to the major embarrassment of the people who reused it without checking, see two recent articles: How pranks, hoaxes and manipulation undermine the reliability of Wikipedia [wikipediocracy.com] and I accidentally started a Wikipedia hoax [dailydot.com]. It happens quite a lot, at least in the English Wikipedia, that hoaxes stay around for years before they are discovered, by which time they have entered all sorts of other sources (remember the Bicholim conflict? [dailydot.com]). Even people who work for Wikipedia tell you not to trust it [youtube.com], but to check the underlying citations.

    It would help if the English Wikipedia had edits by new and unregistered users looked at and approved by more experienced Wikipedians before showing them to the public (that's how it's done in the German and Polish Wikipedias for example), but the English Wikipedia community has steadfastly refused to introduce that system ("Pending Changes", also known as "Flagged Revisions") in all of its articles, saying it would be too much work and be a downer for new contributors who might have to wait a while before they see their changes go live.

    For examples of Wikipedia being abused for personal vendettas against people, see Revenge, ego and the corruption of Wikipedia [salon.com] and The tale of Mr Hari and Dr Rose: A false and malicious identity is admitted. [newstatesman.com] Anonymity encourages this sort of thing, of course. Again, Pending Changes would have helped [wikipediocracy.com] a little ...

    The Wikimedia Foundation has so far not really cared very much about content quality. They do not measure it, and don't know how to, by their own admission. Their metrics of success are the number of articles, the number of editors, the number of edits (more is better!), the number of page views (Alexa!), and how many millions in donations they take. Little if any of this money goes towards measuring and improving quality. Most of it is spent on their software engineering and product development department, which represents two-thirds of the 200 or so Wikimedia staff [wikimediafoundation.org]. They are approaching Wikipedia more like Facebook than an educational project. Quality assessment and real-time quality control, the job of sifting through all the millions of contributions, is left to all the volunteers, who are stretched ... and unlike the Wikimedia Foundation staff (many of whom are not really skilled professionals, but simply Wikipedians who have managed to join the gravy train), they are not getting paid. Short version: The Wikimedia Foundation now takes $50 million a year in donations (compared to just $2.5 million six or seven years ago), and they don't really know what to do with it. It's not making Wikipedia a more reliable reference source.
  • Oh, really? ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Qbertino (265505) on Friday August 22, 2014 @11:04AM (#47729457)

    ... so Agile can fuck off, yeah?

    It's bad enough having to put up with all the "agile" bullshit at work, from their utterly pointless daily stand-up meetings to their fucking little cards on the wall everywhere (managers of the world: WE USE ELECTRONIC TRACKING SYSTEMS NOW). Add to that the unbearable Friday "retrospective" meetings (yeah, the last fucking thing I want to do on a Friday is sit in another pointless meeting talking about our problems) and then the Monday three hour meetings where we waste time voting on how long it should take other people to do their job instead of just fucking doing it.

    I suppose you're talking about Scrum. As a Scrum Master, maybe I should give some hints.

    Let me fill you in on some details:

    1.) You're supposed to stand at dailies, so you are eager to finish them fast and so you're quick to move your cards on the board. That's why Scrums are timeboxed (with me it's 15mins max) and limitied to what you can discuss about. If the team doens't get through, no matter. Scrums over. Move your remaining cards and get coding. Be more brief tomorrow. It's that simple.

    2.) After trying various electronic tracking systems we moved to cards on a wall. The crew gets away from their PCs and are forced to communicate with each other. And even the secretary and the sales team can use a pinboard without futher explaination, and when they join a Scrum they don't feel like standing in a room full of antisocial douchebags just typing away at their desks. Plus, when you are using it, everyone is watching, which helps you stick to the method. That's why I advocate pinboards for scrum tasking ever since. For huge amount of tasks managed in backlog software, printing the cards might be an option - we did that once - but a Pinboard it should be. People get their coffee or water and meet at the pinboard, not at the watercooler or the kitchen. Does wonders to project awareness and awareness of what others are doing.

    3.) Backlog assembly meeting (BAM) - apparently your Monday 3 hour thing (makes me sleepy just thinking of it) - should be done by those who need to do it you don't need the entire team for BAM, especially if 300 tasks need to be judged. You do need the team for assigning complexitiy points, but that can be done if there's something the BAM team has no clue of. BAM task-complexity is temporary anyway, as is the setup of the team. If there's only editing and no programming to be done for the next 4 weeks, it's beyond pointless having a progger do BAM - unless you've got nobody else to do it and the programmer has some spare time. And only in Sprint Planning is complexity set in stone. And Sprint Planning / Sprint Assembly is a different meeting, also timeboxed (1 hour with me, Fridays (I've got weekly sprints)).

    Complexity assignment should be done with planning poker, and shouldn't cover microtasking. It should only cover sellable features and one tasklayer below that. Also, BAMs should take place when you need them, not on a fixed date. That's a recipe for timewasting. That aside, planning poker is fun and lets you walk through droves of tasks in no time. You get to judge effort and requirements and *everybody* on the team has an impression of what's coming up in the next few weeks. That is *very* important. ... This should happen in sprint planning the latest. Very often people of a certain field notice things that have been forgotten by management, long before the task is even due. Also very helpful and a big plus of a formalised method such as scrum.

    4.) Yes, Scrum has an overhead, just like any other method. Quit whining. The job of Scrum is to keep the overhead to an *absolute* minimum while keeping everything else tightly organised and flexible on a sprint to sprint basis at the same time. If that doesn't happen, you or your Scrum Master is doing it wrong.

    5.) Scrum gives your Scrum Master the power to tell you boss "Leave my guy alone, we're full up with tasks, unless you want me to bust this sprint and push every

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