Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions

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The Signpost

This page is for suggesting news to be covered in the next Signpost. We are a newspaper that covers subjects of general interest for our audience of Wikipedia editors. If you'd like guidance on editing for new editors, please inquire at the Teahouse. More general questions may be addressed to the help page.

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For general discussion, comments or questions regarding The Signpost, please see our feedback page. You can also write a piece yourself! See the submissions desk for details. Or send a news tip by email to our tipmail.

Suggestion by NikosLikomitros (2022-06-21)[edit]

The Signpost should write about the consequences of COVID pandemic in Wikipedias, especially in the activity of many Wikipedias of the developing world. In the developing world, the years until 2020 were met with continuous and uninterrupted growth in users and activity. However, after the beginning of the Covid pandemic, the brief further growth due to the first lockdown has been followed from a, for many Wikipedias, prolonged decrease in active users and activity.

Here are some examples:

  • Hindi had 7,707 active users in 2017 (according to Wikiscan), number that doubled to 15,2 thousand active users in 2020 based in Wikiscan. However in 2021 only 12,282 users made at least one edit according to Wikiscan. The evidence from 2022's activity show further decrease. And before the pandemic it was one of the shining stars globally in activity and gradually new articles, heading for more than 2 thousand active users in 2020 (in regular basis).
  • Spanish had 118 thousand active users in the same year, 2017 (Wikiscan data)). In 2020 the active users had surged in 150 thousand (Wikiscan) and in 2021 the users decreased to 131 thousand. More decrease is expected in 2022.
  • Indonesian, based in the same site, has recovered from 2021's decrease and heads back to normal.
  • Turkish had 32,585 users in 2020, in the first year after the unblock. In the next year 30,3 thousand users did at least one edit, and further decrease seems to be expected.
  • Bengali had 5,230 users in 2017. In 2019 the users with at least one edit increased to 10,8 thousand. In 2020 users increased to 11,6 thousand, and in 2021 to 11,8 thousand. This year a small decrease is possible. The impact, thus, was lower, but it would have been nearly to 17 thousand users without the pandemic's disruption and new articles would have continued to grow to more than 40-50 thousand a year.
  • Urdu had 1,385 users in 2017. In 2020 the users with at least one edit had surged to 2,576. In the next year they decreased to 2,127 and a check of this year's data shows very strong possibility for a further decrease.
  • Swahili had 590 users in 2017, 1,047 in 2020 and 1,012 in 2021. Finally for 2022 there is a strong possibility of growth based in the estimation from the numbers provided from Wikiscan.
  • Marathi had 2,020 users in 2017. In 2020 they reached 2,270 (in 2019 there were 2,591) and in 2021 they continued to decrease to 1,794. In 2022 the most recent data show further decrease, possibly even 30%.
  • French had 105 thousand users in 2017. In 2020 they reached 139 thousand, and they decreased to 133 thousand in 2021. As in 2010 there were 99 thousand users and 112 in 2014, it is obvious that much of post-2017 growth was driven from the French-speaking African countries.
  • Persian had 33 thousand users in 2017, 52 thousand in 2020 and 49 thousand in 2021.

I suggest that you should write an article for this decrease of activity in many Wikipedias of the developing world. This decrease has been mixed with stagnation or decrease in pageviews as well, as you can see from the Wikistats site. These decreases wouldn't have happened if Covid pandemic wasn't disrupting the growth cycle of various Wikipedias of the developing world. You can check, in Wikiscan, in the Calendar unit (checking Stats and after the name of year, which is given as e.g. 22 for 2022), the growth and decrease of annual new article production pre and post-2020.

I think that you must compile a such article, with interviews from Wikipedias of India, Africa and Asia giving their opinions for the decrease and what could be done to finally end it. After the publication of that article, if you judge that it would be on the benefit of the Signpost, I would suggest to publish an op-ed as well, showing an estimation of how Wikipedia's activity could be now if Covid was just a mere fiction. NikosLikomitros (talk) 21:36, 21 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is quite interesting. A deep dive on topics like COVID-19, the Russo-Ukranian War, etc could be done./ 🐶 EpicPupper (he/him | talk) 17:45, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Late, but @NikosLikomitros:, if you can give links for these statistics (I see that there are links for the first couple, but not the rest) I can try to write it into a story for this month or the next. Also, a lot of them stop around 2021 -- is it possible to get updated numbers for 2023? jp×g 08:58, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by PAC2 (2022-07-30)[edit]

The Signpost should write about...

In this notebook I posit an intuition and use Wikidata to test if my assumption is wrong or false. It's not directly using Wikipedia as such but it show how data from the sister project Wikidata can be used to test various assumptions. PAC2 (talk) 20:58, 30 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi @PAC2! Would you be comfortable with writing something up for this, for the September issue? Thanks, 🐶 EpicPupper (he/him | talk) 16:14, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course. PAC2 (talk) 20:16, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello, I'm sorry but I won't be able to finish my piece for tomorrow. PAC2 (talk) 20:47, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@PAC2, that's totally fine! Our publication deadline is actually on the 31st, but we'd also be happy to accept something later than that. Cheers, 🥒 EpicPickle (they/them | talk) 21:30, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@PAC2: If you are still interested, so are we -- let us know if you want to circle back on this. jp×g 09:14, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for your ping. Here is my draft User:PAC2/How to use Wikidata to test your intuitions. PAC2 (talk) 09:52, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
After some moves and redirect deletions, it looks like this is now at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Next issue/Wikidata. @JPxG: Still planning to publish it? Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:30, 3 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Legoktm (2022-09-05)[edit]

The Signpost should write about...the passing of Peter Eckersley. He was a prominent figure in digital rights advocacy at EFF, as well as an early contributor to Wikipedia as User:Pde, editing up through last year. I found out about his involvement in Wikipedia from this Twitter thread. Legoktm (talk) 23:12, 5 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Blue question mark? note to self, could go in 2022 obits jp×g 19:44, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by BD2412 (2022-09-29)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... User:BD2412 becomes the fourth Wikipedian to surpass two million edits. It's here now, but should be official here tomorrow. Moving Wheeler Martin from draft to mainspace was the edit that hit the magic number. I kind of feel like Forrest Gump in that scene after he has been running back and forth across America for three years, and suddenly stops and says, "I'm pretty tired, I think I'll go home now". Cheers! BD2412 T 07:09, 29 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Blue question mark? jp×g 19:44, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This was kind of a joke, but sometime in the next few weeks I'll cross 2,150,000. BD2412 T 12:34, 16 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by JamieF (2022-11-02)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... the View it! tool. A new tool for discoverability of images on Commons in development utilizing Structured Data on Commons. I would be happy to write/help write the article, if others are interested. JamieF (talk) 19:19, 2 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@JamieF: That sounds like it would be great. I would love to see a draft -- either as part of the technology report or potentially (if there is enough in there) as its own article. jp×g 09:11, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Project Osprey (2022-11-15)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... Wikipedia’s Citations Are Influencing Scholars and Publishers an interesting opinion piece with references Project Osprey (talk) 22:04, 15 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Gråbergs Gråa Sång (2022-11-17)[edit]

The what-to-do-about-twitter-blue discussion Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Twitter_Blue_and_verified_Twitter_accounts may be worth a mention. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 14:09, 17 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Daniel Case (2022-11-25)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... University of Kansas archaeologist John Hoopes' praise for Wikipedia's articles in that area at the end of a recent interview in Slate Daniel Case (talk) 07:30, 25 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Kosboot (2022-12-16)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... for "In the Media" Wikipedia’s Citations Are Influencing Scholars and Publishers By Rachel Helps kosboot (talk) 13:23, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by PAC2 (2023-01-07)[edit]

The Signpost should write about the Wednesday index ( OpenSexism measures gender diversity in 26 Wikipedia articles each week. This has created a nice dataset which helps measuring the evolution of gender diversity over time. Here is the article:

This is related to Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2022-05-29/In focus. PAC2 (talk) 14:49, 7 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Linking talk pages of mainspace articles to relevant Signpost articles[edit]

The template 'Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Templates/Signpost article link for WikiProjects' has been used rather consistently. Is there any mechanism to add relevant The Signpost articles to the talk pages of articles in the mainspace? There is a template already used for coverage which has been used around 4.5k times; can this template be used? For example, from this issue (v19i1), if I wanted to link the Technology Report to the corresponding Wikipedia article talk page how should I do it, the press template or some other way? Can I duplicate this process to other cases? FacetsOfNonStickPans (talk) 19:49, 11 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would indeed use the press report. This is basically a newspaper that is slightly more editable/close to home than most ~ 🦝 Shushugah (he/him • talk) 20:15, 11 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you Shushugah. I hadn't really expected a comment from a reader/contributor of The Signpost like me. Now that you have...
I think this is a small point but important enough to mention. All I can gauge from the current scenario is that no one has discussed this, it isn't on the About page, so WikiCommonsense applies, a case to case basis, based on The Signpost and English language Wikipedia structure.
The above example with Abstract Wikipedia I took seems a positive case. Other articles in mind would be more difficult to say. For example let's take, The Daily Mail does not run Wikipedia. Now the full article doesn't cover the header, since it is an "In the media" post, a bunch of other stuff are also mentioned. So do we draw from this a criteria that only those articles which cover the mainspace article in entirety and in depth with no other topic should be added? Another example, Wikipedia impacts town's reputation, assorted blogging. Here The Signpost has commented on a media article. So should The Signpost be linked, or should that media article? A number of threads emerge. Should a line about this be added to the About page? Should it become a formal part of the publication process? How many articles are we talking about here?
This much detail is unnecessary. This is a small point; getting out quality issues on time is the main priority. Those on the About page, thank you! FacetsOfNonStickPans (talk) 18:35, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Chetvorno (2023-01-17)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... The state of paid editing. This comes up on Signpost briefly every 6 months or so, but it is only getting worse. Wikipedia as a trusted worldwide information source has become the target of an enormous promotional Wikiwashing industry with the advertising budgets of huge corporations behind it. No one is even shy about paid editing anymore; I see ads for WikiFederation, WikiProficiency, WizardsOfWiki, WikiCurators (retch), The Mather Group, WhiteHatWiki all the time. I would like to see a comprehensive history of the problem, including a history of RfCs of proposals for dealing with COI editing.

I have been an editor for 16 years and I feel this is the main threat to Wikipedia. We will lose our main asset, our editors, if they realize their unpaid hard work upgrading articles with the truth will simply be reverted by boiler rooms of paid flacks at ad agencies editing anonymously. Corporations' excuse is they need to do COI editing to correct wrong or out of date information in their articles, but that's inverting causality: any actual errors in these articles are because few independent editors want to work on articles where there is a 900 pound gorilla in the room. What unbiased editor would waste their time editing corporate and business articles today? How corrupted are our articles on corporations? I would like to see the opinions of veteran editors and WMF on this, and what to do about it. --ChetvornoTALK 20:25, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Oltrepier (2023-01-22)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... two more press features for the project, this time courtesy of Il Post and The Atlantic!

The first article was published by Italian on-line newspaper Il Post - they have already written about Wikipedia in several instances - on January 2, 2023. The piece broke down the ongoing debate on the tone of the Wikimedia Foundation's fundraising banners that are usually hosted on the site at the end of each year: in the process, previous articles by Slate and The Washington Post on the same matter, as well as the WMF's official statements on Wikimedia 2030 and donations, were quoted as sources. If needed, I can help you translate the article to English.

On the other hand, just today (January 22), American magazine The Atlantic has published an article about the platform's approach to controversies and "edit wars", as well as its commitment to fact-checking through secondary sources. Most notably, the author has presented the very long discussion involving Gloria Hemingway as the starting point of his piece.

I don't know how interesting these news could sound like, realistically, but I hope it will still be an useful suggestion! Oltrepier (talk) 15:23, 22 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Oltrepier (2023-02-03)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... the recent restrictions to Wikipedia imposed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, a Government-owned agency that regulates telecommunication services in the country. Last Wednesday, the PTA seemingly blocked the platform in almost every area across the nation, in an attempt to push admins to remove some allegedly "blasphemous" (albeit unspecified) content from the site.

Not exactly a good omen, especially thinking about your report on Saudi Arabia from last month...

Oltrepier (talk) 17:44, 3 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by EEng (2023-02-16)[edit]

The Signpost should write about WP:Songs about Wikipedia/The RfA Candidate's Song. Funniest thing ever. EEng 19:27, 16 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I like it. Face-smile.svg Absolutely worth a listen, and so old by now that it is probably new to most. Andreas JN466 19:38, 16 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Thinker78 (2023-02-22)[edit]

The Signpost should write about the fall of the Abbasid caliphate in 1258. February marks 765 years to the day of the finalization of the destruction of knowledge accumulated for centuries, during that grotesque event of murderous and brutal conquest. I couldn't help but to express my feelings in the page's talk. In memoriam. Thinker78 (talk) 00:58, 22 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looks like a worthy addition to Wikipedia:There is a deadline at least. Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:13, 22 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Jason Rees (2023-02-26)[edit]

The Signpost should write about Wikipedia's tropical cyclone and weather projects changing their generic colour scheme which is used on the trackmaps, infoboxes and throughout the project. Its been a long slog and a lot of teeth-pulling but we seem to have finally managed to find a colour scheme that works, complies with Wikipedia's policies and a number of people are happy with, however, a number of people on and off wiki do not like the colour scheme changing. As a result, @Hurricanehink: has designed a press release to try and highlight what process the project has been through etc and I would strongly suggest that the Signpost covers this issue.Jason Rees (talk) 19:55, 26 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here to second this. I wrote up what should function as a press release, it would be nice to have it published somewhere besides just the project talk page. Hurricanehink mobile (talk) 22:00, 26 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Tyiohko (2023-02-27)[edit]

New Wikimedia Brand Report (about ten countries). For example, it showed that “80% of global internet users have heard of Wikipedia”, more than Britannica or Reddit, but less than Google or YouTube. Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons awareness - less than 20%. Not very good results for South Korea (Wikipedia awareness only 40%; 60% detractors; negative Net Promoter Score) and for young users (18-24). Also Free Knowledge Movement is not very popular. Tyiohko (talk) 21:21, 27 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Tokisaki Kurumi (2023-02-28)[edit]

I recently noticed an interesting phenomenon when observing the Chinese Wikipedia, the vast majority of Chinese Wikipedia editors are relatively young, Wikipedia:Wikipedians/Demographics tells us that 28% of users are older than 40, but it seems that the Chinese Wikipedia does not follow. I think this might be worth a writeup, right? ときさき くるみ not because they are easy, but because they are hard 18:22, 28 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Robertsky (2023-03-01)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... Wikimania 2023, to be held on 16–19 August 2023 in Singapore, program submission is now opened (since 28 February 2023, 16:00 UTC). It will be opened until 28 March 2023, 23:59 AoE. There are 11 tracks to submit your proposal to: Community initiatives; Education; Equity, inclusion, and community health; ESEAP (East, South East Asia, and the Pacific) region; GLAM, heritage, and culture; Governance; Legal, advocacy, and risk; Open data; Research, science, and medicine; Technology; Wild ideas. Diff post: Be part of the Wikimania 2023 program!; Track details, submission questions on Wikimania wiki. – robertsky (talk) 03:26, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Really sorry this got missed. Will be in the next issue, with a "Hurry" warning. Andreas JN466 01:23, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Andreas, thanks! Appreciate the follow up. :) – robertsky (talk) 04:22, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm adding User:robertsky as a co-author of News and notes where this will appear. ☆ Bri (talk) 16:39, 15 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Levivich (2023-03-13)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... "The Living Law of Wikipedia", a lecture by David Nelken of The Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London, delivered at Singapore Symposium in Legal Theory 2023. YouTube video. Compares Wikipedia's WP:PAGs to legal systems. Levivich (talk) 19:24, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

User:HaeB, is this something you would want to cover as part of Recent Research? (If not then I'll add the video to In the Media.) Andreas JN466 01:09, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the ping, Andreas. Yes, legal research is definitely in scope for RR. I'll aim put a brief note in the next issue of RR, but likely just quote an excerpt from the description - if you are going to listen to the talk and do a fuller writeup, feel free to (in either ITM or RR). Regards, HaeB (talk) 17:58, 15 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by AnonMoos (2023-03-30)[edit]

Maybe the Signpost could investigate anonymous IP's repeatedly adding short gibberish sections to the end of many article talk pages, which has been going on for months now. See the history of Talk:Tap code for one semi-random example. Or does anyone know if this has been discussed elsewhere, and any conclusions reached? Thanks. AnonMoos (talk) 22:53, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New Yorker article on "smear campaign" financed by the ruler of the United Arab Emirates[edit]

Perhaps Smallbones is already on this, but just in case:

The New Yorker has a lengthy investigative article titled "The Dirty Secrets of a Smear Campaign", describing how "Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, paid a Swiss private intelligence firm millions of dollars to taint perceived enemies". Most of the article isn't about Wikipedia, but there are several paragraphs about how the firm ("Alp Services", founded by an investigator named Mario Brero) used it for their purposes alongside many other interesting tools (such illegitimately obtaining phone call records or tax records of their targets, and planting stories in various news outlets). I'm excerpting them below for convenience.

The first part is about an American oil trader named Hazim Nada, founder of a company called Lord Energy:

On January 5, 2018, Sylvain Besson, a journalist who had written a book purporting to tie [Hazim Nada's father] Youssef Nada to a supposed Islamist conspiracy, published an article, in the Geneva newspaper Le Temps, claiming that Lord Energy was a cover for a Muslim Brotherhood cell. “The children of the historical leaders of the organization have recycled themselves in oil and gas,” Besson wrote. A new item in Africa Intelligence hinted darkly that Lord Energy employees had “been active in the political-religious sphere.” Headlines sprang up on Web sites, such as Medium, that had little editorial oversight: “Lord Energy: The Mysterious Company Linking Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood”; “Compliance: Muslim Brotherhood Trading Company Lord Energy Linked to Crédit Suisse.” A Wikipedia entry for Lord Energy [probably fr:Lord Energy] suddenly included descriptions of alleged ties to terrorism.

This outside view from the victim's perspective is later matched to what the reporter learned from leaked/hacked internal emails of "Alp Services":

In February, 2018, [Brero] asked for more money to expand his operation against Nada, and proposed “to alert compliance databases and watchdogs, which are used by banks and multinationals, for example about Lord Energy’s real activities and links to terrorism.” His “objective,” he explained, was to block the company’s “bank accounts and business.” [...]
Alp quickly put the Emiratis’ money to work. An Alp employee named Raihane Hassaine e-mailed drafts of damning Wikipedia entries. On an invoice dated May 31, 2018, the company paid Nina May, a freelance writer in London, six hundred and twenty-five pounds for five online articles, published under pseudonyms and based on notes supplied by Alp, that attacked Lord Energy for links to terrorism and extremism. (Hassaine did not respond to requests for comment. May told me that she had worked for Alp in the past but had signed a nondisclosure agreement.)


Alp operatives bragged to the Emiratis that they had successfully thwarted Nada’s efforts to correct the disparaging Lord Energy entry on Wikipedia. “We requested the assistance of friendly moderators who countered the repeated attacks,” Brero wrote in an “urgent update” to the Emiratis in June, 2018. “The objective remains to paralyze the company.” To pressure others to shun Lord Energy, Alp added dubious allegations about the company to the Wikipedia entries for Credit Suisse and for an Algerian oil monopoly [possibly Sonatrach, referring to these edits].

And regarding another target:

Brero’s campaign sometimes involved secret retaliation. In a 2018 report, a U.N. panel of human-rights experts concluded that the U.A.E. may have committed war crimes in its military intervention in Yemen. The Emiratis commissioned Brero to investigate the panel’s members, especially its chairman, Kamel Jendoubi, a widely admired French Tunisian human-rights advocate. [...] “Today, in both Google French and Google English, the reputation of Kamel Jendoubi is excellent,” Brero noted in a November, 2018, pitch to the Emiratis. “On both first pages, there is not a single critical article.” Within six months, Brero promised, Jendoubi’s image could be “reshaped” with “negative elements.” The cost: a hundred and fifty thousand euros.

Rumors spread through Arab news outlets and European Web publications that Jendoubi was a tool of Qatar, a failed businessman, and tied to extremists. A French-language article posted on Medium suggested that he might be “an opportunist disguised as a human-rights hero.” An article in English asked, “Is UN-expert Kamel Jendoubi too close to Qatar?” Alp created or altered Wikipedia entries about Jendoubi, in various languages, by citing claims from unreliable, reactionary, or pro-government news outlets in Egypt and Tunisia.

Jendoubi told me that he’d been perplexed by the flurry of slander that followed the war-crimes report. “Wikipedia is a monster!” he told me. He had managed to clean up the French entry, but the English-language page still stymied him. He said, “You speak English—can you help?”

I likely won't have time to look more into this, but it surely seems worthwhile to examine edit histories, look at whether frwiki has been discussing these issues, etc.

Regards, HaeB (talk) 16:37, 31 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wow, talk about a long form article - this one takes 1 hour 13 minutes to read. @HaeB:. It should make a very good Signpost article. For one thing, we can just quote the New Yorker as a form of "ground truth". Sure they can make mistakes, but their reputation for fact checking is probably the best in the business. And we can just quote them. Searching the WP record of edits may be fairly easy as well since they seem to give the article and the date. I'll ask @*Jules*: right here and now if he can dig up anything in FRwiki. But I certainly can't do it for this issue, and doubt that anybody could do this properly in 3 days. I'm working on a boring article on systemically important banks and it's taking more time than I'd though. If I find more time, maybe I'll find some sexy banking stuff to add to it. I'll encourage anybody who wants a shot at this to start it, and I can certainly give some advice after this issue's deadline, April 2. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:05, 31 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Try again @Jules*: Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:08, 31 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hey. I will take a look tomorrow. — Jules* talk 18:23, 31 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just finished reading that article; found this added by single-purpose account User:Ramzan.khutaissi in July 2019 in the Credit Suisse history. It was subsequently removed in January 2021. I wasn't able to find an article (existing or deleted) on Lord Energy. I removed this from Sonatrach, also originally added by a a differnt SPA (User:Bounableilalaw) back around the same time in 2019: [1]. OhNoitsJamie Talk 02:01, 1 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't have much time, but fr:Lord Energy has been created (with negative elements) by SPI Davidefergan (talk · contribs) in June 2018. Reverts to keep the contents seem to all have been made by legit editors. I forwarded this discussion on fr-wp antispam project.
On fr:Kamel Jendoubi, negative elements have been added by SPI Rachidayedtunis (talk · contribs) in January 2019, and by SPI Mouhatou93 (talk · contribs) in August 2019. Those negative elements have been deleted in 2021 by an SPI and then by Josce (talk · contribs).
Best, — Jules* talk 11:23, 1 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems to me it should be mentioned that Kamel Jendoubi is a BLP article, and the content added to it was clearly slanderous, poorly cited, and in ungrammatical English, but when an IP tried to remove it, one of our WP:RCP users reverted the IP, claiming "censorship". This speaks to me of the difficulties of checking thousands of edits every day NotBartEhrman (talk) 19:27, 7 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Tcr25 (2023-04-07)[edit]

The Signpost should write about the oldest hoax/false statement found thus far. As part of a peer review/expansion of Clipperton Island attempts to source the claim of a 1725 French expedition to the island found nothing predating 2003, which is when the claim was first added to Wikipedia. It seems the claim lasted on the page for 19 years, 3 months, and 15 days, propagating to a number of other sites, including print sources.

McGann, Mary; Schmieder, Robert W.; Loncke, Louis-Philippe (2019). "Shallow-water Foraminifera and Other Microscopic Biota of Clippertion Island, Tropical East Pacific" (PDF). Atoll Research Bulletin (626): 5. ISSN 0077-5630.

The previous longest-lasting known false statement was 15 years, 5 months; the longest-lasting known hoax article was 17 years, 5 months. —Carter (Tcr25) (talk) 22:08, 7 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I feel vaguely sad that the item I found is no longer the record-holder. XOR'easter (talk) 15:47, 15 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This feels like a good place to share an example I found. The earliest iteration (16 April 2002) of the article Dili includes the line "Dili was settled about 1520 by the Portuguese, who made it the capital of Portuguese Timor". I am open to being embarassingly corrected on this entire matter, but from what I can tell this is not true. I don't know if it was a hoax, I more suspect it was a good faith mistake on a historical topic which remains somewhat unclear even today. The 1520s were when Portugal started operating in and around Timor, but this was trade rather than settlement, and it was a long time before the center of Portuguese control was even on that island. At some point the first settlement occurred at Lifau, which later again became the administrative centre. It was only in 1769 that Dili became the center, as a result of the Governor literally moving there with a thousand other people. So far as I can tell Dili was effectively founded at that point, although there might have been a small settlement earlier? At any rate, this claim remained in the article until I removed it on 21 July 2021 (separately removed from the infobox). To this day Britannica still says "Dili was settled about 1520 by the Portuguese, who made it an administrative centre". CMD (talk) 03:30, 2 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good catch after 19 years, 3 months, 6 days. Looking at the Portuguese version of the article (pt:Díli), it was created in September 2004 with the same 1520 claims, but much of the history section was rewritten at the end of November 2005 to line up with what you've noted although the sourcing there could be more in-depth. That edit (and a lot of further expansion of the article) was done by Manuel de Sousa who helped found Tetum-language Wikipedia. Looking at some histories of the region, it's possible a trading post was set up in the vicinity of Dili around 1520 (though I haven't found anything that confirms that), but it certainly wasn't a seat of colonial government until much, much later. (Looking at more of the Dili article history, it seems the claim was edited over time to make clear that Dili wasn't founded as the capital in 1520. In this May 2002 edit the capital claim was dated to 1596; an IP editor in April 2007 changed the date to 1796 with the edit summary "→‎History: date wrong, check founding date, I don't believe it too!" It remained that way until CMD started in on the article in June and July 2021.) —Carter (Tcr25) (talk) 12:38, 2 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I there! I’m not an active contributor nowadays, but please let me know if I can be useful in anyway. Regards, Manuel de Sousa (talk) 22:58, 8 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Jayron32 (2023-04-12)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... Sam Denby's Half as Interesting video on ArbCom Jayron32 15:40, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • In "Wikipedia in other media" news, Half as Interesting has done a video about ArbCom. Just in case anyone was interested. Might be worth a little note. --Jayron32 15:40, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Oltrepier (2023-04-12)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... the role Wikipedia might have played (ironically) in NPR's decision to quit Twitter. As reported by Gizmodo, Business Insider and even the network itself, Elon Musk told reporter Bobby Allyn that he relied on this specific category to determine which accounts should be deemed as "state-affiliated" or "government-funded". As a result, someone even decided to add a clarification to the aforementioned page. Unfortunately, I guess NPR's reputation wasn't the only one at risk of serious damage here...

@Smallbones and Jayen466: It's very likely that you were already writing on this, but I still wanted to report it, hopefully it's useful. Oltrepier (talk) 16:53, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Hansmuller (2023-04-15)[edit]

Would The Signpost welcome a piece by me, combining and updating User:Hansmuller/The_sum_of_all_knowledge (including international interpretations) and User:Hansmuller/Five_Pillars_plus_one (also Wikology/Wikisophy :-) in a more appropriate style? The sum of all knowledge might also be viewed as an extra Pillar, so then we would end up with a total of Seven Pillars of Wikipedia? Thank for considering this proposal, Hansmuller (talk) 08:41, 15 April 2023 (UTC), Wikipedian in Residence African Studies Centre LeidenReply[reply]

@Hansmuller: This looks a bit out of place here, see Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Submissions for proposing contributions written by oneself.
Without preempting a full discussion there, my first impression is that the "sum of all knowledge" piece looks like an interesting and valuable overview of various interpretations of this term. The "pillars" piece I didn't find as convincing or interesting on first glance, but that too could be further discussed on the submissions page. Regards, HaeB (talk) 05:30, 8 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Nardog (2023-04-25)[edit]

In wholesome news, User:Junnn11, a prolific contributor of illustrations of anthropods, made the main page of Hacker News [2] and a Japanese blog [3]. Nardog (talk) 21:14, 25 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Summary of conference talk: Historians on Wikipedia in higher education #LILAC23[edit]

The Signpost should write about...for "In the media" (or something more): Authority of knowledge: historians on Wikipedia in higher education #LILAC23 blogpost by Sheila Webber about a talk by Delphine Doucet given at the #LILAC23 Conference (information literacy). Maybe Doucet is an editor? - kosboot (talk) 15:51, 27 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Rhododendrites (2023-05-08)[edit]

I was going to just post an update here, but I don't know how much traffic this page gets, so updating the date/position, too. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 12:09, 8 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I posted the below back in March. By the time the next issue comes out, the show will be over, but it may be a good time for a post-event mention. Maybe it's because I'm active uploading photos on Commons, but IMO it seems like a big deal for someone in our community to have their original wiki-contributions featured in a gallery/museum. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 12:09, 8 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey Signpost. I've learned of what may be the first museum exhibit of a Wikimedian's contributions to the project. Frank Schulenburg has a photo exhibition going on through 5/14 at the Museum of Northern California Art, featuring prints of his photos that document northern California on Commons. There's information (including the photos themselves and documentation of the exhibit being set up) on this page on Commons: commons:User:Frank Schulenburg/Northern California on Wikipedia. Seems like something the Signpost may want to cover. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 22:00, 26 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Gråbergs Gråa Sång (2023-05-21)[edit]

The Signpost should write about...

Slightly amusing tail wags dog story. There is a new RM (7th, but who's counting (we are)) going on at Talk:Czech Republic. The arguments for moving include more weighty orgs like IOC now use Czechia. In the Talk:Czech_Republic#Moratorium sub-thread I pointed out that the Czech OC still used "the Czech Republic" on their about-page[4], and that someone should perhaps talk to them about that. Apparently someone did, the page was updated[5] and currently reads the Czechia. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 15:22, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Gråbergs Gråa Sång (2023-05-27)[edit]

The Signpost should write about...

India communicates with WMF: Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/Noticeboard#Communications_from_government_of_India_to_Wikimedia_Foundation_regarding_content_about_maps_depicting_the_borders_of_India. May be worth a mention. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:52, 27 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In the media Suggestion by Philh-591 (2023-05-31)[edit]

xkcd has mentioned Wikipedia again. Don't forget to mouse hover (tooltip) over the cartoon. I don't know if there are yet enough mentions of Wikipedia at xkcd to warrant a list at Wikipedia. Philh-591 (talk) 20:48, 31 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Philh-591 I wonder if he was inspired by a certain Sirocco. Yes, it's on Youtube. I'm also reminded of 2022 United Kingdom government crisis. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:25, 1 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is mentioned in brief at the upcoming edition of In the media. Not sure if webcomics should qualify as visual media or not. Jonatan Svensson Glad (talk) 22:33, 1 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by Groceryheist (2023-06-01)[edit]

The Signpost should write about...

A really interesting research article about how Wikipedia's institutions have changed over time that essentially claims that Wikipedia's processes have become less friendly to fringe views over time was just published open access in APSR, an elite political science journal.

The title is "Rule Ambiguity, Institutional Clashes, and Population Loss: How Wikipedia Became the Last Good Place on the Internet"

I suggest that someone (perhaps myself) review it for the next recent research section.

Groceryheist (talk) 03:15, 1 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is being mentioned in-depth in the upcomng edition of In the media (due to being mentioned in Political Science Now). But could perhaps be moved to another section of the paper. Jonatan Svensson Glad (talk) 22:31, 1 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Cool! Nice writeup. I think some additional coverage in a future recent research column could still be helpful (and can link to your In the media column). This is among the first (maybe the first) articles about Wikipedia in prestigious political science journals and so may not be on the radar of the broader audience of Wikipedia researchers that read the recent research newsletter. Groceryheist (talk) 17:54, 2 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion by 137a (2023-06-02)[edit]

The Signpost should write an article comparing the several user scripts that show the reliability of sources:

User:Headbomb/unreliable, User:Novem Linguae/Scripts/CiteHighlighter, and User:SuperHamster/CiteUnseen

some of the things about each script

Headbomb's script:

Novem Linguae's script

SuperHamster's script

All three scripts can apparently be used together without bugs (here is someone else's screenshot)

unreliable and citehighlighter used together

137a (talkedits) 18:02, 2 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]