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The Signpost
Single-page Edition
WP:POST/1
28 December 2021
 


Soundtrack to inspire readers of The Signpost

The regular Editor-in-Chief is taking well deserved rest – at least he said he was, but still snuck in to the Signpost Newsroom to make some last-minute improvements – and as acting Editor-in-Chief this month, I want to take this space to thank all the contributors who did step up during the past year to take a turn, or several turns, to keep it coming for our loyal readers. If you didn't notice, this is the 11th issue of The Signpost for 2021, not the 12th, reflecting a not-quite-perfect publishing year, and we're still looking for more people interested in the news biz.

As always, use the reader feedback on the articles to tell us what you think, make suggestions at our suggestions page or use the private tip link on the same page. We hope you continue to join us in a healthy, fortunate and bountiful 2022.



Reader comments


"Hello, World!" Jimmy Wales NFT.png
Is it live, or is it Memorex?

Jimbo's Strawberry iMac and non-fungible token

In a controversial move, Jimmy Wales auctioned an NFT of the "first Wikipedia edit", as well as his personal iMac which he used during the early days of Wikipedia, through the Christie's auction house. The NFT included a reconstructed website based on how the Wikipedia website appeared to him after its first edit, which Jimbo recalled in 2019 as him typing as "Hello, World!" before erasing it. However, some pointed out that the original timestamp of his reconstructed "first edit" was a couple minutes after a separate edit previously recorded as the first.

NFTs are controversial because they require proof of work in order to be recorded on a blockchain, an extremely energy-intensive method of recording transactions, and because they depend on cryptocurrencies (controversial for their use in ransomware attacks and their association with a large number of other scams). Other criticisms of the NFT sale include objections to the idea of Wales trying to create a type of ownership, or artificial scarcity, of a freely-licensed work − "Hello, World!" − whereas Wikipedia is dedicated to breaking down barriers to public access to knowledge. A recent Wikimedians in Residence Exchange Network discussion grappled with this issue, as well as its implications for the Wikimedia Movement.

The final auction hammer prices were $150,000 for the iMac and $600,000 for the NFT, according to Wales. The more commonly reported prices of $187,500 and $750,000 include the buyer's premium.

See also coverage in this issue's In the mediaS

Eight newly elected arbitrators

Three veteran ArbCom members (Worm That Turned, Opabinia regalis and Beeblebrox) were again elected to two-year terms on the committee in this year's elections. Five other editors were elected for the first time, all for two-year terms: Wugapodes, Enterprisey, Donald Albury, Izno, and Cabayi. The Signpost congratulates all these recently elected arbs, and also thanks Guerillero, Thryduulf, and Banedon for their participation in the election.

Our special thanks for a job well done go to the arbitrators who have completed their arbitration service and declined to run again. Casliber, David Fuchs, Newyorkbrad and SoWhy will also relinquish their oversight and checkuser permissions. KrakatoaKatie will retain these permissions, which she received before becoming an arbitrator, to work in areas which require them.

See more coverage in this issue's Arbitration Report. – S

Requests for Adminship 2021

For the sixth month this year, there were no successful RfAs in December, with only seven new administrators chosen all year: Hog Farm, TJMSmith, Ashleyyoursmile, Less Unless, Trialpears, BusterD and Blablubbs. There were only four unsuccessful results, with the most spectacular RfA being that for Eostrix who gained 123 supports against only one oppose and two neutrals before being blocked as a sockpuppet. (See earlier Signpost coverage).

This year's seven represented the lowest number of new administrators appointed in one year since 2003, when the RfA process began. The previous low was ten, in 2019; the all-time high was 408, in 2007. There are currently 1,066 administrators, with only 463 considered active (having made more than 30 edits in the last two months). – S

Requests for Adminship 2022 and beyond

The general health of the administrator community, as demonstrated by the figures above, appears to be low. In an effort to fix these problems, a process of RfC-based reform began earlier this year (see earlier Signpost coverage). The 2021 RfA reform ended with the passing of a modest list of proposals:

Proposal 8B, the "admin elections" scheme involving an express method of selecting admins via secret ballot, was closed with a controversial "no consensus" and a review of the closure at the administrators' noticeboard. – B

WMF's audited financial statements released

An audited Fiscal Year 2020-2021 financial statement was posted by the Wikimedia Foundation on December 15, as well as a FAQ published by WMF for its interpretation.

Highlights from the balance sheet include $209 million in current assets – of which $87 M were in cash or cash equivalents and $117 M was in short-term investments. Total assets amount to $240 M, which includes $20 M of long-term investments and only $10 M in property and equipment. Note that we're leaving out several of the smaller categories.

Total support and revenue was $163 M, which mostly comes from $153 M in donations and contributions. Total expenses were $112 M, which include $68 M for wages and salaries, $10 M for awards and grants, and $12 million for professional services as well as other categories. This resulted in an increase in net assets by $51 M, raising total net assets to $231 M as of June 30, 2021.

The 2020-21 Fundraising Report, released in October, breaks down contributions across several categories. Across continents donors in

  • North America gave $89.6 million
  • Europe – $45.9 million
  • Asia – $7.8 million
  • Australia and New Zealand – $5.6 million
  • South America – $1.05 million
  • Africa – $61,999

Note that anonymous donors are excluded from the totals and this report is not formally audited. The English language campaign, which covers Australia, Canada, Ireland, the UK, the US, and New Zealand, contributes almost half of all donations. – B, – S

Brief notes



Reader comments


IngridHaebler1966.jpg
Ingrid Haebler with a boy dressed like young Mozart and a yellow-red tulip named after her (Keukenhof, 1966)

In the 1960s and 1970s Austrian pianist Ingrid Haebler was arguably one of the best performers of the piano works of Mozart. After a concert at Hunter College in 1976, The New York Times wrote about her “peculiar blend of geniality and warm sentiment”. That review, by Donal Henahan, started with this line: “Ingrid Haebler is regarded by many people, including many Viennese, as the quintessential Viennese pianist.” Henahan was right. Haebler’s respectable and quiet style was less favoured in the 1980s (as too “prim and proper”), though music lovers in Japan and elsewhere kept adoring her. Haebler was asked by Denon Records to record all of Mozart's piano sonatas. Haebler still performed in the 1990s, when she was in her sixties.

Born in 1929?

In October 2008 someone started an unreferenced short but nice Wikipedia article about Ingrid Haebler. Of course Mozart, Bach and Beethoven were mentioned. The article even included a line about the cycle of recordings by Haebler later falsely attributed to Joyce Hatto and published under her name by Hatto's husband, William Barrington-Coupe. Ingrid Habler's date of birth was given as 20 June 1929.

No, born in 1926?

In 2010 another contributor came along, and changed the birth year from 1929 to 1926, with a reference to a German source. ("Ingrid Haebler zum 65. Geburtstag (20. Juni 1991)"). The Oxford Dictionary of Music (2013) also took Haebler to be born "Vienna, 1926". One of the best German newspapers, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, congratulated Ingrid Habler on her 90th birthday on 20 June 2016.

An authority control template was added to the article in 2012. This template lists several recognized authorities such as national libraries who give data such as preferred spellings of a person's name, and their birth dates. We can consult these sources now, but we can't say what they said back in 2012. In the meantime, the English language Wikipedia changed the date of birth to 1929, before changing it back to 1926 (in March 2017) and finally turning again to 1929 in August 2019, with a new reference.

Not born three months before her brother

So what is the truth? Was Haebler born in 1926 or in 1929? All of the fuss could have easily been prevented, if the Wikipedia community had listened better to an early contributor to the German language Wikipedia, who argued that 1926 was wrong and 1929 was the correct year of birth of Ingrid Haebler. In October 2008 Gerhard Kiefl argued at the talk page of the German Wiki article: "her brother Hilmar Haebler was born on 27 September 1926, from the same mother ... if that isn’t convincing, what is?" (my translation). Instead of checking this, people pointed to some wrong old sources, and consequently didn't want to change the (wrong) birth year 1926 to (the correct year) 1929.

The authority control VIAF lists Ingrid Haebler's birth year as 1929 in 12 references, and as 1926 in 3 references. Another authority control OCLC's WorldCat simply lists the birth year as 1929.

If "alternative facts" find their way to the real world, Wikipedians should be aware of the problem of circular referencing and different ways of resolving these apparent contradictions.

All’s well that ends well

Ingrid Haebler has given her life to music and Mozart, and in 2021 reached the respectable age of 92.




Reader comments

December can be a slow month for news, as many journalists repeat the old saw that buying Christmas presents is good for the economy or otherwise promote their advertisers' businesses. We feared that we'd need to fill this space with some boring old history stories. We got history, all right – but it isn't boring. As William Faulkner wrote: "The past is never dead. It's not even past." This month's stories discuss the first edit on Wikipedia, strife over a massive deletion discussion, and even a critic who 17 years ago described Wikipedians as "Khmer Rouge in diapers."

Hello, NFT!?

IMac G3 Strawberry Tray-Loading 1999.JPG
For sale Sold: one slightly used iMac, see founder for details

Media sources called it the sale of Wikipedia's first edit: Christie's auctioned a non-fungible token (NFT) of an artistic recreation of the Wikipedia website displaying the "Hello, World!" message which co-founder Jimmy Wales entered as the first edit to Wikipedia in January 2001. Wales said he will use the proceeds to support WT.Social or other free culture projects. Also included in the auction was a strawberry colored iMac that Wales used from his home to make other early edits.

Early coverage of the auction quickly mirrored the Christie's announcement. The Verge took its time and featured a good interview with Wales. Slate included in-depth coverage of many community concerns, and performed the invaluable service of defining – as near as humanly possible – what an NFT is. An article by Vice investigated the murky depths of the community's reactions.

See more coverage in this issue's News and Notes. – B, – S

Fast Company on China

Adding to the "Wikimedians of Mainland China" imbroglio that The Signpost has been reporting on since July, Alex Pasternack in Fast Company reports that in 2018, "three WMC members beat up a colleague to deter him and others from breaking the group’s de facto rules. Among other things, the victim had publicly disclosed that police officers had questioned two other WMC members about their Wikipedia work."

Fast Company was not the fastest in covering the story. Slate also had exceptional coverage, as did an article and a video from the BBC. But with more time and a longer article, Fast Company's coverage is more detailed and more comprehensive. There's more information on the physical attack, and longer statements from the WMF's Maggie Dennis. Serious consideration is given on how open Wikipedia is to state-sponsored attacks, and some of our current defenses. – B, – S

Wikipedia meets the history wars

Dyadya lenin.jpg
"Comrade Lenin cleanses the earth of filth." Soviet propaganda poster, 1920.

"Wikipedia threatens to purge 'communist mass killings' page, cites anti-communist bias" according to commentary in The Daily Signal, the right-wing news outlet of the Heritage Foundation. The article was reprinted by The Christian Post and other outlets. The op-ed, by Douglas Blair, discusses disputes on the Wikipedia article Mass killings under communist regimes, and notes that the article was recently put up for deletion. Though that discussion is now closed, it continues to be subject to debate about issues such as its neutrality and the reliability of some sources. Blair's view is that "efforts to delete the article represent a dangerous combination of censorship and communist apologia".

Throughout much of the 20th century, large swaths of the world were governed by communist regimes, which advocate for the common ownership of property and industry. Some of the most brutal regimes of the last hundred years were communist. – L, – S

Disclosure – Smallbones voted "Strong keep" at the AfD and has previously edited the article extensively.

Like a beautiful garden with some thorns

In "Education Is Like a Beautiful Garden", The New York Times opinion writer Peter Coy lists his recommended end-of-the-year charitable donations with Wikipedia Foundation as his top choice, followed by Khan Academy, Children International, and the International School for Champions in Kenya.

Coy states that he uses Wikipedia almost every day, and that "The Wikimedia Foundation correctly calls the site 'the largest collection of open knowledge in history.' How cool is that?" He continues with reasons for giving to the WMF:

Although most of what makes Wikipedia work is the free labor, the Wikimedia Foundation needs money for technology and initiatives such as WikiProject Women in Red, WikiGap and AfroCROWD, which aim to create more and better pages by and about women and other underrepresented groups.

While this statement is generally correct, folks from WikiProject Women in Red have noted that their project does not receive direct financial support from the WMF, beyond the WMF paying hosting bills for the website.

In contrast to Coy, Andrew Orlowski presents the WMF as one of the worst causes to donate to. Wokepedia’s greed makes a mockery of the season of giving (paywall) published in The Telegraph (archive), Orlowski insists that the WMF does not need any money because it has ample financial reserves, as well as an endowment fund. His argument reduces to a statement that charities should not raise funds unless they are broke. And why the shrill labeling, "Wokepedia"? Orlowski has been going on like this for a long time. In 2004 he labeled Wikipedians as "Khmer Rouge in diapers." Perhaps he is just offended by the idea of an encyclopedia being given away free to the world. – S

In brief

From brain to Wikipedia
Do us proud, RETRO



Do you want to contribute to "In the media" by writing a story or even just an "in brief" item? Edit next month's edition in the Newsroom or leave a tip on the suggestions page.




Reader comments

Wikimedia Research Newsletter Logo.png
A monthly overview of recent academic research about Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, also published as the Wikimedia Research Newsletter.

"The First Paragraph Is As Good As It Gets": study discourages STEM students from using the rest of Wikipedia articles

A study published last month in the journal College Teaching[1] evaluated the suitability of English Wikipedia articles on STEM topics for undergraduate students' "opportunistic learning", defined as "informal, self-regulated study to learn, relearn, or be introduced to a concept".

The 28 articles were chosen from "six disciplines for which willing academics familiar with introductory STEM topics were available to participate in this study: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics", plus a "General" STEM category. Within each of these, the authors selected "four diverse introductory topics commonly encountered in STEM programs [... covering] topics commonly misunderstood or important in the discipline". The four "Statistics" articles had already been examined in a previous paper by three of the authors (see our review: "Evaluating Wikipedia as a self-learning resource for statistics: You know they'll use it").

Each article was evaluated in three components, based on a revision from 14 November 2019: "the entire article, the preamble (before the Table of Contents) [what Wikipedia's manual of style refers to as the lead section], and the preamble first paragraph". The focus on the latter two was motivated by the observation that they "are easily accessed on mobile devices with small screens, and [...] may be all that is read" (quoted from the earlier paper), an assumption supported by several data points and research results.

The articles were evaluated using what the authors call the "ACPD framework" (developed in their earlier paper), assigning a score from 1 ("Not suitable for opportunistic learning") to 3 ("Recommended for opportunistic learning") in each of four criteria:

  • Article accuracy (A), including definitions; interpretation; notation; usage; examples. Accuracy focuses on errors, ambiguities, omissions, and inconsistencies, but also correct spelling and grammar.
  • Effectiveness of the conceptual explanations (C): logical explanations that lead to procedures; explanation beyond definitions; explanation of what is behind the procedure.
  • Effectiveness of the procedural explanations (P): accuracy of procedures explained; examples used to explain procedure; explanation of procedure.
  • Effectiveness of the display or visual components (D): clear; accessible; coherent and well-paced; organized; logical; interesting; context; readability; density of formulae; use of diagrams, videos, animations etc. for illustration; complexity, use and suitability of images.

The authors summarize the resulting ratings as follows:

"Physics was the only discipline to receive zero 3-Ratings. In contrast, Chemistry received four 3-Ratings. [...] Accuracy (A-qualifier) was a barrier to opportunistic learning in nine of the 84 components (all in Environmental Science and Statistics) [...]. The number of A-qualifiers alone suggests not recommending Wikipedia as a learning resource in STEM disciplines.

Conceptual barriers were common (all components within every discipline, except the first paragraphs of Statistics articles), and procedural barriers reasonably common (except for Chemistry). [...] Statistics has (ignominiously) the most barriers regarding displays. Statistics and Environmental Science have the most identified barriers overall.

The number of C-, P- and D-qualifiers noticeably increased while moving from the first paragraph, to the preamble, to the article (Table 3), suggesting first paragraphs are the most useful component."

In the Statistics category, the authors judged the first paragraphs "excellent" with the exception of histogram. But "the preambles and the entire articles were generally poor, with many A-qualifiers (errors). Some errors were basic..."

In "Environmental Science" (the other discipline where the evaluation had flagged accuracy concerns, in the articles extinction and greenhouse effect), the study criticized "uneven, vague, overly simplistic and/or imprecise" writing, highlighting an example from the article species which said "evolutionary processes cause species to change continually, and to grade into one another". The study also took issues with "paragraphs only tangentially related to the topic [...] For example, the 'Biodiversity' (Environmental Science) article states 'Biodiversity inspires musicians, painters, sculptors, writers and other artists', which is not useful for a learner seeking to understand the concept of biodiversity".

In "Mathematics", "articles were generally instructive from an encyclopedic viewpoint, but the fluid narrative was less useful for learners unless supplemented". While there were no accuracy concerns, "C-qualifiers were frequently applied because the development was less helpful for opportunistic learning".

For "Chemistry", the study criticized that "eight of the 12 article components lacked conceptual development (C). The articles introduced concepts at a level substantially above that expected of undergraduates or assumed knowledge that most would not have".

The authors emphasize that these evaluations were specific to the suitability of the Wikipedia articles for opportunistic learning, and that "a technically correct article may be a poor opportunistic learning resource. Of course, some criticisms (e.g., accuracy) may apply more generally".

Briefly

  • See the page of the monthly Wikimedia Research Showcase for videos and slides of past presentations.
  • A podcast interview with Heather Ford (author of various research publications about Wikipedia and of an upcoming book titled "Writing the Revolution: Wikipedia and the Survival of Facts in the Digital Age" covers "the power struggles and community governance that makes the site one of the most trusted information sources on the web".
  • The Wikimedia Foundation's research team published the fourth and fifth in a series of biannual reports about its work.

Other recent publications

Other recent publications that could not be covered in time for this issue include the items listed below. Contributions, whether reviewing or summarizing newly published research, are always welcome.

"Quality change: norm or exception? Measurement, Analysis and Detection of Quality Change in Wikipedia"

From the abstract:[2]

"... we study evolution of a Wikipedia article with respect to [Wikipedia's internal] quality scales. Our results show novel non-intuitive patterns emerging from this exploration. As a second objective we attempt to develop an automated data driven approach for the detection of the early signals influencing the quality change of articles. We posit this as a change point detection problem whereby we represent an article as a time series of consecutive revisions and encode every revision by a set of intuitive features. Finally, various change point detection algorithms are used to efficiently and accurately detect the future change points."


"Digital Communication and Interactive Storytelling in Wikipedia : A Study of Greek Users' Interaction and Experience"

This master's thesis[3] presents results of a survey asking readers of Greek Wikipedia how useful they found its "interactive storytelling tools (hyperlinks to other articles, navigation tables, page previews, photos, external sources of information, etc.)", and about improvements they would suggest.


"A Map of Science in Wikipedia"

From the abstract:[4]

"We rely on an open dataset of citations from Wikipedia, and use network analysis to map the relationship between Wikipedia articles and scientific journal articles. We find that most journal articles cited from Wikipedia belong to STEM fields, in particular biology and medicine (47.6% of citations; 46.1% of cited articles). Furthermore, Wikipedia's biographies play an important role in connecting STEM fields with the humanities, in particular history."

"Analyzing Race and Country of Citizenship Bias in Wikidata"

From the abstract:[5]

By comparing Wikidata queries to real-world datasets [listed here, ...] we discovered that there is an overrepresentation of white individuals and those with citizenship in Europe and North America; the rest of the groups are generally underrepresented. Based on these findings, we have found and linked to Wikidata additional data about STEM scientists from the minorities. This data is ready to be inserted into Wikidata with a bot.

References

  1. ^ Dunn, Peter K.; Brunton, Elizabeth; Marshman, Margaret; McDougall, Robert; Kent, Damon; Masters, Nicole; McKay, David (2021-11-13). "The First Paragraph Is As Good As It Gets: STEM Articles in Wikipedia and Opportunistic Learning". College Teaching. 0 (0): 1–10. doi:10.1080/87567555.2021.2004387. ISSN 8756-7555. closed access
  2. ^ Das, Paramita; Guda, Bhanu Prakash Reddy; Seelaboyina, Sasi Bhusan; Sarkar, Soumya; Mukherjee, Animesh (2021-11-02). "Quality change: norm or exception? Measurement, Analysis and Detection of Quality Change in Wikipedia". arXiv:2111.01496 [cs].
  3. ^ Mavridis, George (2021). Digital Communication and Interactive Storytelling in Wikipedia : A Study of Greek Users’ Interaction and Experience.
  4. ^ Yang, Puyu; Colavizza, Giovanni. "A Map of Science in Wikipedia". arXiv:2110.13790 [cs].
  5. ^ Shaik, Zaina; Ilievski, Filip; Morstatter, Fred (2021-08-11). "Analyzing Race and Country of Citizenship Bias in Wikidata". arXiv:2108.05412 [cs].




Reader comments

In the previous issue, we covered the 2020 elections, so in this one it's only fitting that we cover the 2021 elections. From November 22 to December 6, 2021, elections were again held for Tranche Beta of the English Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee, and the results were formally announced on the 20th. There were a total of eleven candidates (Beeblebrox, Cabayi, Donald Albury, Enterprisey, Izno, Opabinia regalis, Worm That Turned, Wugapodes, Guerillero, Thryduulf and Banedon). A total of 1,633 ballots were cast, including 63 duplicates; out of the 1,572 votes, two were invalidated by scrutineers, leaving 1,570 votes. While ten of the eleven candidates met the 60% approval threshold for a two-year term, there were only eight open seats to be filled, so only the top eight were appointed:

I, for one, welcome our new protostome overlords.

There were three additional editors in the election who we thank for their candidacy: (Guerillero, Thryduulf and Banedon).

Of the eight selected, three had been arbitrators at some time in the past: Opabinia regalis (2016–17 and 2018–19), Beeblebrox (2014), and Worm That Turned (2013–14 and 2018–19). The latter two also served on the previous Tranche Beta in 2020–21.

The new arbitrators' terms are to begin on January 1. On the same day, the terms of five current Tranche Beta arbitrators are to end: Casliber, David Fuchs, KrakatoaKatie, Newyorkbrad and SoWhy.

Situations and circumstances

Renaming, Deadnaming, Blocks, UCoC, Policy, the Universe and Everything
A clarification request was made on December 1, related to some implications of a global rename request made by a former English Wikipedia administrator banned by the Arbitration Committee in 2013. The user's original request for a rename of the blocked account had been declined, after which they challenged the decision. This eventually made it over to Meta-Wiki. Ultimately, the Committee decided that the issue was outside of their bailiwick, that no action from the English Wikipedia ArbCom was necessary in this issue, and the account ended up globally renamed to El Sandifer.
Keeping a close eye on Horny editors
On November 29, WP:ARBHORN was amended after a clarification request regarding remedies in the Horn of Africa case was closed; the Committee declined to open a full case, but ruled for discretionary sanctions in that area to be made permanent.
Épine unblocked, checkuser issue forgiven
On December 10, the user Épine was unblocked following an appeal to the Committee. Épine is to be restricted to the use of one account. Some discussion at the talk page followed, in which arbitrator Maxim said: "this is isn't a case of someone creating a bunch of obvious inappropriate accounts, as most appeals of Checkuser blocks are, but just one other account, and this result is very much 'please don't do this again and stick to one account in the future'". Here's hoping we can all get along.
Open-mic night cancelled on the functionary email list
On December 11, a "review of current practices involving email lists" led the Committee to conclude that the functionaries email list would no longer accept incoming email from any rando who dropped it a line; only list members and WMF staff will be allowed to post to it, whereas other senders will get a message directing them to send to the normal ArbCom list. Functionary TonyBallioni said on the talk page there "wasn't a huge volume, but it's been a while since I've seen a useful email come through to the list from a non-member". We are left to speculate about whose lunch pics were the final straw.
Former admin El Sandifer unbanned
El Sandifer, whose username was changed earlier in the month, submitted an appeal of her 2013 ban and desysop for publishing material that revealed "non-public personal information about a Wikipedia editor with whom [Sandifer had] been in dispute on-wiki." The decision, posted on December 17, was supported by eight arbitrators and opposed by six. Bradv said: "I have no interest in re-litigating anything that happened in the past and I look forward to my skepticism being proven unfounded".
We flattened the curve, no new cases!
Not a single new case was listed for December 2021. Keep washing your hands and maintaining a six-foot distance, folks!
Denied requests
Two arbitration requests were denied: "One sided fight with Huldra" (removed as premature on December 1) and "LGBT parenting" (removed as premature and its filer blocked on December 11). An amendment and clarification request concerning "all past cases regarding ethnic feuds" was declined on December 26.

38 enforcement actions taken since our last report

Enforcement requests

Six enforcement requests have been closed since the last arbitration report:

As of press time, there are two open enforcement requests: "Maneesh" and "Rapid-onset gender dysphoria controversy", both covered under remedies of the Gender and sexuality case from February 2021.




Reader comments

On November 19, 2021, the English Wikipedia reached 4 billion words. These are spread across 6,410,341 articles, giving us an average of 624 words per article.

To celebrate this monumental achievement, I have copied two tables from Wikipedia:Size of Wikipedia showing the number of words over time in the English Wikipedia, plus a table comparing the English Wikipedia to other language editions of Wikipedia, and a table comparing the English Wikipedia to the other English-language Wikimedia projects.

A brief history of Wikipedia's word count

The old Wikistats-1 has records of the total number of words in all articles every month from January 2001 to January 2010. Wikipedia underwent tremendous growth during that time, going from a mere 3000 words in January 2001 to 1.798 billion words in January 2010.

Unfortunately, there is no record of the number of words from January 2010 to December 2017; Wikistats-1 no longer includes the number of words after January 2010, and the Special:Statistics page only started showing the number of words in all content pages in December 2017. By January 2018, Wikipedia had over 3 billion words in all articles.

Yearly statistics

Copied from Wikipedia:Size of Wikipedia#Yearly statistics

The table below shows the number of words in all articles; it does not include words in other namespaces like Talk, User, or Wikipedia.

Date  Word count   Increase during 
preceding year
 % Increase during 
preceding year
Average increase
per day during
preceding year
Average number
of words
per article
2002-01 4,800,000 4,800,000 13,151 267
2003-01 32,100,000 27,300,000 569% 74,795 309
2004-01 61,400,000 29,300,000 91% 80,279 315
2005-01 127,000,000 65,600,000 107% 179,726 288
2006-01 353,000,000 226,000,000 177% 619,178 403
2007-01 709,000,000 356,000,000 101% 967,123 473
2008-01 1,082,000,000 373,000,000 53% 1,021,918 515
2009-01 1,437,000,000 355,000,000 33% 972,603 553
2010-01 1,798,000,000 361,000,000 25% 989,041 599
2011 to 2017
2018-01-03 3,077,580,920 159,947,625A 8.9%B 438,213C 555
2019-01-17 3,302,922,240 225,341,320 7.3% 617,373 570
2020-01-01 3,497,842,238 194,919,998 5.9% 534,027 584
2021-01-01 3,755,065,625 257,223,387 7.3% 702,796 604
2021-12-01 4,007,118,847 252,053,222D 624
A Average increase per year from 2010 to 2018; total increase of 1,279,581,000 words over the same time period
B Average percent increase per year from 2010 to 2018; overall increase of 71% over the same time period
C Average increase per day from 2010 to 2018
D So far this year

Monthly statistics

Copied from Wikipedia:Size of Wikipedia#Monthly statistics

The table below includes the total number of words in all articles and the number of words added at the start of each month since January 2020.

Date  Word count   Increase during 
preceding month
2020-01-01 3,497,842,238
2020-02-01 3,515,781,525 17,939,287
2020-03-01 3,533,853,569 18,072,044
2020-04-01 3,556,915,740 23,062,171
2020-05-01 3,584,029,618 27,113,878
2020-06-03 3,611,432,972 27,403,354
2020-07-01 3,631,265,076 19,832,104
2020-08-01 3,653,369,248 22,104,172
2020-09-01 3,673,339,409 19,970,161
2020-10-01 3,692,222,212 18,882,803
2020-11-01 3,713,395,900 21,173,688
2020-12-01 3,733,824,980 20,429,080
2021-01-01 3,755,065,625 21,240,645
2021-02-01 3,776,685,968 21,620,343
2021-03-01 3,811,006,931 34,320,963
2021-04-01 3,839,532,258 28,525,327
2021-05-01 3,889,436,965 49,904,707A
2021-06-01 3,901,873,166 12,436,201B
2021-07-01 3,910,030,230 8,157,064C
2021-08-01 3,928,967,545 18,937,315
2021-09-01 3,948,128,338 19,160,793
2021-10-01 3,967,621,552 19,493,214
2021-11-01 3,987,982,865 20,361,313
2021-12-01 4,007,118,847 19,135,982
A There was an unusually large increase in the number of words in April 2021 (49,904,707), followed by an unusually small increase in the number of words in May 2021 (12,436,201). Averaging the two gives 31,170,454.
B Of note, in May 2021 the number of words initially increased to about 3,915,000,000, then decreased to 3,901,873,166 by the end of the month. It is unclear whether this decrease was real or if the software was correcting for overcounting words the previous month.
C Like May 2021, June 2021 was associated with an unusually small increase in the number of words (8,157,064).

Other language editions of Wikipedia

These numbers are from the respective Special:Statistics page of each Wikipedia, as archived on November 19 or November 20. The Wikipedias are listed in order of total number of articles.

The total number of words and the average number of words per article do not take the differences between languages into account; for example, the numbers for the German Wikipedia are probably lower than expected because those absurdly long German compound nouns – or as the Germans say, Komposita – are counted as a single word.

Rank Language Article count Total number of words Average number of words per article
1 English 6,410,341 4,000,129,529 624
2 Cebuano 5,798,858 1,133,030,453 195
3 Swedish 2,869,907 554,187,156 193
4 German 2,633,928 1,371,867,034 521
5 French 2,375,039 1,455,423,310 613
6 Dutch 2,071,866 350,042,301 169
7 Russian 1,771,576 864,798,899 488
8 Spanish 1,732,337 1,004,609,868 580
9 Italian 1,726,906 809,795,169 469
10 Polish 1,497,172 428,331,733 286
11 Egyptian Arabic 1,379,812 263,860,931 191
12 Japanese 1,301,338 1,241,470,027 954
13 Vietnamese 1,270,100 296,895,040 234
14 Waray-Waray 1,265,577 148,504,147 117
15 Chinese 1,241,688 555,619,022 447
16 Arabic 1,143,857 383,567,056 335
17 Ukrainian 1,123,360 377,872,433 336
18 Portuguese 1,077,435 466,490,337 433

Other English-language Wikimedia projects

These numbers are from the respective Special:Statistics page of each Wikimedia project, as archived on November 19 or November 20. Please note that Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, and Wikispecies are multilingual. The projects are listed in order of total number of words.

Rank Wikimedia project Content page count Total number of words Average number of words per content page
1 Wikidata 95,868,410 data items 10,730,523,694 112
2 English Wikipedia 6,410,341 articles 4,000,129,529 624
3 English Wikisource 907,771 content pages 919,463,608 1,013
4 English Wiktionary 6,852,872 entries 197,504,739 29
5 English Wikibooks 94,113 pages 91,884,915 976
6 Wikispecies 780,754 content pages 76,472,516 98
7 English Wikiquote 41,095 articles 65,301,248 1,589
8 English Wikiversity 28,908 content pages 42,217,582 1,460
9 English Wikivoyage 30,532 travel articles 40,981,686 1,342
10 Wikimedia Commons 76,699,658 pages 18,979,904 0.25A
11 English Wikinews 21,670 news articles 9,910,365 42

A Wikimedia Commons has an average of 0.25 words per page, which is probably an underestimate because almost all of the text is in template boxes and is ignored by the word-counting software. For example, see this Wikimedia Commons page for an image used in the ALS article.



Reader comments

Hell of a year, huh? Or, perhaps, hell of a "twelve months that didn't really feel like a year had gone by"? We had one here on the Internet, that's for sure. And nowhere was it wackier than the free encyclopedia that anybody could edit. In 2021, we've spent our days hashing it out over nearly 22,000 individual nominations (around 60 per day). Most of them were not very tumultuous. Notability standards are invoked, disputed and interpreted in much the same way across many similar AfDs — the obscure villages, minor-league athletes, unreleased movies, minor high schools, groundbreaking startups, and tiny stubs start to blur together after a while. But every once in a while, something really special happens, the planets align just right, and a bunch of people type out thousands of words of text in a deletion discussion.

Sometimes it is just a protracted debate about arcane details of little relevance, and sometimes it is the extension of some long-roiling personal dispute between participants, full of sound and fury signifying nothing — but sometimes questions are raised that cut down to the core of what we think Wikipedia is, what we think it isn't, what we think it means, and what we think it should be. Questions that redefine what the largest encyclopedia in the history of human civilization wants to be about, and what role it wants to play in that civilization as a de facto adjudicator of which subjects are noteworthy.

Much money and power is spent in attempts to influence that adjudication — whether through outright paid editing, the volunteered advocacy of earnest believers, or our own beliefs as editors. We live in a society, but that society lives within us as well, and what we choose to cover as an encyclopedia is part of an intricate dance with that society. Love it or hate it, it matters.

Over the years, deletion processes have changed, because notability standards have changed, because Wikipedia has changed, because the Internet has changed, because the world has changed. One wonders, of course, to what extent the reverse order of this causal chain is true — not very, but probably at least a little bit.

So how many times have we brave, strange, monastic defenders of knowledge and freedom undertaken our solemn ritual? According to the database, a little under half a million (482,316 to be precise).

It seems like something that's this big a part of our project ought to have some attention paid to it, and probably more attention than human beings can pay on their own, so earlier this year I wrote some software to help with the task. The Oracle's unblinking electric eye is able to keep watch over all of those AfDs, from 2005 up until today, and from it we can glean some insights into the process which shapes our encyclopedia. So what are they?

From 2005 to 2020, there have been an average of around 28,000 deletion discussions per year; a lot more detail about this (including impressive graphs) can be found at the Oracle's all-time stats page. Suffice it to say, however, that 2006 was the all-time peak (54,606) and since 2014 the yearly average has hovered somewhere around 24,000. This year, there were almost 22,000, slightly fewer than in 2020 (24,000) but considerably more than 2019 (18,000).

As has been the case in every year since 2005, the majority (about 15,600, or 60%) closed as "delete" or "speedy delete". About 5,400 (25%) closed as "keep", "speedy keep" or "no consensus". About 2,700 (13%) closed as "merge" or "redirect". The rest closed as "userfy", "draftify", "withdrawn", or "transwiki". 134 AfDs (0.01%) had a close that my software couldn't parse.

There have been a number of surprising, contentious, unprecedented and downright strange deletion discussions in 2021. In March, we saw an ArbCom case related to mass creation of non-notable "geostubs", and in October Lewis (baseball), a featured article (which had appeared on the Main Page just several months earlier), was merged into 1890 Buffalo Bisons season. Last month, we had the largest AfD in history. Besides that, a lot of individual discussions have proved to be very active: hot-button political topics, detailed analyses of academic publishing trends, hot-button political topics, Internet memes-du-jour, chess tournaments, and hot-button political topics. Let's get to 'em.

Overall statistics

These figures are current as of December 28. More detailed statistics can be seen at the monthly Oracle page for December 2021, including numbers and percentages for all closes in the month.

In December 2021, there have been a total of 1,670 deletion discussions, an average of about 54 per day. 176 were relisted from November, leaving 1494 new nominations this month. 498 are currently open, and 1,172 have been closed.

Of the AfDs closed in December:

  • 758 (65%) were "delete" or "speedy delete".
  • 267 (23%) were "keep", "speedy keep", or "no consensus".
  • 122 (10%) were "merge" or "redirect".
  • 7 (0.59%) were closed as "draftify" or "userfy".
  • 7 (0.59%) were withdrawn.
  • 9 (0.76%) had close summaries that could not be processed by the Oracle.

Greatest hits of 2021

I guarantee this is the only time in your life you're going to see a collage with these images in it

For each month in 2021, I've tracked down the largest AfD (by page size) and the most active AfD (by !vote count).

January:

Ever heard of freakin' politics? Jake Angeli, best known for being "that dude with the horned fur headdress" at the the US Capitol building on January 6, certainly has. His article, created as a single-sentence stub the day after, was nominated for deletion four hours later by Andise1, who said that "being a QAnon believer and part of the group that stormed the Capitol is not enough to warrant notability/an article". Many agreed! Many disagreed, too. In fact, any article related to the sordid events of January 6 seemed to be a center of controversy. There were many such cases – the top 20 !voted-on AfDs of January included ten of them,[1] with a total of 549 !votes resulting in nine being deleted. Sad!
Over the course of a week, over two hundred !voters would pile into this discussion. Some said that he was a BLP1E, some said that he met WP:GNG. Some said he was a terrorist (as justification to delete), some said he was a terrorist (as justification to keep), some said he was just some guy. In the end, this amounted to 180 !votes, after "discounting votes of a couple of blocked socks and a couple of votes which are not policy-based". Ymblanter, closing it as "weak keep" on January 15, said:

If I look at the arguments, both sides have valid arguments. Those who argue for keeping say that the article meets WP:GNG since it has several dozens of high-quality sources. Those who argue for deletion cite WP:ONEEVENT, however, they get an objection that media have written about the subject of the article even before the attack for which he is mainly (in)famous. The objection to this reasoning was that media coverage prior to the event was much weaker and possibly would not meet WP:GNG - however, I do not see arguments of one of the sides convincingly refuted. As votes split 1:2, it means two-thirds of the users who participated in the discussion (and these are mostly good-faith users) believe that the GNG argument is stronger than ONEEVENT, and I can not close this as no consensus (which I would have probably done for an even split).

February:

February brought us another contentious AFD for a political activist revolving around BLP1E. This time it was Disha Ravi, an Indian youth climate change activist, who was arrested on February 13 for her "alleged involvement with an online toolkit related to Greta Thunberg and the 2020–2021 Indian farmers' protests". Nominator Wareon said that "being of the few who have been arrested does not establish notability". During the discussion, the article was moved to Arrest of Disha Ravi and back to its original title. Delete !voters said that the arrest amounted to ONEEVENT, and that sources did not meet WP:SIGCOV. Keep !voters pointed to the fact that the article had existed since November 2020, and to the additional news coverage in the wake of Ravi's arrest. Ultimately, closer BD2412 said in a "no consensus" close that "after extended time for discussion, there is a clear absence of consensus and a well-supported argument that the subject was already notable in terms of coverage prior to the arrest that serves as the basis of the WP:BLP1E assertion". BD2412 declined to relist the discussion, saying that "given the volume and divided nature of participation, it does not appear that further relisting will yield a clearer resolution".

March:

This discussion is certainly an outlier, managing to be the largest discussion of the month with just seven !votes and twelve editors. It concerned the article of Elsa D'Silva, a former airline employee from Mumbai who founded an NGO and runs an "online platform ... which tracks and maps incidents of public sexual violence and harassment in India", and was nominated by M4DU7. Initial "keep" !votes pointed out that D'Silva's article appeared to have several reliable sources, including New York magazine, ABC News, The Guardian, and The Times of India. Later, accusations of canvassing were prompted by what appeared to be a job posting on the website Freelancer offering people money to !vote "keep" in the discussion. However, a detailed analysis of the sources (which accounted for most of the AfD's length) were unable to provide compelling evidence of notability. It was closed "delete" by Spartaz, whose close note affirmed this by saying "fundamentally the source analysis shows this does not meet our inclusion standard and none of the keep votes deliver a compelling refutation to this".
On March 30, 2021, The New York Times published a story about a Department of Justice investigation into alleged sex trafficking involving Florida representative Matt Gaetz. Within several hours of the story breaking, the brief but tumultuous history of this Wikipedia article had begun. It was created at Matt Gaetz child sexual exploitation scandal, moved to Matt Gaetz child sex scandal, redirected to Matt Gaetz, restored from redirect, and nominated for deletion in its first day of existence. The next day it was moved for a third time, to Matt Gaetz sexual misconduct allegations, with the AfD being itself moved to fit the new title. The main contention, made by nominator Possibly and echoed by many "delete" !voters, was that the article (created less than twelve hours after the story broke) was a prime example of WP:TOOSOON, with none of the allegations having been confirmed, and constituted an egregious WP:BLP violation. "Keep" !voters responded that, far from being the product of a hatchet job, the allegations were being made in accordance with a formal legal investigation. Curiously, both sides invoked WP:SNOW with regularity, and called for it to be speedily kept or speedily deleted. Ultimately, the discussion was closed on April 7, with the page being redirected to a subsection of Gaetz's article. Closer Sandstein said:

Numerically, opinions are roughly evenly split between delete, merge and keep. There are sensible arguments for all three outcomes, but in the end it is a matter of our collective editorial judgment to what extent we want to cover these allegations; as such I cannot determine on my own whose arguments are stronger. I can, however, determine that rough consensus is against deleting this article but also against keeping it as a separate article at this time. This makes "merge" the most consensual outcome of this discussion.

April:

Disclosure: Yours truly made a comment on this one, in favor of keeping it.
On April 21, 2020, an Arizonan named Josh Swain posted a joke about gathering all Josh Swains together for a massive fight. Precisely one year later, several hundred Joshes traveled to a field near Nebraska and slapped each other around with pool noodles, somehow raising tens of thousands of dollars for charity in the process. Three days after that, a stub was created about the meme event by Ganesha811, which was nominated for deletion the next day. Nominator Schazjmd invoked WP:NOTNEWS, describing the battle of Joshes as "a single incident that fits in the category of transient 'odd-but-true' entertainment-style 'news' that has no encyclopedic or historical value", while saying to its creator that "my nomination has nothing to do with the quality of the article or sources [...] I think you wrote a good neutral article". As often happens with memes, many !votes quickly poured in from various corners of the WWW. "Keep" !voters pointed to an abundance of sources covering the event, while "delete" !voters cited the lack of persisting notability. When all was said and done, a long close from Barkeep49 declared "no consensus", suggesting a "minimum wait of 6–12 months to give enough time for more evidence of lasting notability".

May:

Nike Dattani is a scientist best known for "breaking the world-record for largest number factored on a quantum device ... co-inventing the Morse/Long-range potential energy function, and for inventing several novel methods for quadratization of high-degree discrete optimization problems into quadratic problems". But can he see why kids love the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Can he survive an AfD? Just eight !votes were cast in the deletion discussion for this article, which had previously existed at Nikesh S. Dattani (deleted after a 2014 AfD). The nominator, TheLawGiverOfDFT, was accused of being a SPA (as creating this AfD was their very first edit); later, in July, they were blocked as a sockpuppet. Meanwhile, TheLawGiverOfDFT accused Dr. Universe (the article's primary author) of a conflict of interest. An extremely arcane and detailed argument about academic publishing, citation count, impact factor, and author order ensued. Participants were even getting into whether the "the coherent HEOM calculation and the incoherent Foerster calculation are getting the exciton to the reaction center at the same time". All this science, I don't understand — it's just my job five days a week. Anyway, it was closed by Missvain a little over a week later as "delete".
Three very different articles were tied for the most active deletion discussions of May 2021. The first was a disputed territory involved in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the second was a Klingon from Star Trek, and the third was a component of the 2021 NBA playoffs. All concerned the broad subject of men in fierce competition for victory; this competitive spirit was mirrored in the hallowed pages of AfD. After a series of discussions, which were just as likely to revolve around the subject itself as they were to invoke Ps and Gs, the closes were made by Joe Roe, Mazca and Missvain respectively. The first two (Zangezur and Martok) were closed as "keep", whereas the third (the NBA tournament) was redirected to a section of a larger article.

June:

Twenty-seven !votes were cast in a discussion about the encyclopedic merits of "quantized inertia"; I'm not enough of a physicist to tell whether the papers are credible, but an overwhelming majority of participants were bearish on the concept. This AfD has more {{hat}}s than a rodeo, and the main editor opposing deletion seems to be indefinitely blocked. Closer Star Mississippi said that, while moving to draftspace was a potential option, there didn't exist "reliable source-based evidence to establish notability required for this hypothesis".
This is an interesting AfD to make it onto the list – it had sixty-nine !votes, but only six !voters. How could this be? Well, it was a batch nomination for sixteen nearly-identical articles: all but five of those sixty-nine were accounted for by four people who left nearly-identical !votes on each. This might seem silly, but it's hard to imagine a lot of substantial differences between the merits of including or deleting the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021 editions of the awards (or, indeed, the "Artist of the Year", "Male Artist of the Year", "Female Artist of the Year", "Group/Duo of the year", et cetera). Ultimately, it was closed by Barkeep49 as "redirect"; all of the sub-articles now point to a single article about the K-Love Fan Awards as a whole.

July:

Disclosure: Yours truly made a comment on this one, in favor of keeping it.
Again, I am forced to ask the question: y'all ever heard about freakin' politics? I don't know if there's anything left to be said about the COVID-19 lab leak hypothesis that hasn't already been said on cable news, talk radio, press releases, White House press conferences, Twitter, and your uncle's Facebook page. On Wikipedia, we heard a lot about it in userspace essays, MfDs for userspace essays, talk pages, draft talk pages, drafts, MfDs for drafts... oh, have I mentioned the noticeboards? There was an arbitration request too. The gift that kept on giving came to a head on July 18, when ProcrastinatingReader made a procedural nomination of the page, saying:

Since there has been a dispute over whether this topic is notable (it is claimed this subject does not "warrant its own article"), and since nobody else wants to make their points at AfD, I figure I'll open an AfD to get a conclusive answer to whether an article may exist at this title.

Anyway, fifty-four !voters hashed it out for almost a hundred kilobytes of discusison, and it was closed as "keep" on July 25, with closer Daniel saying there was "clearly no consensus for delete, and while there is some support to merge the article, not close to sufficient to close as 'merge' [...] if there is still appetite to merge this, it should go via the talk page, as it may address some of the procedural opposition that existed and assist with forming a consensus either way."

August:

Disclosure: Yours truly made a comment on this one, in favor of redirecting it.
In general, discussions about articles about articles (about discussions about articles?) tend to be fairly Byzantine, and this one was no exception. While there were only twenty-four !votes, there were almost a hundred kilobytes of talk. Some said that it was clearly original research, others said that it clearly wasn't. Some pointed to sources constituting obvious SIGCOV from RS researchers, and others pointed to those same sources as obvious TRIVIALMENTIONs from COI researchers. In the end, it turned out to be less clear and less obvious than we all thought, with a three-paragraph "no consensus" close from Barkeep49 coming some eight days later.
Disclosure: Yours truly made a comment on this one, in favor of keeping it (in addition to having written the article itself).
Oh boy. If I can't be proud of writing a decent article that got kept at its AfD, I guess I should try to be proud of writing an article that had the most well-attended AfD of the month. Or maybe I shouldn't. Let this be a lesson to everyone who rushes to be the first to clack out a BLP about some guy who's in the news due to his central role in an ongoing media circus: it might end up being YOU whose involvement in a single event is substantial and well-documented!

September:

This article, written by Anne, was about a British "well-connected figure" who lived from 1780 to 1854, best known for her "long-term relationships with two senior British Army officers, General Robert Manners, who was Equerry to King George III, and General Sir Charles Asgill, Equerry to Frederick, Duke of York". The discussion was edited by sixteen people, casting a total of eleven !votes; disagreements mainly revolved around whether certain sources were primary or secondary, and whether Landedfamilies (a website written by former National Archives historian Nick Kingsley) was a reliable source or an unreliable blog. Ultimately, the debate was closed as "delete".
This list article has shown up at AfD a number of times; it was previously nominated in June 2014 (closed "no consensus"), February 2017 (closed "snow keep"), and September 2018 (closed "keep"). This time, nominator Dronebogus said: "Notability is not temporary. Back when Wikipedia was founded there were quite a few surviving WW1 veterans, but now there are none. A 'list of oldest living...' article is only useful for groups that are not finite in number, like 'list of living centenarians'". Delete !voters said that the list was a trivial cross-categorization, had unmaintainably broad criteria, would require constant updating in order to be useful, and was almost certainly destined to shrink to nothing over the next couple decades. Keep !voters, meanwhile, said that the core issue, the topic's notability for a Wikipedia list, was met by it being discussed in depth by enough reliable sources. At the time of nomination, it had nearly six hundred entries. One proposed alternative outcome was redirecting the page to List of last surviving veterans of World War II (which at the time had only 16 entries, but now has around 80). Ultimately, it was closed as "delete" by Joe Roe, who said that "with a few exceptions, those in favour of keep failed to either refute the argument for deletion, or put forward their own policy-based reason for keeping the article".

October:

For some reason, lists at AfD seem to stir strong emotions. Perhaps it's because WP:LISTN is so easy to interpret in different ways. Perhaps it's because the format of a list activates deep-seated instincts in the Wikipedian mind (whether to nurture or to destroy). Nominator RandomCanadian said the article was a "textbook example of a trivial cross-categorisation of two entirely unrelated characteristics". Many agreed, and many disagreed. While the AfD was huge, only 23 !votes were cast; about 75% of the discussion's total size came from just four participants (and before you ask, no – they represented opposite sides of the argument). Ultimately, closer Sandstein said:

Because reasonable people can disagree on WP:SYNTH questions, it is not for me to say whose arguments are stronger in this regard (even if I wanted to, I couldn't reliably do so because of the walls of text). But what I can say is that among the editors who addressed the reason for deletion, those supporting "keep" are greatly in the minority. Accordingly, policy-based rough consensus is to delete the articles in their current state. They can be recreated if this can be done in a non-OR manner.

This close was to end up at DRV, where it was overturned to "no consensus" on October 28.
The United States is a country known for its love of free expression; Americans take great pride in the storied tradition of directing all manner of profane insults toward our own elected leaders. But is it notable? I mean, yes, but is this specific insult notable? Who knows. A September AfD for "Fuck Joe Biden" (which people apparently chanted at sports events sometimes) was closed as snowball delete after 15 !votes, barely scraping into the top twenty for that month. But the next month, it would return with a vengeance: on October 19, Draft:Let's Go Brandon! was created, nominated for speedy deletion as a recreation of the original deleted page, had its CSD template removed, had its CSD template re-added, re-removed, and was finally brought to MfD, with the nomination withdrawn a few hours later. By the time it was submitted to AfC on the 22nd, it somehow had 19 sources; it was declined then, but submitted again (and accepted) on the 26th, and nominated at AfD on the 27th by Beccanyr. Wowie zowie! It was closed a few days later as "keep". Non-admin closer Superastig said:

There's a strong consensus for keeping the article, with several editors citing WP:GNG and some citing that it has a lasting effect. However, the article needs some clean-up as indicated below. Since the event has been on a roll for days, it would be best for this to be reviewed again in a year or so.

This closure was challenged at a DRV the same day by Beccanyr. It was closed by Scottywong, who endorsed the closure; he said that while some had wanted to trout Superastig for the NAC, and others had wanted to trout Beccanyr for opening the DRV, the best option was to "put this episode to bed fully, accept the result of the AfD, and move on with our lives". We even managed to do so, for the most part – although there was another nomination on November 13 (which was procedurally non-admin-closed as "speedy keep" prior to a single !vote being cast).

November:

Disclosure: Both yours truly and Signpost Editor-in-Chief Smallbones !voted to keep.
There isn't a whole lot more to say about this one. The discussion itself was covered in November's Deletion report, and the newspaper articles about the discussion were covered by In the media. Suffice it to say that it's the largest AfD of the last 17 years, close to the most !voted on of all time, and almost certainly the most covered by non-Signpost media. Granted, there are a few that could give it a run for its money — the AfD for Kate Middleton's wedding dress got a few,[2][3][4] and Donna Strickland's AfC decline got an assload,[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26] including a Signpost article (an AfC decline is kinda like an AfD, right?)
But still, it was a pretty big deal. Since last month's deletion report, there have been a couple new developments. Apparently, it wasn't enough for us to break one record — after the AfD itself was fully protected to allow a four-admin panel to draft a closing statement, the kerfluffle meandered over to the talk page, where it swelled to a titanic 194 kilobytes, making it the largest talk page for any AfD in history. It was itself fully-protected for two weeks (from December 3 to December 17). Good grief.

December:

Nominator MaxBrowne2 contended that articles for individual chess games were quite unusual, and there was nothing to suggest that this was independently notable (like, say, the Game of the Century). Delete !voters said it was too soon to tell whether the game would have lasting historical significance, and that extensive press coverage was of a routine nature. Keep !voters said that it was the "longest (and arguably most complex/highest level) game in World Championship history" and cited an unusual amount of press coverage for this game in particular. When all was said and done, the discussion was closed as "keep" by Daniel; the article now sits at a comfy 31 references.

Notes

  1. ^ Ashli Babbitt, Impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden, Eugene Goodman (police officer), Patriot Party (political party), Robert Keith Packer, Adam C. Johnson, Lonnie Coffman, and Richard "Bigo" Barnett.
  2. ^ Walker, Tim (August 16, 2012). "What has Wikipedia's army of volunteer editors got against Kate Middleton's wedding gown?". The Independent.
  3. ^ Cowles, Charlotte (July 16, 2012). "Does Wikipedia Have a Fashion Problem?". New York Magazine.
  4. ^ "Kate Middleton Wedding Dress Causes Wikipedia Controversy". Huffington Post. July 15, 2012.
  5. ^ Davis, Nicola (2 Oct 2018). "Nobel physics prize winners include first female laureate for 55 years – as it happened". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Corinne Purtill & Zoë Schlanger (2 Oct 2018). "Wikipedia rejected an entry on a Nobel Prize winner because she wasn't famous enough". Quartz.
  7. ^ Koren, Marina (3 Oct 2018). "One Wikipedia Page Is a Metaphor for the Nobel Prize's Record With Women". The Atlantic.
  8. ^ "Daily briefing: Why Nobel-winner Donna Strickland's Wikipedia page matters". Nature. 3 Oct 2018.
  9. ^ People (3 Oct 2018). "The Nobel prize winning scientist who wasn't famous enough for Wikipedia". Irish Times.
  10. ^ Sinéad Baker (3 Oct 2018). "Wikipedia rejected an entry on a physics Nobel laureate right up until she won, saying she wasn't famous enough". Business Insider.
  11. ^ Cecco, Leyland (3 Oct 2018). "Female Nobel prize winner deemed not important enough for Wikipedia entry". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Chung, Emily (3 Oct 2018). "Rare Nobel Prize win by a woman a 'stark reminder' of sexism in physics". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
  13. ^ Fortin, Jacey (2 Oct 2018). "For Just the Third Time in 117 Years, a Woman Wins the Nobel Prize in Physics". New York Times.
  14. ^ Aaron Pressman (4 Oct 2018). "How We Can All Fix Wikipedia's Lack of Female Representation". Fortune.
  15. ^ Rahim Zamira (4 Oct 2018). "Wikipedia criticised after it emerges female Nobel laureate had page rejected". The Independent.
  16. ^ Maryam Zaringhalam, Jessica Wade (6 Oct 2018). "Donna Strickland's treatment on Wikipedia shows how women have long been excluded from science". The Independent.
  17. ^ Sonam Joshi (7 Oct 2018). "Adding the W in Wikipedia". The Times of India.
  18. ^ Dawn Bazely (8 October 2018). "Why Nobel winner Donna Strickland didn't have a Wikipedia page". The Washington Post.
  19. ^ Nikki Macdonald (10 November 2018). "How it is decided who is Wikipedia-worthy". Stuff.
  20. ^ Stephen Harrison (26 March 2019). "The Notability Blues". Slate.
  21. ^ Rosamund Urwin (9 June 2019). "Male Wikipedia editors are deleting women, says Sandi Toksvig". The Times.
  22. ^ Sam Baker (19 June 2019). "Making space for female scientists' voices online, in the media and in person". Deutsche Welle.
  23. ^ K. C. Cole (9 March 2021). "The Shaky Ground Truths of Wikipedia". Wired.
  24. ^ Claire Zillman, Emma Hinchliffe (15 July 2021). "Women's Wikipedia pages are more likely than men's to be nominated for deletion". Fortune.
  25. ^ Harrison, Stephen (26 July 2021). "How to Use Wikipedia When You're Watching the Olympics". Slate.
  26. ^ Selvarajah, Manjula (19 August 2021). "Canadian Nobel scientist's deletion from Wikipedia points to wider bias, study finds". CBC News.




Reader comments

We look back at some of the most dramatic moments and developments of 2021 through Wikicommons images.

Storming of the United States Capitol

There was an extended debate on Wikipedia about what this episode should be called with the current choice of Attack beating contenders such as insurrection, storming, rally and even Putsch (German word for coup). Your UK-based author who got the message when you lot threw our tea in the sea wouldn't be foolhardy enough to get too embroiled in US politics but it can certainly be said that this incident made a dramatic impression in America and around the world becoming the fourth most viewed article from the 3 to 9 January even though it happened half way through that week.

Covid-19 vaccination

Though the rollout began in late 2020, 2021 has very much been the year of Covid-19 vaccination around the world. The vaccine rollout has doubtless been a source of great hope for people across the globe (a study released in November suggested that in Europe alone almost half a million lives have been saved by it) but it has also highlighted the great divides in today's world, as of December less than 10% of people in countries with the poorest populations have received their first dose whilst others around the world have voluntarily chosen to forsake vaccination altogether.

Coup d'état in Myanmar

At the start of February 2021, Myanmar's democratically elected government was overthrown by the country's military. The army declared the 2020 election result invalid and announced its intention to hold new elections after a year long state of emergency. By 12 April, at least 707 people (including children) had been killed by the military or police forces and 3,070 detained. The Burmese Army's motivations for the coup are debated.

Death of Prince Philip

April saw the Death of Prince Philip, consort to Queen Elizabeth II. At the age of 99, he was the third-longest-lived member of the British royal family in history and the longest-lived male member. He was one of many notable people to pass away during 2021.

Israeli–Palestinian crisis

This outbreak of violence in May was the latest episode in a conflict dating back many decades. The crisis began with a period of protests and unrest in East Jerusalem (an area effectively annexed by Israel as part of the Palestinian occupied territories). This eventually culminated in Hamas firing rockets into Israeli territory to which Israel responded with air strikes. At least 256 Palestinians were killed in the crisis including 66 children along with thirteen Israelis including two children. Significant numbers of people appear to have been injured whilst 72,000 Palestinians were displaced.

Return of sport

After many of the major sporting events of 2020 were cancelled due to the pandemic, sport made a major comeback in 2021. With events such as the Olympics and the European Football Championships (both referred to by their original date) providing much needed excitement and relief for people around the world. Sports events, sportsmen and sportswomen dominated lists of Wikipedia's most popular articles in the summer of 2021.

Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan

This August saw the conflict the US President called "America's longest war" come to a swift end as the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan. A few months after the formal announcement of the withdrawal of NATO troops the Taliban, which had been gaining strength in the countryside, swept through Afghanistan's cities in little more than a week reaching Kabul on the 15th. A chaotic airlift followed with almost all remnants of western presence disappearing from the country by the end of the month. Today, with its financial reserves frozen and aid stopped, the country is in crisis. 22% of its population are reported to be close to famine whilst an additional 36% are acutely food insecure. Among those under the age of five alone, 1 million children are believed to be at risk of starving to death.

Supply problems

Queues during a fuel panic in the UK where supply problems were arguably worsened by Brexit on 28 September
During 2020 global commerial demand fell, in 2021 demand recovered whilst pandemic based disruption continued and supply chains around the world struggled to cope. Matters were made worse by shortages of shipping containers, lack of lorry drivers and back ups at ports. Whilst, a blockage in the Suez canal certainly wasn't ideal. All this has contributed to a sharp rise in inflation around the world.

COP26

November saw the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Glasgow. More broadly the year was marked by a wide range of extreme weather events across the world ranging from drought and wildfires to floods and monsoons.

Conflict over migration

Whilst the 2020 downturn in overall migration rates continued into 2021, that didn't stop immigration causing controversy across the Western world. In the second half of 2021, Belarus and the European Union came to blows over a influx of migrants attempting to cross into the EU through the country. Meanwhile, an increase in the number of migrants crossing the English channel led to conflict between Britain and France along with the channel's worst drowning in recent times. On the other side of the Atlantic, rising numbers of people crossing the US-Mexico border led to the Biden administration voluntarily and involuntarily continuing many Trump era immigration policies.

Honourable mentions



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This traffic report is adapted from the Top 25 Report, prepared with commentary by Igordebraga, TheJoebro64, SSSB, and InPursuitOfAMorePerfectUnion.

The last report of 2021 offers a sad return of concerns regarding the pandemic, and all the distractions we find to forget COVID is still out there (including two Marvel Cinematic Universe productions).

Take a look overhead (November 21 to 27)

Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (November 21 to 27, 2021).png
Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (November 21 to 27, 2021)
Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 Ralf Rangnick 1,673,772 2019-03-30 Fußball, Männer, 1. Bundesliga, RB Leipzig - Hertha BSC StP 3701 LR10 by Stepro.jpg Manchester United has targeted this German coach, who was director of sports and development for Lokomotiv Moscow, but as manager had most recently earned some energy drink money coaching RB Leipzig. Given Rangnick's hiring started just as speculation, our editors here kept any mention of it off his article until the club itself announced the deal.
2 Murder of Ahmaud Arbery 1,109,677[1] Mural of Ahmaud Arbery, Brunswick, GA, US (03).jpg In February 2020, Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was tragically murdered by three White men (Gregory McMichael, his son Travis, and William Bryan). On November 24, the three were convicted of felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, while Travis (the one who killed Arbery) was additionally found guilty of malice murder. All three face a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.
3 Adele 1,025,642 Adele 'Adele Live 2016' - Nashville DSC04787 (30114461290).jpg Adele's newest album continues to sell well in its second week, having already "broke[n] the Apple Music record for the most pre-added album" (I'm not 100% sure what this means either) and several other records as it sold over 800,000 copies in the US in the opening week alone.

This was also the week in which Adele persuaded Spotify to remove the abillity to shuffle her albums. Apparently her songs tell a story and need to be listened to in order.

4 Kenosha unrest shooting 1,022,853 March for Justice-January 4, 2021 (50802423286).jpg The fallout continues after Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two people during the Kenosha unrest in August 2020, was found not guilty on all charges he faced. Protests and riots have occurred throughout America in the days since the verdict, which continues to be celebrated by the right and condemned by the left.
5 Jonathan Larson 1,005,943 Jonathan Larson .jpg The creator of the classic musical Rent is the subject of Lin-Manuel Miranda feature directorial debut, Tick, Tick... Boom! (named after another musical of his), in which he is portrayed by Andrew "I'm Totally Not in Spider-Man: No Way Home" Garfield. The film has garnered considerable acclaim, and Garfield is now considered a leading candidate for an Academy Award for Best Actor nomination.
6 Stephen Sondheim 989,155 Stephen Sondheim - smoking.JPG One of Broadway's greatest names, creator of West Side Story, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Into the Woods (and also an Oscar winner for his work on Dick Tracy, plus a mentor to #5), Sondheim died at the age of 91.
7 Hawkeye (2021 TV series) 804,158 C2E2 2014 - Hawkeye (14271753974).jpg In spite of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals dropping off the list, the franchise holds on thanks to Jeremy Renner as the greatest archer this side of Katniss Everdeen, Clint Barton, who has hit Disney+ with a show that like the greatest Christmas movie is about spending the holidays beating up criminals. And Hawkeye follows the movie of his friend Natasha by also featuring his successor, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld).
8 Deaths in 2021 794,566 Label Pink Floyd Dark.JPG And I am not frightened of dying
Any time will do, I don't mind
Why should I be frightened of dying?
There's no reason for it, you've gotta go sometime
9 Thanksgiving 777,932 Thanksgiving Dinner table.jpg It was again time for Americans to reunite for feast, hopefully without COVID spikes. And this year, the ensuing shopping sprees could not get enough views for this list.
10 The Wheel of Time (TV series) 669,248 Rosamund Pike TIFF 2010.jpg Prime Video's fantasy show adapting Robert Jordan's book series and starring Rosamund Pike keeps on releasing new episodes and getting more views.
  1. ^ includes views under the old name, Killing of Ahmaud Arbery

Life is a great big bang-up (November 28 to December 4)

Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (November 28 to December 4, 2021).png
Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (November 28 to December 4, 2021)
Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 Virgil Abloh 1,740,726 Virgil Abloh Paris Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2019 (cropped).jpg This fashion designer passed away at the age of 41 this week.
2 Parag Agrawal 965,534 Feather-logos-twitter.svg Twitter creator Jack Dorsey announced he had resigned and was to be replaced with this Indian-American who had joined the social network as a software engineer.
3 Ballon d'Or 898,140 FigoBallond'Or2000 (cropped).jpg France Football has been quite uncreative in choosing its player of the year since 2008, as besides Luka Modric once (and a no-show last year for obvious reasons), they always give it to Cristiano Ronaldo or 2021 recipient Lionel Messi.
4 Omicron 854,968 Greek letter omicron serif+sans.svg The 15th letter of the Greek alphabet, which Futurama fans probably associate with Omicron Persei, land of the Omicronians. It's in the news because of the goddamned pandemic, as COVID's latest variant is named Omicron.
5 Deaths in 2021 825,904 George Harrison Sculpture at Shadhinotar Shangram Triangle.jpg All things must pass
None of life's strings can last
So I must be on my way
And face another day
6 Patrizia Reggiani 810,798 Lady Gaga - VMA 2011 cropped.jpg House of Gucci, Lady Gaga's latest acting foray, opposite Kylo Ren, I mean, Adam Driver, is quite the Bad Romance: she married the heir to the Gucci house, who went on to become the majority shareholder, was left without ceremony (he left for a business trip and sent a friend to tell her he wasn't returning), and just one year after they divorced hired someone to kill him.
7 Maurizio Gucci 757,229 Star Wars- The Last Jedi Japan Premiere Red Carpet- Adam Driver (38225091784).jpg
8 Ralf Rangnick 730,912 2019-03-30 Fußball, Männer, 1. Bundesliga, RB Leipzig - Hertha BSC StP 3705 LR10 by Stepro (cropped).jpg Manchester United's interim coach started off well, as his first match was a 1-0 win.
9 Greek alphabet 720,921 Greek--alphabet-(upper-case)-animated.gif Given Delta is the fourth letter here, some would expect the COVID variant that emerged from Africa to be Epsilon. Yet the World Health Organization went for the 15th (#4), because they only name "variants of concern"... and they opted to skip nu and xi to avoid confusion with "new" and the Chinese surname.
10 Hawkeye (2021 TV series) 605,500 San Diego Comic-Con 2014 - Hawkeye (14769201264).jpg Disney+ continues the story of "an orphan raised by carnies fighting with a stick and string from the Paleolithic era" being joined by a rich girl with similar archery skills (and a Golden Retriever who likes pizza) during the holidays. The episode also introduced Echo, who is set to get her own show, and in spite of being deaf (and in the show, an amputee), she can beat up just about everyone.

Wherever there's a hang-up (December 5 to 11)

Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (December 5 to 11, 2021).png
Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (December 5 to 11, 2021)
Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 Bipin Rawat 3,257,899 Lt Gen Bipin Rawat.jpg India's Chief of Defence Staff died in a helicopter crash.
2 Vicky Kaushal 2,161,324 Vicky Kaushal at HT Style Awards.jpg Still in India, these Bollywood stars got married to each other.
3 Katrina Kaif 2,093,227 Katrina Kaif unveiling FHM issue.jpg
4 Bob Dole 1,291,008 Robert J. Dole.jpg This American politician and attorney passed away after a battle with lung cancer. Dole is best known for being the Republican nominee in the 1996 United States presidential election, but lost to the man who did not have sexual relations. The aforementioned man was one of several politicians to pay tribute to Dole, alongside the other former presidents.
5 Demaryius Thomas 1,020,224 Demaryius Thomas.JPG A Super Bowl champion who died at just 33 in what was deemed a medical issue, a few months after his retirement. That was a top 5 with a lot of death. Speaking of...
6 Deaths in 2021 846,643 Davy Jones Peter Tork The Monkees 1966.jpg In homage to #9:

Oh, no, no, no
Oh, no, no, no
And I don't know
If I'm ever coming home

7 The Power of the Dog (film) 598,114 Benedict Cumberbatch (28020623123).jpg Netflix released this "gothic Western" where Jane Campion adapted a Thomas Savage novel, where in 1920s Montana Benedict Cumberbatch gets jealous once Kirsten Dunst marries his brother. Well made but slow (though not as much to be outright boring as some other Western), The Power of the Dog already won Best Director at the Venice Film Festival, so the streaming service hopes it can be an awards contender.
8 Spider-Man: No Way Home 595,261 Tom Holland by Gage Skidmore.jpg Amazingly Tom Holland has managed not to give away any important plot details, yet.
9 Michael Nesmith 585,054 The Monkees 1966 - Nesmith.JPG One of The Monkees, a wooly hat icon who also got big bucks from his mother inventing Liquid Paper, died at the age of 78.
10 David Ginola 535,853 David Ginola.jpg French soccer football legend who ended fourth in the 21st season of British reality TV show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!.


You'll find the Spider-Man! (December 12 to 18)

Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (December 12 to 18, 2021).png
Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (December 12 to 18, 2021)
Rank Article Class Views Image Notes/about
1 Spider-Man: No Way Home 4,812,556 Wondercon 2016 - Spider-Men Group Cosplay (26080886075).jpg After months of non-stop theories, the final Marvel Cinematic Universe of the year arrived, with a story reminding us that for all his skills Peter Parker is very stupid, as while trying to solve his life he instead makes it absolutely worse, first by causing the sudden appearance of people from two alternate universes (across five movies) that absolutely hate his guts, and then by not thinking "put this thing back where it came from or so help me" and instead deciding to give a second chance to those hostile people. Griping on questionable character decisions apart, No Way Home is still a fun and emotional journey that revels in fanservice for those watching Spider-Man movies ever since 2002. The film already made a killing in advance ticket sales and should make lots of money, as well as attract people to read more about the movie on Wikipedia.
2 Harnaaz Sandhu 1,135,242 Miss-Universe-Harnaaz-Sandhu-returns-to-India (6).jpg In spite of people who question why beauty pageants are still a thing, every year Miss Universe brings in the views. And this year, the winner came from India, which already shapes this report quite a bit, so lots on visits ensued to learn more on Harnaaz Sandhu, who was born the same year an Indian woman last won (and second place in the national pageant became a Bollywood star).
3 Miss Universe 2021 1,014,261
4 Lewis Hamilton 940,584 Lewis Hamilton 2021.jpg The 2021 Formula One World Championship went down to the wire, the two drivers on equal points heading into the final round. As if that weren't enough, the Championship was decided by a last-lap overtake in controversial circumstances. The result was F1 breaking out of Lewis Hamilton dominance as Dutch wunderkind Max Verstappen, son of a fellow F1 driver, took home the World Drivers' Championship.
5 Max Verstappen 890,938 2019 Formula One tests Barcelona, Verstappen (cropped).jpg
6 Tom Holland 882,885 Tom Holland Bali 2019 1.jpg The star of #1, who became infamous for his loose tongue regarding spoilers. And we're only two months away from seeing Holland as Nathan Drake in the video game adaptation Uncharted.
7 The Unforgivable 850,950 Sandra Bullock.jpg As if this Netflix movie starring Sandra Bullock that certainly won't inspire viral challenges like the last time around wasn't already badly received, it's splitting Spider-Man and his girl here.
8 Zendaya 842,941 Zendaya MTV Awards.jpg The female lead of #1, who also became the real life girlfriend of #6, like Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy, but not Spider-Man and Mary Jane.
9 Vicky Kaushal 840,695 Vicky Kaushal at the premiere of 'Happy Bhag Jayegi' at PVR Juhu.jpg Another Indian in the top 10, namely a Bollywood star – last seen in the biopic Sardar Udham – whose views owe to marrying actress Katrina Kaif.
10 Deaths in 2021 833,280 Radiografía (6148779860).jpg We sick an' tired of-a your ism-skism game
Dyin' 'n' goin' to heaven in-a Jesus' name, Lord.

Exclusions

  • These lists exclude the Wikipedia main page, non-article pages (such as redlinks), and anomalous entries (such as DDoS attacks or likely automated views). Since mobile view data became available to the Report in October 2014, we exclude articles that have almost no mobile views (5–6% or less) or almost all mobile views (94–95% or more) because they are very likely to be automated views based on our experience and research of the issue. Please feel free to discuss any removal on the Top 25 Report talk page if you wish.



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Hello! Last month, the Signpost hosted a crossword, which can be found here. The answers to last month's crossword can be found at the following link – thank you all for playing! We have a new crossword for this month – once more, all of the answers have something to do with Wikipedia, though the clues may seem unrelated.

You can play the crossword online at this link (recommended) or manually by printing out the image and clues below. Enjoy! Hints may be given in the comments, so scroll cautiously.

Crossword image for printing and visual



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Originally posted as the humorous essay Help:Buying Wikipedia. You may edit this essay, but only on the original page. – eds.

Howdy! Are you a government sick and tired of being described as a state sponsor of terrorism? Or an autocratic regime that wishes a few pesky articles would just go away? How about a multinational corporation that could use some nifty advertising? Well, you've come to the right place! As of 18 January 2022, Wikipedia is officially FOR SALE!!!

That's right! All 6,440,493 articles on English Wikipedia (including this one) could be yours to do with as you please. You could delete rival products, win presidential elections, change national borders, anything at all!

The current price of Wikipedia is:

$68,384,523,376,923,420.69

update

If this sounds expensive, we suggest you purchase immediately, as the price is only going to go up. Make your payment here.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Why are you selling Wikipedia?

A: Someone told us that we're mean bullies for deleting their page. That hurt our feelings, so we're passing on the problem to someone else.


Q: Who can buy it?

A: Anyone! Whether you're an insanely wealthy stock broker with $68,384,523,376,923,420.69 spare cash on hand or a lowly peasant with $68,384,523,376,923,420.69 spare cash on hand, we won't discriminate.


Q: What can I do once I own it?

A: Anything you want, so long as you don't delete the main page.


Q: Won't this sale rob the project of its credibility, its main asset, effectively rendering it worthless?

A: Don't worry about that.


Q: Why is it so expensive?

A: Shipping, we think.


Q: Are the contributors included?

A: No.




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