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Russian president uploads to Wikimedia Commons; brief news
Russian president uploads image to Commons, as part of RIA Novosti donation
One of the donated images, Defenders of Leningrad'. Great Patriotic War soldiers in attack
Beginning a collaboration with the Russian Wikimedia chapter, the state-owned Russian International News Agency (RIA Novosti) started uploading historical images to Commons last week, consisting of highlights from the archives of its predecessors Sovinformburo and APN. The project, dubbed "Eternal Values", coincides with the agency's 70th anniversary and is supported by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, who uploaded one of the images himself. The first batch of uploads consists of around 100 photos from the Great Patriotic War.
In a RIAN video Medvedev is shown uploading to "Vikisklad" (Wikimedia Commons, literally "Wiki warehouse") from around the 18-minute mark.
As explained by Sj on the Wikilove.in blog, specific images from the archives can be requested on a project page on the Russian Wikipedia, and "roughly 800 of the most popular or requested images will be uploaded by the end of the year". See also Wikinews: "n:RIA Novosti celebrates 70th anniversary, uploads 100 images to Wikimedia Commons"
Medvedev had shown support for free licenses and copyright reform on various other occasions recently, see Signpost coverage: "Russian president pushes for Creative Commons licencing", "Russian president meets with Internet community representatives, including Wikimedia", "Wales praises Russian president".
- German New Right press attacks Wikipedia: The Junge Freiheit, the leading German New Right weekly newspaper, covered Wikipedia as a main topic this week, claiming that the community censors content and runs a Nineteen Eighty-Four-like project. The comment by the editor-in-chief can be read here.
- Wiknics: Wikipedians and Wikimedians met in 18 cities around the country to celebrate the first US-wide wiki-meetup-a-thon. (Washington Post)
- "When in doubt, rely on Wikipedia": Swedish health expert Hans Rosling was recently interviewed about social media and "teaching in the digital age". As "special skills" that are important for students today, he named "Critical thinking, reasoning and a quest for sources of all information. And when in doubt, rely on Wikipedia. It is amazingly good, especially if you carefully read the history of the text of interest." The interviewer, a lecturer at the Bundeswehr University Munich, added: "To throw Wikipedia out of our classrooms because of its flaws ignores the much deeper lessons we could be teaching our students about managing massive amounts of information and developing meaningful, up-to-date analytical skills in the digital age."
- Longest articles and best photos: Last week, Buzzfeed featured "The 100 longest entries on Wikipedia", displaying around 78,000 views at the time of writing, and the "Wiki(media Commons) Pictures Of The Year" (see 2010 results page on Commons).
- Jimmy Wales in Israeli presidential conference: As reported (with video) by the Jerusalem Post, Jimmy Wales spoke about the "consumer-driven media revolution" at "Facing Tomorrow" Presidential Conference in Jerusalem last week. About Wikipedia, he said that "Everything in Wikipedia, everything in the Wiki-world really, is a social innovation, not a technical innovation".
- Jimmy Wales about bribes and wedding dresses: In an recent audio interview with World Radio Switzerland, Jimmy Wales was asked "whether someone can influence a Wikipedia entry through bribes and about other issues, including the censorship situation in China". He also cited the article about the Wedding dress of Kate Middleton as an example for content that is under-represented due to Wikipedia's gender gap.
- Wikipedia as model for natural linking: Search engine optimization blog SEOMOZ analyzed a large number of links pointing to Wikipedia, presenting some of their statistical characteristics as "The Wikipedia Model" of a natural link structure - deviations from which would indicate artificial (paid) links.
- US Judge orders ISP to release names of anonymous Wikipedia posters: A federal magistrate judge in Denver has ordered the real identity of anonymous Wikipedia editors be revealed. French fashion retailer Façonnable had cited them in a defamation lawsuit (see earlier Signpost coverage: Company sues IP editors for defamation", "US ISP has to release identity of anonymous editors in libel case"). The ruling could have broad implications for online privacy and free speech. Reported in The Denver Post and The Republic.