Russian Wikipedia Alternative – Who Cares?


The Wikimedia Foundation has made it their goal, job, motto, or whatever you want to call it, to spread the idea of Wikipedia throughout the world. As a result of their noble effort (oh I wish you could read the sarcasm in that statement), Wikipedia is now available in 288 languages (as of the date of this article). I will credit the increase in available languages to the volunteer editors who translate Wikipedia into foreign languages as opposed to the Foundation who is basically only in place to beg for and spend money faster than White House. While I normally complain about editors and how they misinterpret guidelines and run the site as if they own it, I will actually applaud them for their efforts.

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Many Wikipedia languages are created from other Wikipedia languages. There are many editors who translate Wikipedia into foreign languages which helps increase the number of quality articles in Wikipedia. With that being said, there are a number of quality Wikipedia sites in foreign languages, including German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian. As of November 15, 2014, English is the largest Wikipedia with over 4.6 million articles. Russia comes in at number eight with 1.1 million articles. I only mention Russia because of recent news headlines coming out of the Kremlin.

New York Magazine, the Business Insider, Time Magazine, and dozens of other major media outlets have recently reported that Russia plans to launch its own version of Wikipedia. Since the Kremlin is not fond of the “untrustworthy” website we know as Wikipedia, they plan on creating their own state-run alternative as opposed to relying on people who translate Wikipedia into foreign languages. It’s kind of sad, but this is the biggest news out at the moment regarding Wikipedia. I am sure that Jimbo is furious about receiving less media coverage than Putin. In fact, I am nor really how such news made it as far as it has, but we really don’t need more to explain how stupid of an idea it is to have a government run Wikipedia.

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Since the idea of a new Russian Wikipedia seems to be taking up the headlines, I thought I would mention a few that may be a little more noteworthy at the moment:

  1. The Wikimedia Foundation on a “begging” campaign for more money to keep its “infrastructure” working while at the same time deciding on how to spend the millions of dollars it has already received in donations from those who drank the Foundation’s Kool-Aid.
  1. Jimmy Wales challenging GamerGate to write an objective article about themselves to include a recent controversy they are involved in. All the while, Jimbo seems to have no problem writing “objectively” about himself in his own article.
  1. The reason for the decline in volunteer editors on Wikipedia. Lack of enthusiasm or harassment from the community?
  1. Why editors just can’t get morning277 tied to the correct account. Come on, people, it’s been more than a year. You’re still not close. I’m thinking about leaving you clues embedded in various Wikipedia articles. Then I can sit back and eat popcorn while you try to mine the hints like Bitcoins.
  1. How the number of “edit-a-thons” to help increase female presence on Wikipedia has increased dramatically since the problem of gender bias was brought to light by Amanda Filipacchi in early 2013. It’s a convenient way for Wikipedia to bury the story, but still doesn’t properly address the problem of gender bias on Wikipedia.

So short story long (yes, I said it correctly), no one really cares about the new version of Wikipedia that the Kremlin plans to launch in order to educate its own citizens on history. I implore the media to start taking up more important issues dealing with Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation.

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