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by Wikimedia Foundation
Support Wikimedia Foundation

Twenty-two Chapters on the First Twenty Years of Wikipedia

How Wikimedians Came Together to Celebrate the First Twenty Years of Wikipedia with a new book, Wikipedia @ 20: Stories of an Incomplete Revolution.

“Wikipedia has gone from being a punch line about the unreliability of people on the internet to becoming one of the most trusted sites online.” –

Katherine Maher

Wikipedia’s 20th birthday is still a couple of months away but many of us could not wait to celebrate! Because this is such an enormous birthday we decided to celebrate in a big way: we published a book. By we I mean over 30 contributors from across the movement – edited by Joseph Reagle and myself, Jackie Koerner.

Two years ago a Call for Participation began the effort. The responses revealed artfully written essays. Each one crafted a picture larger than we imagined. Some describe empowered connections between activism and education. Others chronicle the struggle between authorship and systemic power structures. Contributors showed strength, knowledge, and resilience forged through creating something new in a sea of skeptics.

Many of the contributors make use of Wikipedia as part of their work: scholars, teachers, librarians, journalists, and activists. Many contributors are more than one of these things. This variety is a strength. Written by contributors from all backgrounds, and intended for you – Wikimedians wanting to reflect on the contributions of peers, the projects we find ourselves dedicating incalculable hours to, and the broad and swift river of the Wikimedia movement over the last twenty years.

I want to highlight something from the preface of the book. It’s a great example of the kind of work that our projects and communities embody.

“We hope you will enjoy this unusual collection. It was produced in the wiki-spirit of open collaboration, contains varied voices, and speaks to insights from hindsight and visions for the future. What might you learn in reading these pages? Though Wikipedia was revolutionary twenty years ago, it has yet to become the revolution we need. The important work of sharing knowledge, connecting people, and bridging cultures continues.”

With the approach of Wikipedia’s anniversary, we aspired to create an accessible and coherent work. Gita Devi Manaktala, MIT Press’s editorial director, suggested we make use of PubPub, a new online collaborative publishing platform. Each essay began as a proposed abstract; those selected received editorial feedback. PubPub hosted drafts for peer, public, and editorial review. Finally, revised essays underwent external review before the editorial team made selections for the printed book.

One thing I have learned working with Wikipedia is the immense creativity of Wikipedia contributors. I hope this collection of essays inspires you to do something of your own to celebrate Wikipedia. Think about all the partnerships, edit-a-thons, hackathons, conferences, tools, etc. built over these past twenty years. Is Wikipedia’s birthday a time to gather together to create something new for your favorite free knowledge community? I think so.

With that encouragement to create something, I must acknowledge the demands experienced by volunteers within the community. The ability to volunteer poses challenges, more for some of you than others. Additionally, this year has provided unexpected obstacles in uncountable forms. If you have an idea but feel stuck about how to start or frustrated at the lack of time or resources, I hear you and I see you. Let me know how I can support you.

The open-access edition of this book is supported by generous funding from Knowledge Unlatched, the Northeastern University Communication Studies Department, and a Wikimedia Foundation rapid grant.

Wikipedia @ 20 – Stories of an Incomplete Revolution is available from MIT Press. The book is published with a CC-BY-NA license. The online version includes the essays in the book and a few that did not make it into the print versionIt can be found on PubPub.

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Simplifying your research needs: The Wikipedia Library launches new technical improvements and partnerships

Encountering a paywall when looking for reliable sources can be a frustrating, limiting roadblock during the editing process. Especially during the ongoing pandemic, finding a local library or institution with the right subscriptions can be a real challenge. The Wikipedia Library, a project of the Wikimedia Foundation, provides solutions for editors by offering free access to content from many of the world’s leading publishers and aggregators, including more than 100,000 unique periodicals, books, archives, and other collections.

Today, we are excited to announce new technical improvements to the Library Card platform that will make most content accessible using just your Wikipedia login. Additionally, editors can now qualify for instant access to some collections with no application needed through the Library Bundle. We are also making six new publisher partners available, including Springer Nature (on a one-year pilot) and ProQuest. Log in now to see if you qualify for access, and read on for more information!

IP-based access

The changes we’ve deployed to the Library Card platform will address previous issues limiting access: before, editors had to sign up for accounts on a per-collection basis, and experienced long turnaround times. With IP-based access and the Library Bundle, editors can use one key to unlock many collections.

IP-based access allows users to use their Wikimedia login for direct access to all partners who can accept authentication through the Library Card. At launch, this will be possible for more than half of our partners, totalling more than 80% of available content. This will greatly improve the ease of access for users. Proxy integration isn’t a major departure from the current setup: the same individually-approved users have access to one partner’s content per application; they will just be accessing it directly through a single authenticated login proxy rather than a username and password distributed for each website. This allows us to grant access much faster, as we no longer need to wait for publishers to set the accounts up, and we know exactly when those accounts expire and/or require renewal. We expect this to reduce the turnaround time for applications from a few weeks to a few days at maximum!

Library Bundle

A very exciting second addition to our signup model is the Library Bundle. The Library Bundle gives any editor who meets account age, edit count, and recent activity criteria automatic access to a subset of Wikipedia Library collections, removing the application and approval steps. Approximately 25,000 editors across the Wikimedia community are eligible to access this content right now!

The Library Bundle provides immediate access to participating partner resources for eligible Wikimedians, without having to file an application and with no need to worry about only using that access for a handful of sources at a time. To automate the account coordinator check for recent activity and good standing in the community, we have implemented requirements beyond the current 500 edits and account age of six months. These checks now include an automated recent activity check (10 edits in the past month) and not currently being blocked. The Bundle runs on an opt-in model that some partners have chosen to be a part of, comprising more than 60% of our available content.

To be a truly one-stop solution, we need your help. Wikimedia projects span more than 250 languages, and we want the Library Card platform to be accessible to editors from all of them. If you can write in a language other than English and have some time to spare, please visit translatewiki.net to help translate the tool!

In the coming year, we are working on a new phase of the Library Card Platform that will help improve the overall usability of the tool and solve the issue of users needing to browse partner-by-partner for needed resources. We will be implementing an integrated search tool that will index partner resources and provide search across all publishers via a single interface. Once these changes are deployed, editors will be able to access authorized websites and view content from one place.

New partnerships

We are also pleased to announce that six new organisations have partnered with the Wikipedia Library to make their information more accessible:

  • BioOne is providing 50 accounts to editors, with access to journals in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences.
  • CEEOL also joins the Library Bundle, with a collection of journals and ebooks in a wide range of European languages.
  • ICE Publishing, available through the Library Bundle, is providing access to the ICE Virtual Library, containing journals and ebooks on engineering topics.
  • IWA Publishing has 10 available accounts for editors interested in journals on the topics of water, wastewater, and related environmental fields.
  • ProQuest is accessible through the Library Bundle and is providing access to ProQuest Central, Literature Online, the HNP Chinese Newspaper Collections, and Historical New York Times.
  • Springer Nature joins the Library as part of a one year pilot, with 100 accounts to distribute. Editors can access books and journals from SpringerLink and Nature.

While some of these new partners require applications, all have made their content available via IP-based access!

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at wikipedialibrary(at)wikimedia.org or on Meta.

Archive notice: This is an archived post from Wikimedia Space, and as such was written under a different editorial standard than Diff.

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Access to Wikipedia restored in Turkey after more than two and a half years
Welcome back, Turkey!
Bu yaznn Türkçe’sini buradan okuyabilirsiniz.

Today, on Wikipedia’s 19th birthday, the Wikimedia Foundation has received reports that access to Wikipedia in Turkey is actively being restored.* This latest development follows a 26 December 2019 ruling by the Constitutional Court of Turkey that the more than two and a half year block imposed by the Turkish government was unconstitutional. Earlier today, the Turkish Constitutional Court made the full text of that ruling available to the public, and shortly after, we received reports that access was restored to Wikipedia.

We are thrilled that the people of Turkey will once again be able to participate in the largest global conversation about the culture and history of Turkey online and continue to make Wikipedia a vibrant source of information about Turkey and the world.

“We are thrilled to be reunited with the people of Turkey,” said Katherine Maher, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “At Wikimedia we are committed to protecting everyone’s fundamental right to access information. We are excited to share this important moment with our Turkish contributor community on behalf of knowledge-seekers everywhere.”

We are actively reviewing the full text of the ruling by the Constitutional Court of Turkey. In the meantime, our case before the European Court of Human Rights is still being considered by the Court. We filed a petition in the European Court of Human Rights in spring of last year, and in July, the Court granted our case priority status. We will continue to advocate for strong protections for free expression online in Turkey and around the world.

Wikipedia is a global free knowledge resource written and edited by people around the world. Because of this open editing model, Wikipedia is also a resource everyone can be a part of actively shaping  — adding knowledge about their culture, country, interests, studies, and more through Wikipedia’s articles. Volunteers work together to write articles about many different topics ranging from history, pop culture, science, sports, and more using reliable sources to verify the facts. It is through this collective process of writing, discussion, and debate that Wikipedia becomes more neutral, more comprehensive, and more representative of the world’s knowledge.

More than 85 percent of the articles on Wikipedia are in languages other than English, which includes the Turkish Wikipedia’s more than 335,000 articles, written by Turkish-speaking volunteers for Turkish-speaking people.

In the time that the block was in effect, we heard from students, teachers, professionals and more in Turkey about how the block had impacted their daily lives. For many students, the block had occurred just days before their final exams. On social media, members of the international volunteer Wikipedia editor community and countless individuals shared messages of support with #WeMissTurkey and their desire to once again collaborate with the people of Turkey on Wikipedia.

With the decision today, our editors in Turkey will once again be able to fully participate in sharing and contributing to free knowledge online.

* We have received reports that several internet service providers in Turkey, depending on the location, have restored access to Wikipedia in Turkey, with some still in the process of restoring access. We will keep this statement updated as further access is restored.

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Wikimedia Foundation and UN Human Rights launch #WikiForHumanRights campaign to improve and expand knowledge about human rights online
International Women's Strike in Buenos Aires in 2018
Leer este posteo en español. Now through 30 January, join a global campaign to improve and add articles about human rights on Wikipedia.

At a time of growing polarization, misinformation, and limits placed on freedom of speech, assembly, and privacy, as well as ongoing conflict—understanding our human rights is a critical part of our daily lives. It dictates everything from how we gather in our communities and speak about the issues and causes we care about, to how to pursue freedom and prosperity.

But much of the knowledge about these rights is hidden within institutional systems or specialized publications that make it hard to access and understand them.

To address this challenge, this Human Rights Day, Wikipedia volunteers, the Wikimedia Foundation, and UN Human Rights are collaborating on a global campaign — #WikiForHumanRights — to improve and add articles about human rights on Wikipedia. The campaign will make knowledge of human rights more accessible for all. It will launch today, on 10 December, timed with the 71st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and run through 30 January. Everyone is invited to participate.

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To exercise our own human rights and stand up for those of others, we have to first understand them. As a top website viewed by hundreds of millions of people every month, Wikipedia provides a free, trusted, and multilingual resource to help make this information more easily accessible to the world.

“At Wikimedia, we know that free access to knowledge is a fundamental human right—that anyone, anywhere should have the ability to learn more about the world around them. When we have greater access to knowledge, our societies are more informed, just, and equitable,” said Katherine Maher, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The #WikiForHumanRights campaign builds on this commitment to make knowledge about human rights more easily accessible for everyone to learn about their basic human rights and how to uphold them. The campaign focuses on improving, adding, and translating Wikipedia articles about two key topics—the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the founding document outlining everyone’s fundamental rights, and youth activism, the young people who stand up for human rights every day and the issues they defend.

“To ensure that everyone has access to fundamental human rights, it’s critical that people first know their rights. By teaming up with Wikimedia, we are making critical knowledge about human rights available in as many languages as possible,” said Laurent Sauveur, Director of External Relations at UN Human Rights.

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was born out of World War II, in recognition of the need to protect and uphold freedom and equality for everyone, everywhere. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. It universalized human rights for the first time, holding that all people are entitled to these rights, regardless of country or government. It also placed on every human being the responsibility to stand up for others when abuses of these rights occur. Volunteer editors will be creating and translating the article about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Wikipedia throughout the campaign.

Today there are 1.2 billion youth aged 15-24 years globally, accounting for one out of every six people worldwide. There are more adolescents and young people alive today than at any time in human history. With the rise of such transformational young leaders as Greta Thunberg and  Malala Yousafzai, youth have been major drivers of political, economic, and social change.

There is still so much more knowledge to add, improve, and translate about human rights. We need your help to make more knowledge about this critical topic available.

How to get involved

If you’re interested in getting involved in the campaign, there are several ways you can participate:

  • Join an edit-a-thon

Check out this page to learn about local events near you and online edit-a-thons to add and improve articles about human rights. Many events will provide support with learning how to edit if you’re a newbie and will also provide lists of topics needing articles on Wikipedia. New events are still being added, so please continue to check!

Want to host your own event? Learn how with the event toolkit.

  • Share human rights topics that should have articles on Wikipedia

Tell us which human rights topics are not represented in your local language Wikipedia, and add them to the campaign list of topics.

  • Tell us why human rights are important to you

Help us amplify the campaign from now through the 30th of January on social media using the hashtag #WikiForHumanRights. Tell your followers and the world why you think getting to know your human rights is important. You can also re-tweet messages from @Wikipedia and @Wikimedia throughout the week.

  • Share photos of your events

Have photos of an edit-a-thon you ran with your community? Consider uploading them to Wikimedia Commons or sharing them on social media. Be sure to tag @Wikipedia and use the hashtag #WikiForHumanRights and we’ll share your stories!

This campaign is part of a new partnership between the Wikimedia Foundation and UN Human Rights to expand the availability of knowledge about human rights online. It builds on the impactful work of Wikimedia Argentina, the local Wikimedia chapter dedicated to supporting the Wikimedia projects and mission in the country, and their WikiDerechosHumanos project. Working with partners such as the UN, the project has been expanding Wikimedia’s human rights-related content for several years now through a series of edit-a-thons and events. Wikimedia Argentina is playing a leading role in the #WikiForHumanRights campaign and in facilitating this wider partnership to take shape on a global scale.

By partnering with the UN’s Human Rights Office, we hope to support Wikimedians from around the world to create, improve, and expand content about human rights in all Wikimedia projects and across the nearly 300 languages of Wikipedia.

Follow us on @Wikipedia and @Wikimedia for event details and updates as the campaign continues through the 30th of January and check back for updates on the event page. You can also follow our collaborators @UNHumanRights to learn more about human rights and the campaign!

Jorge Vargas is Senior Partnerships Manager at the Wikimedia Foundation. Follow them on Twitter at @jorgeavargas.

Alex Stinson is a Senior Strategist on Community Programs at the Wikimedia Foundation. Follow them on Twitter at @sadads.

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The Wikimedia Foundation is excited to announce $2.5 million in support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies that will help to ensure the security of Wikipedia, as well as the organization’s other sites and global community of volunteers.

At a time of increased cybersecurity threats, this philanthropic investment from the organization of craigslist founder Craig Newmark will help the Wikimedia Foundation vigorously monitor and thwart risks to its free knowledge projects. This effort will also help to protect information about the organization’s users and projects as well as provide everyone around the world with safe and secure access to its platforms on all devices.

“Wikipedia’s continued success as a top-10 website that has hundreds of millions of users makes it a target for vandalism, hacking, and other cybersecurity threats that harm the free knowledge movement and community,” said John Bennett, Director of Security at the Wikimedia Foundation. “That’s why we are working proactively to combat problems before they arise. This investment will allow us to further expand our security programs to identify current and future threats, create effective countermeasures, and improve our overall security controls.”

With this support, the Wikimedia Foundation’s security team will grow and mature a host of security controls and services. These include application security, risk management, incident response, and more.

“As disinformation and other security threats continue to jeopardize the integrity of our democracy, we must invest in systems that protect the services that work so hard to get accurate and trustworthy information in front of the public,” said Newmark. “That’s why I eagerly continue to support the Wikimedia Foundation and its projects—like Wikipedia, the place where facts go to live.”

This investment builds on Craig Newmark’s long-time support of the free knowledge movement and the Wikimedia Foundation. Prior to this contribution, Newmark had donated nearly $2 million to the organization’s projects. This includes initial philanthropic funding for the Community Health Initiative, an effort that supports better tools and policies for addressing harassment on Wikimedia Foundation projects, as well as contributions to the Wikimedia Endowment.

“Our platforms were built on the belief that security and privacy sustain freedom of expression,” said Katherine Maher, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “Now, more than ever before, there is an urgent need to invest in tools and practices that protect our users and our platforms. With Craig’s generous support, we will be able to better respond to security threats while building a sustainable source for free knowledge for everyone around the world.”

• • •

About the Wikimedia Foundation 

The Wikimedia Foundation is the international non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge freely. We host Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

About Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Craig Newmark Philanthropies was created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. It works to advance people and grassroots organizations that are getting stuff done in areas that include trustworthy journalism & information security, voter protection, gender diversity in technology, and veterans & military families.

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