Wikimedia Highlights

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The monthly Wikimedia Highlights summarize the most notable WMF activities and other movement news from the Wikimedia blog. The intention is to provide value for those readers who might not have the time to read the entire blog, and to facilitate translations.

The Wikimedia Highlights were started in 2011 as a combination of the most notable aspects of the monthly Wikimedia Foundation report and the Wikimedia engineering report (including basic financial and traffic data) with a brief selection of other important events in the Wikimedia movement during that month. Following the growth of the Wikimedia blog in scope and coverage, and with the Foundation's reporting switching from a monthly to a quarterly publication schedule, the Wikimedia Highlights now (since the October 2014 issue) focus on summarizing news from the Wikimedia blog entirely.

Each new issue is posted on the movement-wide announcement list WikimediaAnnounce-l and on the blog of the Wikimedia Foundation (RSS). You can also subscribe here to get a summary message delivered to your user talk page on any Wikimedia project right after each issue is published.

Previous issues
Read the highlights in your own language (if available) or translate them.
October 2015 (blog version)
September 2015 (blog version)
August 2015 (blog version)
July 2015 (blog version)
June 2015 (blog version)
May 2015 (blog version)
April 2015 (blog version)
March 2015 (blog version)
February 2015 (blog version)
January 2015 (blog version)
December 2014 (blog version)
November 2014 (blog version)
October 2014 (blog version)
September 2014 (blog version)
August 2014 (blog version)
July 2014 (blog version)
June 2014 (blog version)
May 2014 (blog version)
April 2014 (blog version)
March 2014 (blog version)
February 2014 (blog version)
January 2014 (blog version)
December 2013 (blog version)
November 2013 (blog version)
October 2013 (blog version)
September 2013 (blog version)
August 2013 (blog version)
July 2013 (blog version)
June 2013 (blog version)
May 2013 (blog version)
April 2013 (blog version)
March 2013 (blog version)
February 2013 (blog version)
January 2013 (blog version)
December 2012 (blog version)
November 2012 (blog version)
October 2012 (blog version)
September 2012 (blog version)
August 2012 (blog version)
July 2012 (blog version)
June 2012 (blog version)
May 2012 (blog version)
April 2012 (blog version)
March 2012 (blog version)
February 2012 (blog version)
January 2012 (blog version)
December 2011 (blog version)
November 2011 (blog version)
October 2011 (blog version)
September 2011 (blog version)
Last issue

Wikimedia Highlights, October 2015 lead image.jpg
"Wikidata Birthday Cake First Cut" by Jason Krüger, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.; "Miguel Zúñiga González-2" by Victor Grigas, Wikimedia Foundation, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.; "Stop surveillance poster" by Rich Black, CC BY 3.0.; "Princess of Asturias awards 2015 - Wikimedia España members, Wikipedia editors and representatives" by Ruben Ortega, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.; "2010 07 14820 5420 Amis Folk Center Art of Taiwan Cobblestones Taiwan" by Lord Koxinga, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.; Collage by Andrew Sherman.

Here are the highlights from the Wikimedia blog in October 2015.

Wikipedia’s global impact recognized with Spain’s Princess of Asturias Award ceremony[edit]

Princess of Asturias awards 2015 - Wikimedia España members, Wikipedia editors and representatives.jpg
Princess of Asturias prizes 2015 - Wikimedia España members, Wikipedia editors and representatives. Photo by Ruben Ortega, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

On Friday, October 23, Wikipedia was formally presented with the highly esteemed Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, honoring the Wikimedia movement vision of allowing everyone, everywhere to freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales accepted the award on behalf of Wikipedia at the Princess of Asturias Foundation ceremony in Oviedo, Spain, presided over by the King and Queen of Spain. Jimmy was joined by Lila Tretikov, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, Patricio Lorente, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, and Wikimedians Ravan Jaafar Altaie of Iraq, Lourdes Cardenal of Spain, and Jeevan Jose of India.

Creating change one step at a time: Miguel Zuñiga Gonzalez[edit]

Miguel Zúñiga González-2.jpg
Miguel Zuñiga Gonzalez first started as a Wikipedia volunteer in 2006. Today, Gonzalez combines this passion with his love of teaching, and works with university students on improving Wikipedia's coverage of medicine. Photograph by Victor Grigas, Wikimedia Foundation, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Miguel Zuñiga Gonzalez is an architect, a university teacher, and a Wikipedia volunteer. A native of Mexico City, Gonzalez sat down with us during the 2015 Wikimania conference held in the Mexican capital to briefly discuss his work with medical students on the Spanish-language Wikipedia, and share his views on Wikipedia's current concerns and its future chances.

One concern Miguel has is the lack of involvement of the general population with the project. However, Gonzalez sees the possibility of change in the younger generations. "Young people are more inclined to share their knowledge with the world. Students, actually, get very motivated when they publish their work on Wikipedia as part of a paper. For them, it's a challenge. Telling them that it will be for the whole world to review gives them even more of a reward."

There are advantages to this approach. "When students do research for their articles, they find practical uses from what they're learning at the moment, such as the ability to search scientific databases," says Miguel. "When a reference is properly used, it also gives them a chance to expand their knowledge. When they improve things even a little bit, by adding five or six references to an article, they make a big contribution by ensuring everything is reviewed."

Your October milestones include Wikidata’s 15 millionth item[edit]

Wikidata Birthday Cake First Cut.jpg
Wikidata hit 15 million items this month, not long before its third birthday celebrations in Berlin. Photo by Jason Krüger, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

While the English Wikipedia's 5 million article milestone just missed the cut, several other Wikimedia projects celebrated milestones of their own in the month of October.

On October 27, Wikidata hit 15 million items—and two days later celebrated its third birthday, with celebrations in Berlin. It's now the third most-active Wikimedia project behind the English Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, with around 5,900 active users in June 2015.

Several language editions of Wikipedia crossed major article milestones—on October 12, the Georgian Wikipedia became the 54th project to reach 100,000 articles, and on the 29th, the Azerbaijani Wikipedia joined them in that club as the 55th.

Early in the month, the Catalan Wiktionary hit the 150,000 entry milestone, while the Hungarian Wiktionary reached 300,000 entries towards the end of October—only the 18th Wiktionary to reach this particular milestone.

Bots again played a role in growing some of the smaller Wikimedia projects this month, with the Min Nan Wikipedia growing by ten thousand articles in just eight days.

District court grants government’s motion to dismiss Wikimedia v. NSA, appeal expected[edit]

Stop surveillance poster.jpg
Spread the word about inappropriate surveillance. Art by Rich Black, CC BY 3.0.

On October 23, 2015, a federal district court granted the government’s motion to dismiss Wikimedia v. NSA, the Foundation's lawsuit challenging the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) use of “Upstream” mass surveillance.

Unfortunately, the court did not actually rule on whether the NSA’s upstream surveillance is legal or illegal. Judge T.S. Ellis III, the presiding judge, dismissed the case on standing grounds. The court held that the Foundation's complaint did not plausibly allege that the NSA was monitoring the Foundation or other plaintiffs’ communications. Additionally, the court referenced the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Clapper v. Amnesty International, although, in the Foundations opinion, the facts before the court were dramatically different from the ones that were before the Supreme Court in Amnesty.

The Wikimedia Foundation respectfully disagrees with the Court’s decision to dismiss. The Foundation believes that our claims have merit. In consultation with the Foundation's lawyers at the ACLU, the Foundation will review the decision and expect to appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Wikimedia Foundation would like to thank our skilled and dedicated pro bono counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Cooley, LLP for their dedication and hard work on behalf of the Wikimedia movement.

Making Chinese Wikipedia more ethnologically diverse[edit]

2010 07 14820 5420 Amis Folk Center Art of Taiwan Cobblestones Taiwan.JPG
Wikimedia Taiwan collaborated with National Cheng-Chi University to improve the Chinese Wikipedia's coverage of ethnology. Photo by Lord Koxinga, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.

Students in Taiwan are making the Chinese Wikipedia more ethnologically diverse though a collaborative program with Wikimedia Taiwan, an affiliate organization of the Wikimedia movement, and National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taipei.

The students learned how to edit through a lecture at the beginning of the course. Students edited the ethnological content in their own sandboxes and had oral presentations to outline their articles and share their progress. Students were allowed to use translated information from the English Wikipedia but had to improve it to meet academic standards.

In short, readers of the Chinese Wikipedia now have 40 new articles on ethnic minorities to learn from, ranging from the Flemish (en), Mongo (en), and Bemba (en) peoples.

You can read more about this project.

Andrew Sherman, Digital Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation

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