Wikipedia

Notice anything odd about the picture on the right? It’s a piece of the wikipedia front page which shows that one of the handful of languages with more than 100 000 articles is, wait for it, Volapük, a language with an estimated 25-30 speakers worldwide. Hmm…

Obviously the vast majority of these articles have been created by a bot and it turns out that the culprit is SmeiraBot, which automatically translates English articles into Volapük. Most of the articles are about locations, for instance small towns in the US, and range from stubs a few lines long to longer articles of unknown quality to some mostly un-translated articles like this one about Monkeys Eyebrow, KY.

There is a proposal to close this wikipedia and I have to agree: it should be shut down. It exploits the wikipedia project to get attention for someone’s hobby language and devalues the effort that has gone into creating the other local wikipedias. However, the proposal apparently fizzled out so the “vükipedia” may survive. Hrmph.

On the subject of wikipedia, doesn’t it seem suspect when someone with an IP from within one of the largest Danish banks makes an article about a scandal in one of that bank’s subsidiaries less negative? See for instance these edits. Not okay!

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