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> Free Azawad!
Mister Die
post Fri 6th April 2012, 11:46am
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azawad

So a rebel group declares independence and Wikipedia immediately starts treating it as its own ("disputed") country whereas the sensitivities of Mali, which potentially stands to lose like 50% of its territory, is apparently not worth taking into account.

Do they really want Wikipedia being able to influence people on events which have just transpired in the span of... less than 5 hours ago?

This post has been edited by Mister Die: Fri 6th April 2012, 11:56am
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Web Fred
post Fri 6th April 2012, 2:52pm
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QUOTE(Mister Die @ Fri 6th April 2012, 12:46pm) *

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azawad

So a rebel group declares independence and Wikipedia immediately starts treating it as its own ("disputed") country whereas the sensitivities of Mali, which potentially stands to lose like 50% of its territory, is apparently not worth taking into account.

Do they really want Wikipedia being able to influence people on events which have just transpired in the span of... less than 5 hours ago?


Is what they are writing incorrect?
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Mister Die
post Fri 6th April 2012, 2:56pm
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In the sense that it creates a false impression that there is a perfectly independent country called Azawad and making it look like any attempt to make this 'country' not exist would be akin to invading it, then yes.

I mean they don't even call the article the "Independent State of Azawad" or whatever, it's just called Azawad (and this has political implications as well, since the actual historical region is a fair bit larger than Tuareg-inhabited Malian territory.)

The biggest issue is that tons of people are going to be influenced by a Wikipedia article about an event that has just happened, and said event is something people have fought and died over and a fully-recognized sovereign state (Mali, of course) had a coup d'état in response to. And this is being edited by anyone.

I mean come on, they're just jumping the gun at this point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Azawad

Whole articles on Malian history and politics are going to be "adjusted" because of a sudden announcement.

This post has been edited by Mister Die: Fri 6th April 2012, 3:13pm
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Web Fred
post Fri 6th April 2012, 3:15pm
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QUOTE(Mister Die @ Fri 6th April 2012, 3:56pm) *

In the sense that it creates a false impression that there is a perfectly independent country called Azawad and making it look like any attempt to make this 'country' not exist would be akin to invading it, then yes.

I mean they don't even call the article the "Independent State of Azawad" or whatever, it's just called Azawad (and this has political implications as well, since the actual historical region is a fair bit larger than Tuareg-inhabited Malian territory.)

The biggest issue is that tons of people are going to be influenced by a Wikipedia article about an event that has just happened, and said event is something people have fought and died over and a fully-recognized sovereign state (Mali, of course) had a coup d'état in response to. And this is being edited by anyone.

I mean come on they're just jumping the gun at this point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Azawad

Whole articles on Malian history and politics are going to be "adjusted" because of a sudden announcement that the international community, nor the Malian government itself, has even responded to yet.


I think you give far too much credence to WP being a valid news source, or a place people will go to when something new occurs. It's far more likely that people will go to somewhere like the BBC or CNN (hopefully they'll avoid Fox News, which does far more harm than WP ever could) or one of the larger newspaper sites. Though they're a lost cause if they go to the Daily Mail.

Just out of interest how did you find the article?
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Mister Die
post Fri 6th April 2012, 4:14pm
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QUOTE(Web Fred @ Fri 6th April 2012, 3:15pm) *
Just out of interest how did you find the article?
I looked at the BBC news about Azawad being declared independent by the rebels, and promptly typed "Azawad" into Wikipedia to see what Wikipedians did to it.
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Web Fred
post Fri 6th April 2012, 4:19pm
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QUOTE(Mister Die @ Fri 6th April 2012, 5:14pm) *

QUOTE(Web Fred @ Fri 6th April 2012, 3:15pm) *
Just out of interest how did you find the article?
I looked at the BBC news about Azawad being declared independent by the rebels, and promptly typed "Azawad" into Wikipedia to see what Wikipedians did to it.


Do you think the average person would do that, or just someone who was wishing to critique WP?

Do you think the average person who was already at the news site would continue on to an online encyclopaedia for more info?
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Mister Die
post Fri 6th April 2012, 4:57pm
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Well yes, when someone hears "X rebels have declared Y region independent" they tend to look for background information. Since Wikipedia is the #1 search result for 99% of everything remotely encyclopedic and because it just so happens to allow for "encyclopedic" articles on events the very day they occur, I'd imagine most would go to Wikipedia.

This post has been edited by Mister Die: Fri 6th April 2012, 5:00pm
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Tarc
post Fri 6th April 2012, 5:01pm
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QUOTE(Mister Die @ Fri 6th April 2012, 12:14pm) *

QUOTE(Web Fred @ Fri 6th April 2012, 3:15pm) *
Just out of interest how did you find the article?
I looked at the BBC news about Azawad being declared independent by the rebels, and promptly typed "Azawad" into Wikipedia to see what Wikipedians did to it.


List of states with limited recognition (T-H-L-K-D)

That people have rebelled and broken away from another state, and sources discuss that breakaway and that state, is really the only threshold to meet. An article's existence and the validity of the statehood are not the same thing.
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Mister Die
post Fri 6th April 2012, 5:07pm
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The point is that it took not one day for an entire "WikiProject" to emerge in relation to it, and that Azawad was turned from a Tuareg-inhabited region encompassing more than just northern Mali to being turned into an article dedicated to the self-proclaimed Independent State of Azawad. There was no discussion, it was just "OH MY GOD TUAREGSJUSTWENTINDEPENDENT I HAVE TO ADD IT TOWIKIPEDIA AGTSJHDNJJ"

I know it meets Wikipedia's definitions and guidelines just fine; I'm just pointing out that they're not good and that Wikipedia is laying out the red carpet to a rebel group which proclaimed the existence of a state in a timespan of less than 24 hours.

Imagine if the Alaskan Independence Party a few years from now barged into the state capital and declared the State of Alaska a sovereign country, and then within minutes not only was the "Alaska" article changed completely to accommodate this, but every article in relation to Alaska (including the USA itself) was suddenly changed into "oh, BTW, Alaska is independent now," it got its own WikiProject, etc. It's basically an indirect endorsement of said declaration.

I'm just saying, this is a particularly bad case of Wikipedia being "up-to-the-minute" in a most un-encyclopedic fashion.

This post has been edited by Mister Die: Fri 6th April 2012, 5:19pm
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Detective
post Sat 7th April 2012, 3:16pm
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QUOTE(Tarc @ Fri 6th April 2012, 6:01pm) *

Yes, and what does that article say? It lists Azawad first, and proclaims

Status: Azawad declared its independence in 2012, after a successful war of independence.

Other claimants: Mali claims Azawad as part of its sovereign territory.

What are the facts? No country on Earth recognises this declaration of independence. I'd be amazed to find a reliable source that accepts that there has been "a successful war of independence". This is thus in flat contradiction of WP:V, WP:NPOV and the rest of the alphabet soup.
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Mister Die
post Sat 7th April 2012, 6:34pm
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Indeed.

This is something responsible encyclopedias, which have to take into account the world around them rather than parent-approved bedtime, would deal with in a far more subtle manner.

If I was crowned Lord Sir Jesus of Wikipedia I'd have an article titled Independent State of Azawad and just give a map of its self-proclaimed territory, some information on its "government," and the status of international opinion (seemingly negative across the world.) Giving it a section on history, for instance, is a no-no, whereas the section on demographics belongs as a part of the Mali article since... it's internationally recognized as a part of Mali and there's no actual sources yet entitled like "A Study of the Demographics of the Independent State of Azawad by (some professors)" or whatever.

This post has been edited by Mister Die: Sat 7th April 2012, 6:35pm
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Michaeldsuarez
post Sun 1st July 2012, 8:02pm
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Gao

It's Somalia and the Islamic Courts Union all over again.
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