World events often have a dramatic impact on online services. A past example would be the death of Michael Jackson which brought down Twitter and Wikipedia and made Google believe that they were under attack according to the BBC.
Events like the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic have less instantaneous affect but trends can still be seen to change. Cloudflare recently posted about some of the internet wide traffic changes due to the pandemic and various government announcements, quarantines and lockdowns.
Hacking has nothing to do with it. One of the definitions of hacking is to “gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer”. What actually happened is someone, somewhere, edited the article, which everyone is able and authorized to do. Editing is a feature, and its the main action that happens on Wikipedia.
The word ‘hack’ used to mean something, and hackers were known for their technical brilliance and creativity. Now, literally anything is a hack — anything — to the point where the term is meaningless, and should be retired.
The Google Assistant is essentially a chat bot that you can talk too within the new Allo chat app. The assistant is also baked into some new Google hardware, such as the pixel phones. During a quick test of the assistant, I noticed that if you ask it to “tell me an interesting fact” sometimes it will respond with facts from Wikipedia. Continue reading
The RevisionSlider is an extension for MediaWiki that has just been deployed on all Wikipedias and other Wikimedia websites as a beta feature. The extension was developed by Wikimedia Germany as part of their focus on technical wishes of the German speaking Wikimedia community. This post will look at the RevisionSliders design, development and use so far.
Wikidata was launched on 30 October 2012 and was the first new project of the Wikimedia Foundation since 2006. The first phase enabled items to be created and filled with basic information: a label – a name or title, aliases – alternative terms for the label, a description, and links to articles about the topic in all the various language editions of Wikipedia.
On 14 January 2013, the Hungarian Wikipedia became the first to enable the provision of interlanguage links via Wikidata. This functionality was slowly enabled on more sites until it was enabled on all Wikipedias on the 6th March.
The side bar that these interlanguage links are used to generate can be seen to the right. Continue reading
“David Cameron’s Wikipedia page has been hacked as the nation goes to the polls on election day.” — Belfast Telegraph
Well, no, not exactly.
Edits to the UK MP Links and United Kingdom elections templates to name but a few caused a large version of Ed Miliband’s face to appear on over 660 pages relating to the 2015 UK election saying “VOTE LABOUR” today. A full list of the pages affected can be found here and here.