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Government United States Wikipedia

US National Archives Will Upload All Its Holdings To Wikipedia 108

An anonymous reader writes The U.S. National Archives has revealed to Wikipedia newspaper The Signpost that it will be uploading all of its holdings to the Wikimedia Commons. Dominic McDevitt-Parks told the Signpost that "The records we have uploaded so far contain some of the most high-value holdings ... However, we are not limiting ourselves ... Our approach has always been simply to upload as much as possible ... to make them as widely accessible to the public as possible."
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US National Archives Will Upload All Its Holdings To Wikipedia

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  • Deleted (Score:5, Funny)

    by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @06:30PM (#47346577) Homepage
    If Wikimedia Commons works anything like Wikipedia, it will probably all be deleted in a week as "not important enough".
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Notability is the word you're looking for:


      I created a page for my uncle who is a multi-platinum recording artist, and it was deleted for not being notable enough. This was the week after he was on three national talk shows.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        I created a page for my uncle who is a multi-platinum recording artist, and it was deleted for not being notable enough.

        To prove that a topic is notable enough for an article, you need to cite three different articles in three different reliable sources. Which sources did you cite in the now-deleted article?

        • Re:Deleted (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashikiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday June 29, 2014 @07:10PM (#47346765) Homepage

          I personally like it when editors remove fully sourced information that's contrary to their PoV, and then you get a assload of brigading on the topic because it's "contrary to popular opinion."

          • Re:Deleted (Score:5, Interesting)

            by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @08:02PM (#47346927) Homepage Journal

            Speaking of that, my favorite "contrary to public opinion" was the term MGTOW [mgtow.com]. Men going their own way
            This MGTOW motto is the main motto picked up by most mens rights groups. The MGTOW page was deleted multiple times by feminists who said it wasnt notable, even though it was referenced in main stream press and published books and then the numerous websites and groups. [lmgtfy.com] But still deleted, over and over and over.
            So what did the feminists do? They created page called MGTOW [wikipedia.org] for maximum gross take off weight that is just a REDIRECT to mgtow. The actual term is MTOW [wikipedia.org] in aviation, so why the redirect and fight in the talk page? Politics.

            This was almost 10 years ago since this happened, and still happens today.

            History only goes back to 2009, but this MGTOW war is good example of the feminists of wikipedia fighting mens rights. Lucky now that enough mens rights groups and non profits using the term, almost 600,000 websites returned with a simple google search.

            http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Talk:MGTOW [wiktionary.org]
            Limited history due to many deletions. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Maximum_takeoff_weight&offset=&limit=500&action=history [wikipedia.org]

            There are more wikipedia censoring going on than this one topic, but I'd say this is the perfect example of editors censoring. Also why I think they dont deserve government money with these oppressive and biased editors that seem to be backed by the foundation.

            I think my favorite comment by an editor on wikipedia was "we dont have the room for a mens rights page, we cant have a page for everything". Amusing when every episode of very popular shows does.

            The more you know!

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Concur. Even as a feminist who thinks most mens' rights groups are utterly misguided, I still think they have the right to be represented fairly. Wikipedia is a horrible distortion of the truth because there is so much special interest wrangling going on - an MMORPG where the side with the most copious spare time wins. I like MMORPGs as much as the next geek, but I'd be very worried if people started using WoW as a source for information about the world.

              • The problem is that untill very recently (at the end of the day Elliot Rodger had an impact) there was very little in the way of third party reliable sources covering the mens rights movement and related groups.

              • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

                Uhh...if you're a feminist then it's perfectly acceptable to censor viewpoints you don't agree with. It's sexist and therefore deserves to be deleted. I honestly don't know how you call yourself a feminist and don't know this. Thankfully on campus your sisters are not as misguided as yourself. Men raise issues at their own peril.
            • Wikipedia is built on a foundation which works "on average". If you want a different system, you're asking for a different type of thing. It's always going to be a problem.

              • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

                Wikipedia is built on a foundation which works "on average".

                In other words, if it doesn't fit someone narrow view of what's acceptable, piss off. They'd be happier with their echo chamber filled with groupthink.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I cited a couple of books including The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, two other Wiki pages that mentioned him, the band's web site, a couple of reviews, three local newspaper articles, two NY Times articles, an article on cmt.com, his label's web site, an allmusic.com review, and a page about him on answers.com. I spent a lot of hours working on the content so I was dismayed to see it get deleted and my account banned.

        • by DG ( 989 )

          Let me guess, you're a Wikipedia moderator, right?

          It continually amazes me how, in a world where storage is effectively free, where there is literally no cost to hosting articles, that there exist people who seek to suppress knowledge because it doesn't meet their arbitrary standard of "notable".

          Give a man the power to say "no", and he says "no" - a lot.


          • You don't need to host every piece of information on Wikipedia. People are free to put up their own websites to post personal opinions, trivia facts about their favorite tv shows, or new medical curatives they've discovered. Wikipedia just isn't the place for it.

            You seem to be arguing for including everything in Wikipedia, and I think most contributors there would disagree and say that it's not the place for everything, and some stuff shouldn't be included.
            • Moreover, Wikipedia's stated goal has always been to be an encyclopedia, not an archive of content.

              Encyclopedia's are meant to present a reasonably concise overview of all topics, with links to further in-depth information. They're a starting point not the totality of one.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              And yet, Wikipedia is chock full of trivial facts about TV shows. As in a page for every single episode of some popular shows when there are already plenty of other sites with that info.

              • by DG ( 989 )


                Print encyclopedias had to be picky about editing, because even edited down they were still 100lbs and took up feet of shelf space.

                A digital encyclopedia has no such constraints. It can be a repository for everything, at no cost.

                The "not notable" constraint is totally artificial and serves only as an outlet for the petty-minded to exert some small degree of power.


                • Claims made in a Wikipedia article must be verifiable. Notability just means whether or not it's even possible to write a verifiable article.
          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            Let me guess, you're a Wikipedia moderator, right?

            If by "moderator" you mean "participant", then yes, I've been helping to improve Wikipedia since before it used MediaWiki. If by "moderator" you mean "administrator", then no, my account doesn't have The Mop.

      • Re:Deleted (Score:5, Funny)

        by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @07:20PM (#47346795)

        Hey but you can learn about all the Pokemon and Transformers trivia you could ever want to know.

        • Hey but you can learn about all the Pokemon and Transformers trivia you could ever want to know.

          It's not "trivia", that's not allowed. It's "In Popular Culture". Much more encyclopedic.

          • Re:Deleted (Score:4, Insightful)

            by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Monday June 30, 2014 @01:19AM (#47348031)
            The problem is that it appears to be rather arbitrary. What objective criteria is used to determine what popular culture is popular enough to warrant a Wikipedia page and what popular culture isn't popular enough so everything must go? In reality I think it comes down to whether or not it is more liked or more hated by editors who hold the power there.
            • Re:Deleted (Score:4, Interesting)

              by eyrieowl ( 881195 ) on Monday June 30, 2014 @01:53AM (#47348145)
              Indeed, the system is structured such that the deletionists are far more likely to hold sway. I think the rules would have to be set up rather differently for the inclusionists to be able to win out. A shame, really. Why wikipedia would want to shackle itself to some definition for "encyclopedia" based on what was possible with dead trees is beyond me. It's a small minded parochialism which does the project and the world a disservice.
            • Enough third party reliable sources to write a neutral article. In fact TV triva isn't what it used to be. Astroidcruft on the other hand.....

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I created a page for my uncle

        OK, tell you what. Since we're dealing with anecdotal evidence here, let's just go ahead and put it on the table.

        Tell us who your uncle is, which "multi-platinum" recordings he's made, and which "national talk shows" he was on and we'll decide if he's notable enough. Let the court of Slashdot public opinion, (aka "Judge Nerdy") decide. The People's Court, FTW!

        Also, as someone else here has noted, cite three different articles in three different reliable sources about your un

      • I seem to recall this case. If its the one I think it is "multi-platinum recording artist" turned out to mean "had some minor roles on other people's albums that the reviewers generaly hadn't noticed". Think Clare Torry but without the same level of fan obsessiveness.

    • Notability isn't required on Commons.
  • I mean, Wikipedia is editable by anyone.

    This makes its content prone to manipulation as some folks may choose to intentionally mask the truth...

    Or conflate ideas...

    Or confuse facts...

    Or obnubilate issues...

    Or bedevil matters...

    Or stupify knowledge...

    Or mix-up the obvious...

    Should I go on?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 29, 2014 @06:43PM (#47346649)

      So far the comments have been nothing but ignorant.
      Wikimedia Commons is a repository of free (as in freedom) media. Mostly photos, but lots of other stuff too.
      The National Archives and Records Administration, according to Wikipedia, "is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents".

      These are federal government records and documents, so automatically in the public domain. Wikimedia Commons is the perfect place to mirror them.

    • by Anonymous Coward


      Thanks for the new word.

  • Why cant they just host this on their own? its not like they cant get nearly unlimited funding..

    • The NSA already snagged all the available server storage?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bswarm ( 2540294 )
      In case their hard drive crashes like the IRS's did.
      • . . . but, as "The Economist" pointed out, are they safe from being eaten by dogs there . . . ? The IRS scandal: A dog ate my e-mails http://www.economist.com/news/... [economist.com]

        On the serious side of things, wouldn't it be better for some independent organization archive government emails? I mean, the Nixon administration investigating the Nixon administration should have taught us something. If an organization separate from the IRS archived the emails, the IRS wouldn't have to say their disks crashed. The inde

        • So we'll spend some or your tax dollars on this which will help us ensure the tax department is efficient and TAXES? TAXES ARE THEFT. DOWN WITH THE GOVERNMENT!!!

          These problems don't just happen, and don't require conspiracy. It's been plainly obvious the IRS is underfunded since it returns 7-to-1 on recovered revenue when they get a budget increase.

    • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Sunday June 29, 2014 @06:56PM (#47346693) Homepage Journal
      To use a US Government-created, pre-1923, or otherwise free image in a Wikipedia article, you need to upload it to Commons first. The National Archives doing this on its own will save people a step.
    • Re:why? (Score:4, Informative)

      by rgmoore ( 133276 ) <glandauer@charter.net> on Sunday June 29, 2014 @07:35PM (#47346857) Homepage

      They do already host this on their own, but putting it on Wikimedia Commons makes it easily accessible to people who want to use it for articles in any of the Wikimedia sites (e.g. Wikipedia, Wikiquote, etc.). Also, by doing an official upload, they reduce the chance of somebody claiming the files are illegitimate. This is basically a courtesy to Wikimedia.

  • Why not put it on government servers that at least have to be hacked into rather than letting random Russian assholes trash it seconds after it goes up?

    • Why not put it on government servers that at least have to be hacked into rather than letting random Russian assholes trash it seconds after it goes up?

      They already did. And now they will also put it up in wikimedia, and it will have "uploaded by the US government" or something like that, rather than "uploaded by random stranger".

  • See?
    People ARE eventually "getting it".
    Except, perhaps, for some of the commenters ( haters?) here..

  • If Wikimedia Commons can handle this onslaught, will all of the content pass muster with our never ending corporate copyright regime?

  • All of the holdings of the National Archives...how much is that in Libraries of Congress?

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky