Source Notes is a column by Stephen Harrison for Slate magazine covering internet knowledge and facts. Articles are updated here monthly.
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Why Wikipedia’s Medical Content is Superior
January 28, 2019
The reason is six degrees from Kevin Bacon.
Amazon’s Alexa Keeps Quoting Jeff Bezos to Me
February 15, 2019
An alarmingly deep dive into the shallow Daily Quotes skill from the Amazon Echo.
The Internet’s Dizzying Citogenesis Problem
March 7, 2019
Circular reporting is a real problem on platforms like Wikipedia—and it’s harder to solve than it looks.
The Notability Blues
March 26, 2019
The Wikipedia rule that makes it harder to create entries about lesser-known but important women from history.
When the Duty to Yelp Kicks In
April 15, 2019
Sometimes you have a moral obligation to review a business on Yelp or Google Reviews. Do it for the greater good.
The Battle to Save Katie Bouman’s Page from Deletion
April 16, 2019
Members of the Wikipedia community rapidly mobilized to rescue black hole scientist Katie Bouman’s page from deletion.
WikiLeaks Is Not a Wiki
May 9, 2019
The false use of the prefix has hurt the Wikipedia brand.
Why China Blocked Wikipedia In All Languages
May 21, 2019
The Chinese government has long been suspicious of Wikipedia. It’s been blocked in China intermittently since 2004, and the Chinese-language version has been blocked since June 2015. Now the government has gone even further.
Billion Dollar Bully Highlights Why Yelp Feels Unfair
June 6, 2019
Yelp compares itself to Wikipedia. But there’s a major difference.
When Brands Like The North Face Manipulate Wikipedia
June 14, 2019
A recent incident created a rather brain-melting debate.
Wikipedia’s “Constitutional Crisis”
July 2, 2019
The banning of a single editor is roiling Wikipedia.
Wikipedia Is Helping Keep Welsh Alive Online
August 7, 2019
Welsh and other smaller language movements on Wikimedia projects suggest there may be ways to train technology to allow for cultural differences.
Wikimania To the Rescue
August 16, 2019
At its annual convention, the international Wikimedia community has adopted ambitious human rights goals.