Rage Against the Machine

On: October 3, 2010
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About Natalie Dixon
I’m a new media thinker, strategist and writer. My current research focus is on the ‘affective bandwidth’ of mobile-mediated communication. My research interests include affective computing, HCI, biomapping, emotion, the impact of mobile phones on social behaviour, analytical design and information visualization. I graduated from the new media track of the Media and Culture masters programme in 2011.


Monday 27 Sept: 5:45pm
Create my first Wikipedia entry with John’s help in the Media Practices class.
Subject: Young Africa Live, a mobile health project based in South Africa.

Monday 27 Sept: 6pm
Receive notification that my article will be speedily deleted, as it does not meet the criteria for Wikipedia submissions under the “notability” clause.
Add {{hang on}} in an attempt to buy time.

Monday 27 Sept: 6.15pm
Edit Wikipedia Young Africa Live submission to be more notable by changing the wording and linking it to other Wikipedia entries about mobile health. (I still think references are fine at this point but later find out this is probably the issue.) Wait.

Tuesday 28 Sept: 9am
My article is still highlighted, “under section A7 of the criteria for speedy deletion, because the article appears to be about web content, but it does not indicate how or why the subject is important or significant: that is, why an article about that subject should be included in an encyclopedia”.

But it hasn’t been deleted. Yet.

Wednesday 29 Sept: 9am
It’s gone. Speedily deleted. Mildly annoyed.

Wednesday 29 Sept: 9pm
I love the idea of creating an entry for Amsterdam’s burgeoning culture squat scene. However, no “notable” references exist for this. Underground youth culture isn’t featured first in the New York Times but Wikipedia wants references like this. Shit.

Moving on, I start a new draft for an entry. I love the work of the Dutch graffiti artist Laser 3.14 and have been following his work around the city. I decide this would make a great entry even though it’s about a person and that seems tricky.

I find an entry for him on the Dutch wiki. I read the entry for English graffiti artist Banksy and follow a few more rules about referencing. I read the Wiki tutorial on creating an article and start again. I struggle for the longest time to find the Create An Article button. It eludes me for a solid 25 minutes. I get extremely despondent. I eventually find it and upload.

Laser 3.14 Graffiti

Laser 3.14 Graffiti

Laser 3.14 Graffiti

Laser 3.14 Graffiti

Wednesday 29 Sept: 9.05pm
All of 5 minutes later I have been flagged for speedy deletion again under the notability clause.

Thursday 29 Sept: 10am
Deleted. Strike two.

Friday 30 Sept
Seethe. Rage against the machine.

Saturday 2 Oct: 1pm
I revisit both entries and bump up my sources, I spend time scouring the net. I read the excruciating tutorials for the third time. I submit the articles to Wikipedia for review to avoid being eaten by bots or some geek Tut345 from Oregon with too much time on his hands.

Saturday 2 Oct: 4pm

Sunday 3 Oct: 2pm
Review completed for Laser 3.14

This submission has been declined. The reviewer left the following comment:
We cannot accept unsourced suggestions or sources that are not reliable per the verifiability policy. Please provide reputable, third-party sources with your suggestions. Third party sources are needed both to establish the verifiability of the submission as well as its notability.

I click on the reviewer’s profile (Alpha Quadrant) and see that he’s a trekkie, a Christian and an intermediate Wikipedia editor.

Is this a joke? Can you only make a Wikipedia entry if your subject has been covered in the mainstream press a gazillion times? How do underground, guerilla, new subcultures or artists get exposure on Wiki? Short answer: they don’t. I referenced the Het Parool newspaper, and the Dutch entry for this graffiti artist is hardly different to mine. Laser been published for Pete’s sake. His book is available in the American Book Centre and yet I can’t keep a Wiki entry on him alive for longer than 5 minutes and 35 seconds.

I’ve resubmitted my Young Africa Live entry with sources that include the Financial Times and I’m waiting from review feedback. Will this one survive?

Sunday 3 Oct: 8pm
Update: Submission deleted. Under the notability clause.

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