back to article Wikipedia's Gibraltar 'moratorium' - how's it going?

Last October Wikipedia's supreme leader Jimmy Wales called for a "strong moratorium" on the online project's strange obsession with promoting Gibraltar - even suggesting a five-year ban on Gibraltar-loving Did You Know... posts on Wikipedia's front page. "I think it is clear that there should be a strong moratorium on any …


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  1. Spider

    Not actually fussed about Gib either way but...

    If you or anyone objects so strongly then you could ask for a refund?

    1. DF118

      Re: Not actually fussed about Gib either way but...

      Ah, the "it's free so why are you complaining?" defence. A brilliant suggestion, marred only by two tiny fallacies. One, nobody is complaining and two, nobody is complaining.

      Go and read the back story.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not actually fussed about Gib either way but...

        At a guess the Spanish are probably complaining. Good. You are not getting it back. Ditto Argentina / Falklands.

    2. Ru

      Re: Not actually fussed about Gib either way but...

      Some people find wikipedia useful. Some people contribute content to it. Some people even donate money to it, believe it or not. All of the above might reasonably be unhappy to find that wikipedia is a teeny weeny bit corrupt here and there.

      Do you think the contributors can remove the articles and edits they've provided? Do you think the donors can get refunds?

      1. Tom 13

        Re: ..unhappy to find that wikipedia is a teeny weeny bit corrupt..

        Any fool who thinks there is ANY place on this planet without corruption deserves to be parted from his/her money and/or time.

    3. David Hicks

      Re: Not actually fussed about Gib either way but...

      "If you or anyone objects so strongly then you could ask for a refund?"

      Right, because when Jimmy Wales says some part of wikipedia is going a bit wrong, he should just shut up and/or ask for his money back then?

      *ultra facepalm*

    4. Spider

      Re: Not actually fussed about Gib either way but...

      FFS you'd think you were to forced to use it or contribute to it under pain of death, as for a source, if tt's important wikipedia? really? maybe a starting point at best. But if that's your level of research you deserve what you get or indeed pay for. There is a wealth of genuine info out there., if you are too lazy to go look and rely on the public to source it for you what do you seriously expect?

      ..and if that's your level of effort I'll help out. the red arrow is just down there on the right...

      1. Falanx

        Re: Not actually fussed about Gib either way but...

        You're welcome. *Clicks*

  2. Captain TickTock

    I did mention Gilbraltar once,

    but I think I got away with it.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: I did mention Gilbraltar once,

      And thus we have yet another definition of "gibbing".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I did mention Gilbraltar once,

      who said that?!

      Stone him!

      1. horse of a different color

        Re: I did mention Gilbraltar once,

        Llanitos eunt domus

    3. Robin

      Re: I did mention Gilbraltar once,

      Quit yo' Gib-er Jabber!

  3. WallyM

    Gibraltar IT

    You can add to the DYI comments:

    Did you know that CTS, a much loved local Gibraltar communications provider, went bust last week.

    And the only provider(s) left will charge £7,000/month for a 10MBit leased line to the Internet?

    Surely that's more relevant than who built some military fortification 700 years ago...

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Gibraltar IT

      Do you go write the article "Internet in Gibraltar" then. And cite your sources - they're funny about that.

    2. Spanners Silver badge

      Re: Gibraltar IT

      With that big a price on what is left, you have to ask

      "Did they fall or were they pushed?"

  4. graeme leggett

    Register and its part in the discussions

    The Register has been given as an example of continuing media interest in the issue. Which must be nice - I suspect elements of big media world view the Register as a niche website where IT types go to goof off from work for a bit.

    Mr Orlowksi has been denounced in the discussions over the Gibraltarpedia "issue" as an anti-wikipedian guaranteed to turn any innocuous statement he's been fed into a tirade against the saintly principles of wikipedia and its devoted acolytes (I might be exagerating a bit there) . Though others have pointed out that in the last article all he did was quote sections of the report.

    My gauge on the matter is that there are really at most only a half dozen editors on either side of the Gib issue who are really up in arms on the matter and so long as they bicker (perhaps not the right word) back and forth on the talk pages they aren't harming anyone, the world continues to turn in its orbit and those who chose to read wikipedia (with all its attendant advantages and disadvantages) remain blissfully unaware.

  5. ratfox


    Whether Gibraltar is promoted or not is not that important, but they might want to check if there is a hole in the way decisions are made which could be used to game the system in more important places…

  6. DavCrav

    "Spotting the obsessive entries is becoming something of a sport with Reg readers, but please don't send any more in."

    Are you having a moratorium on that?

    1. Natalie Gritpants Silver badge

      No, we're having a strong moratorium.

  7. Blofeld's Cat


    I had assumed these articles were in response to the average tourist's experience...

    "You went on a day-trip to Gibraltar? What did you do in the afternoon?"

    1. Andrew Moore

      Re: Interesting...

      Went scuba diving on the wrecks...

    2. Dr Paul Taylor

      Re: Interesting...

      That's not fair. It is well worth a day trip and way more interesting than La Linea de la Concepcion. It's also interesting to note how much it suits the Spanish to have it there, as a source of employment and cheap petrol. But there are plenty of other interesting places in the world, so it does not deserve as much plugging on a global website as is alleged in the article.

      1. VulcanV5
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Interesting...

        You have to be kiddin'. Worth a day trip there? Unless you've a desire to watch apes scratching their arses, then don't bother, because a visit to London's House of Commons will more than cater to that interest without having to go to the trouble of visiting as tacky and self-promoting a dump as Gibraltar is.

        Its "duty free" goods are waaay more expensive than the same stuff (booze, especially) bought in ordinary mainland Spain supermarkets. Its cafes and restaurants are over crowded and over priced. Its 'marina development' is about as pompously. . . awful as any to be seen anywhere: sterile, boring, and at a fiver for a small glass of beer high on the list of the Top 10 THings To Avoid In Gibraltar.

        But then: forget such a list. The absolute TOP thing to do is just avoid Gibraltar altogether. Why we Brits insist on keeping it, I've no idea -- last time I was there, there were so many electronics stores trying to flog Blackberry fondleslabs at twice the price of the stuff in England, I thought I was in Mumbai.

    3. Mike Richards

      Re: Interesting...

      Never been there, but I've got the impression that Gibraltar is like a Disneyland for Daily Express readers.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not for profit

    The whole not-for-profit wheeze has been used extensively by shysters over the years.

    One can of course personally receive a not insignificant salary, cash bonuses as well as wield the not-for-profit's influence in areas in which you just happen to have a personal financial interest (or someone close to you does), and still have the masses fooled that you're running some kind of philanthropic, idealistic enterprise.

  9. John Ruddy
    Thumb Up

    Is it possible that some of these DYKs are simply because people want to piss Jimmy Wales off?

  10. Joseph Haig

    People actually read the Wikipedia front page?

    I had no idea that there was a "Did you know?" section, let alone that it was often filled with facts about Gibraltar.

    1. jai

      Re: People actually read the Wikipedia front page?

      i had no idea there was a front page! i usually just go straight to the topic i'm looking for directly from google or bing.

      possibly this whole Gibraltargate is an attempt to make people aware that such a front page actually exists?

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: People actually read the Wikipedia front page?

      Did you know ... that Wikipedia has a section titled "Did you know..." on its Main Page, which is used primarily to annoy people who pay close attention to Wikipedia?

      There you go!

      (Personally, I find the whole Gibraltar-promotion scandal moderately amusing, and a nice deflating of the vastly overstated claims of Wikipedia's innate goodness. Gibraltar itself I have no opinion on.)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stuart van Onselen 10:22

    "the part that you would know if you'd bothered to read the linked article."

    That does indeed, on the face of it, sound dodgy (albeit nothing like as dodgy as some of the stuff that goes on at some placesI know, but that's another story for another day).

    So if it's that crucial, why didn't Orlowski put it in the main article?

    [not posted as a "reply" because I get a "gone" error message.Sorry]

  12. Cipher

    Just Say No to Wikipedia

    All of the submission guidelines for the paid writing I have done share the same caveat: Thou shall not quote, cite or use Wikipedia in any way. They are clearly Agenda Driven (amongst other shortcomings):

    1. Steven Roper

      Wikipedia has its uses, with caveats

      As long as the subject you are researching isn't politically charged (e.g. climate change, World War II or the Kennedy assassination) it is usually fairly accurate. In particular its articles on politically neutral subjects like mathematics or physics are a good starting point if all you need is a working understanding of the topic.

      For example, the Wikipedia article on Mersenne primes explains the concept quite effectively (that is, that a Mersenne prime is a prime number one less than a power of two) without any political overhead or agenda. There is no dispute about what these numbers are or are not, just the simple fact of their existence and how they are calculated. For citation purposes of course you would look up the referenced articles at the bottom of the page for more authoritative discussion of the subject.

      The danger comes when an article carries a political agenda. A good example, discussed on your link above, is climate change. (TL;DR - A UK scientist, William Connolley, gained Admin authority on Wikipedia and used it to push a pro-climate change agenda while banning opposing contributors) In these cases, of course the references at the bottom will also all be in favour of the agenda in question by virtue of their being selected to support the article. This makes it very difficult to even locate opposing views from the references.

      So as in all things, use your better judgement. If your topic of research is even slightly politically charged, don't go near Wikipedia at all. Use a variety of search engines (not just Google) and give equal attention to points made for and against. But for purely scientific or mathematical research where no political agenda is involved, Wikipedia makes as good a starting point as anywhere.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Gregory Kohs

    the Gregory Kohs? of MyWikiBiz?

  14. Tim Starling

    Recent discussion on this issue

    Since it was not linked in the article, here is most of the recent discussion on this issue:

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