The Cuban wiki encyclopedia

Cuba has launched it’s own wiki (we shall see if they allow editing) encyclopedia. It can be found at here:

http://www.ecured.cu

Now I don’t speak Spanish but on the other hand I have looked at the thing which appears to be put me ahead of 90% of the people commenting. I also don’t know much about Cuba other than it has issues with a dictatorship and it’s the place to go if you want to go on holiday without Americans (although central Wales may do just as well for that second one)

So where to start ? Technical stuff is fairly simple special:version shows that it is a pretty standard mediawiki install with a little re-skinning (In fact the crash page still throws up the mediawiki default logo with the error message in English). About the only anomalies are something called vigilar by ONI (I don’t know either) it’s described as vigilar-desc (google translates this as monitor off). The the other is “solicitar_categoria” by Infosoc. The name and description suggest something to do with category sorting but well the name “Infosoc” is hardly reassuring. They are also trying for WYSIWYG with the FCKeditor.

So onto the content. Now my inability to read spanish is a definet limiting factor here so I’m going to focus on one article: Londres. Now the content is not just a straight import of the spanish wikipedia (for one thing it is far shorter). But some sentences are copied or near copied. If we look at the initial version: “Este asentamiento duró sólo diecisiete años. Alrededor del año 61, la tribu Iceni, dirigida por la Reina Boudica asaltó el asentamiento destruyéndolo completamente” is flat out copied from the spanish wikipedia and the previous sentence is close. The images are all from wikipedia but not for the most part ones used in the wikipedia articles on london. The author is apparently a computer enthusiast who has been associated with (perhaps worked at?) the Youth Club of Computing and Electronics for 5 years. Running the article through google translate it looks pretty harmless.

The site is getting seriously hammered by traffic but looking at recent changes some edits are getting through.

Next up the article on wikipedia. I’ve a long standing interest with regards to how other wikis write about wikipedia so I suppose I’ve got something to compare it with. I’m having to read this through google translate so I can’t promise I’ve got things dead on. The article actually starts okey. Standard description and stats. There is a brief wobble over the definition of free but that is understandable. Then we come to the Credibilidad section and it goes nuts. After a brief digression involving George Soros (which sounds similar to a Glen beck comment) it goes on a multi paragraphy rant about Israel and Rachel Corrie. While it is certainly a contentious issue the coverage appears out of proportion. It then moves onto more standard fare which the issues of the edits from the CIA and the like dug up by wikiscanner. They then devote an entire section to rebelion.org (Spanish wikipedia claims rebelion.org was spamming it rebelion.org claims censorship). As if to show the issues with their sense of proportion the section on Honduras (a genuinely significant issue where wikipedia can’t win) is rather shorter.

In conclusion it looks like the Cubans have managed to build a wiki based encyclopedia that the goverment can live with while at least bits of it may provide conservapedia style humour.

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