Monday, September 7, 2015

July - August 2015 GSoW Updates

So much work done and so much more to go. What a crazy two months it has been for GSoW. Personally I (Susan) will be on tour in Australia and Hong Kong for the month of October, we are finalizing the dates and locations. (see below for the dates I have so far).  I have ten lectures and one panel scheduled so far. Each one will be different, so if you are in the area, please come out and support GSoW.

As I write this, awesome things are happening. Four new people are finishing up their final projects and I think you will be amazed at the quality of their work (see Sept-Oct update). Most people who join GSoW have no editing skills and learn from the very beginning. Some struggle with the most basic edits, but with patience and mentoring, we get them through the process of learning the code and onto the exciting fun parts of the meat of the training.

Also keep in mind that below are mostly the big updates, the pages that have been re-created or brand new. There is a lot of work happening in small edits, a few sentences or a photo added that can really make a difference to a Wikipedia page. Those edits are too plentiful to include here on this blog, but we appreciate them all the same.

Please leave us comments (we LOVE feedback) and share this blog on your social media areas. We only exist because of our editors. And we only find these editors from our community. Help us reach out to those people who are a great fit for us.



Skeptic Voice Audio additions (Thank you to Derek Colanduno from Skepticality Podcast who is asking his guests for audio and uploading it for us, if you have access to recording audio for us please be in touch and we will be happy to help you make it happen)

John Allen Paulos
Yvette Dantremont

Audio of skeptics


The Flying Spaghetti Monster logo of Apostacon.

Apostacon - Before & After - As can be seen, this was an extremely poorly written page that read more like an advertisement than an encyclopedic entry when Leon Korteweg stumbled upon it. One would almost call it a miracle that it was never deleted. After some research, it turned out that the 'Midwest Humanist Conference' is the name of an annual skeptical/atheist/freethough/humanist conference, since 2013 known as 'Apostacon', which did ring a bell. A thorough rewrite later, this article was touched by His Noodly Appendage, and included in the List of skeptical conferences, right on time for the next event on 18–20 September 2015.
Dean Cameron (2nd left). Susan Gerbic CC-BY-SA 4.0

Dean Cameron - Before & After - Susan Gerbic - I really enjoyed learning the tiny things like he rarely uses capital letters and that he became a musician because in 9th grade a girl asked him if he played an instrument and he lied and said he did, then spent the next 6 months learning to play the guitar.

Glasgow Skeptics CC-BY-SA 4.0

Glasgow Skeptics - Brand New Page - Leon Korteweg and Julie Tomlinson, reviewed by Janyce Boynton, aided by Ian Scott. It's one of the two great skeptical organisations in Scotland.

Humani (organisation) - Before & After - When discussing religion and creationism in Northern Ireland with fellow skeptical Wikipedian Rebecca O'Neill, Leon Korteweg decided to improve the page on the Humanist Association of Northern Ireland or Humani, one of the most prominent skeptics groups in the region. An infobox with logo (see below 'Humanist logos') was added, references provided and more info supplied.

Jonathan TweetBefore & After - Susan Gerbic - Recently released the first book on evolution aimed at pre-schoolers called Grandmother Fish. Check it out, Xmas is coming and this is a great book for our little ones.

Jim Baggot. Susan
Gerbic CC-BY-SA 4.0
Jim Baggott - Brand new page written by Susan Gerbic - He was lecturing at TAM13 this summer and I don't think I was able to say more than Hello to him, it is so crazy there. He did an interview for Skepticality, and Derek kindly recorded audio and uploaded it for us.

Kiki Sanford. Ryan Somma CC-BY-SA 2.0
Jon Palfreman - Brand New Page - Janyce Boynton decided to write this article about a documentary filmmaker known for his investigate and skeptical approach to audiovisually telling stories on various topics. The page was reviewed and corrected by Lauren Carr.

Kiki Sanford - Before & After - Jerod Lycett did many improvements on this excellent science's communicator's biography.

Michael Marshall. Greg Neilson CC-BY-SA 4.0
Michael Marshall (Marsh) - Brand New Page - Leon Korteweg documented the biography of arguably the most prolific skeptical activist in the UK. Marsh is probably best known as coordinator of the 10:23 Campaign, a frequently heard voice on podcasts, and speaker in many Skeptics in the Pub and conferences about bad PR. The article was proofread and corrected by Jelena Levin, Susan Gerbic, Svetlana Bavykina, Jerod Lycett and Janyce Boynton.

National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS) - Before & After - Leon Korteweg added an infobox and two photos.

Non-Prophet WeekBefore & After - Leon Korteweg added a logo and photo, and improved referencing and grammar.


Edinburgh Skeptics.
Charlie Charlie Challenge - Before & After - Update by Emile Dingemans: removing unsourced
claims, asking for sources for unsourced but plausible claims, rephrasing, reordering, new sourced info on the origins of the phenomenon.

Dry needling - Before & After - Small update by Emile Dingemans.

Edinburgh Skeptics - Brand New Page - Translated from English by Wim Vandenberghe and Leon Korteweg.

Glasgow Skeptics - Brand New Page. Translated from English by Leon Korteweg, who wrote the original as well (see above), reviewed by Raymond van Es and Coen de Bruijn.

Irish Skeptics Society.
Irish Skeptics Society - The Dutch Irish Skeptics Society page was successfully defended by Leon Korteweg and other non-GSoW Dutch Wikipedians after a nomination for deletion. The resulting discussion concluded there were enough reliable sources, the page was not promotional, and aside from two minor wording corrections that could have been regarded as POV, everything was kept. The English version of this article was also nominated for deletion, but kept for similar reasons without interference from guerrilla skeptics; enough other Wikipedians came to its defence.

Natuurlijk (natural) - Before & After - Minor update by Emile Dingemans: removing unsourced health claims that contained appeals to nature.

Orthomoleculaire behandelwijze (orthomolecular medicine) - Before & After. Emile Dingemans is engaged in an ongoing effort to make the article more evidence-based.

Tea tree oil. Stephanie (strph) CC-BY-SA 2.0
Theeboomolie (tea tree oil) - Before & After - Minor update by Emile Dingemans: adding an
infobox, removing inprobable unsourced health claims or asking for sources for unsourced but plausible claims, adding warnings about the dangers of this product that is praised as a kind of medicine in new age-like circles.

Wetenschappelijke consensus (scientific consensus) - Brand New Page. Translated from English by Emile Dingemans, reviewed and corrected by Leon Korteweg.


These contributions don't really fall in any language category, but it's important to note several audiovisual additions made recently to illustrate articles on several topics. These include:

Humanist logos - Leon Korteweg. After immersing himself in the European Young Humanist movement at their Summer Weekend in early August (see below), Leon discovered that many Humanist organisations had articles on many Wikipedias, but rarely did they contain their logos, which makes every organisation visually recognisable (at least, that's the goal). It turns out that many of those groups have logos – often featuring nothing 'complex' beyond the well-known Happy Human symbol – that don't meet the threshold of originality, and thus may be uploaded to Commons.
The category:Humanist organisations and several subcategories have been created and filled with existing and newly uploaded logos of humanist groups around the world.
Those with an English article, but a non-free logo, have been sorted and completed at the Category:Non-free logos of humanist organisations.

Podcast intros - Leon Korteweg - After the example given by the Oh No, Ross and Carrie! podcast, Leon decided to try and upload more podcast intros (usually about 30 seconds long), getting the necessary permission where needed. The really cool thing is that random Wikipedia readers can get an impression of what a podcast is like if they happen to stumble upon that page, which can arouse their interest to start listening.
A simple copyright statement on a website. We encourage you to imitate this,
so that we can share your work on Wikipedia and thus make you famous!
We'd like to take this opportunity to say to anyone who runs a skeptical podcast: make your material available under a reusable Creative Commons license if you want people to find you! The Merseyside Skeptics Society has given a great example in this, as a result of which we can use all of their podcast stuff in their article, which is just awesome. This way Be Reasonable, InKredulous and Skeptics with a K now have an audible introduction (the latter in their own article as well). Besides them, Skepticality (Derek Colanduno) and The Reality Check (Pat Roach) have also been so courteous to upload their podcast intros for us, and ultimately themselves.

Derek Colanduno CC-BY-SA 4.0
Podcast logos - Leon Korteweg - Some logos of skeptical podcasts have been added as well. The free ones, together with photos of podcasters and the aforementioned intros are all included in the new Category:Skeptic podcasts, the remaining non-free logos, together with lots of non-free covers of skeptical books, have been grouped in the Category:Scientific skepticism media. Again, it would really help if you made your podcast's logo available to us either by uploading it yourself to Commons (properly licensed) or contacting us if you'd like to do so, but don't know how.

All of this should improve the visual presence of skepticism on Wikipedia.


GSoW in the News

Leon lecturing about GSoW to European young humanists.
Els Van Rossum.
European Young Humanist Summer Weekend

Leon Korteweg lectured about GSoW to a captive audience in Esbeek, the Netherlands. Aside from his regular explanation why skepticism on Wikipedia is important, and how the guerrilla skeptics make a change, he gave the attendees, young humanists from 12 different European countries, some practical tips on how to write a page about their own organisation, showing De Vrije Gedachte as an example.
There appeared to be unanimous agreement that this lecture was the most interesting of the entire weekend.
Jonge humanisten op Europees zomerweekend, Humanistisch Verbond (NL)
Workshops, Wasserschlachten und Guerilla-Skeptizismus bei Wikipedia, Diesseits, Humanistisches Verband Deutschlands (DE)

The Scathing Atheist - Susan Gerbic interview

Skeptoid guest article by Susan Gerbic

The Skeptic Zone - Richard Saunders interviews Susan Gerbic about the GSoW vaccine project.

Skeptical Inquirer Magazine - Vol 39 No 5 September/October 2015 - pgs 52-53 "Is Wikipedia a Conspiracy? Common Myths Explained" - Susan Gerbic (print version only)

Skepticality "Future Climate Thoughts" Susan Gerbic segment - "Assignment 6"

Skepticality "A Conservative Skeptic" Susan Gerbic segments -  "Interview with Raffaella" and "Vaccine Project Update"


Tentative schedule for
 GSoW lectures


Wednesday 30th Sept Mordialloc Sports Club - 528 Main Street, Mordialloc


Thursday 1st Oct Vic Skeptics - La Notte Restaurant  140 Lygon St Carlton 
Meal from 6pm, talk from 7:30pm


Launceston Skeptics Oct 4th or 5th (location TBD)


Canberra Skeptics Tuesday Oct 6th (location and time to be assigned)


Sydney skeptics Saturday October 11th 2:00- 6:00 pm Strattons Hotel (more information coming)


Brisbane Skepticamp on Friday October 16th 12-5pm (I'm not lecturing at this one, but will be attending, it should be the 100th SkeptiCamp ever and I encourage you all to attend)


Then on to the main conference Oct 17-18


Hong Kong Skeptics - Oct 21 - Oct 23 (dates and location not assigned yet, stay tuned)


Newest Secret Cabal interview - Susan Gerbic interviews Italian editor Raffaella Vitali.

Hope you all enjoy this update, we work very hard to get this out to you in a timely manner. If you would like to know more about us, or have questions about joining GSoW please check out our  YouTube channel and watch some of the interviews we have with the editors. We want to make sure that you understand what this project is all about, make sure this is a good fit for both of us.  If you have done so and are interested in joining our team, please write to us at

Monday, August 10, 2015

GSoW TAM13 Workshop flyer for editing class.

This is the worksheet I handed out at the "Learn to edit like a GSoW editor and change the world Mwahahahaahhaha! workshop.

It is possible that the directions will make little sense without context. If you have questions please contact us at


To edit a Wikipedia page...
1) Click on the Edit tab at the TOP right of the page.
2) Make your change
3) Click Preview at the bottom of the edit screen and review your changes. If correct then put a reason for the edit in the “Edit Summary” box.
4) Click Save
5) Congratulate yourself!

Adding a Hyperlink...

Add two brackets around the word/phrase/name like this...

[[James Randi]]

The words inside the brackets must match the Wikipedia page you want to hyperlink to exactly.

NOTE - I've come to realize that the following examples of verbiage may not be the best for non-native English speakers. So below these examples I offer other examples that use more common words than "evangelism" and "billet reading". 

Often an editor wants to hyperlink to a Wikipedia page but wants other words to appear.


You want the page to say... “One of his earliest reported experiences is that of seeing an evangelist using a version of the one-ahead.”

You want to explain what the “one-ahead” and “evangelist” is. So you want to make a hyperlink to those Wikipedia pages that will explain what those terms are. The Wikipedia page for “evangelist” is actually called “Evangelism” And the Wikipedia page for “one-ahead” is actually called “billet reading” But those words would not sound correct to the reader of your James Randi page.

One of his earliest reported experiences is that of seeing an [[Evangelism]] using a version of [[billet reading]].”

This is the correct way the edit will look once you are done.

One of his earliest reported experiences is that of seeing an [[Evangelism|evangelist]] using a version of the "[[billet reading|one-ahead]]"

Use the “bar symbol” in-between the words. The “bar symbol” is located below the backspace key. The left side is written exactly as the Wikipedia page you want to link to. The right side is what you want the reader to see.

Here are other examples of how this sentence could look...

According to [[James Randi|Randi]], one of [[Ray Hyman|Hyman]]'s earliest reported experiences is that of seeing an [[Evangelism|evangelist]] using a version of the "[[billet reading|one-ahead]]"

More examples....

This is from the Harry Houdini Wikipedia page...

" Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, [[straitjacket]]s under water, and having to escape from and [[apnea|hold his breath]] inside a sealed milk can."

Obviously if the sentence read... "and having to escape from and apnea inside a sealed milk can." it would make no sense.  The phrase "hold his breath" is NOT a Wikipedia page. So we can't link to a Wikipedia page called "hold his breath"  The editor wants to explain the phrase "hold his breath" for anyone who wants to know that it means "apnea".

From the Christopher Hitchens Wikipedia page...

"... describing himself as a socialist and a Marxist, Hitchens began his break from the established political left"

The word "socialist" should be defined with a hyperlink for anyone not familiar with the term.

The page you would use to get more information is called "Democratic socialism".  Obviously the sentence "... describing himself as a Democratic socialism and a Marxist..."

So the edit when written correctly would look like this ...
" describing himself as a [[Democratic socialism|socialist]] and a Marxist, Hitchens began his break from the established political left..."

Lesson 2 – Adding a authorlink to a citation...

  1. Randi, James. "Teleportation Magic Established By Science, At Last!”. Swift (Blog). JREF. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
    You want to make the name James Randi hyperlink to his Wikipedia page.
First click on the “Edit” tab on the TOP right of the Wikipedia page.

Find the reference/citation that needs to have the authorlink added to. It probably will look something like this.

<ref>{{cite web |url= |title=Teleportation Magic Established By Science, At Last! |last=Randi |first=James | work=Swift |publisher=JREF |type=Blog |accessdate=January 19, 2011}}</ref>

You will add this |authorlink=James Randi|   (make sure it is a lower-case "a" in "authorlink")

You will add it right after the word “James” in the citation above. It will look like this when done correctly.

<ref>{{cite web |url= |title=Teleportation Magic Established By Science, At Last! |last=Randi |first=James |authorlink=James Randi| work=Swift |publisher=JREF |type=Blog |accessdate=January 19, 2011}}</ref>

Remember that you must write the authorlink exactly as the Wikipedia page you are linking to appears.

Stat Tool -


Monday, August 3, 2015

The GSoW Vaccination Project - Feb - July 2015

From time to time GSoW likes to unite the entire team to focus on one subject. For 6 months we focused on all things concerning vaccinations. It took us a couple months to find our feet and actually get the ball rolling, once done the team was passionate about getting things done. (Not all work mentioned below was completed during the Vax focus months)

We take great pride in showcasing our work, these pages generate hundreds of thousands of page views each year, and will continue to do so year after year. All work is exponential as we can build off the pages created, as well as translate them into other languages.

Officially we finished the Vaccine project, but team members will continue to work in this area as there is much work left to be done. We will be moving on to a new focus Jan - June 2016 on a topic still undecided. If you have suggestions please comment here on our blog or write to us at



Charlie Sheen's Wikipedia page (thanks to Gene) and is getting about 4K views a day.

Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters (Brand New Page) - This page was written by one of the new English editors, James Williams, about a group of concerned citizens in the part of Australia with the lowest vaccination rate. The article was reviewed by Susan Gerbic, Janyce Boynton and Leon Korteweg.

Fun Fact - The NRVS people were unaware of the creation of their Wikipedia page, it was decided that as the Brisbane Skeptics were having a SkeptiCamp on Saturday July 4th and at least one member of the NRVS team would be in attendance, GSoW would delay announcement of the page.  Susan Gerbic and James Williams gave the skepticamp organizers a video where James surprised the audience with the page. Video here

Brian Deer - Updated by Jim Preston - Before & After - This is the Science reporter that exposed anti-vax Doctor Andrew Wakefield. 

Every Child by Two - Page rewritten by Janyce Boynton - Before & After Founded in 1991 by Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers to "raise awareness of the critical need for timely immunizations and to foster a systematic way to immunize all of America's children by age two."

Sherri Tenpenny (before) & (after) - Susan Gerbic - with the assistance of Jo Alabaster & Phil Kent (non-GSoW)

Leon Jaroff - (Brand New Page) - Written by Janyce Boynton, this biography is about the founding editor of popular science magazine Discover, and co-founder of CSICOP, the first successful skeptical organisation in the United States. (reviewed by Leon Korteweg)

Stephanie Messenger (Brand New Page) - Susan Gerbic - This is the anti-vax author of Melanie's Marvelous Measles which encourages children to seek out and embrace measles in order to make themselves stronger. The Melanie's Marvelous Measles Wikipedia page was written by Susan Gerbic in May 2015.

Steven Novella - Page updated and rewritten by various GSoW editors

The Mark Crislip/QuackCast page was an embarrassment. It is what I call a "non-scroller" which means you don't have to scroll to see the whole page.  Our community really should be ashamed that we allow pages like this to exist on Wikipedia.   Sean Whitcomb got to work and turned out this amazing transformation.  We contacted Mark for audio and I think he wins for funniest Intro Audio.  After

Rachael Dunlop now has a brand new page (with audio) written by new editor Sean Whitcomb. Rachael has been sitting on our list since we started collecting people to put on our list. She kept getting passed over, not because we were worried that there wouldn't be enough information, but because creating a page from scratch is a lot of work. I think Sean and team did a terrific job. Rachael was also featured on the front page of English Wikipedia as a Did You Know... Here are the stat views during that day.

Michelle Bachman - page updated by Janyce Boynton with HPV statements.

Bill Maher - Quotes from scientific skepticism community added concerning Maher's anti-vax comments. "Tara Parker-Pope and former Senator Bill Frist have called his criticism of the H1N1 flu vaccinations unscientific. Infectious diseases expert Paul Offit has written that misinformation about vaccines from celebrities like Maher has put children at unnecessary risk. Offit says that celebrities like Maher are seen as "less credible" and would still be considered just "great entertainment" if they weren't joined by the former Director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Bernadine Healy and influential pediatrician, Dr. Robert Sears.  OncologistDavid Gorski has also criticized Maher's beliefs about vaccines several times in ScienceBlogs, and when Maher received the Richard Dawkins Award in 2009, Gorski wrote it was inappropriate. Skeptics, including mathematician and science writer Martin Gardner, neurologist Steven Novella, and magician Jamy Ian Swiss have also strongly rebuked Maher, characterizing him as anti-science, uninformed and potentially endangering the health of fans who take his "non-medical" advice.  Maher responded to the criticism, saying, "What I've read about what they think I'm saying is not what I've said. I'm not a germ theory denier. I believe vaccinations can work. Polio is a good example. Do I think in certain situations that inoculating Third World children against malaria or diphtheria, or whatever, is right? Of course. In a situation like that, the benefits outweigh costs. But to me living in Los Angeles? To get a flu shot? No.'"
Maher's Wikipedia page receives ~50K views a month

David Gorski - Brand New Page created - Oncologist and editor of Science Based Medicine Website - critic of alt-med and anti-vax. 

Scott Lilienfeld - Brand New Page created - Janyce Boynton

Dorit Reiss - (Brand New Page) - Monica Quijano - Immunization advocate focuses on legal issues concerning vaccination.

Measles - András G. Pintér - Before After (Pseudoscientific claims added - Stefan Lanka and the €100 000 to be payed)

Wendy Sue Swanson - editor Janyce Boynton - Brand New Page created Wendy Sue Swanson (born 1974) is a pediatrician, educator and author best known for her Seattle Mama Doc blog. As a doctor and a mother, Swanson advocates the use of online tools, such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, to strengthen communication between healthcare providers and patients. Swanson asserts that online technologies can assist patients and families in becoming stewards of their own health. Swanson has dedicated her career to helping physicians learn to use online tools more effectively in helping patients make informed decisions based in science. "While we don't have the capability just yet," Swanson states, "my goal is to prove that an empowered and informed patient reduces health care costs and improves outcomes.

This Did You Know? Appeared on the front page of Wikipedia May 2, 2015


Kanyaró (huwiki) - András G. Pintér - Before After (Hungarian Measles page. Antivax movement section and pseudoscience section added)

HLakos András - András G. Pintér - Brand new page (well known infectologist, MD, specializing in Lyme and other diseases spread by ticks, often debates anti-vax activists)


Steven Novella - Nix Dorf - New Page Created


Steven Novella - Rian van Lierop - New Page Created

A lot remains to be done. We barely got a part of the way through all the ideas on our work list. Editors will continue to pluck away at the list, but we will be moving forward. Jan-June 2016 we will focus on a yet undecided area. If you have an opinion on the matter please contact us on our Facebook Page.

As usual if you would like to know more about the GSoW project, please check out our YouTube channel. There you will learn all about the project, what to expect when training and afterwards. This project is not for everyone, so please inform yourself before writing to us at

Sunday, July 5, 2015

May and June GSoW Updates - News and Information

The GSoW Vaccine project has really helped focus attention on all the people and projects from the scientific skepticism world, I know I've learned a lot. We still have a month more and more surprises in store for you, so stay tuned for a early August blog release recapping all that GSoW has done to help spread the word that vaccines are important and good information is available out there. 

As usual, GSoW is doing a lot more than just vaccines these last two months. See below for all the various goodness and awesomeness we have been involved in. Let me remind you dear readers that below are only the major rewrites and new page creations. The GSoW team is always doing far more to educate the world through Wikipedia than what is listed here on this blog update.  Small edits are made all the time that improve content, but are too plentiful to be mentioned here.

If you are thinking of joining GSoW or want to know more about the project, the best place to get information is from our YouTube channel.  There we have many interviews with the team members, they explain why they joined this project, what its like being here and why they stay. I'm always inspired every time I listen to these interviews. They also talk about the pages they have worked on and it is important behind the scenes discussions like this that will open your eyes about the pages we write.  
Also included on our YouTube channel are 3-15 minute snippets from the Skepticality podcast I'm on every couple weeks. These are actual podcast segments, but they have been cleaned up and photos (often very humorous) added. Check these out when you have a moment, they explain GSoW and its many projects very quickly and simply for the newer skeptical activist aficionado.

If you're into short audio spots, share this with those you think might find it interesting. We would love to have lots of you join us!

Finally be sure to join us at The Amaz!ng Meeting July 15-20 in Las Vegas. I have a completely open calendar set aside these days just to hang out with my fellow skeptics. On Thursday I will be on a panel with Sharon Hill and Simon Singh in a workshop on Skeptical Activism in Every Day Life. On Sunday GSoW has its own workshop at 4:00-5:30 entitled How to Edit Wikipedia like a GSoW editor and Change the World Muhahahaha. Please bring your laptop as we will be teaching you how to edit like a GSoW editor without joining the actual project.

In October join me and several other GSoW editors in Australia. I am speaking at the Brisbane Skeptic Conference October 16-18.  But because I'm going to be in the area, I am working on many other speaking engagements all over the country. Canberra, Tasmania, Melbourne, Sydney are on the schedule, dates soon to be decided. I'm also hoping to crash in on the New Zealand Skeptics.  And also very exciting I will be visiting the Hong Kong Skeptics at the end of this tour, and then finishing off with a lecture in China about my cancer treatment and how I relied on my doctors to treat me and not a homeopath or other CAM treatments.

From Brisbane Skeptics President Ross Balch - 
"At some point society is going to become a lot more rational and I think unfortunately no one is going to remember that its a lot to do with us and our activism. I think that we are going to be ... history and no one is going to realize when it happens, but all of a sudden its going to happen. there are some people who they work so tirelessly they deserve to be remembered and as I was talking to you previously about Susan Gerbic. One of the things she does is to make that happen, its a great project Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia because people who deserve to be known they do get known because of that project. Wikipedia is going to be around a lot longer than us in one way or another. Its almost a new history book and that's fantastic. Its actually my great pleasure to let you see this... (video) SkeptiCamp Brisbane July 4, 2015

And now what you actually came to the blog to read about....

English Teams

Brian Deer - Updated by Jim Preston - Before & After Jim felt that Deer's page fell under the Vaccine Projects task list AND Deer will be speaking at the upcoming Amaz!ng Meeting this July. Meet Jim and team at our workshop at TAM.

David Helfand - Colin Hagemeyer - BeforeAfter This is the page that Colin rewrote in order to graduate him from training. Welcome Colin as a brand new GSoW editor!
(De Vrije Gedachte CC BY-SA 4.0)

De Vrije Gedachte (Brand New Page) - The Dutch freethinkers association "The Free Thought" was translated from Dutch (see previous blog and below) by Leon Korteweg, reviewed by Janyce Boynton, Susan Gerbic, Dianne Elizabeth, Julie Tomlinson and Jerod Lycett.

Every Child by Two - Page rewritten by Janyce Boynton - Before & After

Marsh on GTS' UK homeopathy campaign.
(Photo: Andrew Merritt CC-BY-SA 2.0)
Good Thinking Society - As related in our previous blog, to our great surprise the Good Thinking Society was already written before we could start on it. However, Leon Korteweg has been able to improve its contents somewhat with the help of Michael Marshall ("Marsh"), and translate it to Dutch (see below). Before & After

Human Dynamics - Cleanup of un-scientific statements - Ryan Harding & Leon Korteweg - Before & After

Irish Skeptics Society - Leon Korteweg - Expanded with info, more reliable sources and a logo, translated to Dutch (see below). Before & After

Jorge Allende -  Page rewritten by Javier Ardouin Bórquez - Before & After This is the final project from Javier to finish off his training. Welcome to our newest GSoW editor!

Klub Sceptyków Polskich (Brand New Page) -  Written by guest editor Tomasz Witkowski in Polish first (see below), and translated by Tomasz & Leon Korteweg and reviewed by Susan Gerbic and Janyce Boynton. The KSP is amongst the most active skeptical organisations in Europe, and manage to get national media coverage often.

Leon Jaroff - (Brand New Page) - Written by Janyce Boynton, this biography is about the founding editor of popular science magazine Discover, and co-founder of CSICOP, the first successful skeptical organisation in the United States. (reviewed by Leon Korteweg)

Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters (Brand New Page) - This page was written by one of the new English editors, James Williams, about a group of concerned citizens in the part of Australia with the lowest vaccination rate. The article was reviewed by Susan Gerbic, Janyce Boynton and Leon Korteweg. 

Fun Fact - The NRVS people were unaware of the creation of their Wikipedia page, it was decided that as the Brisbane Skeptics were having a SkeptiCamp on Saturday July 4th and at least one member of the NRVS team would be in attendance, GSoW would delay announcement of the page.  Susan Gerbic and James Williams gave the skepticamp organizers a video where James surprised the audience with the page. Video here

Ryan J. Bell (Brand New Page) - After meeting Ryan Bell at QED 2015 in Manchester, Jelena Levin decided to write his biography. Together with Leon Korteweg (especially for the Dutch sources; we noticed a remarkable interest in Bell's Year Without God from the three main Christian newspapers in the Netherlands) and aided by photographers Andrew Merritt and Al Johnston at QED, and reviewers Kyle Hamar, Susan Gerbic and Gene Roseberry, the article was published and eventually featured on English Wikipedia's Main Page as a Did You Know? on 21 June (over 2600 views that day).

Stephanie Messenger (Brand New Page) - Susan Gerbic - This is the anti-vax author of Melanie's Marvelous Measles which encourages children to seek out and embrace measles in order to make themselves stronger. The MMM Wikipedia page was written by Susan Gerbic in May 2015.

Dutch Team

Louis Fles (Brand New Page) - Leon Korteweg - Important Jewish-Dutch freethinker and arguably the most vocal atheist and secularist in the Netherlands in the Interwar Period. Article translated from English and expanded in Dutch, added photograph. 
On 3 May, Dutch team members met in Utrecht at AronRa's lecture.
Left to right: Rogier, Emile, Leon, Vera, Rian. 
(Photo: René van Elst).

Rob Nanninga - Leon Korteweg - short expansion on his study of crop circle / UFO believers. Before & After

De Vrije Gedachte - More images were added by Leon Korteweg, extra links were created by trainee Jaap. Before & After

Irish Skeptics Society (Brand New Page) - A well-known but nowadays apparently relatively inactive skeptical organisation in Ireland. Translated from English (see above) by Leon Korteweg, reviewed by Raymond van Es.

Good Thinking Society (Brand New Page) - Translated from English (see above) by Leon Korteweg, reviewed by Emile Dingemans.

Charlie Charlie Challenge - Coen de Bruijn got an email from his children's school that pupils were forbidden playing the hype gamen (at its height around late May/early June), wherein the 'ghost' of an unknown Mexican boy or man name 'Charlie' is invoked, who allegedly answers yes/no questions by 'moving' balanced pencils on a sheet of paper. Coen found the school's reaction of prohibiting the game to be 'fearmongering' and referring to 'the Internet' as a source for more information to be very irresponsible.

As expected, the Dutch-speaking Wikipedia entry showed up high in search engine results, but it was full of alarmist paranormal-promoting nonsense without any references or sources, so Coen decided to rewrite it. Wim Vandenberghe soon joined him, and finally Leon Korteweg completed the revision crew. Unsourced material was challenged or removed, reliable sources were added and grammar was drastically improved. Although another Wikipedian had previously nominated the article to be deleted, because it was so misleading and poorly written, the team decided to try and keep it to help anyone who was worried find trustworthy information and calm down instead of forcing them to less reliable sites which would probably only confirm their fears; the page was kept. Before & After 

Polish Skeptics campaign against
pseudoscience in psychology.

Klub Sceptyków Polskich (Brand New Page) - After the page was first written and published in Polish (see below) and then translated into English (see above), Leon Korteweg translated the KSP to Dutch; the text was reviewed by Rogier van Vugt, Emile Dingemans and Rik Delaet.

Five people from the Dutch-speaking skeptical/freethought movement had their voice intros recorded by Leon Korteweg (see below).

Hungarian Team

Richard Feynman - András G. Pintér Before & After Feynman is well known among Hungarians as books of his have been translated to our language and are quite popular. His Wikipedia page, however was rather disorganized and lacking in terms of information, too. It could still be further advanced.

Florence Nightingale - András G. Pintér Before & After She is not part of popular culture in Hungary, but references to her work are available online and in books dealing with the history of medicine, thus finding proper information was not that much of a hassle. Her work is also relevant to skeptics, hence the rewrite.

Italian Team

Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI)
- The first successful skeptical organisation in North America, founded in 1976 as CSICOP, with their magazine Skeptical Inquirer that popularised the term "skeptic" for our movement. Translated to Italian by Raffaella Vitali - Before & After

Portuguese Team

The article on Table-turning (Mesas girantes), recently massively expanded and improved by our Brazilian editor Valério Andrade Melo, it was just featured on the Main Page of Portuguese Wikipedia! Check it out, this is a very big deal - Before and After 

Polish guest editors

Klub Sceptyków Polskich (Polish Skeptics Club) - After Leon Korteweg contacted Tomasz Witkowski of the Klub Sceptyków Polskich, a fruitful correspondance led to an agreement that he, together with Polish Wikipedian Maksymilian Sielicki and photographer Kamil Przyboś, would write the article on the KSP in Polish first, and then translate it to English. After a month of silence, Tomasz called in and showed that the Polish page was done! Maksymilian and Leon just needed to do a few more fixes, referencing and extra sources, and the translations could begin (see above). Also, we had the luck that someone found it so well-written that it was featured on Polish Wikipedia's Main Page on 27 June. Many thanks to our Polish guest editors!

Audio of Skeptics (here)

This area continues to expand - newly added voice intros are American skeptic Julia Galef, American health educator Wendy Sue Swanson, Dutch freethinker and 
historian Anton van Hooff, Dutch religion critic and lawyer Paul Cliteur, Iranian-Dutch ex-Muslim activist Ehsan Jami, Belgian skeptic philosopher Maarten Boudry and Dutch terrorism expert David Suurland.


At the moment, we are experimenting with video uploading and inclusion. Videos are still rare on Wikipedia, so we can make articles extra interesting by uploading reusable material. We've done this before with the 10:23 Campaign (thanks to Vera de Kok), now Leon Korteweg is exploring further possibilities. Ex-Muslim activist Maryam Namazie's opening address at the Secular Conference 2014 has been added, and excerpts from her interview with comedian Kate Smurthwaite on free speech have been embedded in her page. Also, a video of Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales calling for the release of Raif Badawi has been included in all language versions (including Arabic) of the latter's biography.

Skeptical organisations in Europe: our not-so-hidden agenda... :)

Our regular followers will have noticed that we write a lot about skeptical organisations in Europe lately. Leon Korteweg, who found it remarkable that everyone knows all about the JREF, The Skeptics Society and Skeptical Inquirer, but almost nothing about their fellow skeptics in neighboring countries because of language barriers, took the initiative to provide basic documentation on several skeptics groups on the European continent (and that includes the British Isles). This has gradually evolved to a continuous project to write a page about every national or regional group in their own language first, then translate it into English, then into Dutch. Hopefully, more languages will follow, so all of us get to know about each other and form a tight movement across the borders, which will make us more powerful and noticeable by the general public whom we're trying to reach.

Skeptical organisations in Europe with their logos. Made by Leon Korteweg.
Since April 2015, Leon is maintaining a public schedule as part of the Wikiproject Skepticism on English and Dutch Wikipedia to visualise every step of progress:
Skeptical organisations in Europe (English)
Skeptische organisaties in Europa (Nederlands)

It's a real challenge to find people who can provide information in the language we need, and then to translate it into English and vice versa. It's exciting but also hard. If you're not a GSoW member yet but are considering joining us and you can read and write Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish and/or Swedish besides English, this is the project where YOU can really make the difference!