Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

So this is a for-profit operation where volunteers do the work? The site is vague about such details. "People like you helping people like us help ourselves?" Not good. You can be a for-profit or a non-profit, but pretending to be a non-profit when you're not is deceptive.

Their terms of use are awful.[1] Note that they want to operate under British law, where libel law favors the subject. They have an indemnification clause, so their volunteers could be compelled to reimburse WikiTribune if WikiTribune loses a libel suit. That's happened in the UK; see the famous McLibel case, where McDonalds sued two Greenpeace volunteers. That decision was overturned by the European Court of Human Rights. But, post-Brexit, that level of appeal will no longer be available.

They also appear to have plagiarized the terms of use from other sites. One section reads "We may, in our sole discretion, limit or cancel quantities purchased per person, per household or per order. ... We reserve the right to limit or prohibit orders that, in our sole judgment, appear to be placed by dealers, resellers or distributors." That exact text appears on other sites, usually ones that sell tangible goods. It's completely inappropriate here. Sloppy.

This stuff matters when the business involves pissing people off. Don't volunteer to write for this organization unless and until they work out the liability issue.

[1] https://www.wikitribune.com/terms-of-use/ [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLibel_case




Small point of information: the European Court of Human Rights is not an EU institution and so will remain available to UK citizens after Brexit.


True, but Mrs. May is not a fan of the Convention or the Court. Scrapping it is not directly tied to Brexit, but it's still related, if only by being an international agreement with the word "European" in it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-ca...


Do you have a credible news source, or just The Independent?


Since when was the independent not a credible news source? Genuine question.


They've had declining readership for a long time; run out of money and been sold to a Russian billionaire for £1; laid off a lot of journalists; and gone online-only. Also, looking at their front page I assume their writers are being paid per click judging by their choice of stories.

There's no precise way to measure journalistic credibility - but it's clear they've been hit hard by the trends of technology.


Oh, is it considered credible? Not being in the UK I don't have a sense of this, but I had gradually built up a perception over the last couple months that it was a sort of click-bait, mediocre source like, maybe, HuffPo or BuzzFeed. I put it somewhere above Daily Mail but below BBC or The Guardian.

I started forming this opinion on an article that re-hashed the story of Flynn being fired, but in such a poorly edited way with so much bluster that I literally couldn't understand what the actual facts were it was trying to convey. Fortunately, the article linked to the WaPo story it was based on, and I was able to understand from there.

I wish I could find that story now, but unfortunately I couldn't. But I found this one in my browser history, which I think shows the issues I have with it:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-russi...

The headline is big and blustery, which is why I associate it with clickbait. Then the first paragraph explains: "it has been reported". That is, the Independent isn't doing the primary research itself; it finds other articles and amplifies them. There's a bunch of sites that do this and it frustrate me, since the original article usually is a little more nuanced. The whole game here is to pick an article and make it more juicy.

Compare the headline of the Guardian article which this one is "amplifying":

> British spies were first to spot Trump team's links with Russia. Exclusive: GCHQ is said to have alerted US agencies after becoming aware of contacts in 2015

with the Independent's take on the same story:

> 'Concrete evidence of collusion between Trump team and Russia' handed to official investigation. New evidence comes as sources reveal British spy agency GCHQ played pivotal role in uncovering interactions between US President and Russian operatives

It's the same story. The first paragraph of the Independent article uses the "has been reported" phrasing, and the second links to the Guardian article it's based on.

On top of that, the Independent article itself has boneheaded phrasing like:

> "a source allegedly told the Guardian."

The underlying Guardian article talks about "alleged conversations", but now we get to the Independent, and now on top of that we have "alleged sources"! How far away are we from what really happened here? I mean, I guess I'm glad they're not saying "a source told The Guardian" since they don't really have proof of that, but that's a weird thing to be strict about, and really just indicates how worthless this 2nd hand reporting style is anyway.

So I basically ignore the Independent now whenever I see it come up. I didn't realize they were supposed to be one of the "good" ones.


> but I had gradually built up a perception over the last couple months that it was a sort of click-bait, mediocre source like, maybe, HuffPo or BuzzFeed. I put it somewhere above Daily Mail but below BBC or The Guardian.

Is it just me that finds it's amusing that you came to a conclusion based off of feelings and conjecture than hard evidence? You know given the subject matter. Not disputing your points it just tickled me.


Without commenting on the implementation, I think this is the problem that WikiTribune looks to solve? I know I have a fuzzy logic in my head that ranks news sources. And I have since before the web, but possibly now we have the tools to do some of the evidence based ranking you hope for! I am not confident we are quite ready for it not to be gamed for profit though.


The Independent doesn't exist as a newspaper. It closed last year. The website was handed over to a team of marketers, to try and make money from the brand. They have been successful.


Given the headline mentions a 2020 election, I think it's fair to question the reliability of the article itself.


The election was supposed to happen in 2020 when this article was written.



[flagged]


Seriously, LMGTFY? Despite the parent's borderline snarky response, you're just making things worse.


Exactly. ECHR has nothing to do with the EU, but with the Council of Europe.

Council of Europe includes (almost) the entire Europe (with Belarus and disputed Kosovo currently being the only countries which are not a part of it).


> with Belarus and disputed Kosovo currently being the only countries which are not a part of it).

should we expect Britain to join them soon?! Imagine one day Belarus will be more democratic than UK. It's incorrect to say that Britain doesn't have a constitution, they have one, it's non-official manual, you know the one that bears title of a year 33 years ago.


I repeat: Council of Europe has nothing to do with the European Union.


He probably confused it with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).


You are technically correct, but the ruling Conservatives have stated they intend to withdraw anyway after Brexit.


To withdraw from what? Council of Europe?

Nobody ever claimed that. In fact, that's the very exact Council that the UK had to notify about its intention to leave the EU.

EDIT: Theresa May did claim that her campaign in 2020 would focus on that. So, they're not leaving it for three years at least.


They notified the European Council, not the Council of Europe.

Similar name, big difference.

Even more fun: there is also the Council of the European Union.


> Theresa May did claim that her campaign in 2020 would focus on that. So, they're not leaving it for three years at least.

Won't be a campaign in 2020 since she announced a snap election a few weeks ago for June 8th, next likely election is then 2021 unless she just votes her self Leader for Life or something in the interim.


I am aware of that, I just tried to correct my statement that "nobody claimed that" which I made before the edit. The second sentence in my edit was kind of unnecessary though.


British libel law was reformed in 2013 in response to a major campaign related to your complaints. As I understand it the situation is a lot better now. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation_Act_2013


It's still surprising they'd choose to base a journalism start-up out of the United Kingdom versus a country with enumerated press freedoms.


Yep. Seems like they should have chosen one of the Nordic countries instead: https://rsf.org/en/ranking (Reporters Without Borders still ranks the UK as more free than the US, which does have "enumerated press freedoms", plus a whole number of enumerated and non-enumerated restrictions.)


He wants to title his memoir "The Outlaw Jimmy Wales".


The idea of a for-profit institutions convincing volunteers to do the work is the same model Google uses for projects like Go, NPM uses for NPM, Docker uses for Dockerhub, StackOverflow uses for StackOverflow etc.

So far as I am aware (I am not an attorney) none of those institutions indemnifies voluntary contributors.


Small point: the defendants in the McLibel trial had nothing to do with Greenpeace. They were members of a small group called London Greenpeace that had no connection with the well known Greenpeace. So contrary to your post, the McLibel trial is not an example of an employer making their volunteers foot the bill for libel.


>> Their terms of use are awful.[1] Note that they want to operate under British law, where libel law favors the subject. They have an indemnification clause, so their volunteers could be compelled to reimburse WikiTribune if WikiTribune loses a libel suit.

Wow, that liability is enough to keep me from participating.


> So this is a for-profit operation where volunteers do the work?

Where do you get "for-profit" from? They can be a non-profit but still need money. But yeah, they should be explicit about that. Also, volunteers do part of the work.


Perhaps the point should be whether WikiTribune is a registered charity which it is not but then nor is Wikipedia I believe although WikiMedia is.


> They also appear to have plagiarized the terms of use from other sites.

Well, if so, they have a lot of company: https://goo.gl/zfz0pp

The entire document is all over the web. If it gets off the ground I would expect it to be updated.

This might be the original: http://secureglobalpay.net/site/support-resources/sample-ter...


This is very disappointing, but not surprising. I've been hoping for a new news outlet that can structure itself to be immune to a narrative or hive-mind mentality, I'd be happy to support such an organization.


This doesn't seem like a new concept at all. The New York Times* strives to be even-handed and report only credible information. I consider the New York Times trustworthy.

This seems to want to be just another news outlet, except with a weird business model.

If it was just a link aggregator, now, that could be useful IMO. I don't know of a general solution to finding the best articles (there are usually multiple versions of the same article on the same topic, but some are better than others).

*Substitute any newspaper with high journalistic standards.


Does it? In another HN thread there was a link posted to this article from 2004:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/25/opinion/the-public-editor-...

Apparently the actual staff of the NY Times are under no illusions about the even-handedness of their own work. And that was written over a decade ago. I'm not sure how you'd objectively define high standards or trustworthiness except in a circular manner.


Point taken. I think the kind of bias that is most insidious is bias that is not easily recognized and affects hard news. The most important issue is "can I trust what I read here?" The most dangerous kind of bias would be bias that affects articles that are presented as fact and has the effect of deceiving the reader without them being aware of it.

>> I'm not sure how you'd objectively define high standards or trustworthiness except in a circular manner.

Firstly, the examples of bias in that link you provided don't affect trustworthiness. Second, I'm not sure how you might define those terms, but one way to measure a trustworthy publication would be to ask people if they trust it. In other words, you would be measuring its reputation.


Nice source, very well put.


I've seen a concept that uses crowd contested media. Groups of users target fallacies, biases, mistakes and other flaws in articles.


I wonder if there will be the same amount of political infighting and fiefdoms we see on WikiPedia.

Influential editors burying stories that don't serve their personal political agendas and the like.


It's seems to be carved out of news section from Wikipedia frontpage, like Wikia was carved out of Wikipedia trivia sections. It's again Jimmy who launches a private company and suddenly Wikipedia changes the rules to forbid trivia section to boot his for profit offspring. Conflict of interest it's called.


> It's seems to be carved out of news section from Wikipedia frontpage

Other than the fact that WikiTribune will use actual journalists doing original reporting? Wikinews just summarizes current events.

> suddenly Wikipedia changes the rules to forbid trivia section to boot his for profit offspring

What evidence do you have for this? Conspiracy theorists love making outlandish claims they can't substantiate at all.


> Wikinews just summarizes current events.

Not true. It has original reporting, too.

* https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews:Original_reporting

I wrote an original reporting article for Wikinews once.


Ask someone who is older than 20, everyone remember the trivia sections on many Wiki pages on Wikipedia.

Search for trivia eg on this page: http://www.slashdot.org/story/91607

It of course not easy to point to older events with a still working link, when 1) Wikipedia deletes it's own history, 2) Wikipedia and trivia are such common words it's hard to find, 3) even news sites change so much.


Random slashdot comments aren't a source and don't back up what you portrayed as a conscious effort by Jimmy Wales to forbid trivia sections for his own personal gain. Maybe it's just possible that the editors themselves decided those sections weren't appropriate?

> Wikipedia deletes it's own history

Only for copyright violations and offensive vandalism. It never has for anything else, but of course you won't back this claim up either and will make up more excuses.

Conspiracy theorists just dig themselves further and further into a hole, to the point where everything else is also a conspiracy against them getting their "truth" out.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: