2020 Year in Review and Update on INFODEMIC

Five stories that I'm proud of from 2020.

Before we get started. Have you checked out my upcoming book Infodemic? It is currently at the top of the leaderboard in the 2020 Inkshares contest. Give it a follow!

We covered a lot of ground this year in Slate’s Source Notes column. Here are five stories that I’m proud of from 2020. I have also paired each story with an article that I enjoyed from another writer.


  1. Wikipedia Has Been Unblocked in Turkey, Finally - January 29, 2020

The year started with the optimistic story of how Wikipedia fought back against a ban in Turkey. But what worked there has not helped in China and other countries that have censored the encyclopedia.

Complement with On Wikipedia, Israel Is Losing the Battle Against the Word 'Apartheid,’ by Omer Benjakob for Haaretz


  1. The Coronavirus is Stress-Testing Wikipedia’s Policies - March 19, 2020

News and information about COVID-19 was changing by the hour. Ultimately, the editors in WikiProject Medicine prevailed in making Wikipedia a trustworthy source of info about the virus.

Complement with How Wikipedia Prevents the Spread of Coronavirus Misinformation by Noam Cohen for WIRED



3. How Wikipedia Became a Battleground for Racial Justice - June 9, 2020

After the murder of George Floyd, Wikipedia contributors considered what the site’s commitment to neutrality actually means.

Complement with The Guardians of Wikipedia’s Climate Change Page by Mark Kaufman for Mashable


  1. What Happens to Scots Wikipedia Now - September 9, 2020

The quirkiest story of the year: An American teenager who did not speak Scots wrote most of the Scots Wikipedia entries. When the truth was revealed, Wikipedians needed to figure out how to fix it.

Complement with The World’s Second Largest Wikipedia is Written Entirely by One Bot by Kyle Wilson for VICE


  1. Twitter Wants to Use Wikipedia to Help Determine Who Gets a Blue Checkmark - December 4, 2020

Twitter has paused verification since 2017. When the process reopens next year, Wikipedia will play a major role in who gets verified. Some Wikipedia editors are not happy about it.

Complement with Harnessing Wikipedia’s Superpowers for Journalism by Monika Sengul-Jones for Data Journalism (European Journalism Centre).


Wikipedia turns 20 on January 15, 2021. To celebrate the first two decades, check out Wikipedia @ 20 by MIT Press. I’m the co-author of Chapter 2 about Wikipedia’s changing relationship with the media.


One last reminder for 2020: My Wikipedia inspired novel Infodemic is currently in the Inkshares manuscript contest. If the subject matter interests you, I would greatly appreciate a follow on the Inkshares site. Thanks very much to the more than 275 of you who have supported so far.


🎄 🎁 Wishing you and yours a happy—and safe—holiday season. I am looking forward to the vaccine and connecting more with you in 2021!

Best regards,

Stephen