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Wikipedia's Gibraltar 'moratorium' - how's it going?

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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 Gibraltar-related DYKs on the front page of Wikipedia. I would recommend a total ban on them for five years, but that might be too extreme. I support that we get wider community attention on the issue," he wrote in October last year.

The moratorium was opposed by Wiki editors but they did agree on certain guidelines. Every Gibraltar DYK has to be reviewed by two reviewers to check for conflict-of-interest issues or promotionalism, and no more than one Gibraltarpedia hook is allowed in one a day. Also, Bamkin (user name Victuallers) is not allowed to create or nominate Gibraltar-related articles to DYK.

There is a summary of the restrictions here.

So how's that going? Let's have a look.

Here are some plugs that appeared in Wikipedia's "Did You Know?" box in December:


December 1


Did you know... ... that the Levant Battery on Windmill Hill was named after the Levanter cloud, below which it is situated?

December 2

Did you know… that the Gibraltar Ranges predate the Great Escarpment?

December 9

Did you know... ... that the site chosen for Operation Tracer during World War II was in close proximity to Lord Airey's Battery?

December 11

Did you know… that Upper Rock Nature Reserve (pictured) in Gibraltar is famous for its population of Barbary Macaques, the only wild monkeys in Europe?

December 17

Did you know...that the 9.2-inch gun at Gibraltar's Spur Battery was transferred to the Imperial War Museum Duxford in Project Vitello?

December 23

Did you know... that by the end of the Third Siege of Gibraltar in 1333, the city's inhabitants were reduced to eating their shoes because the town's governor had stolen the money meant to pay for food?

December 28

Did you know... that Gibraltar's North Bastion and South Bastion were built by Spain to protect the city against attacks from either direction?

December 29

Did you know... that the Gibraltar Heritage Trust is a non-profit charity responsible for preserving and promoting Gibraltar's manmade and natural heritage?

December 31

Did you know ... that in 1906, ties between England and Spain were sufficiently strong that King Edward VII and King Alfonso XIII became joint patrons of the Royal Calpe Hunt?

While in January, Wikipedians combed the millions of pages of the encyclopedia for and decided to highlight these:

January 1

Did you know... that the Spanish nobleman and soldier Luis Bravo de Acuña played a key role in improving the defences of Gibraltar in the 17th century?

January 4

Did you know... that William Green, who served as chief engineer throughout the Great Siege of Gibraltar, was later depicted in two paintings of the siege by John Singleton Copley and George Carter?

January 6

Did you know... that the top secret, World War II dual observation post of Operation Tracer was constructed in the tunnel system of Lord Airey's Shelter?

January 8

Did you know… that O'Hara's Tower was built in the mistaken belief that it would enable the garrison at Gibraltar to spy on ships massing at Cadiz?

January 18

Did you know... that the 9.2-inch gun of Spur Battery, one of fourteen once mounted on Gibraltar, was moved to Imperial War Museum Duxford after its role was taken over by Exocet missiles?

January 19

Did you know... that Abd al-Malik Abd al-Wahid, the one-eyed son of Moroccan sultan Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Othman, captured Gibraltar in 1333 but fell victim to a Castilian ambush six years later?

January 20

Did you know... that during the eighteenth century, guards posted at Middle Hill Battery on Middle Hill, Gibraltar, to prevent desertion sometimes deserted themselves?

January 23

Did you know... that the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party proposed that a main road in Gibraltar should be Devlin's instead of the Devil's?

January 24

Did you know... that the Soldier Artificer Company  (members pictured in working dress) was the British Army's first unit of military artificers and labourers?

January 27

Did you know... that the keys of Grand Casemates Gates are a symbol of office of the Governor of Gibraltar?

January 28

Did you know ... that Green's Lodge Battery was so successful during the Great Siege of Gibraltar that the British decided to construct what became Rock Gun Battery above it?

January 29

Did you know... that the Fifth Siege of Gibraltar came to a sudden end in March 1350 when King Alfonso XI of Castile (pictured) became the only monarch to die in the Black Death?

February boasts six Gibraltar-related DYK entries so far. So we can safely conclude that any "moratorium" is holding fast.

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

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