A call for a MediaWiki extension that would allow wiki editors to publish pages to Steemit has surfaced. Yesterday, a bounty was added to Gitcoin, a site that rewards participants for bug testing and feature development.
Most likely, the extension would be used to republish Wikipedia articles and the images used in those articles. The page describes the proposed tool as follows:
“This Gitcoin bounty is for creating a MediaWiki extension that enables the ability to check a box (on the edit page, before saving) to publish wiki pages on Steemit under a Creative Commons license, while also saving them locally on a MediaWiki wiki. All wiki formatting and links should automatically be reformatted for Steemit.”
It’s not clear what the advantage of such a tool would be. On one hand, the Steem blockchain could ensure that articles cannot be permanently deleted. However, this was never an issue to begin with. Although Wikipedia does delete pages, it already stores backlogs of user edits:
“Removed text is not permanently lost, but can easily be restored from the page history. “
Nor does developing such an extension seem to be a particularly difficult task, as Wikipedia is meant to be republished and mirrored: “indeed, it was one of the original goals of the project,” one wiki page notes.
Dozens of sites already mirror Wikipedia, and the process of creating a clone is presumably straightforward. The reward for the Gitcoin project seems to reflect this: the task pays 0.004 ETH, which is just under a dollar.
The intent may be to simply generate content for Steemit. Everipedia recently launched a blockchain-based content platform, so some users may see the need to add reference material to Steemit. Wikipedia provides a massive amount of content that would serve this purpose.
Suggested Reading : Learn more about the benefits of blockchain technology.
Is It About Money?
Of course, the motive could be purely financial. Steemit currently rewards users for content creation based on upvotes, and “stolen” Wikipedia articles could gain users substantial traffic. As Wikipedia notes:
“What seems clear is that many of these [Wikipedia] clones are using search engine optimization techniques to achieve higher rankings on search engines than the original Wikipedia pages.”
Although Steemit’s revenue model is different from that of most other platforms, it is still a revenue model that relies on traffic. That said, Steemit systematically deletes articles that have been copy-and-pasted, so the tool may be useless to plagiarists who are looking to make easy money.
The bounty ends in a week and already has multiple developers working on the project, so an extension may be produced by then. Only time will whether the tool will be good for anything.
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