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Fabrice Florin
Works at Wikimedia Foundation
Attended San Francisco State University
Lives in mill valley, ca
4,995 followers|22,579 views


Fabrice Florin

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Here's the new video of our Pataphysical Slot Machine, a community-created poetic oracle. We're looking for an art venue to display it in the Bay Area this fall. Created with Howard Rheingold, Freddy Hahne, Stephanie Levene, Donald Day, Tim Pozar, and many other fellow pataphysicians. Collaborative art is a wonderful thing. More pix at
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Fabrice Florin

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60 Minutes did an excellent report this weekend on 'insider trading' by some congressmen and senators, who have accumulated significant wealth by buying and selling stocks based on privileged, non-public information. Though this practice is not illegal, it seems highly unethical -- and apparently happens across party lines. Both John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi are interviewed about controversial transactions related to this issue. Highly recommended.
ange daniel djah dada's profile photoRay Nichols's profile photo
salut bb
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Fabrice Florin

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Thoughtful analysis of our local news pilot in Baltimore, by Bruce Wallace, a former Baltimore journalist, on Columbia Journalism Review. This article is factual, well-sourced and fairly presents a variety of perspectives about our experiment.

To follow up on this fine article, check out our full project report on the NewsTrust blog:

Our report identifies some of the ways in which this service contributes to a more informed citizenry at the local level and we are grateful to OSF for the opportunity to test out these ideas.

The sustainability challenges are much more complex and would have required a more substantial investment to address, as stated in our report. It's an industry-wide issue which we don't claim to have answers for.

But we can say with some confidence that this type of service can be effective for engaging citizens to learn about and discuss local issues, develop their news literacy skills and bring their communities together.

We view civility as a virtue, and encourage participants to practice it in their daily lives. But it takes time to appreciate and develop this attitude, as we are constantly influenced by the more basic instincts of human nature.

We hope to see more services like these in the future.
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Fabrice Florin

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Insightful overview of the economic trends behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, by Business Insider CEO and Editor Henry Blodget. Seeing all these charts about rising inequality in the U.S. is a real eye-opener. This editorial features dozens of factual graphs and tables from credible sources, documenting record-high levels of unemployment versus rising corporate profits and CEO pay, in stark contrast with the decline of wages as a percent of the U.S. economy.
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Fabrice Florin

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I met Steve Jobs a couple times while I worked as executive producer at Apple and Macromedia in the eighties and nineties. He was always an inspiration to me, though I did not dare engage him much.

Yet my most memorable moment in his epic lifeline was the launch of iPad, when he topped himself once again with perhaps his most brilliant invention.

This photo was taken on the day the iPad was released. I'm showing off our featured story about Steve Jobs, who is also holding an iPad. I was so happy that, our social news site, was working so well on this hot new platform.

I knew then he had changed the world one more time. He will be missed immensely.

I will abide by his words of advice at a commencement speech to students at Stanford six years ago, citing the Whole Earth Catalog:

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

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steve jobs he is a great man for IT world ,we are all miss he
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Fabrice Florin

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Truthsquad results are in: we fact-checked this GOP debate claim by Mitt Romney and found it to be FALSE.

Our community reviewed dozens of documents about Obama's so-called "apology tour" and we did not find any factual evidence to support Romney's claim. Read our findings here:

Help fact-check the news on and join our pilot in progress:
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Fabrice Florin

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How can we get journalists more involved in editing and updating Wikipedia? Is there a way to bring these two cultures closer together? I'm asking my journalist friends what it would take for them to contribute regularly to the encyclopedia.

Writer Amy Gahran asked some insightful questions about my new gig at Wikimedia and how it relates to our collective work in journalism, news literacy and civic engagement. This brought some new insights on how to engage [news] professionals and amateurs as active collaborators on Wikipedia.

Read on ... and chime in!
Donald W. Meyers's profile photoGary Stock's profile photoFabrice Florin's profile photoRodney Orpheus's profile photo
I am a Wikipedia editor with 2000+ edits to my name, and I have to agree with +Cara Schulz here. Whereas Wikipedia was built on a culture of inclusiveness, in the past couple of years several editors have been making life very hard on newbies by gaming the system to exclude them. Most common is the "not notable -delete immediately" movement which makes if almost impossible for a new editor to get an article off the ground before its dumped in the great bit bucket in the sky.

The problem is not that anyone can edit. The problem is that anyone can get their edits removed on a whim by people who pretend they have some Wikipedian authority to do so. And so the new person just gives up trying. That has to change.
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Fabrice Florin

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Glad to see that the fight against SOPA/PIPA is gaining traction, as individuals and companies are banding together to stop these flawed bills from passing in Congress. I'm happy to say that Wikipedia will join the protest with a black-out on Wednesday (I now work with Wikimedia Foundation as product manager). I hope this will lead to more sensible legislation, and keep the Internet free while opposing copyright infringement -- to serve the needs of all stakeholders, not just Hollywood studios.
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Finally, journalists see the threat from SOPA and ProtectIP: the American Society of News Editors (UPDATE: corrected the name) has asked Congress to stop this runaway train. From its letter (link is a PDF):

ASNE condemns content piracy, regardless of medium. Our members consider their content to be their most valuable asset. Unauthorized use of this content has always been a problem; its impact has increased with the advent of the Internet and has certainly undercut the financial well-being of America’s news media.

However, our members use the Internet in ways that could be construed to violate SOPA, and that’s not acceptable. Whether utilizing content contributed by third parties, stepping outside the direct reporter-source interaction to acquire and use information from websites around the world, or augmenting our stories through the use of multimedia previously unavailable to print-only publications, ASNE members continue to change the way news is presented. We fear that SOPA will restrict our ability to engage in these activities and stifle our capacity to innovate when we most sorely need the freedom to do so.

Ultimately, however, it is our longstanding dedication to First Amendment rights that drives our opposition to SOPA. Navigating the balance between copyright and free speech demands precision, and in seeking to protect the interests of copyright holders, the First Amendment requires Congress to adopt the least restrictive intrusion on speech available.
SOPA fails this test. It allows individual copyright owners to effect the most onerous restriction on speech — the prior restraint — with little evidence and virtually no due process, utilizing vague and overbroad definitions in the process. While it is directed at “rogue” websites engaged in widespread piracy, the law carries the real potential to go well beyond that narrow target. Without endorsing them, we note that more narrowly tailored alternatives have already been proposed. Their existence calls into question the constitutionality of SOPA and suggests that this Committee must reject H.R. 3261 and continue to examine other, less restrictive alternatives that strike the right balance between preventing piracy and protecting free expression.
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Fabrice Florin

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Can you name this bird? Each fall, this migrating bird visits our neighborhood in Marin for a few weeks, and we have fallen in love with its distinctive, melancholic call, which you can hear in this short video. We don't know its name, so we just call it the Fall Bird.

To our Northern California friends: can you recognize this bird from its song? It's a small, brown bird, which is pretty hard to photograph. Any clues?
Mitchell Waite's profile photomateus moreira's profile photo
Go to and click on search. Choose color=brown, location=California, shape=perching and that will narrow it down to ~ 150. Then look at the drawings. If you want to drastically narrow the list select backyard feeder=yes frequently. Or buy iBird Pro and use identify by song.
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Fabrice Florin

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For the past two weeks, the community fact-checked this claim by Barack Obama about tax rates for the middle-class versus millionaires.

We found this claim to be HALF TRUE.

The factual evidence we reviewed together suggests that the answer varies greatly depending on the individuals involved, and whether or not they pay taxes on wages or on investment income, or both. On the whole, we could only find partial support for President Obama's sweeping generalization. The facts suggest a much more nuanced answer, as people who make most of their money in wages pay taxes at a higher rate, while those who get most of their income from investments pay at lower rates -- but nobody seems to know in what proportions.

Do you agree or disagree with our findings? How can we improve this service? Please add your comments below, or email us to share your feedback (

This concludes our Truthsquad pilot for this month. We would like to thank all of the participants who contributed to this experiment. We really appreciate all of your great insights and hope you got as much from this experience as we did. The more we dig together, the more we learn as a community.

To learn more about Truthsquad, check our overview page:
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Fabrice Florin

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Rick Perry recently claimed that "the federal government has not engaged in (border security) at all." He was speaking at the GOP debate hosted by Fox News and Google on September 22nd, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. fact-checked this claim from September 28th to October 5th, 2011 and rated it FALSE. We found overwhelming evidence that the federal government has devoted significant resources to stop illegal crossings of the U.S Mexico border, and has dramatically increased its border patrol efforts in recent years. Furthermore, trusted fact-checking organizations such as FactCheck and PolitiFact came to similar conclusions, after extensive research by their experienced journalists. Read the full report on our site:

Here are some of the key facts which led us to reach this finding:
• The Department of Homeland Security has more than 20,000 border patrol agents
• The number of border security agents has more than doubled over the last decade
• Border patrol appropriations have tripled to 3.5 billion since 2000
• Obama’s proposed 2012 budget calls for even more border patrol increases
• Deportation and criminal enforcement of illegal immigrants have also increased
• Perry's own office cites partnerships with fed agencies like the U.S. Border Patrol

Community members who participated in this truthsquad are nearly unanimous in finding this claim false. We would like to thank all participants who have so generously contributed to this pilot so far. We really appreciate all of your great insights and hope that you learned as much from this experience as we did.

If you haven't participated in this pilot yet, give it a try. You'll be glad you did, as it's proving to be a really effective way for anyone to get better informed about important issues, by investigating them pro-actively in collaboration with other citizens and experienced journalists. The more we dig together, the more we learn as a community.

Can you join our next Truthsquad? This week, we're fact-checking Barack Obama's claim that construction workers are "paying a higher tax rate than somebody pulling in $50 million a year." TRUE OR FALSE?

Hope to see you on!
Jack Humphrey's profile photoCara Schulz's profile photo
Is it more truthful to say the federal government hasn't engaged in any effective border security?
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Fabrice Florin

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Fact-check this claim from President Obama about tax rates for millionaires versus middle-class workers.

Is it true or false? or somewhere in between?

Join our Truthsquad pilot to learn more:
Rich Gilchrest's profile photoJustin Lewis's profile photoAndrew Klein's profile photoAllen Harkleroad's profile photo
+Justin Lewis I think the point is that, if you're going to have taxes in the first place, then taxing the rich less than the middle class is a pretty poor model.
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Product Manager
  • Wikimedia Foundation
    Product Manager, 2012 - present
  • NewsTrust
    Executive Director / Founder, 2005 - 2012
    CEO / Founder, 2001 - 2005
  • Macromedia
    VP Online Entertainment, 1997 - 2000
  • Zenda
    CEO / Founder, 1994 - 1997
  • Apple Inc.
    Executive Producer / Senior Scientist, 1986 - 1994
  • Videowest
    CEO / Founder, 1978 - 1984
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
mill valley, ca
I am product manager for new editor engagement at Wikimedia. I create new ways to help readers build the encyclopedia. Did you know anyone can edit on Wikipedia? Give it a try and share what you know!

My previous ventures include:, a nonprofit social news network devoted to good journalism; Handtap, a wireless content service for mobile phones;, a web entertainment site at Macromedia; Apple Computer's Multimedia Lab, a new media R&D group; and Videowest, a producer of rock journalism for ABC,  MTV and public TV. 

I was recently elected an Ashoka Fellow for my work as social news entrepreneur.
  • San Francisco State University
    Broadcast Journalism, 1977 - 1978
  • University of Geneva
    Economics, Psychology, 1972 - 1975
  • Institut Saint-Martin de France
    Economics, 1965 - 1969
  • Institut Florimont
    1960 - 1965
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