Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wikipedia Lockdown

Could it be because I claimed to be Angie Harmon's boyfriend 123 times (Michelle Pfeiffer's too)?
Wikipedia May Restrict Public’s Ability to Change Entries

Stung by criticism after vandals changed Wikipedia entries to erroneously report that Senators Edward Kennedy and Robert Byrd had died, Wikipedia appears ready to introduce a system that prevents new and anonymous users from instantly publishing changes to the online encyclopedia.

The new system, called Flagged Revisions, would mark a significant change in the anything-goes, anyone-can-edit-at-any-time ethos of Wikipedia, which in eight years of existence has become one of the top 10 sites on the Web and the de facto information source for the Internet-using public.

The idea in a nutshell is that only registered, reliable users would have the right to have their material immediately appear to the general public visiting Wikipedia. Other contributors would be able to edit articles, but their changes will be held back until one of these reliable users has signed off, or “flagged” the revisions. (Registered, reliable users would see the latest edit to an article, whether flagged or not.)

The system has been used by German Wikipedia since May as a test case. Introduced slowly, since all that flagging is quite labor-intensive, German Wikipedians report that more than 95 percent of articles have been flagged, though there are delays as long as three weeks before an article’s revision appears on the site to all visitors.

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