Open editing prevailing on at Wikipedia
September 30th, 2009

The saga continues at Wikipedia in holding off the dubious who cannot get themselves to trust the crowd in its wisdom. There is an article describing current episodes in TIME and Yahoo!; here is an except:

There’s only one problem with the new policy: “It’s just completely wrong,” says Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s co-founder. Wales says that reports of Wikipedia’s clamp-down to prevent errors have themselves been in error. Wikipedia’s ruling body of volunteers never decided to impose restrictions on all articles about living people. Instead, the site will adopt “flagged protection” – the new method for requiring editorial approval before changes to Wikipedia go up – for a small number of articles, most likely on a case-by-case basis. . . .

The plan – still under development and, like everything else about Wikipedia, in flux – means that the online encyclopedia will undergo a far less momentous change than was previously reported. Wikipedia has long imposed tight controls on articles about boldfaced names – entries on Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Britney Spears, among roughly 3,000 others, are “semi-protected,” meaning they can’t be edited by anonymous surfers. Wales says that, at least initially, the new flagged-protection plan will likely apply to the same set of controversial articles, which are most prone to vandalism. But the vast majority of articles – even ones about relatively famous people like your average U.S. senator or late-night talk show host – would remain completely open to alteration by web surfers.


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