Monday, June 19, 2006

Editing Wikipedia

Wikipedia has loosened its "anyone can edit" policy on a handful of its 1.2 million English-language articles most vulnerable to vandalism.

It has a small list of entries that are protected from all editing; as of Friday, there were 82 of them, including entries on Cuba, the 2004 election controversy in Ohio, and elitism.

Then there are articles that are semi-protected, open only to editors who have been registered for more than four days. The 179 entries included those on George W. Bush, anarchism and emo music. ("A cooling-off period is a wonderful mediative technique," Ross Mayfield, chief executive of Socialtext, told the New York Times.)

There is some hubbub that the change is undemocratic and undermines the idea of Wikipedia altogether. Poppycock; it goes a long way in helping protect its credibility, I say. Vandals are one of its biggest problems.

Related posts from A Capital Idea:
Wikipedia vs. Britannica: Who wins?
Gig's up for Wikipedia vandal
Sticky wikis
A Wikipedia warning


At 12:39 AM, June 21, 2006, Anonymous Vince Tuss said...

The NYT correction that moved on the wire Tuesday night:

WIKIPEDIA (moved June 16)

A New York Times News Service article about the online reference work Wikipedia referred imprecisely to its "anyone can edit'' guidelines, which have always restricted changes in a small percentage of articles. While Wikipedia has indeed added a category of articles that are "semi-protected'' from editing, it has not "revised'' its policy or otherwise put additional restrictions on editing; it says the change is intended to reduce the number of entries on which editing is banned altogether.

At 8:08 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Andy Bechtel said...

I like using Wikipedia as a starting point for deeper research and fact-checking. I don't think it's adequate as a "one-stop shop."


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