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.
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Wikipedia vs. Britannica: Who wins?
Gig's up for Wikipedia vandal
A Wikipedia warning