Wikipedia changes editing policy

Wiki edits to ber verified by 'experienced volunteers' before publication

Wikipedia logo

Wikipedia logo

The innovative online user-written encyclopedia Wikipedia is growing up, and with its growth comes a massive change to how it operates. Back in its early days, Wikipedia could be edited by anyone. Then it nixed the concept of anonymous edits and required authentication. Now contributors can write what they want, but if editing certain articles, the changes must be verified by an experienced volunteer before publication.

The Wikimedia Foundation, the parents behind the Wiki Empire, calls the new philosophy "flagged revisions." Changes to certain articles on the site are invisible until approved by an "experienced volunteer," which, according to Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, may be "anybody who has been around a very short period of time [on the site] and hasn't been blocked." Once approved, the changes will appear, but it's uncertain exactly how long the process might take -- could be hours, weeks, or months.

At the moment, a few thousand articles on the U.S. site are beholden to the new rule -- such as those about President Obama, Michael Jackson, and Britney Spears -- but Wikipedia wishes to broaden its scope and apply these new rules to every article about a living person. The German language version of Wikipedia already restricts editing on all of its articles, so it's not a long shot that a similar attitude may hit the U.S. site soon. (A programmer pulled back the veil on that anonymous editing a few years ago with a tool that exposed the source of edits, so readers could assess their credibility.)

Vandalism is the reason behind the change. All too often Wikipedia pages are marred by opposing political views, immature writers, and false information. A recent example was the falsely reported death of Senator Edward Kennedy in January; a sad proclamation that is now, unfortunately, all too true.

This may come as a shock, an affront to the democratic philosophy behind Wikipedia. Some bloggers claim this is a "failure," and that the credo of Wikipedia has died hard. But exactly the opposite may be true: I feel as though this is a necessary step in taking a Web site from the playground to the stadium. Wikipedia should now be taken more seriously, rather than taken with a grain of salt.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags wikipedia

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?