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Edit-Approval System Proposed For English-Language Wikipedia

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the would-take-a-lot-of-editors dept.

The Media 439

An anonymous reader writes "A group of powerful Wikipedia insiders are pushing for FlaggedRevisions which will require a 'trusted user' to approve of edits before they go live on the online encyclopedia. There is also opposition but with support of founder Jimbo Wales it is likely to go through. The German version has tried the system, leading to three-week delays between edit and publication. The English wiki with its higher number of anonymous editors per trusted user is expected to suffer longer queues if FlaggedRevisions is implemented on all articles. This comes just a few days after Britannica announced that readers will be allowed to suggest edits and have them reviewed within 20 minutes. Will we see the day when Britannica can be edited almost instantly while editing Wikipedia requires fighting bureaucracy, patience and the right contacts?" Note that, according to the quote from Jimmy Wales in the linked article, this system would only be used "on a subset of articles, the boundaries of which can be adjusted over time to manage the backlog."

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439 comments

Will there be no wiki truths? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601323)

This is a disaster. No hierarchy is why I like Wikipedia. *sigh* end of an era.

Re:Will there be no wiki truths? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601375)

You know what? I took the plunge and installed Linux today. Top Hat or some hat version. But now I have a problem. Im getting these big red lesions all over me. Im not allergic to anything that would cause that, and I havent become infected with any diseases, my doctor checked me out fine. Then I figured out what Linux really is. Open Sores. Linux is killing me! Help!

I GOT A GREASED UP YODA DOLL SHOVED UP MY ASS! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601511)

GO LINUX!

Re:Will there be no wiki truths? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601571)

You're a moron. You don't install Linux on your body, you install it on your computer. Most likely, the "open sores" you have found are from shoving the installation media into your skin.

Actually, you're probably just psychotic: Your doctor didn't see the skin lesions as a problem? Get back on your Clozapine.

Re:Will there be no wiki truths? (4, Interesting)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601657)

If you think Wikipedia has no hierarchy, you are living in a dream world. Admins, Mediators, Arbitrators, Checkusers, Oversighters, Bureaucrats, Stewards. Wikipedia has a huge problem - it is a phenomenal target for those wishing to defame and libel people they don't like.

So, you say? "People will find and edit, no problem! That's why we have vandalism patrol, RC patrol etc! The system works!" - does it? No, it don't [wikipedia.org]. Apparently, Ms Tavares "preferred color of vibrator" sat, untouched, through such measures, and according to statistics, had over 1,000 visitors. The vandalism was only reverted after being pointed out in Wikipedia Review [wikipediareview.com], a site that goes to great lengths to expose a lot of the more nefarious back-room manoeuvrings that plague "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit" (and thus has garnered such a great deal of spite from certain factions at Wikipedia (uncoincidentally, many of whom are exposed for their part in said manoeuvrings), that there have been times when WR was added to spam blacklists to prevent linking to it from WP, and proposals, one called "BADSITES"(!) were raised to curtail any mention of sites which said negative things of WP (and yet, here people are screaming "NO CENSORSHIP! Except for the things WE don't like!"). Even now, if you find yourself caught up in the WP TLA bureacracy, (RFC, RFArb, MED, AN, ANI, etc, etc, et al, et al), or trying to gain, say, Administrator status, it's a nice way to poison the well by having someone point out that "Gasp. Such-and-such is a KNOWN WR CONTRIBUTOR!".

Flagged revisions do no more, and no less, than allow people to tag revisions which have been reviewed to be vandalism-free. They don't prevent anyone editing. They don't censor information.

I find it highly telling that the "anonymous reader" trying to rouse support for the "end of Wikipedia as we know it" has not the courage of their convictions to name themselves.

Re:Will there be no wiki truths? (3, Insightful)

Michael Restivo (1103825) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601787)

Flagged revisions do no more, and no less, than allow people to tag revisions which have been reviewed to be vandalism-free.

What about vandalism that's not so easy to spot? Like a subtle change to an article that (presumably) is not on a lot of people's watchlist? How would the FlaggedRev system handle these types of edits? Would it create tacit approval for these changes? Would it be difficult to revert them at a later time, since at that point the rv would itself look like vandalism? Just a thought.

Cheers, Mike

Re:Will there be no wiki truths? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601687)

How sad that I'll never again get to read that Nicole Richie was born in the town of East Bumfuck.

Re:Will there be no wiki truths? (1)

// (81289) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601777)

So when a major world event happens, 100+ people will see an out-of-date page and submit an edit.

Which one will be chosen? The first? The best? How do you reconcile conflicting edits made to the article?

Sounds like an UGLY mess to me.....

Re:Will there be no wiki truths? (5, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601919)

This is a disaster. No hierarchy is why I like Wikipedia. *sigh* end of an era.

Agreed. Wikipedia was great a few years back, but it's been growing ever more elitist. That would be justified if the elite actually were the ones writing useful content (as Jimmy thought), but a recent study proved him wrong -- actually, the people who frequent the site (these "trusted users") are actually the ones who sit and nitpick the knowledge they weren't knowledgeable enough to contribute themselves.

Re:Will there be no wiki truths? (1, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602059)

Sorry, but Jimmy must have been in a delusion, when coming up with the concept of "Anyone can edit it. It will work! Trust me! The elite will work most on it! And vandalism does not happen because normally, people are good." ;)

Who do you think are those bureaucrats that control Wikipedia?
Hint: They earn no money from it, but have all the time of the day to work on Wikipedia.

The optimal person for this, is a jobless person, getting money from social security. Or someone else with too much time on their hands.
The elite is working on something important and earns money with this job. That's what makes them the elite.

Next, what is the reason someone would do this instead of something more fun? (Like playing games)
He has a personal interest in putting the "truth" out there. Which by definition is not the truth (except maybe from physics laws there is no such thing), but his truth.

Now it becomes very clear, why Wikipedia became, what it is today.

Wikipedia is dead. Long live Wikipedia.

By the way: If you have an open mind, a big web server, and some free programming time on your hands: I have a concept for something in my digital drawer, which would solve those problems. I tend to thing things to the end. :)

First post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601325)

I might have finally made it.

User preference to view un-reviewed articles? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601335)

Seems they could have the best of both worlds; if they gave users the option to see either

  1) the most recently edited version, or
  2) the most recently approved version.

Re:User preference to view un-reviewed articles? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601565)

Logged-in users will always see the latest and greatest (or less-than-greatest) version. This only applies to anonymous users.

(Really, the summary is about as propagandistic in its distortion and misrepesentation of the facts as it could possibly get without resorting to outright lies.)

Re:User preference to view un-reviewed articles? (1)

scientus (1357317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601729)

also not logged in users should not se the amboxes that say "this article is crap", etc..

Re:User preference to view un-reviewed articles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601617)

If you log in (a prerequisite to have stable preferences) you'll already view the most recent version BY DEFAULT.

Also, even if you're not logged inâ" if there is a more recent version you see a big box linking to it at the top: "There is a more recent draft of this article".

God forbid someone on slashdot do a little research before whining. German WP has only been running this for a year now...

Re:User preference to view un-reviewed articles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601899)

German WP has only been running this for a year now...

Yeah, because English language Slashdot users have good reason to hang around the German language Wikipedia site...

Re:User preference to view un-reviewed articles? (5, Informative)

DanielHast (1333055) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601869)

Seems they could have the best of both worlds; if they gave users the option to see either

1) the most recently edited version, or 2) the most recently approved version.

Your suggestion is already a part of flagged revisions. The summary is rather misleading as to the nature of Flagged Revisions, in my opinion. Edits won't simply disappear until they are reviewed; they'll still be visible to anyone who wants to see them.

If you're logged in, there will be a user preference for whether you want to see the approved version or the most recent version by default. Whether you're logged in or not, the most recent version, along with the complete history (including unreviewed edits) will be accessible through a tab at the top or similar interface.

I think that a lot of opposition to Flagged Revisions comes from misunderstandings about what it will actually do, though there are certainly plenty of legitimate concerns about it as well.

Re:User preference to view un-reviewed articles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602019)

What would be helpful would be to simply highlight recent changes. You could then have various policies on what constitutes when a change is no longer recent. That could based either on the time or the number of page views since the change. I actually like the latter much more because it's based on the number of eyeballs that have reviewed the page.

bad idea (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601337)

are they forgetting the what made wikipedia successful in the first place?

Re:bad idea (5, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601445)

Yes. But it isn't surprising. Remember that Wales never wanted wikipedia- his original idea was for a free encyclopedia written by experts. That was taking way to long, so he did wikipedia as a way to create articles which could be edited and brought into the "real" encyclopedia. He's always hated that the bastard child took off, and always wanted to move back to his original idea. If he could kill the idea of a user edited encyclopedia, he would. He's *just* practical enough to know he can't, but it will get progressively less open as he closes it as much as he can.

Re:bad idea (1)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601551)

we have those expert versions: knole and the other wone ... can't remember the name ... former wikipedia staff started it.

Re:bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601635)

Citizendium?

Re:bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601751)

Citizendium. Far less prone to reality-distortion by hyperactive editors with an agenda (google SlimVirgin if you're interested).

http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Welcome_to_Citizendium

Re:bad idea (4, Insightful)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602065)

Knol [arstechnica.com] is Google's child and it sucks badly.

That leads me to the conclusion that, while Wikipedia isn't perfect, it is better than everything else we have, including "serious" encyclopedias like Encyclopedia Britannica.

Re:bad idea (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601555)

Amazing how some internet "services" become popular (ebay, youtube, etc) and then get progressively destroyed by the ones that own them and how they destroy what made them once great. Let's hope it doesn't happen to gmail and google.

Although the architecture of internet itself sought to decentralize delivery, it's funny that humans always gravitate toward provided services that are so centralized. I wish there was a way to provide these services in a more decentralized fashion while not being completely chaotic, but that likely won't happen.

Re:bad idea (2, Insightful)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601749)

It does bring up a fascinating point about attempts to copy a current model being doomed to failure, though. The current model becomes something that could be sustained only because it was built up from a completely different model in the past. Yet people have short recollections, and the new model eventually becomes the model everyone assumes the organization began with. Then they try to copy it that way from launch and wonder why it fails to take off.

Re:bad idea (1)

mlingojones (919531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601543)

Wikipedia admins have always been power hungry, and Jimbo Wales has has almost always backed up the admins, whether or not it helps out the end user.

Competition is good (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601339)

I like the fact that Britannica is trying to get into the "free dictionary" sphere, wiki may be good, but several independent (free) sources are always better than one!

Re:Competition is good (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601451)

"I like the fact that Britannica is trying to get into the "free dictionary" sphere, wiki may be good, but several independent (free) sources are always better than one!"

A more cynical view would have it that it's the articles you're allowed to create, not the time to publication, that will determine the winner.

Define 'trusted user' (3, Insightful)

ohxten (1248800) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601345)

Absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

Re:Define 'trusted user' (1)

Michael Restivo (1103825) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601501)

Agreed - can someone who has followed this more closely clarify what counts as a trusted user? Also, what subset of pages would be subject to the FlaggedRev system?

Cheers, Mike

Deletionists aiming for 'trusted user' (3, Insightful)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601621)

Deletionists would be working hard to become 'trusted users' themselves, so that once in power, they can stop other people from adding to articles.

Forgetting that it take many, many small rough additions to grow articles to a certain size. Only then will trimming the articles be feasible.

It's like making a movie. Lots and lots of takes, lots of cuts, only the will the movie contain enough material to last 1 hour.

Re:Deletionists aiming for 'trusted user' (0, Offtopic)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601889)

Deletionists would be working hard to become 'trusted users' themselves

Reminds me of Signal 11 before the karma cap :)

Re:Define 'trusted user' (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601895)

Agreed - can someone who has followed this more closely clarify what counts as a trusted user? Also, what subset of pages would be subject to the FlaggedRev system?

Well there are two really really important qualities. First 1) You must be slim. That's right, no fatsos allowed here. If you can control your diet, you will not be allowed to control wikipedia. Second, 2) you must be a virgin. It is taken that this will be difficult for many people. So "technically" is ok as well. No, this is not so they can throw you in a volcano. Though, if you happen accross another slimvirgin, you may well wish you had been.

The primary pages that this will apply to are pages about Lyndon Larouche and William Geist. Try editiong either of those, sucka.

Posting anon to prevent bannination, not that it matters anymore.

yay!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601347)

I hope so. the popularity of wikipedia will decline, the articles will become better and google Knol ( knol.google.com ) will get a chance to shine.
Right now we have an unbalanced monopoly half assed solution which is crowding the limelight. hopefully it will go away and the best service will win.

Re:yay!!! (3, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601701)

um all the most popular services and apps on the web are part of half assed solutions which crowd the limelight.

Facebook, myspace, ebay, wikipedia, etc.

And I use Wikipedia, not because it is the most accurate but because I don't have to pay for access to it. Britannica charges for access to articles that in general have less knowledge in them than wikipedia. So you pay to get less, but it's all trusted right? With the number of spelling grammar, and just plain wrong facts i found in my parents full set of encyclopedia britannica (purchased 1990) on information from even the 60's I vowed never to pay for an encyclopedia let alone their useless drivel.

Doesn't Matter (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601365)

It will still be a stinking pile of biased, politically driven horse crap.

Will we? (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601393)

Will we see the day when Britannica can be edited almost instantly while editing Wikipedia requires fighting bureaucracy, patience and the right contacts?

Sure, I'd say it's probably inevitable at this point. It is human nature to overcomplicate things to an insane degree, because we have a penchant for fiddling: we just can't leave a good thing alone. It's one of the things we do best. And when that happens to Wikipedia, when it has become too topheavy and hidebound to be useful, someone will start a new project that will attempt to learn from the lessons of the old, and go from there.

Nothing really new to see here, when you get right down to it.

I for one ... (0, Troll)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601401)

... am waiting for a Chrome checkbox in the toolbar that automatically removes all the wikipedia entries from a google search.

... while editing Wikipedia requires fighting bureaucracy, patience and the right contacts?

Ehr, that's pretty much what it is now.

In the beginning I had to much trust in wiki content, this was corrected after reading some reviews and case studies. Today I simply ignore the whole site because I'm not interested in wasting my time to dig out the references.

In the end, when you need the data, you just end up checking Britannica.

Re:I for one ... (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601481)

In the end, when you need the data, you just end up checking Britannica.

Where will you go once the vandals are editing Britannica?

Re:I for one ... (0, Troll)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601937)

Where will you go once the vandals are editing Britannica?

Define vandal. Go on. The wikinazi's never have. It seems to mean anything that Jimbo wouldn't like, or defies the cabal, as well as deliberately inaccurate info, or blatant spam.

Rosa Parks, Thoreau, or anyone making legitimate protest would be a vandals in the eyes of the wikinazis -- and in that, they are no different from the real book burning Nazis of the 1930s.

Go ahead and define vandal... that's something the wikinazi's have never had the guts, nor honesty, to do.

Re:I for one ... (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601755)

I've wondered occasionally at how practical it would be to have some system where professors/experts in a field could attach a cryptographic signature to an article to show that they believe the contents to be factual and set it up so that whenever there is an edit everyone who has signed the previous version as factual gets a mail with the details of the change.

Would an article on say particle physics signed by a physics professor be a less valid reference than a paper published by the same?

Re:I for one ... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601809)

But every minor edit (fixing typos, etc) would require a new review by the expert and a new signature.

Re:I for one ... (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601849)

So he gets a mail with a link to that view which compares every block of text changed and if he thinks it's ok he clicks the button to re-sign.
It would make wikipedia a much more valuable resource if you could point to an article signed by a few professors(someone who had identified themselves as a professor at MIT might give a link to their staff page with signature) and hence avoid the snobbish "euch, you're giving me a link to a Wiki? nothing on there is ever true!"

Re:I for one ... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601935)

I think a tag to the reviewed version would be enough. Readers of later versions could get a link to the reviewed version.

Re:I for one ... (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601827)

... am waiting for a Chrome checkbox in the toolbar that automatically removes all the wikipedia entries from a google search.

YES PLEASE!!!

Wikipedia is what it is. It's flaws have been discussed here too many times to go over them again. However, Google misrepresents the value of Wikipedia, and this is a real problem. There are many alternative online encyclopedias. There are many, many, many better and accurate independent sites for any piece of information you are trying to find out about. However, Google's skewed page ranking of Wikipedia steals traffic away from those sites. Goolge rates the site, not the individual pages. While some wikipedia pages may be good, many are not. It's wholly unfair, and in some cases even dangerous that a wikipedia page is ranked higher than an accredited, accurate and comprehensive page on another site.

Google needs to do a much better job of ranking wikipedia pages, what they have now is harming many better sites, unfairly. This reflects very badly on Google, it makes their search algorithms look inadequate.

Why bother with SEO? Just get your URL or product on a wikipedia page. It's what many people already do -- free, highly effective SEO! Your product or company or brand will be right at the top of the results. Easy and quick, and if you form a cabal to keep it there, it's permanent too!

It's not Wikipedia that needs more competition, there's plenty of it out there -- it's Google. Indeed, you could argue a case for the fact that, if search worked better, there would be no need for online encyclopedias at all.

Re:I for one ... (2, Informative)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601969)

Why bother with SEO? Just get your URL or product on a wikipedia page.

Won't work (rel="nofollow"). Indeed, the reason it doesn't work is a large part of the reason Wikipedia pages are ranked so highly.

How do you supervise the Sighters? (3, Insightful)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601415)

Seems to me that unless there's some sort of "Meta-something" that the 'Sighters' will have unchecked authority.

That's bad.

mod d0wn (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601421)

all alon6. *BSD Asshole to otherS bulk of the FreeBSD

not smart (3, Insightful)

Michael Restivo (1103825) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601431)

Let me be the first to say, as an infrequent Wikipedia contributor, that a FlaggedRev system would drive me away from the project.

Cheers, Mike

Re:not smart (2, Insightful)

HarryCaul (25943) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601495)

Absolutely.

Any such system will kill Wikipedia dead.

It's like they don't understand why they are successful.

Ah well, someone else will it right while they fail.

Re:not smart (4, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601725)

did you read the summary let alone the article? They will flag things like politician's pages, pages of hollywood stars, etc.

most articles at least in the begining won't be flagged as they aren't important enough.

Re:not smart (5, Informative)

Alanceil (891771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601513)

The german wikipedia has this system for quite a while now, and it works pretty well. Approvals for edits (sighted) come in fast, and that's the criteria for displaying your edit. The next level would be a confirmation by an expert, but I have yet to find an article that has this flag.

fork it (4, Interesting)

fyoder (857358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601433)

It's decent now, so even if it was frozen as is it would still be a valuable resource. And edit approval won't freeze it, it can still grow just more slowly.

Besides, there's enough dissatisfaction already with Wikipedia's policies to warrant a fork. This will just increase the likelihood of someone forking off a better wikipedia, a wikipedia for the masses with no notability bullshit, fewer rampaging herds of deletionists, and commitment to the original idea of an online encyclopedia which everyone can contribute to and edit.

Re:fork it (1)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601529)

it's been forked a gazillion times. The interwebs are riddled with cheap wikipedia rip-offs.

Re:fork it (2, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601693)

They're typically not forked to create a new community with similar goals but differing means of getting there, but typically as static scrapes to leech ad revenue.

A wikipedia that was "cool like that" (5, Interesting)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601553)

Is what is needed. Look, most people understand that they need to take anything they read on wikipedia with a grain of salt; a website that anybody can edit has to be. But see, wikipedia seems to project the aura that it doesn't think it's shit stinks. As a result, you get crap like the warnings for this [wikipedia.org]. Look, who cares if that article isn't well referenced or cited. I was just looking for a general idea of why the Chinnese consider "May you live in interesting times" a curse. We dont need the damn disclaimer, it makes the place feel like it is full of anal retentive blow-hards on power trips. And the best part is, the article I linked to seems to have had at least one of those warning boxes since Sept. 2007! Nobody cares!

I used to remove every one of those stupid warnings when I'd hit an article via google just for spite. Now I stopped caring. When I see one, I just back out and go somewhere else. I certainly wouldn't take the time to do whatever the silly warning box wanted. Obviously I'm not alone or those boxes wouldn't have been around for more than a year.

My ideal wikipedia would not have any of that "citation needed" or "needs more references" bullshit. Just leave the damn thing alone. We all know the thing is never going to be a bastion of truthliness. We all use it for trivia and cases were we really dont care how accurate the information we get is. And if we spot bias, we just might edit it out. Isn't that the point?

Bottom line is wikipedia would be better served by removing every single one of those annoying warning boxes. Every one. They serve no purpose other then to project the aura of pretenciousness.

Re:A wikipedia that was "cool like that" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601639)

I used to remove every one of those stupid warnings when I'd hit an article via google just for spite. Now I stopped caring. When I see one, I just back out and go somewhere else.

Or, rather than cut off your nose to spite your face, you could simply ignore the warning box and read the article that is there, as if the whole warning didn't exist. What a concept, huh?

Re:A wikipedia that was "cool like that" (5, Insightful)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602007)

But that warning box is a huge turn-off. I'd be okay with it if they could "cuteify" it somehow. Maybe put a cartoon puppy dog next to it or something. Right now, the design of those boxes are downright oppressive.

Despite what some would say, design matters. It matters a *lot*. And right now, the design of wikipedia "warning boxes" gives the whole website a pretentious overtone that bleeds into attitudes projected by its editors and contributors.

If those damned [Citation Needed] boxes printed out a picture of a kitten saying "warning kitten says 'Citation Needed'", you'd see a whole lot less power-tripping on wikipedia. Design and presentation matter as much as content. Wikipedia is living proof of it.

Re:A wikipedia that was "cool like that" (3, Informative)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601673)

> it makes the place feel like it is full of anal retentive blow-hards on power trips.

Erm, I think you've found the problem.

Re:A wikipedia that was "cool like that" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601763)

I think he is the problem.

Re:A wikipedia that was "cool like that" (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601887)

I don't see why it has to be one *or* the other. Just offer a three-tier WiKi.
1. fully reviewed edits reviewed by people who have an expertise in the field applicable.
2. regular reviewed edits - just to remove the "lol coryking sucks cocks!" edits and edits that appear to have no basis / are original research (everything is original research at some point, dammit.) / etc.
3. a free-for-all. yes, that means allowing "animaether sucks cocks". Who cares, it's not in tier 2, let alone tier 1, while at the same time it opens things up to possibly interesting information that doesn't make it into tier 2 due to e.g. the 'original research' thing.

Honestly, the 'original research' and 'citation needed' bits are what annoy me the most about wikipedia... enough that I once tried to make greasemonkey remove those tags from the viewed page altogether. I'd understand the need for them in tier 1, but right now wikipedia is somewhere at tier uhh.. 2.3 or something. If a citation is missing, that's okay.. I google around.

Wikipedia isn't worth it (3, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601939)

Look, who cares if that article isn't well referenced or cited. I was just looking for a general idea

And a general idea is all you'll ever get on Wikipedia that you can trust. Those warnings seem like some form of propaganda [wikipedia.org] which tries to project an aura of reliability that the Wikipedia does not have.

The way I would do it would be to allow only logged-in edition and institute some form of "karma", where users could label content as "vandalism". Users with a high level of vandalism in their contributions would be banned.

In short, I would make Wikipedia somewhat like Slashdot, only I think the Slashdot criteria for moderation isn't very good, I would let any logged-in user with enough karma to moderate. That would create a herd-mentality, for sure, but I believe it would be in the right direction. People who just wanted to troll would get tired of it pretty soon.

I'm sure there are many people who are willing to work seriously to make Wikipedia work. Just look at what they have created, despite all the bullshit the overlords impose upon us, the humble contributors.
 

The problem isn't rampaging deletionists (1)

Pommpie (710718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601681)

The problem is that Wikipedia can't decide what its focus is. It can't decide whether or not it's an encyclopaedia that focuses subjects of universal importance with a large number of eyes on each subject, or a central clearinghouse for pop culture and trivialities.

So what you end up with is what we have: patches of admin and users on each side defending their own little piece of ideological turf and leading to a heinously uneven project that ranges from brilliant to utterly useless.

Re:The problem isn't rampaging deletionists (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601819)

You say it like there's something wrong with that situation. sounds fantastic to me.

Re:fork it (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601961)

Besides, there's enough dissatisfaction already with Wikipedia's policies to warrant a fork.

It has already been done... It's called Citizendium.

Re:fork it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601963)

Yeah, all you have to do is to come up with thousands of dollars for hosting, a new staff, and then a huge campaign to convert Wikipedia users to your own Wiki. Piece of cake, right?

LOL (0, Troll)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601435)

Britannica has promised sub 20minute delays. They have nothing to show they can do this. Wikipedia is on the other end of things. Summary writer is a knob.

Way to ruin a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601437)

If it aint broke, don't fix it.

This is a shock? (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601469)

Will we see the day when Britannica can be edited almost instantly while editing Wikipedia requires fighting bureaucracy, patience and the right contacts? At this point with whos running things at Wikipedia, I would not be shocked to see the day Britannica supersedes Wikipedia. Wikipedia has LONG to go to answer for its many sins of recent, the biggest being kicking Jimmy Wales and his cult to the curb.

Let Obama do it (1, Informative)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601479)

He can do it as an intermezzo between solving the economy, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, Iraq, the internets, civil right, ...

Three week backlog?! BULLSHIT! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601533)

The overwhelmingly majority of edits to the German Wikipedia are flagged within seconds.

However, the single oldest non-reviewed or reverted change will often be a few weeks old. This is usually because someone made a large edit with a mixture of good and terrible changes, so no one wants to either sight it or revert it⦠so the draft hangs around awhile until someone improves it enough to justify publishing it, or until someone finally decides its crap and removes the change.

Under the old system edits like this, ones which were of mixed quality, were quickly undone. The new system is much better at conserving the users work.

Of course, everyone can see the latest draft version: There is a big banner that tells you the the version you are viewing is not the latest.

I think it has been an enormous improvement.

 

Could be worse... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601539)

Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment.

It's been 1 hour, 25 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment

alternative suggestions (3, Interesting)

drDugan (219551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601569)

Restricting edits to trusted users is ideologically opposite to the core principles that made Wikipedia great. I think it is a terrible idea.

Instead, I've advocated alternatives in the past: article 'sets' based on quality and notability, and real-time feedback of edits/history and controvercial regions

article sets: instead of an "in or out" policy for articles... let people make any article the want - any person, any thing, but have a graded system for what makes it to full publication. For example: Level 5 articles, "Full Publication" are basically all the things on Wikipedia now. Level 1 are minutia of almost no interest to anyone but a select few, and only accessible to logged-in users. All new articles start at Level 1. Level 0 and -1 are candidates for deletion. Levels in between are various degrees of publication openness; community nominated moderation panels select articles' levels (think: meta-moderation). This would create an even more open ecosystem of creative expression that would lead to higher-quality publication of new articles in Wikipedia.

real-time feedback: The web pages need to include a sidebar or underlines, or some integrated, obvious feedback mechanism to flag recent edits and controversial (high-change-rate) sections of text. This is critical to understanding the longevity, accuracy and community agreement to content in a page. This would eliminate one of the most serious criticisms of Wikipedia, by letting readers know what was recently changed or what has been changed often. One would need to create many complex metrics about article edit rates, user reliability and content filters to make such an integrated flagging/feedback system work well.

These are the areas where the Wikipedia foundation could innovate and create things that are better than we have today - not with closing down edits with approvals.

NO. (1, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601633)

i dont want it. if i wanted another britannica, or larousse, i wouldnt use wikipedia.

a group of dimwitted morons can propose it. but if anyone actually puts in motion, they can shove wikipedia in their butt - im sure an alternative will come up.

You have no say.... (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601715)

The alternative will be Britannica. YOu will find a lot less more article about your favourite sf series, but at least the discussion about how you need to discuss will silence.

Let me gues teh subset of articles involved.
A All articles that are locked now for anonymous editors.
B Articles about living persons (since they sue, and there different rules for those anyway.)
C Articles about beliefs.

This a good method to smuther any non wikipeidans about those articles, and the expert wikipdeians will be the same incrowd, that causes to dimisihed the growth of wiki, prevent anything "original research", or people who do not have references on the internet dispite writing several books about a subject.

Oh yea i have a say (0, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601789)

im a wikipedia reader. i read it, i use it as an easy link to present evidence in discussions, debates, and conveying info to friends. linking it.

if we stop doing that, the 'in crowd' in wikipedia can edit each other as much as they want, in their closed 'in' circles, all by themselves. as i so elaborately and eloquently put it ; they can shove it up their butt.

slashdot? (0, Troll)

madcat2c (1292296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601647)

How about a Slashdot system that stops the one guy with 20 accounts from making 4 opening comments on each article then modding them all to "5", that happens with EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE here on /.

What about a timeout? (5, Insightful)

gringer (252588) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601717)

Set up a timeout limit, with a fallback to what happens now. In other words, if an edit hasn't been approved or rejected in days/hours (with a default, but customisable per article), the edit is flagged as "approved via timeout".

Obsessive compulsive? (4, Interesting)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601741)

Gee, considering the amount of babysitting some of those articles get one would think this sort of system wouldn't be needed.

Digital approval signatures (2, Interesting)

puusism (136657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601797)

I wrote some time ago an article about peer reviewing Wikipedia:

http://cameralovesyou.net/random/wikipedia-digital-signatures.html [cameralovesyou.net]

I submitted it to Wikipedia Village Pump about six months ago, but at the time it didn't go through to the implementation phase.

The basic idea was that a revision of an article could be peer reviewed, so that it could later be referenced as if approved by the peer reviewers. The idea looks actually quite much like the "flagged" revisions that are now under discussion. :-)

I hope it dies. (1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601845)

Then morons will stop citing it as primary source for their bad science and history.

COCKS (0, Offtopic)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601881)

I approve of this change, assuming they are actually able to effectively keep up the number of poof readers so that the lag between change and implementation is minimal like ur mom lol

If they can do that then they can keep wikipedia more "correct", with formal checking of citations and sources prior to implementation, while simultanously eliminating almost all vandalism. balls

The only problems I forsee:
- vandalism could evolve to waste proof-readers' time with near-correct submissions that contain bullshit near the end
- a lot of citationless truthiness exists in wikipedia, but at the same time, a lot of "obvious" truth that doesn't have an obvious source exists too, like ur parentage. Wikipedia would evolve to be more formally correct and have higher information accountability, at the expense of volume.

how mny hitlers duz it take 2 screw ur mom lol

Re:COCKS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602055)

I approve of this change, assuming they are actually able to effectively keep up the number of poof readers... Why would editors that are poofs be any better than relatively butch editors?

Running The Gauntlet of Wikithugs (3, Insightful)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601979)

How do they choose these 'trusted' users? On many topics in Wikipedia a gauntlet is formed by a Wikithugs. They decide they own the topic, and sit there and revert every change that comes along for the most trite of reasons. Most of these translate to "I wrote this article and I don't want anyone to change it." You can revert it back yourself of course, but they'll just revert it back. And they have more time that you: they seem to have nothing better to do. Challenge their credentials and you'll be directed to some pretty Wikihomepage declaring all the wonderful Wikicliques they belong to. I've seen wikithugs sitting on insignificant topics, but on larger ones they form a circlejerk and jump to each others defenses. "Oh sure. Don't put down BasementDweller215 - they've been a Wikipedia editor for X years". Since these cliques are self-policing, there's a lot of back scratching and no reason for them to be responsible. Basically it smells of "We were here first - Keep out the Noobs."

It's why I don't waste my time editing Wikipedia any more. Why waste time researching and writing a change when it'll be reverted and re-reverted until you go up? Any system for choosing "trusted editors" from the wikithug crowd is doomed to fail. Hell. It would make the system even worse. Bad idea.

This is... (1)

Strake (982081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601997)

...precariously close to censorship. What really makes wikipedia great is the fact that anyone can contribute and that poor content will be weeded out by the multitude of readers (these also being the editors) who recognize it as such, not by a chosen few who have an effective veto.

Way forward (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602035)

Maybe the way forward is to keep the main Wikipedia as the lawless land it's always painted to be, but work more on spin-off encyclopaedias targeted to a specific audience or area of knowledge. I'm thinking for example of the SOS Schools Wiki [schools-wikipedia.org] project, which delivers a fully-checked general set of articles covering all areas taught in the UK's National Curriculum (the govt-mandated list of subjects that should be taught in all schools). The subjects and knowledge are so general and broad that it'll only ever need minor revisions, and is of course useful for anyone wanting to acquire a 'baseline' level of knowledge, no matter where in the world they live.

Leave WP to concentrate on disputes over whether episode lists should be in scope and instead grab all the brilliant general knowledge that has already been created and do something wonderful with it. What would have cost a school hundreds or thousands, in the form of twenty heavy, expensive books that can only be used by one person at a time can now be used by an infinite number of people, all on one DVD-ROM.

Not all subjects... (4, Informative)

Kulfaangaren! (1294552) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602051)

Not all subjects are so controversial/disputed that they need this Edit-Approval system IMHO. Certain subjects could be flagged, like political and religious content, the rest could be "peer-reviewed" as it is today. That might cut the possible backlog a bit.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602063)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quis_custodiet_ipsos_custodes%3F [wikipedia.org]

This comes just a few days after Britannica announced that readers will be allowed to suggest edits and have them reviewed within 20 minutes. Will we see the day when Britannica can be edited almost instantly while editing Wikipedia requires fighting bureaucracy, patience and the right contacts?"

As I believe I mentioned in the original thread, I find it hard to believe that a subscription service will be able to have enough 'eyes' to make good on this promise. Sure, the existing Wikipedia system could be improved, as could KDE, The Gimps... The important thing is, both the improvements, and the improvement process itself, are open to deep public scruntiny.

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