Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Wikipedia To Require Editing Approval

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the knock-knock-who's-there-anonymous dept.

The Internet 453

The NY Times reports on an epochal move by Wikipedia — within weeks, the formerly freewheeling encyclopedia will begin requiring editor approval for all edits to articles about living people. "The new feature, called 'flagged revisions,' will require that an experienced volunteer editor for Wikipedia sign off on any change made by the public before it can go live. Until the change is approved — or in Wikispeak, flagged — it will sit invisibly on Wikipedia's servers, and visitors will be directed to the earlier version. ... The new editing procedures... have been applied to the entire German-language version of Wikipedia during the last year... Although Wikipedia has prevented anonymous users from creating new articles for several years now, the new flagging system crosses a psychological Rubicon. It will divide Wikipedia's contributors into two classes — experienced, trusted editors, and everyone else — altering Wikipedia's implicit notion that everyone has an equal right to edit entries."

cancel ×

453 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Well... (4, Insightful)

imamac (1083405) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181063)

altering Wikipedia's implicit notion that everyone has an equal right to edit entries

It sounds like everyone still does. They're just checking edits before making it live.

Re:Well... (4, Insightful)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181165)

The fundamental aspect of the Wikipedia concept was the fact that there wasn't a bureaucratic layer between your information and the world.

Grow a pair, Mr Wales.

Re:Well... (0)

ubernostrum (219442) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181965)

The fundamental aspect of the Wikipedia concept was the fact that there wasn't a bureaucratic layer between your information and the world.

Can I book your comedy routine for my next big event?

Re:Well... (5, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181209)

Indeed, and in fact, this is a step forward: currently the only method at the moment is to protect articles, locking anonymous and new editors out completely. With this system, they'll now be allowed to edit again.

Re:Well... (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181643)

Indeed, and in fact, this is a step forward

Yes, I had to laugh when I read two tags to this story in series ... "sensible elitism." I suppose such a thing is possible.

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181675)

Indeed, and in fact, this is a step forward: currently the only method at the moment is to protect articles, locking anonymous and new editors out completely. With this system, they'll now be allowed to edit again.

And in other news, our glorious leader has raised the chocolate ration to 25 grams, from the already generous 30 grams of last month.

Re:Well... (2, Interesting)

VanessaE (970834) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181915)

Sorry, but Wikipedia is just another private website, just like most other websites. By extension, that means it isn't under government control, so your obscure 1984 reference doesn't fit. Personally, I approve of the change (I remember suggesting this very thing not that long ago), if only for one reason alone: I contribute to Wikipedia every chance I get, but I'm getting tired of seeing (and when I can, correcting) vandalism, some of which is just plain juvenile (as if written by an 8 year old), and all of it seems to have been posted by anonymous and/or new users.

I want to see Wikipedia grow and flourish. Rules like this will only help, as long as there are enough "trusted" editors to handle putting the edits into place.

Re:Well... (3, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181873)

in fact, this is a step forward

Yes, yes it is - towards a day when the inner circle no longer has to use secret mailing lists, sock puppets, WP:CONFUSING, and the ol' boy network... They'll be the Law. And there will be no appeal.

Re:Well... (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181227)

They are editing edits before they go live, and only some people can do that.

Re:Well... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181563)

Actually, they're burying edits of people who are live.
But the rule only applies to edits of living people, so somewhere there must be a server that sees dead people so it can again allow edits to people's articles. :-)

"Everyone can edit", but "no one can contribute". (3, Informative)

refactored (260886) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181319)

I have been ignoring the Wikipedia for awhile now... true everyone can edit it... so long as you reference and summarise something somewhere else.

ie. You can't contribute knowledge to the Wikipedia... only regurgitated leavings from other websites. It's just a dreary collection of the web predigested by a wasp hivemind mindset hiding behind the mask of NPOV.

So they have just added another layer to enforce that fundamental limitation further. So what. Try everything2 [everything2.com] instead.

Or just about any place.

I never write anything down anymore... I just lose the paper on my desk anyway. When I find out something I want to remember, I write it on the web somewhere anywhere and let google index it for me.

Note to self: portablexdr is the name of the lgpl xdr library I want to use.

Re:"Everyone can edit", but "no one can contribute (-1, Troll)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181405)

For someone who's been ignoring Wikipedia, you sure seem to know a lot about it. I smell a banned mod.

Re:"Everyone can edit", but "no one can contribute (4, Interesting)

refactored (260886) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181629)

Nope, never been a mod, never been banned in anyway.

Closest I came was when some damn yanks were gaming the system by swamping the article on Waterboarding. Of course the could find thousands of references to Bushshite apparatchiks stating categorically that waterboarding isn't torture and the mods clamped the page at a revision stating it wasn't torture. (I'm please to see the article is now fairly good.)

But the incident made me take the fundamental problem with Wikipedia seriously enough to sit up and look out for it. Once I started to look out for that problem, I noticed it enough other places for me to now instinctively lower the ranking of wikipedia hits.

Of course, if you are an American WASP... you can look and look and look at the wikipedia all day and not see the problem with NPOV. :-))

Re:"Everyone can edit", but "no one can contribute (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181919)

I smell a banned mod.

Sorry, chili gives me bad farts.

Re:"Everyone can edit", but "no one can contribute (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181713)

That's always been the point. What you add has to have been published elsewhere first (and not just websites; scientific journals or other reliable sources are preferable to some nutcase's Geocities website). They aspire to create an encyclopedia, and such works do not have original knowledge in them -- the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy being an exception.

Re:Well... (1)

skywire (469351) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181637)

You have a curious notion of equality.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181661)

I think this is a move in the right direction, but all they have to do is add a new link call not-approved, unsubstantiated or whatever at the top. It opens it up to multiple versions, one may be citated, not citated, and not reviewed. Whatever.. Thats what it'll become in the future.

So much for... (2, Insightful)

Kranerian (1427183) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181071)

...The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

Re:So much for... (2, Informative)

mckinleyn (1288586) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181125)

It's still free, still an encyclopedia, and anyone can still edit it. Identically to before with any article NOT about a livin person. It's equivalent to "locking" an entire class of pages. No big deal.

Re:So much for... (5, Insightful)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181437)

What's to stop them from doing it again with another class of articles? Maybe they'll decide that articles about healthcare are controversial next, and then they'll unilaterally restrict those too. And who is "trusted"? I've been editing Wikipedia casually for 6 years (originally actively, then more and more casually as I've been progressively locked out of the community), but an edit count "only" in the hundreds will probably place me in the class of users who can no longer freely edit this class of pages. I already couldn't vote in their elections for the same reason. Now I won't be able to freely contribute either.

I dare you (Re:So much for...) (4, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181859)

It's still free, still an encyclopedia, and anyone can still edit it.

Try mentioning Bill Ayers [wikipedia.org] on Obama's [wikipedia.org] page...

Re:So much for... (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181137)

Please point out to me where it says I can no longer edit.

Re:So much for... (5, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181483)

It doesn't say you can't edit. It just legitimatizes the secrete editing squads who serve their own purposes. All this means is that if you edit and it says something they do not like, no one else will ever see it.

Put a fork in it... (3, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181073)

...it's done. The control freaks have won, again.

Don't you mean... (4, Funny)

TFer_Atvar (857303) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181133)

...make a fork of it?

Re:Don't you mean... (1)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181207)

how long until freecyclopedia.org or some other such domain gets transformed into what wikipedia should have been? My guess? Never.

Re:Don't you mean... (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181839)

Why not. Competition is a good thing. Frankly I find it a bit scary that such an enormous amount of work by so many people is apparently at the mercy of so few. So a "trusted editor" or two with a political agenda can control the major source of information on a particular subject which is apparently referenced by journalists and academics (although of course it shouldn't be), probably comes up as the first result on google etc. If anything, this makes me less inclined to trust the information in wikipedia than when it was free for all and errors could be easily added and just as easily removed. I hope this is just an experiment rather than the first step to implementing this process on the whole thing but I doubt it.

Re:Put a fork in it... (5, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181175)

The control freaks have won, again.

Don't be stupid. This wouldn't have been necessary if jackasses didn't constantly toss unsubstantiated crap onto peoples' pages.

Re:Put a fork in it... (4, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181211)

I heard that a few years ago, the page for George W Bush was vandalized on average every 30 seconds or so. It's definitely that people have proven themselves unequal when it comes to editing.

(I'm no fan of Bush, that isn't bias)

Re:Put a fork in it... (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181645)

The article on Bush was topping the "most revisions" list for quite awhile. It has since fallen to 36th, though most of the ones above it are in the wikipedia namespace and aren't really "articles" per se.

Re:Put a fork in it... (0)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181747)

Don't be stupid. This wouldn't have been necessary if jackasses didn't constantly toss unsubstantiated crap onto peoples' pages.

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. -- William Pitt the Younger

Re:Put a fork in it... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181849)

This wouldn't have been necessary if jackasses didn't constantly toss unsubstantiated crap onto peoples' pages.

That's part of the problem. People feel like the own pages because of their contributions, and therefore get offended when some unknown comes in.

I don't personally edit wikipedia, but I've seen enough smoke about useful edits being deleted maliciously and even users being banned for legit edits, to believe there is truth to it.

Re:Put a fork in it... (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181989)

Heck.... or editing their own pages, for that matter. Excerpt from an actual message a few years ago, in response to a standard little {{copyvio}} notice when a bunch of text had been copied from somewhere without attribution:

Please tell me your True Name so I can identify you by Family as I know the Spiritual Worth of Geneaolgy and its Disaster as I believe you were brought up wrongly [...] of course Wikipedia is a place for me to work because I am a War Historian in Essay which is the "Truth of content" by Authority. Only the Royal Family can write "History" unless Academically qualified by an institution they found.

Want more? Look at Time Cube [timecube.com] . I'm pretty sure there's anti-Wikipedia invective in the top 3 screens most of the time these days...

Make Any Business Green using www.POWERSAVE3400.co (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181149)

http://www.powersave3400.com/ [powersave3400.com] Save Electricity Now! The Internet's #1 Power Save Solar kit Retailer Online! Go Green Using This Home/Commercial Energy Saving Device. Alternative energy efficient Device! Please visit www.powersave3400.com for all of your energy saving devices and solar kits! JUST IN, we new sell solar power attic fans! Reduce the work load of your air conditioner!

The truth? Wikipedia is dying (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181159)

Face it, Wikipedia is ancient history as far as the internet is concerned. All the heavy lifting was done in the early years, and now everyone's moved off to Twitter or whatever the latest hep fad is.

Most of the people who are still actively editing are cranks and and nutters with a political chip on their shoulder. They just want to editwar about Micheal Jackson or whatever nationalist topic is up their ass. They aren't going to maintain old pages on boring topics to ensure they don't fill up with uncited bullshit.

Either Wikipedia limits editing rights, or its just going to turn in into an unmaintained pile of useless garbage. That's the reality of the Internet.

Re:The truth? Wikipedia is dying (3, Funny)

exley (221867) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181203)

Thanks Netcraft!

Re:The truth? Wikipedia is dying (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181743)

Most of the people who are still actively editing are cranks and and nutters with a political chip on their shoulder.

There certainly are plenty of cranks and nutters, but most?

I tend to correct grammar errors and awkward wording when I'm browsing the site. A quick glance at a typical page history shows me that in most cases, the edits are quite reasonable.

-jcr

It's now official (4, Insightful)

christurkel (520220) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181161)

"Altering Wikipedia's implicit notion that everyone has an equal right to edit entries."

"implicit" is the keyword here. Reality has been different for quite some time. They are only making it official policy now.

Why articles on living persons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181167)

If it's about potential harm, it's just as easy to mess with someone's reputation by vandalizing pages with which they are associated.

Why is a big lock better than a universal lock or case-by-case locks?

Damned if you do, damned if you don't... (5, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181177)

Oh please:

It will divide Wikipedia's contributors into two classes experienced, trusted editors, and everyone else altering Wikipedia's implicit notion that everyone has an equal right to edit entries.

For years, people here have ridiculed Wikipedia on the notion that anyone can edit it, and edits appear instantly without any checking by another person. Yet now they implement such a system - that's wrong too!

I don't know if this idea is good or not, but at least put forward a proper debate rather than claims about creating "two classes" or whining that people no longer have an "equal right" (hey, do I have an equal right to edit the NYTimes article?) It's always the same. Some people say that Wikipedia has too much fancruft. Others blame Wikipedia for deleting too much stuff. Some people complain that Wikipedia allows edits from anyone without sources. Others whine when their edits were reverted. Can't both sides argue among themselves, rather than blaming Wikipedia everytime?

Because the NYTimes don't cite their sources, it's hard to see what's being proposed. If it's like the current rules for protected article, then the decision on who can approve an article will purely be based on having an account for a given period of time. There's no unequal rights, no second class system, no old-boy-network.

I can see this making sense - when Wikipedia was new, allowing anonymous edits to appear straight away was important to get people hooked, and get as many people using it as possible. Now with 3 million articles, that's really not needed - what's needed is to stabilise mature articles, and to improve the quality.

Re:Damned if you do, damned if you don't... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181263)

For years, people here have ridiculed Wikipedia on the notion that anyone can edit it, and edits appear instantly without any checking by another person. Yet now they implement such a system - that's wrong too!

Wrong, only the media, public figures, and other entities that don't understand the internet, web 2.0, the FOSS movement, and the spirit of the internet have been criticizing wikipedia's credibility standards. The whole [citation needed] thing was a reaction to criticism by main-stream press and political figures who can't understand that facts are NOT handed down from 'on high' and that sometimes, the mob can be right if they leave the knowledge to the experts in the field that swoop down and make critical edits to a fleshed out piece, transforming an OK article into a good one.

This is a Bad Move because it has been forced onto wikipedia by external forces and it's own internal cadre of esteemed editors with too much free time such that they protect their article from edits.

If anything, the people here have been criticizing wikipedia for turning away from it's motto of "the free encyclopedia that anybody can edit" towards a more closed model, both from internal and external forces.

Mostly we lament the loss of What Could Have Been and complain when wikipedia bows to traditional media's conform-to-our-paid-for-views mentality.

Re:Damned if you do, damned if you don't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181513)

Wrong, only the media, public figures, and other entities that don't understand the internet, web 2.0, the FOSS movement, and the spirit of the internet have been criticizing wikipedia's credibility standards.

I think they understand that wikipedia editors are huge nerdlords just fine.

Wikipedia is a very reactive organization. The *only* thing that's been pushing steady improvement in article quality is outside media criticizing and making fun of them. The [citiation needed] phase was the best thing that ever happened to them.

Re:Damned if you do, damned if you don't... (4, Funny)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181517)

The whole [citation needed] thing was a reaction to criticism by main-stream press and political figures who can't understand that facts are NOT handed down from 'on high' and that sometimes, the mob can be right if they leave the knowledge to the experts in the field that swoop down and make critical edits to a fleshed out piece, transforming an OK article into a good one.

[citation needed]

The citation is in the NY Times article (1)

Pandark (1322999) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181927)

"The change is part of a growing realization on the part of Wikipediaâ(TM)s leaders that as the site grows more influential, they must transform its embrace-the-chaos culture into something more mature and dependable."
Freedom is sooo childish and unnecessary...

Re:Damned if you do, damned if you don't... (1)

Chuq (8564) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181465)

+1

For years, the same people have been simultaneously complaining about "Wikipedia not being accurate" and "nazis removing my edits". Honestly, how do you appease this sort of mentality?

Re:Damned if you do, damned if you don't... (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181791)

The two (paraphrased) statements "Wikipedia is not accurate." and "Many edits are reverted." kinda sound like the might have something to do with each other, huh?

Re:Damned if you do, damned if you don't... (2, Interesting)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181735)

You, like most people, seem to be under the opinion that there is only one viewpoint that is "slashdot" and that it is therefor hypocritical when two opposing views are expressed. In reality, of course, there are thousands of regular users all of whom have slightly varied views. And of course you'll hear from the outraged ones but not so much from the ones who don't care about a particular subject, leading you to believe that 'slashdot' as a whole is outraged about contradictory things.

But yes, the fact that anyone can make an edit makes wikipedia an unreliable source. That isn't to say it's bad - on average wikipedia is a very good source of information - but it is a valid criticism of something that's trying to be an encyclopedia.

And then we have this - people are of course pointing out that you can't claim to be "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" and then screen edits. You know what? Anyone can send in a correction to a print encyclopedia as well, and they have people who will look at the proposed changes and make corrections if they're needed. But that's not what is meant by "anyone can edit".

So... yes, wikipedia has in its very subtitle a contradiction. You can't both be a quality encyclopedia and accept any edit. And pointing out that they've managed to be neither isn't wrong. Hell, maybe a revision-controlled wikipedia would be better then what we have now.

Imagine, for a moment, what the effect would be of putting a mandatory 24-hour delay on all edits would be. If an edit is reverted during its 24 hour waiting period, it never changes in the first place. There goes half the vandalism. Maybe a different rule for articles that are about current events... or better yet don't bother with articles on current events until they're done - maybe a redirect to the related news site. This would accomplish the goal of the changes in the article, but without alienating people who aren't major wikipedians. *Everyone* gets a 24 hour delay.

And what's so bad about it? (2, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181183)

In my opinion, this isn't actually censorship, but a rather effective anti-trolling measure.

Wikipedia is not a forum where everyone can post his opinion and let the user decide which one's right. It's an encyclopedia. If someone defaces it or uses it as a means to alter someone's reputation (for good or ill), it will lose credibility.

For one, this "control freak" measure can be used, for example, to prevent mad scientologists from removing negative remarks on their current leaders, or right-wing zealots from removing negative aspects of their favorite political candidate.

If your contribution is indeed impartial (remember we're only talking about living people entries), it WILL get accepted. Just not as fast as you'd want to, but it will.

Isn't this the best of both worlds? In fact, I'm tagging this story "abouttime".

Re:And what's so bad about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181291)

It can also be used by mad scientologists to ensure the truth is never added to their follower's pages.

What? There's no scientologists at wikipedia? AMAZING, you know, considering they've invaded the Antivirus industry [rickross.com] (Information notably lacking at the wikipedia [wikipedia.org] page on Panda Security) and the Canadian government [wikipedia.org] .

Re:And what's so bad about it? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181311)

I hope I can still view unapproved version. It would be great if this keeps the deletionist happy enough that we can start adding stuff again, because nobody has to look after the pages, maybe they can even give anon users the ability to create pages again.

Re:And what's so bad about it? (1)

NekoYasha (1040568) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181845)

On other wikis that use the flagged revisions extension like the English Wikibooks, non-logged-in visitors will see a message indicating they are looking at an approved revision, with a link to the newest revision. For pages that don't have an approved revision, it will just show the newest one.

Registered users always see the newest revision by default.

This is just quality control, I don't think adding revision flagging is going to change any Wikipedia policies.

Re:And what's so bad about it? (1, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181339)

If your contribution is indeed impartial ...

Sounds like someone needs to visit the Ignore all rules article [wikipedia.org] which is approved policy for editing the English Wikipedia.

For one, this "control freak" measure can be used, for example, to prevent mad scientologists ...

In fact, in their section on how to break all the rules [wikipedia.org] , they teach the right and wrong ways to push your agenda:

  • I want to argue my point of view on Wikipedia
  • The wrong way is to change an article to make it look like "Wikipedia" supports your position. If people read that Wikipedia says that roach racing is an inhumane practice, will it matter? It's just a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. The die-hard fans of cruelty to cockroaches would simply reach for their revert buttons and scowl at how their opponents are trying to skew the article.
  • The right way to push your point of view is to provide the facts that led you to believe what you do. Cite academic references on the prevalence of arthritis in insect athletes. Provide an external link to a videotape of a famous blatellid athlete falling to his doom from the table of honor. If the facts led you to a point of view, they'll lead others to the same point of view.
  • I want to wipe out the opposing point of view from the article
  • The wrong way to kneecap your opposition is to delete his "bogus" claims, sources and all, from the article. Never mind the revert war -- do you want your audience to remain vulnerable to the fallacies he raises? No, if he's raising a point that's been raised before, then you should be able to find rebuttals that people have made to it before. Again, provide your facts and sources. The battle goes not to the swiftest reverter, nor to the most strongly worded edit, but to those who persevere in their research and dig up citable sources for every fact that can be found.
  • There are an infinite number of perspectives on a subject, even if you are aware of only two. At the least, consider what ideas and assumptions you and your opponents share as common ground, and also what alternative solutions to a problem can be found that rely on neither your side's assumptions nor the other's for their validity. If you want to succeed in making an article include the facts about your point of view, accept that your point of view when you finish may be more informed than when you began.
  • I have a great company and I want to promote it on Wikipedia
  • The wrong way to promote your company is with blatant advertising and vanity links. They'll only get you in trouble and lead in the long term to suppression of future attempts.
  • The more wrong way is to start a brand new article about your company. Not only will you have trouble with policy, but imagine if you succeed! Then you'll have a page that you have to constantly monitor against vandalism, and you could lose control of it to some disgruntled former employee who can dig up true unflattering information and keep it in place permanently. Besides, how many people would read the article anyway?
  • The right way to promote your company is to bear in mind that "advertising" on Wikipedia can indeed be bought with the right currency - information. If you can provide a good, thorough, useful reference on a subject on your company Web site, then you can cite it sparingly in relevant articles and thereby establish your company as a legitimate, trustworthy authority. Literally or figuratively, go into the back room and see what you can take a picture of that the public doesn't normally have a chance to see. What is interesting that you can present for the first time? What data have you collected that you could present on the Web? Once you make an informative company Web site that bears your copyright and provides much useful information, the only way that Wikipedia can use it is by reference or external link, which brings readers to your doorstep.
  • The rules on conflict of interest can be strictly interpreted, but if your bait is tasty enough there will be no resisting it. If you can survive this examination, then your account provides another link back to the company and another chance for it to appear in a favorable light, if the account is used only with temperance and civility.
  • I want to make a legal threat against someone
  • Instead of screaming you're going to sue somebody, consider the rational approach. Mention what law you feel has been violated, Wikilinking the appropriate legal precedents -- start articles for them if they aren't in Wikipedia. Say what the liability for breaking the law could be. But say nothing that a disinterested third party observer idly commenting on the case might say, if he agreed with your analysis. Then see what the actual third party editors think, and that way you either get your point across, or save a bundle in legal fees for a lost cause.

But go ahead and break all the rules and if you aren't sure just ignore your inhibitions and edit it! And if you want to push your agenda, just put up more and more facts. I enjoyed reading those articles when I started editing and before long (9 edits or something) I didn't have all my crap double checked seconds after I posted it.

Now, they could get rid of those guidance pages but I don't see why they would. It was a great model and still is a great model in my mind. People just aren't going to get instant gratification as quickly anymore. But were those the people hanging around? I guess we'll find out.

Re:And what's so bad about it? (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181343)

If your contribution is indeed impartial (remember we're only talking about living people entries), it WILL get accepted.

Hahaha! Oh man, that's the funniest thing I've heard all week. Either you're a long-time moderator or you haven't done much editing on Wikipedia.

Re:And what's so bad about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181345)

Wikipedia is not a forum where everyone can post his opinion and let the user decide which one's right. It's an encyclopedia. If someone defaces it or uses it as a means to alter someone's reputation (for good or ill), it will lose credibility.

Wikipedia has credibility?

Re:And what's so bad about it? (4, Insightful)

Auraiken (862386) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181369)

This only works when the people who are in control don't have a bias on the subject.

Using your example, somehow a scientologist gets editor rank and start disallowing any edits against it.

Re:And what's so bad about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181391)

We are sorry for the inconvenience but your comment has been flagged. It will be reviewed by Slashdot's elite panel before it's published as it may contain some information that we DO NOT agree with.

oh and your tag...ya, it's gotta be reviewed too...sit tight!

Re:And what's so bad about it? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181423)

The only problem is it's potentially open to abuse. But as long as the edits are preserved so anyone can see them if they want to, then the system should work reasonably well. It will be kind of like the slashdot moderation system, which can be described as not perfect, but better than anything else we've tried.

Re:And what's so bad about it? (4, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181457)

or right-wing zealots from removing negative aspects of their favorite political candidate.

For that matter, it can also prevent left-wing nutjobs from removing favorable aspects from the pages of their political opponents. In fact, it will slow down and possibly prevent the vandalism of pages by fruitcakes from all parts of the political spectrum.

Re:And what's so bad about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181943)

I don't see a reason why whackjob right wingers can't make their own encyclopedia. They could even start with a copy of the content on wikipedia and edit it all they want to their hearts' content. Well, I guess they spend their time raving mad about everything and are highly suspicious of everyone including other right wingers and have to feel they have ultimate power over every little detail of their lives and everyone else they would like to control.

Re:And what's so bad about it? (1)

Grieviant (1598761) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181585)

I agree, tentatively. Among the reasons cited in TFA for taking these measures are declining growth (not sure how that's a reflection on the accuracy of existing articles) and the increased responsibility of being a widely-used and trusted source of information. Specifically, an incident involving a falsely attributed (completely manufactured) quote which ended up in an obituary on major news sites, as well as a couple falsely reported deaths, were cited.

My question is, can Wikipedia be held legally liable for the veracity of its articles? This could be a cover-our-asses move rather than protection against misinformation or disinformation for the sake of maintaining their reputation. Is there any history of Wiki being sued for slander or defamation by an individual / company, or being coerced into changing articles under threats of litigation?

Re:And what's so bad about it? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181687)

In my opinion, this isn't actually censorship

How could it possibly be? Wikipedia isn't a government entity.

Re:And what's so bad about it? (2, Insightful)

baKanale (830108) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181773)

...or right-wing zealots from removing negative aspects of their favorite political candidate.

...or left-wing zealots from removing negative aspects of their favorite candidate.
...or centrist zealots from removing negative aspects of their favorite candidate.

Re:And what's so bad about it? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181895)

Trolls are a problem on Wikipedia, as they are with any site that lets anybody contribute content. But it's actually a smaller problem on Wikipedia than you'd expect. Wikpedia has a fair amount of crap, but the really obvious crap seems to get discovered and expunged pretty quickly. Thousands of eyeballs can be helpful.

Unfortunately, a lot of those eyeballs belong to people who mean well, but just don't understand their chosen subject matter as well as they think they do. Like the guy who "corrected" the article on Pluto because he didn't know that Pluto is sometimes closer to the Sun than Neptune!

That's pretty lame under any circumstances, but when a WP "editor" addss fourth-hand information about living people, it can cause a lot of grief [usatoday.com] . Which is why they're locking down this content first. It's not a sudden love of accuracy, it's fear of getting sued.

My favorite story in this context is from Brooke Gladstone [wikipedia.org] , who's a big fan of the whole crowdsourcing concept in general and Wikipedia in particular. However, she was less enthusiastic about this edit [wikipedia.org] , which she found intrusive, and was apparently made by a friend of her children.

In digging up this edit, I found an earlier version of her page that includes the name of a canary her husband used to own! That's my other big issue with Wikipedia: too much useless trivia.

Hardly new (2)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181189)

It's been divided like this for years, as anyone non-anointed who has tried a perfectly accurate revision well knows.

Re:Hardly new (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181321)

Sorry if this is not the case - but whenever I hear this I have a mental image that the perfectly accurate revision involves some kind of govt/alien conspiracy.

Re:Hardly new (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181415)

I don't know, I (anonymously) made a minor revision about a week ago and have been following it since then, and no one has reverted it (I change something that referred back to 'a' and 'b' as the former and latter to just repeating 'a' and 'b'). I just looked, and the previous 3 or 4 reverts, going back 4 months, were all troll edits (i.e., Chuck Norris crap, or whatever).

Re:Hardly new (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181581)

In my case, I noticed that the population figure for a major city didn't match the value given in the reference the wiki page linked to, so I change it to the correct one. I did this three times, and every time it was reverted. It is hard to imagine how I could have done something more valid than making a post to match the damn citation. My impression is that someone considered it their pet page and was reverting my changes immediately, without bothering to research because they didn't recognize my username.

You Can't Beat the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory (4, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181201)

As Gabe of Penny Arcade said it best [penny-arcade.com] : Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad.

Ultimately it catches up to anything. Forums, blogs, and now Wikipedia. I'm not sure this is a good change for Wikipedia, but at some point you have to do something to stop the fuckwads from completely tagging the place.

Re:You Can't Beat the Greater Internet Fuckwad The (1)

refactored (260886) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181359)

Yes you can, the same way it always worked before the 'net came along.

Fuckwad + Audience = Total Fuckwad.

Re:You Can't Beat the Greater Internet Fuckwad The (1)

clockwise_music (594832) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181843)

So does that mean: Audience = TotalFwad - Fwad?

Re:You Can't Beat the Greater Internet Fuckwad The (1)

imemoryfilms (1444417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181623)

As Gabe of Penny Arcade said it best [penny-arcade.com] : Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad.

Ultimately it catches up to anything. Forums, blogs, and now Wikipedia. I'm not sure this is a good change for Wikipedia, but at some point you have to do something to stop the fuckwads from completely tagging the place.

As Gabe of Penny Arcade said it best [penny-arcade.com] : Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad.

Ultimately it catches up to anything. Forums, blogs, and now Wikipedia. I'm not sure this is a good change for Wikipedia, but at some point you have to do something to stop the fuckwads from completely tagging the place.

agree 100% on this.

Disturbance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181217)

I felt a great disturbance in the Net, as if millions of vandals suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced...

Re:Disturbance (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181477)

...and it felt good!

Well there is only one solution amd we all know it (0)

3seas (184403) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181223)

Fork it....

Re:Well there is only one solution amd we all know (1)

Chuq (8564) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181413)

Isn't that what Uncyclopedia already is? A fork of Wikipedia for people who like to vandalise?

Re:Well there is only one solution amd we all know (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181749)

Isn't that what Uncyclopedia already is? A fork of Wikipedia for people who like to vandalise?

<sarcasm>I thought that was what Conservapedia was for</sarcasm>

(and no. I'm not going to provide a hyperlink. those trolls don't deserve the pageviews)

And Wikipedia slowly moves.... (4, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181353)

... into the direction of the control of the content of articles to meet the agenda of the senior editors, just like other MSM.

.
Has Wikipedia's success killed it? We report, you decide......

Quick! (3, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181373)

Everyone edit all the biographies to say that people died in 1997. Then we can say whatever we want!

not really a Rubicon (5, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181383)

This is not really a Rubicon. I edited for several years with a WP account. Then I decided WP had evolved into a thing that was no longer fun for me, and to reduce my temptation to get involved in any more WP stuff, I disabled my account by munging the password. Ever since then, I've been editing without logging in. There are already a lot of things you can't do without being logged in. You can't upload an image, can't mark your edits as minor, can't make a new article, can't edit certain articles. WP's official policy is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with editing anonymously, but people are often very snotty toward you if you edit anonymously. There's a strong tendency for both humans and bots to revert anonymous editors' edits, even if it's a good edit, with a good comment line pointing to discussion on the talk page.

Re:not really a Rubicon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181551)

It is most certainly a rubicon. They have declared that nothing anonymous is worth reading when it comes to articles about living people.
And just like the first crossing of the Rubicon, it spells the end of what made Wikipedia great, and will inevitably lead to its horrific demise, followed by the dark ages of technology, and many thousands of years later, there may be a revolution.

But by all means, paint anonymous people as the undesirables of the world. If it makes you feel any better.

Re:not really a Rubicon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181589)

By the way, that second line there wasn't necessarily directed at the poster I was replying to, it was more of a general statement to those who think this was inevitable.

How about Slashdot doing something similar (1)

NZheretic (23872) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181407)

Modify the Slashcode to require Anonymous posters and registered users with low Karma to have their posts/replies approved by any user with a Excellent or greater Karma rating before the posts/replies become visible to anyone with less than Great Karma rating. Also have the following Slashdot moderation process affect the karma of the users who approved the posts.

Just trial it for a couple of months and see the difference it will make.

Re:How about Slashdot doing something similar (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181531)

There's really no need. If you're seeing to many trolls then just adjust your threshold level.

I have as many beefs with slashdot as anyone but the one good thing I can say about them is that the karma/moderation system generally works pretty damned well.

Re:How about Slashdot doing something similar (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181533)

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.

Re:How about Slashdot doing something similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181831)

Fuck you nazi nigger.

Don't worry, /. still has no editing standards (4, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181469)

Wikipedia may be working their way into having stringent editorial standards, but slashdot will always remain free and unencumbered by such things.

Unapproved view (4, Interesting)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181519)

Can I set a cookie or something to always view the newest (unapproved) version? I also didn't see a greasemonkey script yet.

There's always been a heirachy. (3, Informative)

Cinnaman (954100) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181543)

"Wikipedia's implicit notion that everyone has an equal right to edit entries."

Due to the presence of "administrators" who can bar non-administrators from editing (i.e. locking an article), that has never been true.
Not that I agree with increased restriction but at least the anons can still submit edits and they'll be evaluated by editors who probably won't have the "what I say goes" attitude of the administrators.

Wikipedia was nearing its end, just arrived (5, Insightful)

direwulf (917316) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181591)

We just had a story a short while ago about Wikipedia having plateaued. With the current system, barely any revisions by members outside the WP "elite" actually make it through. Now with forced moderation, that will likely drop to zero. There's a distinct line between janitor and censor that I believe is being crossed here. I can understand the community trying to rid WP of garbage. That follows with the protection of some commonly vandalized articles. I just think that protection of articles was supposed to be the exception; this change makes it the rule. Wikipedia, the encyclopedia that anyone can try to edit.

Editing Wikipedia well is hard work. (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181611)

Over the past three years, the standards have tightened up. Now, everything has to have footnoted references. Wikipedia has always required that material be verifiable, but now, "verifiable" means correctly footnoted to a reliable source.

If you've published in refereed journals, or spent time in academia, this is no big deal. The problem for many inexperienced editors is that they're not used to writing with references. Most of the whining comes from people who just want to write their own stuff, not dig for references and write footnotes. Wikipedia calls that "original research".

This requirement first appeared in politically controversial articles. Then it spread to most articles on serious subjects. Now it's applied even to fancruft. ("What do you mean I can't write about 'Zords in Power Rangers: Jungle Fury' because they weren't mentioned in a Journal of Popular Culture article?") The detailed fancruft is gradually moving to Wikia, which has lower standards.

Wikipedia is an open source project with coding standards and quality control, not a blog.

Re:Editing Wikipedia well is hard work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181855)

How profound is the content!
name:Mobile Phone [cellphone-china.com]

RIP Wikipedia - it's doomed! (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181635)

This won't work. The idea of encylopedia as wiki only works while editing is relatively straight forward and can be done by almost anyone. I know it hasn't REALLY been like that for some time, but I think what we're seeing is the next phase of a decline not a brave new world of better encylopedias.

The fundamental problem: Make too many editors trusted, and you have the potential for wide spread abuse by the editors going unchecked. Too few trusted editors and you get edits stagnating and awaiting approval indefinitely. Both will turn people off contributing, and striking a balance is next to impossible.

It's not a new problem. I remember the old "talkers" (social MUDs) in the 90's. Becoming a super user became a trophy win. You'd either get too few or too many, people would actually trade real world sexual favours for the privellege of being an SU (or use it as a pretext for sex - we're talking about college kids) and things would go to hell. If you don't have any experience with that, imagine how well a Unix system would run if every time you changed file permissions, a super user was needed to approve the change.

This change has doomed Wikipedia. In a decade we'll all be reminiscing about it. The staff at the paid encyclopedias must be cracking open bottles of champagne. Wait and see.

Re:RIP Wikipedia - it's doomed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181997)

Just keep on keepin' on. If you just keep predicting doom and gloom upon anything any time anything happens, you're bound to be right one of these times! And then you'll Win(tm)! That'll show 'em all!

rubicon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181775)

I, for once, welcome the return of the priest class. now more pervert than ever: here, wikipedia controls you.

Just as bad as it is good. (4, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181793)

This means that, further, individuals with expertise will be probably undone when correcting common myth, perpetuating more falsehood.

I used to be one of those gung-ho wikipedia defenders until I started trying to participate. THAT was an eye-opening experience. You know the type of person that is commonly known as the "bureaucratic fuck?" The type of person you find in government that is nothing more than a peanut in the system but has power over you so they wield it like a tot with a lightsaber toy? That is the wikipedia "bureaucrat" in a nutshell. They don't care about what the actual facts are (and are quite proud to say so), they care more about rules being followed and WILL revert or otherwise defend false information if it's corrected in a manner they deem against the rules. I was editing out obvious bias and conspiracy theory nonsense and got reprimanded for undoing his edit three times. The guy had a fetish for the article in question because he had some kook bias and watched it like a hawk adding in his garbage all the time. The wiki staff told me to "let the community sort it out" but a month later his garbage was still on the page and they wouldn't do anything about it and I still couldn't revert it out over three times.

Eventually I did win especially when wiki started requiring more stringent citations, but I lost faith in the sham of their "arbitration" process. I once heard that wikipedia was just a bunch of nerds roleplaying a bureaucracy, and I'm convinced that's true. I'm sure the moderators and such watching over article revisions will be much like how the rest of WP works--the pro-Israel and anti-Israel crowds warring over the Israel article, the pedophiles whitewashing the pedophilia article (this occurs, I shit you not), and so on. This time though, whomever has the most moderators, wins.

Programming analogy (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181807)

The way Wikipedia does it now is like letting anyone add code and make a new build from the new code that serves as the "stable" build anyone uses. The planned change seems reasonable from the point of view of that analogy. The parallels between code management and wiki editing are many.

More German than the Germans? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181813)

Either TFA is inaccurate about the new "feature", or it's much more restrictive than what German Wikipedia has been practicing. In German Wikipedia edits by non-members don't

sit invisibly on Wikipedia's servers

until approved, they are visible to everybody in a "Draft" ("Entwurf") tab [wikipedia.org] . Logged-in users are redirected to the latest draft by default, if there is one.

If TFA is right and they're really planning to hide fresh edits entirely from the public, everybody will edit the latest approved version instead of the latest draft. Every draft will be its own branch. It will be real fun merging all those --maybe even conflicting-- edits back to the approved version. My prediction is that editors won't bother merging, and we will see many more instant reverts. I mean, we won't see them. Not even in page history. Oversighted. And they won't be instant reverts, just instant dismissals. One more step to a closed Wikipedia.

How are you contacted? (1)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 5 years ago | (#29181905)

Wikipedia communications are non-existent, it's a total void. You are supposed to write on some page that is supposed to be the editor's message center or something where he bloats about himself ... there are no email addresses, formal form of contact, anything.

My question is: how will you get feedback if your modifications are approved or not? Who can you contact to appeal if you feel the approver is wrong? Is there a discussion process?

Trying to make sense of Wikipedia "bureaucracy on a fuckin' wiki!!" has made me throw my keyboard on the walls many times!

Please think of the keyboards! :)

Crowd-sourcing v. Expertise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181911)

This is a pretty stupid thing to do for Wikipedia because they are leaving their niche in crowd-sourced information and taking on the mainstream expert approach to encyclopedias. Why should I be trusting Wikipedia's group of still-anonymous devotees more than I should actual experts in the field? Without the benefit of having the data being constantly checked and rechecked by the effectively informed and unbiased collective, what's the point of using Wikipedia instead of Encyclopedia Britannica or any other expert source? Wikipedia is making this about personal legitimacy, a game for which they are particularly unsuited.

Won't be long now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29181939)

before there is a non-elected government "czar" appointed, with extra-constitutional powers to oversee "online content".

There, problem solved.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?