Would Wikipedia Be The Same With Edits Needing Approval?

from the loses-some-of-the-appeal dept

Wikipedia has apparently been testing a system by which new edits from most users don't show up for most visitors until they get approved by someone with "authority." The plan sounds similar to one that was suggested a year ago -- but in that case, the new edits would simply be shaded in a different color to warn people that they hadn't been reviewed. That seems much more effective than completely waiting to approve any edit -- especially since the "approvals" are really just to weed out vandalism, not to review the actual trustworthiness of the content. But with color coded "unreviewed" content, it will remind users to make sure they're even more cautious than they should be with regular Wikipedia content. Either way, requiring approval before edits go live seems like it would take away much of the spirit that made Wikipedia what it is today.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    David McMillan, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 4:02am

    ether way

    ether way they do it, it still is best tool in the world for getting the basics on any topic in an instant

     

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  2.  
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    David McMillan, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 4:05am

    ps [citation needed]

     

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  3.  
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    Andrew (profile), Jul 18th, 2008 @ 4:28am

    Solving the wrong problem.

    Anonymous editing isn't the problem with Wikipedia. It's the righteous 'holier-than-thou' attitude that's spread throughout the project in the past two years and sucked out everything that made Wikipedia fun. Everyone argues and argues about the silliest things, deletes good articles simply because they're based on a fictional universe (which I think is in opposition to the 'Not a Paper Encyclopedia' guideline), and just makes the whole place feel elitist.

     

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  4.  
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    wasnt me, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 5:02am

    i have to admit i do not use Wiki that much but as far as i remember "unverified" articles always have a not saying so.

    i don't think hiding content until its approved by an "authorized" editor is a solution, it would take so much time to verify and approve info which would kill Wiki.
    but having articles or info that is still "unverified" in a different color IMHO is a very good idea.

     

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  5.  
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    Roger, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 5:25am

    The editors are part of the problem

    I agree with Andrew, it's not anonymous editing that's the problem, it's the elitist editors who for some reason climbed to the top of the Wikipedia totem pole and can't be dislodged.

    It's ironic that they hide behind the convenient anonymity of Wikipedia and decide from there what's right and what's wrong. In all my disputes (yes, I had them) with Wikipedia editors, I never discovered who I was actually debating with. (Remember the fake professor scandal.)

    The beauty of the wiki concept is that it contains the power of community wisdom and knowledge. Yet being ultimately democratic, it reflects humanity and, occasionally, will contain foolishness and ignorance too.

    Isn't that the price we pay (and part of the enjoyment) for living in a society where information flows freely?

    It seems Wikipedia would have it otherwise. I'll read Encylopedia Britannica instead. At least you know who's writing the articles.

     

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  6.  
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    The chosen, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:06am

    No more fun

    I used to make 100s of edits (not a heavy editor!) and I ended up cleaning many articles. But the highhandedness of the "senior" editors made me quit.

    I think the original idea is still good. It is a bad idea to dilute it. What next? Ads?

     

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  7.  
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    Overcast, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:49am

    The question would be for now - and even more so later - who would 'ok' the edits - and what type of axe to grind would the person 'approving' them be?

     

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  8.  
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    Outside Agitator, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:55am

    Need 2 Wikipedias

    Why not have 2? An "authoritative" one where the editors have checked the edits for references to goatsee, and a "wild west" edition that allows, even encourages, flame wars, vandalism, astroturfing, etc. I know which one I'd like better.

     

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  9.  
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    Abdul, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:43am

    Re: ether way

    That's the perfect truth you have stated. People should understand what wikipedia offers and should be able to use it with caution. You can't treat wikipedia like a Bible or some holy books. Most users don't know how wikipedia works and this does not help them to use the resourse judiciously: The 'Truthiness' About Wikipedia(http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=556&doc_id=154805&F_src=flf two)

     

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  10.  
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    deathbychichi, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:46am

    I think the answer is simply to wait an hour or two before letting an edit go live. This would allow almost all vandalism to be weeded out before it appears and have minimal negative effect on people posting.

     

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  11.  
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    discojohnson, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 8:32am

    won't matter

    if wikipedia goes either way, they have the critical mass to sustain itself as a closed system.

     

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  12.  
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    Jared, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 9:05am

    peoples authority

    I dont believe elitist editors have any more a right than regular editors.

    The most annoying thing about Wikipedia is when people delete articles saying that the topic in question is not 'important enough'.

    Why not require all deletions to be seconded by another (regular) editor. And all changes be approved by a second editor. But NOT a special editor just any regular one.

    If its a collective knoweldge project, at least two people should agree about a change before it takes place. But this change should not be approved by 'special people' who for some reason have more authority than others.

     

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  13.  
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    McCrea, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 9:26am

    Typo

    First sentence, "*been testing"

     

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  14.  
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    neil, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 9:30am

    i think the biggest problem is the deleting then need to find a way of making wikipedia an append only site anything
    or build it so all changes are tracked so that any version of an article can be retrieved

     

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  15.  
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    another mike, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 2:14pm

    citation needed

    So fact-checking, multiple verified references, and not relying on a single source for information, like we were taught in essay writing class; that's all irrelevant then?

     

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  16.  
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    Darren Kopp, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 3:27pm

    who is going to monitor what the approval editors approve?????

     

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  17.  
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    Topaz, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 4:07pm

    I have been a viewer and writer of articles at wikipedia from the beginning. It has deteriorated to the point where I don't want to be bothered to contribute anymore. Someone above wrote "It's the righteous 'holier-than-thou' attitude that's spread throughout the project in the past two years and sucked out everything that made Wikipedia fun". That person hit the nail right on the head. Editors go to ridiculous extremes to edit or rather, manipulate articles, and as a result, people argue around in circles forever. Reasonable and sensible editing is necessary, but what they are doing there now is not editing. It's pure censorship. What wikipedia needs to do is ban all those people "in authority" who are responsible. Give them the boot and start rebuilding wikipedia back to the great site it used to be.

     

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  18.  
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    Melted Metal Web Radio, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 4:55pm

    New Management Is The Answer ..

    The Wikipedia culture has a big problem. They are not corporate re-engineers, and that is what is required here. One issue that makes me bleed from the eyes is that they 'immediately' put deletion notices on unfinished articles. All of the search engines pick that up in just a few minutes. Even if the deletion notice if removed, it sits in the engine cache system forever.

    On top of that, they harass many people for silly reason while anyone can find similar content that hasn't met the criteria by which they are killing a new post.

    All of this shows an incredible lack of vision, foresight, and structural imagination, which is greatly needed within the culture and management of such a web property.

    My prediction is that Wikipedia will get it wrong for years to come until the appropriate imaginative people take control. It takes one type of genius to think up a great idea- it takes a completely different type of genius to build it, and keep it on the cutting edge.

    Bill Wilkins
    Melted Metal Web Radio
    www.meltedmetal.com

     

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  19.  
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    ShadowGod, Jul 19th, 2008 @ 11:42am

    Wikipedia = Joke

    Wikipedia is a joke. The articles are so biased it's not even funny anymore.

     

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  20.  
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    Andi, Jul 19th, 2008 @ 11:07pm

    Wikipedia going the way of ODP

    Remember ODP, sure it's still around.

     

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  21.  
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    Ex Wiki Editor, Jul 21st, 2008 @ 3:36am

    Re: No more fun

    I agree that the original idea is good, and have a similar tale to tell re. the high-handedness of the editors.

    Also, one of my friends, who became a regular, albeit anonymous editor (he used to make minor edits) after I showed him the power of the wiki concept, gave up in disgust because a crazy editor kept deleting his edits re. a cricket match in progress, even though his edits reflected scores of players who'd already got out (and thus obviously couldn't change any further). No real reason given either.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2008 @ 3:48am

    Re: Need 2 Wikipedias

    Like the failed "Nupedia" experiment?

     

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