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.

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Comments on “Would Wikipedia Be The Same With Edits Needing Approval?”

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22 Comments
Abdul says:

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=flftwo)

Andrew (profile) says:

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.

wasnt me (user link) says:

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.

Roger (user link) says:

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.

Ex Wiki Editor says:

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.

Jared says:

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.

Topaz says:

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.

Melted Metal Web Radio (user link) says:

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
http://www.meltedmetal.com

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