Founded on the concept that anyone could change its content, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia is now requiring reviews on articles about living people after several embarrassing incidents, reports the New York Times. Officials at the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit in San Francisco that governs Wikipedia, say that within weeks, the English-language Wikipedia will begin imposing a layer of editorial review on 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, it will sit invisibly on Wikipedia’s servers, and visitors will be directed to the earlier version. The change is part of a growing realization on the part of Wikipedia’s leaders that as the site grows more influential, they must transform its embrace-the-chaos culture into something more mature and dependable. Roughly 60 million Americans visit Wikipedia every month, and it is the first reference point for many web inquiries. "We are no longer at the point that it is acceptable to throw things at the wall and see what sticks," said Michael Snow, a lawyer in Seattle who is the chairman of the Wikimedia board. "There was a time probably when the community was more forgiving of things that were inaccurate or fudged in some fashion–whether simply misunderstood or an author had some ax to grind. There is less tolerance for that sort of problem now."

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