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Wikipedia movement debates way forward

 
 
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2005 01:21 pm
Within four years Wikipedia has become the world's largest free online encyclopedia. This week contributors and developers from all over the world are coming together in Frankfurt for their first conference.

Quote:
Web's Wikipedia to tighten editorial rules-founder

Fri Aug 5, 2005

BERLIN (Reuters) - Wikipedia, the Web encyclopaedia written and edited by Internet users from all over the world, plans to impose stricter editorial rules to prevent vandalism of its content, founder Jimmy Wales was quoted as saying on Friday.

In an interview with German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Wales, who launched Wikipedia with partner Larry Sanger in 2001, said it needed to find a balance between protecting information from abuse and providing open access to improve entries.

"There may soon be so-called stable contents. In this case, we'd freeze the pages whose quality is undisputed," he said.

Citing a recent example of vandalism, Wales recalled how following the election of the new Pope Benedict in April, a user substituted the pontiff's photo on the Wikipedia site with that of the evil emperor from the Star Wars film series.

"The picture was only on the page for a minute. But whoever opens the article at this moment will get annoyed -- and therefore doubt our credibility," he told the paper.

Restricting access to entries particularly susceptible to unwanted attention could be one way of preventing this, he said.

Wales has been at a meeting of those behind the successful free encyclopaedia in Frankfurt, which lasts until Monday.

He said that setting up a form of "commission" might be one way of deciding which entries could be "frozen" in perpetuity.

Since its inception, Wikipedia has attracted millions of users from around the world and published more than one million articles in over 105 languages, according to its website.

Breaking news on big stories frequently makes its way into Wikipedia entries hours or even minutes after being reported.

As of August 5, at 1530 GMT, the number of its articles in English and German alone had reached almost 940,000.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,087 • Replies: 11
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2005 01:25 pm
I don't understand how that thing keeps its content so reliably correct in the first place. It defies logic to me. If anybody can go in and add information, how do they keep the integrity of the damned thing at all?
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2005 01:42 pm
By volunteers: there have some "tests": fault reports are found within minutes.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2005 01:58 pm
Quote:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3f/Wikimania-banner.png/400px-Wikimania-banner.png
Wikimania 2005: The First International Wikimedia Conference will be held in Frankfurt am Main, Germany from 4 August 2005 to 8 August 2005.

Wikimania provides an opportunity to meet and talk with people at the forefront of the Wikimedia communities and wiki software development. Researchers and speakers will present studies and experiments on Wikipedia and other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, on wiki culture and technology, and on the world of free knowledge. The programme will include a range of presentations, workshops, and tutorials, aimed at newcomers and oldtimers alike, to give for the first time a concise overview of the current state of research on wikis and free knowledge projects.

Come brainstorm with the global Wikimedia community about theoretical and practical uses and implications of wikis. A primary goal of the conference is to bring together the communities of the various Wikimedia projects and to help them improve their understanding of one another. Don't miss this chance to meet one of the most diverse groups of people on Earth, working together to bring free knowledge to the world.

The majority of sessions and conversations will be in English, although material from the conference will be translated into multiple official languages


Link to Wikimania with further information
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2005 02:10 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
By volunteers: there have some "tests": fault reports are found within minutes.


and then there are people like me who snitch on people like McG. Twisted Evil
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2005 04:40 pm
The real secrets to wikipedia are secrets inherent to the medium they chose, the wiki (they are merely the most famous wiki by the way, they aren't responsible for the invention of the wiki).

A wiki is a classic example of using technology to solve problems. It solves countless collaborative editing logistics issues and then uses tools to facilitate removal of vandalism.

It has "version control" built in with history, so each edit doesn't destroy previous versions. With a click one can revert to a previous edit.

So when someone vandalizes an article, it takes a single click to undo it.

And because it's so easy to clean, the motivation for vandalism is reduced. Think of it like teflon coating for a wall. If it took more time for vandals to spray paint on a wall than for the wall owner to clean it they'd likely find another wall.

In the case of the wikipedia there are thousands of people waiting to clean the wall when the occasional vandal comes through.

So wikipedia's weakness isn't really with simple vandalism, it's with arbitration of earnest disputes.

It's really easy to deal with the idiots, but the biases and the merely disagreeing is something that technology can't yet solve on the wikipedia.
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Monger
 
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Reply Tue 30 Aug, 2005 02:42 pm
A while ago I clicked on Wikipedia's featured article of the day link (about some form of aircraft) and was treated to gay pr0n. Since my employer moniters web usage this is a big problem and even bears the risk of getting me fired. Of course, given the number of people who monitor featured articles the image in question quite possibly was in place for less than 30 seconds, but nevertheless, it's not as uncommon as one would hope to see Wikipedia articles in a vandalized state. I think the idea of stricter editorial controls for high quality content was inevitable....they've already had average users locked out from editing the home page (and images used on it) for a while now.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Aug, 2005 03:48 pm
Lash had the experience of finding their "Jewish" section swastika'd and horridly sloganed - while the rest of us could see it fine.

We assumed they had hacked her ISP, and not ours, or somesuch...?

Is that possible?
0 Replies
 
Monger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Aug, 2005 03:54 pm
Probably youall just saw it after the vandalizm was removed. If she saw it the same way again later, it was probly loading from her machine's cache, or perhaps she was unlucky enough to see the work of a persistant vandal on multiple occasions. I suppose such a topic would be a popular target for miscreants.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Aug, 2005 04:19 pm
Or some damned cat with painted paws had them over her eyes?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Aug, 2005 04:23 pm
Monger, it appears from her subsequent testimony that in fact the page was being continually reloaded from the cache. I have my setting on "0" days . . .
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Lash
 
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Reply Tue 30 Aug, 2005 04:26 pm
My son diagnosed the "machine's cache" option. He helped me through a clean up and problem solved.

I imagine it does happen all the time, though.
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