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Wikipedia gets new rules

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Wikipedia_newrules260809Eight years ago we had absolutely no idea what it was, but now the free encyclopedia Wikipedia has become part of everyday life for users of the internet, constantly consulted by thousands of people for all kinds of information. But now, at least in the English version, it could lose some of its freedom.

The site is preparing to engage proofreaders with the task of approving updates to the articles that concern people who are still alive.
The new option, "controlled revision" , will ensure that any changes introduced will not appear online until a volunteer editor will not have validated the change. It's not something really new, considering that the same techniques were already applied by the site in the German version last year and, since then, it was carried out by 7500 professional editors.
But appling the same rules at the English version, the first and above all the most viewed one (consulted by 60 million Americans each month), is not an easy decision. That's why it will be a topic of discussion of the annual Wikimania conference, which is scheduled this week in Buenos Aires.
This choice could change the "freedom" that was the foundation of the Wikipedia Encyclopedia. It is also true that site managers had no idea that could become a phenomenon of this scale when they decided to create this service. Just think that since the death of Michael Jackson, on June 25, articles about him on Wikipedia site has been viewed more than 20 million times, and of these 6 million readings were made in the first 24 hours.

"We came to a point where it is no longer acceptable to throw in everything in site and only after seeing what is wrong," said Michael Snow, a Seattle lawyer who serves on the board of Wikimedia. Now some pages, such as the one about President Obama, are already controlled so that not everyone can put what he wants. But certainly, with the system adopted up to now, one cannot avoid the introduction of information that are totally false. Past examples was the case of journalist John Seigenthaler Sr., who, in 2005, discovered by accident that in his biography on Wikipedia he was connected to the murder of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy: an unpleasant situation not only because the news was completely false, but also because Seigenthaler was a Kennedy family friend .

Wikipedia to limit changes to articles on people by Noam Cohen dal NY Times

Marianna Lepore

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 August 2009 12:13  
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