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From Murray Altheim <>
Subject NYT: Wikipedia Tries Approval System
Date Fri, 18 Jul 2008 10:57:07 GMT
I suppose the big question is: what would it take to get our nascent
workflow features to support "flagged revisions" (though I'm sure we
could come up with a better name -- ugh):

   Wikipedia Tries Approval System to Reduce Vandalism on Pages
   New York Times

   Wikipedia is considering a basic change to its editing philosophy to cut down on
   vandalism. In the process, the online encyclopedia anyone can edit would add a
   layer of hierarchy and eliminate some of the spontaneity that has made the site,
   at times, an informal source of news.

   It well could bring some law and order to the creative anarchy that has made the
   site a runaway success but also made it a target for familiar criticism.

   The idea, which is called “flagged revisions,” has only been possible in the
   last few months because of a new extension to the software that runs Wikipedia.
   It is sure to be a hot topic here at Wikimania 2008, in Alexandria, Egypt,
   because it promises to enact a goal for “stable versions” of articles that has
   long been championed by Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales.
   The German site, which is particularly vexed by vandalism, uses the system to
   delay changes from appearing until someone in authority (a designated checker)
   has verified that the changes are not vandalism. Once a checker has signed off
   on the changes, they will appear on the site to any visitor; before a checker
   has signed off, the last, checker-approved version is what most visitors will
   see. (There are complicated exceptions, of course. When a “checker” makes a
   change, it appears immediately. And registered users, who make up less than 5
   percent of Wikipedia users, will also see “unchecked” versions.)

For an upcoming site I'm working on this would be a welcome feature (i.e.,
we actually need some kind of moderation).


Murray Altheim <murray07 at>                           ===  = =                                     = =  ===
SGML Grease Monkey, Banjo Player, Wantanabe Zen Monk               = =  = =

       Boundless wind and moon - the eye within eyes,
       Inexhaustible heaven and earth - the light beyond light,
       The willow dark, the flower bright - ten thousand houses,
       Knock at any door - there's one who will respond.
                                       -- The Blue Cliff Record

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