Jan 28, 2009

World - Wikipedia may tighten online editing rules soon

Wikipedia, an encyclopedia with millions of articles contributed in dozens of languages, may soon tighten rules on online editing after vandals changed entries on two US Senators to wrongly report they are no more.

Jimmy Wales, the Founder of the site, proposed the new "Flagged Revisions" policy on who can edit its pages after the vandalism of the entries on US Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, the media reported. According to the proposal, which was approved 60-40 by participants in an online poll, first-time or anonymous users wouldn't be allowed to make instant editing unless approved by by trusted users first.

"This nonsense would have been 100% prevented by Flagged Revisions," Wales wrote on the Wikipedia user forum page, posted online, sparking a heated debate.

Wales expressed concern that the new procedure could delay the publication of some items but said he believed it was necessary. However, he gave opponents two weeks to come up with another proposal. "Those who are in the minority who are opposed to this are invited to make an alternative proposal within the next seven days, to be voted upon for the next 14 days after that," Wales was quoted as saying. Wikipedia prides itself on allowing anyone with an Internet connection to contribute or edit content.

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