Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales calls for pre-approval of changes

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The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia is considering a radical revision to the way it can be edited by anyone after two US senators were "killed off" in its pages.

Wikipedia's founder Jimmy Wales has proposed a controversial new system under which any changes to pages about living people would have to be approved by one of the site's editors or trusted users before they could be read by the general public.

The online encyclopaedia has struggled with vandalism and accusations of inaccuracy in its vast number of entries. But the new system would be radical step back from the "wiki" philosophy that anyone can make changes to the entries on Wikipedia.

The proposal comes after edits of the pages of Senators Robert Byrd and Edward Kennedy gave the false impression both had died.

Senator Kennedy was taken ill during a lunch in the Capitol for Barack Obama and members of Congress. However, before hospital sources confirmed he was OK, a false entry appeared on Wikipedia.

It read: "Kennedy suffered a seizure at a luncheon following the Barack Obama Presidential inauguration on January 20, 2009. He was removed in a wheelchair, and died shortly after." The error was quickly spotted and amended.

Wikipedia's has a system of protecting pages that are subject to vandalism by blocking all edits except those by trusted Wikipedia editors. But the system of "flagged revisions" proposed by Mr Wales would mean that once edits to biographies of living people were made, they would not go "live" to be seen by readers until checked.

In his blog, Mr Wales said the "nonsense" of the false reports would have been "100% prevented by Flagged Revision" and said he wanted the changes to be implemented as soon as possible.

timesonline
 

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I have always stayed away from contributing to wikipedia because any idiot an just come there and mess up your hard work. I think pre-approval is excellent, there should be a sort of guardian of each category who approved changes before they are allowed to go live.
 
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