Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, August 24, 2006

German Wikipedia to Become Moderated?

To cut down on vandalism, German Wikipedia is up for a prototypical change in how users edit articles, Daniel Terdiman of CNet reports yesterday:

As always, anyone will be able to make article edits. But it would take someone who has been around Wikipedia for some yet-to-be-determined period of time--and who, therefore, has passed a threshold of trustworthiness--to make the edits live on the public site. If someone vandalizes an article, the edits would not be approved.

“We want to let anybody edit,” [Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales] said, “but we don’t want to show vandalized versions.”

On the surface, it may not sound like a major step forward, but to Wales and others in the community, the feature, if it proves successful on the German site, could mean a significant reduction in the number of defaced public articles.

A potential downside is that Wikipedia loses appeal to newcomers, who still need to be convinced they want to stick around the system in the first place. Wikipedia was always a post-moderated system, and as such has the satisfying effect of instant edits. A pre-moderated system on the other hand prevents your edit from showing up live anywhere else than in the page’s history (or wherever they decide to include the info) after you save it; and possibly, it may then enter a long waiting cue queue. The result is that only hardcore Wikipedia users will be able to see the change, and act on it, making Wikipedia lose part of its “smart mob” effect. The “smart mob” effect only takes place in in large and diverse groups.

[Thanks Puny Human.]

Update: Mathias Schindler of Wikimedia Germany tells me the CNet article gets a few things wrong. According to Mathias, users who are logged in will always be seeing the latest (stable or non-stable) version as default. It is still being discussed what users who aren’t logged in will see; it’s possible they will see the latest version with a link to the stable version, or vice versa.


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!