Wikipedia to appoint Editors – is that a good thing?

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In my mind Wikipedia is the best most fullfilling, groundbreaking website ever made, better than the BBC, better than Youtube, better even than Google (do i really mean that – i’ll have a think?).

The mere conception of it and the sheer openness of its open-source has had a huge part to play in how we now use the internet and take part in content uploading and contribution.

This is what Founder Jimmy Wales described it as: “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.”

As I write there are 2.7 million entries, all edited and submtted by individuals who simply like to pass on their knowledge of a certain subject. Some of these independent editors o get carried away and want to write as much stuff as possible, or control certain pages more than they need to. But the most mud that has been thrown at Wikipedia is that with these multitude of authors with freedom to edit as they wish, the Facts have become thinner on the ground and accuracy has been questioned.

This is down to several things, including people simply being mis-informed, malicious editing and countless games involving changing the info. These include changing celebrity pages and seeing how many journalists / TV presenters or obitary writers including these new comments in their research. Other ‘games’ are more harmful, controversial and slanderous – usually involvng claims that people have dies when they are alive and kicking.

So due to this contamination new proposals have been put forward by the website’s co-founder Jimmy Wales, many future changes to the site would need to be approved by a group of editors before going live.

Wales argues the scheme will bring greater accuracy, particularly in articles referring to living people. But the possibility has caused a furore among some Wikipedia purists, since many see it as a fundamental change to the egalitarian nature of the site.

A poll on the website suggested 60% favoured trials, but some think the split could ultimately threaten the future of the site.

“The big issue is that while we have majority support, we don’t have consensus, and that’s the way we have always made our decisions,” said Jake Wartenberg. “A lot of editors are becoming disenchanted with the project; we are losing them all the time.”

So what’s worse? Having 100% open source and having some of these silly games and posts going on or having editors approving the site? Either way it is a free source of great quality and i personally thank everyone involved for that.