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article imageWikipedia to close its open-to-all policy

By Naved Akhtar     Feb 10, 2009 in Internet
Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia is putting forward a controversial proposal to make sure that changes to the most popular wiki-pages are vetted before they go live.
Wikipedia’s utopian dream of shared knowledge has started to fall apart recently with many incorrect events and facts reported on the site. Last month Ted Kennedy, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Miley Cyrus had all been declared dead. Mr Wales told the Times that the last straw was the “Kennedy moment”.
Wikipedia launched eight years ago with its open-access model. Many of the original Wiki-pages were lifted from the 1911 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica but now majority of the content is generated by users. In contrast to Wikipedia’s 25 staffers, there are about 3,000 people worldwide that regularly update Wikipedia.
Mr Wales’s new controversial proposal will ensure that changes to hot topics such as God and Gaza and biographies of living people are scrutinised before they go-live. This will be done by “core users” who will be chosen from the users that have been the most active. Some users have worked on around 10,000 pages in their spare time, for free. Wikipedia is thanking them by allowing them to have a say in how the site is run.
Mr Wales does not believe his experiment has failed, he told the Times: “Wikipedia is human, evolving and democratic.”
More about Wikipedia, Jimmy wales, Open-access, Steve Jobs, Ted kennedy
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