Sudden attack of common sense at Wikipedia
Whoever would've thunk it?
On Tuesday afternoon, following a Washington luncheon celebrating the inauguration of President Barack Obama, longtime US Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd kicked the proverbial bucket. At least, that's what happened in Wikiland. In our world, they're still among the living. Ted Kennedy - diagnosed with a brain tumor last …
It's hard to know what to make of this. On the one hand it could be another opportunity for Wikipedia to exercise cultish control, but on the other hand "flagged edits" are better than an outright block. If they expanded to system to other things that are currently blocked like edited from a proxy it would be a welcome change.
There does seem to be a competition amongst Wikipedia editors to write up the death of famous people before anybody else; it's like a feeding frenzy. Someone should find a way to automatically detect when someone has added the date of a famous person's death - perhaps by searching for e.g. "- TODAY'S DATE" in the first line, or something smarter - and then send a special award to the person who set the edit. Make it so that a bot automatically does this for everybody, perpetually. It would soon shame them.
My bets this year are on Christopher Lee and - leftfield choice - Adam West. West is relatively young, but he has led a hard life. I hope to be the first person to edit their date of death into Wikipedia, and thus grab the glory.
Thinking about it, couldn't someone add the date of death in right now, flag it as a non-public revision, and then unflag it when the celibrity dies? This would "cue up" their death. It would be quicker than having to type it in live.
If the point of not "protecting" the article is to allow breaking news to show up without delay, surely this approval process is just an unnecessary delay?
Here's a compromise. Make the standard page policy semi-protected *with* *flag* *edits*. So only named users can make edits -- any anonymous users need their edits approved. Someone will then always be responsible for the text.
I was playing wikissassination (How long an you kill someone for?) with friends recently, and the Powers That Be do seem to be getting quite fast as spotting murders. I suspect they are filtering "died", because with some care it's possible to keep people dead for quite a long time.
I don't know who Reg is, but he's dead.
It's not the place for it. They have Wikinews for that. Ok, theres some admins there that are quick to ban on criticism, and they've no clue about copyright as it refers to news publications, but they're not bad people, not compared to the main morass.
Now if only someone would lend them a copy of a journalism textbook....
It's funny that people keep saying that WP uses the OSS approach when it allows anyone to edit. It doesn't. Most OSS projects are very careful about who can commit changes. The "commit bit" is a sought after prize in some circles. The key here is that the project name has mindshare. To get your code into the project with a given name (LedgerSMB, Linux (kernel), Bash, or whatever) needs the blessing of a core team member.
Applying the OSS approach to WP would mean that someone who disagreed with the approach of WP could take the encylopedia content and start their own project. This is indeed possible (sans most images) but has rarely been done due to the amount of ground work involved.
Without the aid of Wikipedia I thought that Aretha Franklin was dead. If she was, they reanimated her in a robust form for O'Bama's (obviously he's a Black Irishman) inauguration.
Misinformation does not require input from others. Sometimes we can generate it unaided.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022