back to article Jimbo Wales ends death by Wikipedia

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 …


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  1. Jeremy
    Thumb Up

    Sudden attack of common sense at Wikipedia

    Whoever would've thunk it?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good, Bad or Ugly?

    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.

  3. Apocalypse Later


    "A Wikipoll recently approved Flagged Revisions, with 60 per cent of "the community" voting in favor of the new tool."

    60 percent of those that voted perhaps. I doubt the Wiki community has any idea how many members they have.

  4. Anonymous Coward
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    I think the whole idea of "anyone can edit" is lost. Yes, you will always get idiots changing pages, but on the other hand, locking down and using flags is against the very ideals that wiki was founded on. Its turning into JAE - Just Another Encyclopaedia.

  5. MarkMac

    So what they're saying is...

    ... the collective conscious of humanity can't be relied on for accuracy after all, and it in fact takes a more experienced and careful real person to vet the outpourings of our hive-mind.

    Well paint me purple and call me Sally. What a shock revelation.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    I once announced the death of Fred Flinstone on Wikiwhacky.

    The posting lasted for months.

    Everyone knows that Fred is alive and well, living in Floria with Wilma.

  7. Frumious Bandersnatch

    so, um ...

    are these guys "undead" now?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Is that the end of....

    ... wikisalting for fun and profit?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The Castle Arrrrggghhhh

    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.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "breaking news"

    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.

  11. A. Lewis
    Thumb Up


    So wikipedia are starting to realise that "anyone can edit" does not an authoratative 'encyclopaedia' make.

    That's only a few years after everyone else realised that.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It gets better...

    ...apparently, Byrd was born in 1917 aged 91 and in '09 died aged 0


    Maybe he's the genuine Benjamin Button. Discuss!


  13. Anonymous Coward

    Wiki tool

    Is that the new name for Jimbo?

  14. Jon

    Merge nightmare

    So for breaking news many people will be editing an out of date copy with no lock on how many editing?

  15. Ian Johnston Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    They're getting better

    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.

  16. Gianni Straniero

    .. and yet the question remains

    quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  17. Anonymous Coward

    @AC: Wki tool

    "Is that the new name for Jimbo?"

    I would have thought it would be wikitard.

  18. Ned Ludd

    Re: "breaking news"

    "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?"

    Since when is an encyclopedia a source for breaking news?

  19. Andrew Norton

    Re: 'breaking news'

    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....

  20. Robert Brockway

    OSS methodology

    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.

  21. Foxhill

    Show us on the doll...

    I'm still wondering which member of the WMF touched Cade Metz inappropriately as a child. Come on, show us on the doll where they touched you. That must be the explanation for every article he has ever written about the WikiFuhrer being so full of bile.

  22. ian

    Without the aid of Wikipedia...

    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.

  23. Ben
    Thumb Down

    Oh no!

    Each article remained vandalised for 3-4 minutes before it was corrected. Boo hoo. Move on, nothing to see.

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