Is Wikipedia’s Community Editing Model About To Die?

Gary Price picked up on a major change coming to the German Wikipedia, where only “trusted editors” will be able to make instant changes to the online community-driven encyclopedia.

This change is coming to the German Wikipedia later this year, and it may follow suit on the English version of Wikipedia as well as other versions of Wikipedia. Basically, anyone can make changes to an entry, but those changes will first have to be reviewed by a “trusted editor” before they can be visible to the public.

Gary makes several excellent comments about this change. It is important to note that this change does impact the “self-correcting model” Wikipedia was well known for. Wikipedia prided themselves on having the community correct mistakes within the encyclopedia. With this change, in my opinion, they are showing less trust in that model.

Is this good or bad for Wikipedia? I think there are pros and cons to this. I think this may make Wikipedia a more trusted source. Of course, then you have to worry about “trusted editors” who have their own unique interests at heart. That type of power can be abused and then backfire and change people’s opinion on the objectivity of the encyclopedia.

As you can imagine, there are many pros and cons to a change like this. Making the change on one specific version of the site might give Wikipedia at whole a better idea on if it will work in other regions of the site.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Search Engines: Wikipedia

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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