Getting it right

An incident over a wrong entry in Wikipedia spurred a lot of heated debates. As a proof of this frenzied controversy, Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s founder, proposed a move which is called “Flagged Revisions”.

What exactly was the wrong entry about? A couple of weeks ago, there was an erroneous entry under the name of two US senators. According to that particular entry, these senators had died. The two senators were Senator Robert Byrd and Senator Ted Kennedy. Although Senator Ted Kennedy has brain cancer and collapsed at a luncheon after President Barack Obama’s inauguration, there is no truth to the entry.

Wikipedia, one of the world’s highly visited online encyclopedias, is known for giving its visitors freedom to edit or add any information anonymously. However, in this particular case, this resulted to the unwanted incident that virtually made two US Senators dead. Fortunately, this entry was promptly changed and corrected within minutes. What exactly does this “Flagged Revisions” provision do?

Flagged Revisions would still allow anyone who visits the site to edit or add any information in any given entry. However, before it published, it would first be reviewed by a group of experts and trusted users. Wikipedia initiated an online poll regarding this proposition. 60% of the voting population agreed for the site to execute the proposition.

This however enraged other users. Wales admitted that this process might delay the editing process but he deemed it necessary to avoid irresponsible users. Those in opposition are given two weeks to cook up an alternative proposal that would present a possible solution for erroneous entries and irresponsible users.

Presently, Wikipedia has 2,717,040 articles in English and more than 75,000 active contributors working on more than 10,000,000 articles in more than 260 languages.

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