Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-09-28/In the news
Stunting of growth, Polanski protected and more
Wikipedia's growth stunted, Time reports
A story published this week in Time entitled "Is Wikipedia a Victim of its Own Success" profiles the work of Ed Chi (see story this issue; previous in the news report) and the slowing growth of the English Wikipedia. The report offers "a benign explanation for Wikipedia's slackening pace: the site has simply hit the natural limit of knowledge expansion." Describing the majority of the work left to do completing the encyclopedia as "esoteric", Time asserts the reason for Wikipedia attracting 'fewer participants [is] because the only editing jobs left are "janitorial"'. Chi is quoted as arguing that the growing number of rules and the need to understand these to make edits stick is discouraging to new editors: "People begin to wonder, 'Why should I contribute anymore?'" The report concludes:
Wikipedia's troubles suggest the limits of Web 2.0—that when an idealized community gets too big, it starts becoming dysfunctional. Just like every other human organization.
The Telegraph reports on the page protection of Roman Polanski article
In the Daily Telegraph's "Roman Polanski's Wikipedia page frozen after 'edit war' over child sex charges", the newspaper covers the recent protection of the article after an edit war. Opening the story by noting that Wikipedia "styles itself as the encyclopedia anyone can edit", the report explained why the article had been protected: 'an "edit war" broke out between contributors after news of the director's detention in Switzerland emerged on Sunday morning.' The report also made a brief mention of other events on Wikipedia this year, namely the banning of members of the Church of Scientology "from editing articles about their church".
The report contacted the UK chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, erroneously describing the independent organization as being part of the body which oversees Wikipedia. The chairman of the UK chapter, Mike Peel, outlined the way Flagged Revisions will help in such cases once it is enabled:
Flagged protection would let people continue to edit this article, but their changes would not be made visible to all until they had been checked by another editor.
For more details on Flagged Revisions, see the Signpost article from the 31 August issue.
- Radio Sweden reports "Wikipedia Falsified from Parliament Computers". The story discusses a Swedish television channel TV8 report which focussed on the origin of edits to Wikipedia. Tracking the IP addresses, the programme concluded that "55 edits" had been made "by either members of parliament or their staff ... during working hours".
- In Saturday's edition of The Guardian, an interview with Peter Reid saw the former Sunderland and Manchester City manager describe a claim in his article as "bollocks", clarifying that contrary to the article (statement since removed) he never registered to become a football agent during his time out of work.
- MSNBC offers up its "15 biggest Wikipedia blunders"