Wikipedia "pending changes", a new quality improvement

Wikipedia "pending changes", a new quality improvement

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Wiki Sometimes people modify Wikipedia "biographies of living persons" with rumors or even malicious disinformation. The folks there have been looking hard at ways of limiting that and other kinds of bad stuff.

I'm concerned as well, as a citizen and involved with Wikipedia customer service, focusing on bios.

A solution which is pretty promising is "pending changes," wherein a page protected in that way should be resistant to unpleasant editing. Normally, changes to pages go live right away. Changes to pages protected this way have to be reviewed before going live. The Wikipedia reviewer community is very impressive and trustworthy, so it's a good solution, at least for now.

That's a way oversimplified explanation. Here's a better high-level description, but even it omits some nuance in the interest of communication:

  1. We designate the article as being "protected" by pending changes
  2. Any edits by undesignated people must be reviewed by one of our thousands of trusted users who have asked for and received this permission.
  3. Any edits by one of those trusted users are automatically marked as reviewed.
  4. Until the change is marked as 'reviewed', it does not appear on the article.
  5. While it doesn't prevent inaccuracies from being introduced, it DOES prevent them from being viewable until someone has reviewed them and –
    hopefully – noted that it's inaccurate or inappropriate.


Folks, again, this explanation omits some detail in the interest of making sense.

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