Wales: Wikipedia Changes Exaggerated

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By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2009 5:30 PM CDT
Internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, attends the iBreakfast forum on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Wikipedia's editorial changes aren't so sweeping after all, says co-founder Jimmy Wales. Reports that the open-source encyclopedia would restrict edits to entries on all living people are “just completely wrong," he tells Time. Instead, the site will adopt “flagged revision”—in which edits are checked by a Wikipedia veteran before being posted—but only for a small number of articles selected on a case-by-case basis.

Think Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Britney—entries prone to hoaxes. Users can still recommend changes; they just won't see the light of day until approved. For all other entries, it's business as usual. Wales blamed the misinformation on Wikimedia’s fractured volunteer organization—in fact, a Wikimedia spokesman, when asked of Wales’ view of the policy, said it was “the first I’ve heard of it.”