Public weighs in on Flagged Revisions

Andrew Lih’s blog post “English Wikipedia ready for Flagged Revisions?” is a nice overview of the big news this week: it seems likely that some form of the Flagged Revisions extension is finally going to be used. For more details on the on-wiki discussion, this soon-to-be published Signpost article is a good place to start.

The comments on the NYT blog story on this development give a nice cross-section of public perceptions of Wikipedia among the Times’ audience, and their reactions to the possible change in the way the site works. Some choice quotes:

  • It’s a cesspool of misinformation and bias. Now that the Wikipedians are in charge, it will become even more useless as a reliable resource.

    Someone needs to be monitoring the Wikipedians. They are not to be trusted with the interpretation of things. -Wango

  • It’s a living, multidimensional document and I’m of the mind that it should be left the frak alone […] WIKIPEDIA NEEDS MISTAKES if it is to remain the vital document that it is today. Living things change, static dead things are perfect and immutable. -jengod
  • It’s not arrogant for wikipedia – or any source of authoritative information – to want to be right […] Grafitti on the wall may be instructive, but it does not make the wall more valuable or more purposeful. -Frank
  • Any edit beyond spelling, grammar and syntax, must be considered suspect, if done by a minor, an artist or any individual that does not have any expertise on the subject. -CGC
  • The real bad blunders are almost always corrected within hours (if the article is of no great interest) or minutes (if it is). So why bother? The true capital of Wikipedia is ALL of its contributors – and not just the “trustworthy” elite. Such measures will discourage new, fresh, motivated contributors, and in the long run dry out the project. -Oystein
  • It’s a standard fascist procedure to declare an outrage and then restrict freedoms under the guise of making things better for all. I’m not saying that’s what Wales is doing. Just saying that it sounds like a jack-booted tactic. -Kacoo
  • Is it possible that [the anons who ‘killed’ Kennedy and Byrd] weren’t vandals at all, but just people trying to be “that guy” who made the change to such an important entry. Who knows? -Light of Silver