It's coming: Pending Changes / Reviewed Edits

A two-month trial of the Pending Changes feature on the English Wikipedia is scheduled to begin on June 14. This will mean that for a small subset of problematic pages (i.e., biographies) edits by unregistered or newly-registered users will first have to be reviewed by an experienced editor to be seen by the “public” (i.e., those not logged in to Wikipedia).

I fully expect this will prompt much attention on whether Wikipedia is now more closed, open, or has even “failed.”

Ported/Archived Responses

William Pietri on 2010-06-14

Hi! A minor correction: we’ll be rolling the new code on the 14th, but Pending Changes won’t be activated on the English Wikipedia until the 15th.

Geoff from Postalgold on 2010-06-21

I am looking forward to see what happens with this, of course questions of authenticity and reliability have always surrounded wikipedia, and I still have mixed feelings on whether it is a useful site or not. This could potentially save wiki, in terms of it being a recognised source of information.

Peter Damian on 2010-06-21

Thank for your comment but I am a long way from understanding.  Your essay was entitled ‘Is Wikipedia Neutral?’.  You now say that is the wrong question. Why entitle an essay with a question that is not the right question.  (Sorry, I really am lost).

Peter Damian on 2010-06-21

And surely NPOV is about content. NPOV is a content policy which together with ‘verifiability’ and ‘no original research’ determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in Wikipedia.

Therefore it is not about contributors but rather a rule or principle that contributors must follow.  Which is a separate issue, in any case, from the question of whether these principles do ensure that Wikipedia is neutral.

Joseph Reagle on 2010-06-14

Good point, and of course people are still debating whether the community needs more time to prepare! :-)

Peter Damian on 2010-06-22

In which case the title is a little misleading.  Anyone seeing would expect a discussion concluding with ‘yes’ ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ or something like that.

Not wishing to seem overcritical, I did feel that the serious issues about neutrality were left untouched.  You mentioned the ‘systematic bias’ project but did not mention whether it was successful.  My view is that Wikipedia is still incredibly and systemically biased from the fact that the majority of contributors are American teenagers, leading to a disproportionate number of articles on manga, comics, television, the Internet, and many tasteless and entirely unencyclopedic subjects.  The humanities subjects, as I commented in my blog post, are a complete and unqualified disaster.

Joseph Reagle on 2010-06-21

Hello, Peter, the point of the “Is WP Neutral” is to argue that, in a sense, that is the wrong question with respect to NPOV. NPOV is not about content but contributors and the intentional stance they ought to take.

Geoff, I too hope the “pending changes” test goes well.

Peter Damian on 2010-06-20

Hello Joseph I only just found out about your work.  I have some comments here.

Joseph Reagle on 2010-06-21

Peter, it is a provocative title so as to explore what it even means for something to be called neutral, why there’s so much confusion about it in the WP context, and then to ask “Is ‘Neutral’ Even the Right Word’?” as I do in the last section.

Peter Damian (banned editor) on 2010-07-15

More comments here

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