Keeping Wikipedia Honest

wiki2.jpgWikipedia is now the 9th most frequented site on the web, and it hosts over 7 million articles in over 200 languages. Like it or not, Wikipedia is here to stay.

Recognizing this, some innovative programmers have started developing ways to shore up Wikipedia’s sometimes shaky foundations. In particular, they’re finding ways to monitor Wikipedia entries for tampering and partisan manipulation. A couple weeks ago, we mentioned a new site called Wikipedia Scanner, which allows users to determine whether partisans have edited particular wiki entries by matching the entries against IP addresses. Now, another site, Wikirage, lets you track the pages on “Wikipedia which are receiving the most edits per unique editor over various periods of time.” This is a nice feature partly because it pinpoints which topics/entries are generating buzz at the moment (today it is Blackwater USA, Michael B. Mukasey, Fred Thompson, the United States Constitution and Dane Cooke – a logical sequence, to be sure.) But Wikirage is also handy because it highlights which entries “have high revision, vandalism or undo rates.” The upshot is that millions of people have built Wikipedia. But it’s smart programming, mixed with some manpower, that’s keeping the whole enterprise a little more honest and reliable. Stay tuned for more on how this works out.

See Lifehacker for the 10 Top Wikipedia tricks, and to find the most popular pages on Wikipedia in absolute terms, click here.

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