Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Editing of Wikipedia Articles

In Paul Levinson's book New New Media, he brings up the excellent point of editing Wikipedia articles. I believe that when he wrote this book, Wikipedia did not force users to create an account in order to edit the articles. Now, however, an account on Wikipedia is necessary in order to make edits. Before, administrators tracked users via their IP address, a set of numbers that are assigned to every computer in different locations, as a way of identifying with each computer user. Levinson says that once an account has been created, Wikipedia uses that to track users. But, neither of these methods are a good way to keep track of vandals. Anyone could create a different account name and easily have access. Or, especially those living on a college campus, can just go to another location (or building) and log in from there because their IP address is a different number (yet, this could prevent the person living in that location not to be able to edit if the editor gets banned.) As of right now, I don't know what could be a less foolproof method. Maybe tracking both the account and the IP address since that could give a lot of information (especially if they consistently have the same IP address.)

On another note, I did not know that editors/readers are allowed to view every single edit that was made to a Wikipedia article. I think that's a very useful tool because it allows readers and other editors to see what other people are looking for in terms of adding content (or even deleting it.) Great! Now, I have another way to procrastinate from doing my homework.

1 comment:

  1. ha ha, sorry about that. the archiving of versions makes for fascinating material for research, I would imagine.