Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Wikipedia Forced To Tighten User Rules

With Ward Hadaway Law FirmWikipedia, “the free online encyclopaedia that anyone can edit”, has been forced to tighten its submission rules following a high profile complaint from a US journalist.

John Siegenthaler, a former president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, complained that an entry on the website was “false and malicious” implicating him in the Kennedy assassinations. In response to the high profile criticism Wikipedia has quickly removed the entry and now requires users to register before they can create articles.

Wikipedia has expanded rapidly since 2001 when the idea for a free collaborative online encyclopaedia was envisaged. Users are able to edit and create pages of the encyclopaedia and are encouraged to remain civil and neutral, only adding factual information. However, this recent incident has highlighted the problems of publishing information online and the ability to remain accountable and credible.

Wikipedia now contains approximately 850,000 articles in English and relies on a team of volunteers who monitor the site and verify facts. It is hoped that the new registration process will limit the number of articles being created, allowing staff more time to review the quality of the material in line with Wikipedia’s policies.

If you have any queries relating to this or any other IT or intellectual property issues please contact Colin Hewitt at colin.hewitt@wardhadaway.com.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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