Wikipedia is considering banning unregistered users from making alterations to certain articles. It would be a radical policy change for the Encyclopedia whose slogan is “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”.
Last week, during President Obama’s inauguration lunch, US Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd were both taken ill, quite seriously in the case of Kennedy. They have both since recovered, however shortly after the event, their Wikipedia entries read that they had died.
Although the changes were removed within five minutes of going up, the site’s founder, Jimmy Wales, went on record saying that a “flagged revisions” system would have prevented the problem. Such a system has been trialed on the German Wikipedia, and means that any unregistered edits have to be approved by a ‘trusted editor’ before they appear to the public.