Mailing List Archive

Fwd: [WikiEN-l] Wired: Wikipedia to Color Code Untrustworthy Text
Hi all,

According to Wired, WikiTrust will be enabled on Wikipedia. Does
anyone know anything about this?

It's also been picked up by TG Daily - http://www.tgdaily.com/content/
view/43812/140/ - which says it's already in place.

Mike

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Keith Old <keithold@gmail.com>
> Date: 31 August 2009 01:24:50 BDT
> To: English Wikipedia <wikien-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
> Subject: [WikiEN-l] Wired: Wikipedia to Color Code Untrustworthy Text
> Reply-To: English Wikipedia <wikien-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
>
> Folks,
>
> http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/08/wikitrust/
>
> Wired reports:
>
>
> *"Starting this fall, you’ll have a new reason to trust the
> information you
> find on Wikipedia: An optional feature called “WikiTrust” will
> color code
> every word of the encyclopedia based on the reliability of its
> author and
> the length of time it has persisted on the page.*
>
> *More than 60 million people visit the free, open-access
> encyclopedia each
> month, searching for knowledge on 12 million pages in 260
> languages. But
> despite its popularity,
> **Wikipedia*<http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/08/wikitrust/
> www.wikipedia.org>
> * has long suffered criticism from those who say it’s not reliable.
> Because
> anyone with an internet connection can contribute, the site is
> subject to
> vandalism, bias and misinformation. And edits are anonymous, so
> there’s no
> easy way to separate credible information from fake content created by
> vandals.*
>
> *Now, researchers from the **Wiki Lab* <http://trust.cse.ucsc.edu/
> >* at the
> University of California, Santa Cruz have created a system to help
> users
> know when to trust Wikipedia—and when to reach for that dusty
> Encyclopedia
> Britannica on the shelf. Called
> **WikiTrust*<http://wikitrust.soe.ucsc.edu/index.php/Main_Page>
> *, the program assigns a color code to newly edited text using an
> algorithm
> that calculates author reputation from the lifespan of their past
> contributions. It’s based on a simple concept: The longer information
> persists on the page, the more accurate it’s likely to be.*
>
> *Text from questionable sources starts out with a bright orange
> background,
> while text from trusted authors gets a lighter shade. As more
> people view
> and edit the new text, it gradually gains more “trust” and turns
> from orange
> to white."*
>
> More in story
>
> *Regards*
>
> **
>
> *Keith*
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> WikiEN-l@lists.wikimedia.org
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Re: Fwd: [WikiEN-l] Wired: Wikipedia to Color Code Untrustworthy Text [ In reply to ]
On 8/31/09 7:35 AM, Michael Peel wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> According to Wired, WikiTrust will be enabled on Wikipedia. Does
> anyone know anything about this?

We've been planning to get a test setup together since conversations at
the Berlin developer meetup in April, but actual implementation of it is
pending coordination with Luca and his team.

My understanding is that work has proceeded pretty well on setting it up
to be able to fetch page history data more cleanly internally, which was
a prerequisite, so we're hoping to get that going this fall.

> It's also been picked up by TG Daily - http://www.tgdaily.com/content/
> view/43812/140/ - which says it's already in place.

That sounds a bit factually incorrect. :)

-- brion

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Re: Fwd: [WikiEN-l] Wired: Wikipedia to Color Code Untrustworthy Text [ In reply to ]
2009/8/31 Brion Vibber <brion@wikimedia.org>:
> On 8/31/09 7:35 AM, Michael Peel wrote:
> We've been planning to get a test setup together since conversations at
> the Berlin developer meetup in April, but actual implementation of it is
> pending coordination with Luca and his team.
>
> My understanding is that work has proceeded pretty well on setting it up
> to be able to fetch page history data more cleanly internally, which was
> a prerequisite, so we're hoping to get that going this fall.

To add to what Brion said: The author of the Wired story, Hadley
Leggett, scheduled a call with me earlier this month, but she missed
the call. I didn't have time to follow up with her after that, and she
filed the story without it. This is why there's no WMF quote in the
story.

The gist of it is that:

We're very interested in WikiTrust, primarily for two reasons:

- it allows us to create blamemaps for history pages, so that you can
quickly see who added a specific piece of text. This is very
interesting for anyone who's ever tried to navigate a long version
history to find out who added something.

- it potentially allows us to come up with an algorithmic "best recent
revision" guess. This is very useful for offline exports.

The trust coloring is clearly the most controversial part of the
technology. However, it's also integral to it, and we think it could
be valuable. If we do integrate it, it would likely be initially as a
user preference. (And of course no view of the article would have it
toggled on by default.) There may also be additional community
consultation required.

Any integration is contingent on the readiness of the technology. It
seems to have matured over the last couple of years, and we're
planning to meet with Luca soon to review the current state of things.
There's no fixed deployment roadmap yet, and the deployment of
FlaggedRevs is our #1 priority.

--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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