Wikipedia is considering a basic change to its editing philosophy to cut down on vandalism, reports the New York Times. In the process, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit would add a layer of hierarchy and eliminate some of the spontaneity that has made the site, at times, an informal source of news. The change well could bring some law and order to the creative anarchy that has made the site a runaway success but also made it a target for familiar criticism. The idea, which is called "flagged revisions," has only been possible in the last few months because of a new extension to the software that runs Wikipedia. An administrator at the German Wikipedia, where the first large-scale experiment is happening, will give a talk July 18 at Wikimania 2008 in Alexandria, Egypt, on how it’s going. The German site, which is particularly vexed by vandalism, uses the system to delay changes from appearing until someone in authority (a designated checker) has verified that the changes are not vandalism. Once a checker has signed off on the changes, they will appear on the site to any visitor; before a checker has signed off, the last, checker-approved version is what most visitors will see…

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