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Wikipedia testing new method to curb false info

The idea is to block the kind of high-profile vandalism that has marred the pages of some famous people.

By Associated Press / August 25, 2009

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales stands outside his office in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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NEW YORK

Wikipedia says it is testing a new method for curbing false information on pages devoted to individual people.

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The online encyclopedia, which anyone can edit, has posted test pages that require changes to be approved by an experienced Wikipedia editor before they show up.

If the site’s users respond well to the test run, the new restrictions will apply to all entries for living people. That’s according to Jay Walsh, a spokesman for Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the site.

The idea is to block the kind of high-profile vandalism that has marred the pages of some famous people.

Wikipedia doesn’t want to discourage legitimate editing, though. The criteria for “experienced editor” status is low. Walsh says users who are registered for a few days can give changes the OK.