Wikipedia's Recent Changes Map Shows Real-Time Anonymous Edits in Action

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News Posted: Wed, May 15 2013 11:09 AM
Wikipedia's greatest strength is also it's inherent weakness. We're of course referring to the ability of anyone and nearly everyone being able to hop into an article and edit its contents, assuming it's not locked, creating a collective treasure trove of information that may not always be accurate. Wikipedia gets a bit of a bad rap by its critics, though we've found it to be helpful on several occasions, especially when bothering to follow up on the sources. And of course there's editorial oversight and other mechanisms at play.

Still, it's possible for bad information to slip through the cracks, whether by mistake or simply as part of a prank. One thing that may help reduce these occurrences is a new "Recent Changes Map," which is just what it sounds like. The Map is updated in real-time as users add or edit content, and you can see where in the world the edits are coming from along with the topic in question.

Wikimedia Recent Changes Map

A couple of examples that occurred during this writeup include someone in the United States editing Wilt Chamberlain's page, a person in Kansas editing "Comparison of parse generators," and someone in Berlin adding content to FreeNAS, to name just a few. At the time of this writing, edits are coming through at a pace of 476 every 21 seconds.

Whether or not it ultimately proves useful remains to be seen, but it sure is neat.
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