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Fears over future of Wikipedia

Fears over future of Wikipedia

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Fears are rising that Wikiepedia could be in trouble shortly as 49,000 volunteers have walked out this year. The free internet encyclopedia is one of the world’s most heavily used resources and it gets millions of hits a day.

The English language version of the site has suffered a huge lose of volunteer editors this year, according to a university study. The reason behind this is apparently based on the fact that there is an increased level of bureaucracy to help stop errors and misinformation.

The site gets around 325 million hits a month and has risen to the 5th most popular site in the world thanks to an addictive combination of huge data resources and user friendly interface. The research, by Felipe Ortega, at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, found that tens of thousands of Wikipedia editors were no longer contributing and they were not being replaced either.

Andrew Dalby, author of The World And Wikipedia: How We Are Editing Reality recently stated that he didn’t feel there was much more that could be added to the site and he also made the point that it was also becoming more difficult to contribute. ‘There is an increase in bureaucracy and rules,’ he said. ‘Wikipedia grew because of the lack of rules. That has been forgotten. The rules are regarded as irritating and useless by many contributors. There’s the frustration of realising that what you will do will not stay there forever. Somebody else will come along and rewrite it, re-edit it and, maybe in your view, spoil it.’

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Stuart Davidson

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