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LA Times Pulls Wikitorial, Blames Slashdot 678

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-thats-a-little-below-the-belt dept.
ubermiester writes "The LA Times pulled down it's "beta" wikitorial after people began inserting obscene content faster than the editors could remove it. Though there is nothing on the LA Times editorial page or in the general coverage, the NY Times notes (free reg req) the fact that the bulk of the vandalism occurred after a posting about the wikitorial appeared on Slashdot and goes on to quote a member of the LA Times editorial staff as saying, "Slashdot has a tech-savvy audience that, to be kind, is mischievous and to be not so kind, is malicious". " Apparently Michael Newman thinks that all half a million daily Slashdot readers are malicious, although I personally would guess more like a 60:40 split myself *grin*.
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LA Times Pulls Wikitorial, Blames Slashdot

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:36PM (#12873172)
    Apparently Michael Newman thinks that all half a million daily Slashdot readers are malicious, although I personally would guess more like a 60:40 split myself *grin*.
    Dammit Taco! Which are the malicious ones, the 60% or the 40%? Argh!
  • by FriedTurkey (761642) * on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:36PM (#12873180)
    I bet the entire article was changed to "frist post".
    • Re:What did they do? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by GMC-jimmy (243376) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:48PM (#12873349) Homepage
      There's two worlds here. Real life with real people, and then a fantasy where everything is as it should be.

      I wonder which world they're living in ?

      Now the only left after that is to find someone to blame when things aren't as thay should be.
      • by osgeek (239988) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:17PM (#12873678) Homepage Journal
        Is that the fault you find in this? That some people are idealistic and would like to live in a world without assholes?

        Yeah, how dare they.
      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:29PM (#12873833)
        There really are a lot of assholes online. People say and do things they never would in person. Some delight in trying to be as big a jerk as they can and causing as much trouble as they can. If you aren't used to that environment, it can really shock you. The RvB PSA on teh topic is particularly appropriate, but I can't find a link to it right now.

        At any rate, while they shouldn't be scapegoating Slashdot, I don't blame them for being supprised and angry. It is amazing the amount of crap some people online will spew and how far they'll go to wreck things for everyone else.
        • PA Link (Score:4, Funny)

          by danl125 (650073) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:55PM (#12874106)
          I believe this [penny-arcade.com] is the one you where thinking of.
        • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @02:56PM (#12874797) Homepage Journal
          I don't blame them for being supprised and angry.

          I do. If they put up an unprotected database, or IRC server, or open mail relay, or unsecured HTTP proxy, then people would use it to do bad stuff. When you design an Internet-facing application of any kind, you have to assume people will try to break it. Always. There are no exceptions.

          Slashdot goes through great pains to keep idjits from gumming up the works. Wikipedia has people who monitor it 24/7 to fix mischief as quickly as possible. I have to watch my own little TWiki site like a hawk to keep link farmers off of it. What hopelessly naive sysadmin at the Times thought "it couldn't happen here"?

          I'm not saying that it's right or OK for people to try to ruin the digital commons, but I have little sympathy for people who run such a public resource and expect it to take care of itself. That's not the real world, and I don't know why the Times thought it would be different for them.

    • Re:What did they do? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Pinkfud (781828) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @02:04PM (#12874199) Homepage
      I saw this happen. There were repeated racial slurs, very obscene comments, and multiple postings of good old Goatse. Someone kept creating usernames that were racially offensive as well. I saw "Willy on Wheels" from Wiktionary et al in there. I'm not entirely sure it was Slashdotters doing it, but have to admit the coincidence of timing was suspicious. This incident was unfortunate. The basic idea here was probably workable, and could have started a new era of "letters to the editor" that actually stood a chance of changing things. Hopefully, the LAT will realize the Wiki software can be configured to help with this, and will put it back online. I have a Mediawiki site myself, so I know about the options.
  • LOL (Score:5, Funny)

    by RayDude (798709) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:37PM (#12873183)
    Those mean old Slashdot readers, pointing out the obvious all teh time!

    It would have happened sooner or later, they should thank us for finding the bugs right away.

    Raydude
    • Re:LOL (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cshark (673578)
      At least they called us savvy. But then again, that's what they get for posting a WIKI on one of the world's most populace web sites. And even though the timing of the vandalism was suspicious. The evidence is still only circumstantial. In the future, they might want to try to use a technology that's easier to control. A blog section would be a good example. I might even use it. But to say that Slashdotters are evil... well, yeah, we are kind of. ;P
      • Re:LOL (Score:3, Insightful)

        by budgenator (254554)
        The problem is they used a freakin WIKI, how do you moderate a WIKI? should have used slashcode; set up their own karma system, establish a group of super-mods, beta by invitation until they get to critical-mass and don't let it go super-critical.
    • Re:LOL (Score:3, Funny)

      by TheViffer (128272)
      Those mean old Slashdot readers, pointing out the obvious all teh time!

      You mispelled "the". :-)

    • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) <dylan.dylanbrams@com> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:06PM (#12873573) Homepage Journal
      The most important 'bug' being that they depended upon a small, hired set of people to monitor and upkeep a single page which was going to be high-level traffic and dissent no matter what. If you look at the page from wikipedia [wikipedia.org] about the same thing, you will notice that it has been through 500+ edits. Wikipedia has NOWHERE NEAR the readership the Times does, AND they have a 'user login' based system where reputation means something.

      This was a disaster from the get-go, and someone should be fired for blaming it on the software instead of their own bad decision making. They WANTED a blog, not a wiki. A wiki is for information management, and information management takes time.... It's not a commentary system like they wanted.
      • Re:LOL (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mnemonic_ (164550) <jamec AT umich DOT edu> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:26PM (#12873796) Homepage Journal
        Wikipedia has NOWHERE NEAR the readership the Times does

        Are you sure about that? Alexa's ranking [alexa.com] puts Wikipedia at number 41, while latimes.com isn't even in the top 100. Netcraft somewhat confirms it [netcraft.com], giving en.wikipedia.org a site rank of 122 and 894 to www.latimes.com. Wikipedia's probably more popular than you think.
      • by EccentricAnomaly (451326) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @02:12PM (#12874301) Homepage
        And why start out with a controversial topic like the Iraq War?? It was Father's Day, they should have started out with a 'Thank You to Dads' or some other softball to see if the wiki-concept could handle that.

        Personally, I can't see a wiki working for an editorial. A wiki could work for movie reviews or restaurant reviews maybe... but what's the value of using it for an editorial?? What they should do is model evil old slashdot and its moderation system... heck maybe even use the slashcode itself... or better yet hire Taco as a consultant. They could post their staff editorials with slashdot style discussion. Maybe even experiment by modifying the moderation to mark a comment red or blue.
        • Designed to fail ! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by redelm (54142) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @02:28PM (#12874492) Homepage
          Do not assume that people want everything they try to succeed. Many times failure is more desired. In this case, the LAT managers can say: Community input? We tried it, and it doesn't work.

          Nevermind that it was badly done, the message is it can't work. People often blind themselves.

  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:37PM (#12873184) Journal
    I am proud of Slashdot

    (wipes tear from eye)..

    I just knew someday, you'd make something of yourself...
    • by Cylix (55374)
      Our trolls should be proud as they are getting even more attention or at least proving a point about how things work.

      Honestly, it's already been proven, you need a ratio of moderators to posters and a measly small in house staff won't cut it.

      It's either that or posts must be approved.

      I wonder how wikipedia handles it...
  • by kalpol (714519) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:37PM (#12873188) Homepage
    Myself, I bet it was the Crips.
  • by The Importance of (529734) * on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:37PM (#12873189) Homepage
    I've collected much more information and some critique of the LA Times' experiment here: Wikitorial Post Mortem [corante.com]
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:38PM (#12873211) Homepage Journal
    After the novelty wears off, the juveniles move on to the next place. Here in CA, school just got out for the summer. Coincidence?
  • by FortKnox (169099) * on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:40PM (#12873232) Homepage Journal
    Lets face it, slashdot breeds trolls. I see two reasons for it:
    1.) The using a shotgun to kill mice [slashdot.org] method for banning users. To paraphrase: Banning entire subnets to catch a single troll, and, therefore, banning tons of innocents in the process. They use vinegar to lure bees instead of honey. Lets face it, the moderation system isn't good, and its just forcing more and more malcontent and loss of posting.

    2.) AC's. Really, that's what kills slashdot. If AC posting was removed, there would be a lot less crap. Making an ID is free, easy, and doesn't require you to give out any personal information. Why not tie stuff to an ID so its easier to get rid of the crap? Instead of IP bans, you can setup an IP 'greylist' that means if you create an account from the greylist, they can't post much or have to wait a couple days after registration to post.

    Instead of trying to suspend everyones posting to stop trolls, how about we use a little insight and postive effects to combat trolling and crapflooding?
    • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:47PM (#12873336) Homepage
      There are limits to using technological solutions for social-cultural problems. A lot of Slashdot readers are poorly socialized jerks. There's no workaround for that. There are plenty of non-AC trolls.

      Ultimately, the best you can do is to try to encourage people to not be jerks. User-specific blacklists might help, too.
      • by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:51PM (#12874069) Homepage Journal
        AC's. Really, that's what kills slashdot. If AC posting was removed, there would be a lot less crap. Making an ID is free, easy, and doesn't require you to give out any personal information.
        There are plenty of non-AC trolls.

        ... because making an ID is free, easy, doesn't require you to give out any personal information AND makes your posts more visible, gives you tools to manage your trolling (friend and foe lists to better stalk users, etc).

        Not to mention that AC posting isn't limited to trolls. New readers just wanting to chime in, people who don't want to say something that will be linked to them (you see a lot of non-troll AC posts in threads dealing with personnal, hard issues... depression/suicide, sexual preferences, etc).

    • by Anonymous Coward
      AC is important. It lets people say things they might not otherwise say. Sure, there is lots of GNAA insanity, but in this awful modern world where almost everything is tracked, people rightfully try to cover their tracks when they say something that might upset the powers that be. Someday some AC posts might keep us from slipping into being another China... or worse.
    • by CFTM (513264)
      I agree with removing the AC. There are few very situations that I can think of where I understand why a person would post something that is non-inflamatory through as an AC. You can read shit without registration but if you want to post you should be culpable...just my two cents worth.
      • by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:06PM (#12873574) Homepage Journal
        That would only be viable if we didn't have so many mods with their own agendas. There have been many times where posts have been made (and a few by me) that had no malice or intent to start any kind of war. They were merely opinions that just so happened to go against the /. grain, but not presented in an adversarial way. It didn't take any time at all for them to be modded as troll, flamebait, or overrated simply because they were not going with the flow of the /. majority.

        As long as these kinds of intolerant mods exist whose sole purpose (so it would seem) is to censor down those posts that they merely disagree with, which of course goes against that person's karma, culpability is not necessarily a positive thing. I know that the metamod functionality is meant to keep this sort of thing in check, but considering how quickly non-inflammatory yet dissenting posts get censo^H^H^H^H^Hmodded down, there should be a better way. Apparently, many mods have decided to ignore Slashdot's recommendation to save mod points for elevating those posts that should be elevated.

        I agree that trolls need to be kept in check. In that case, those with excessive, provable trolling (above and beyond just moderator opinion) should have their accounts locked completely; however, I also think that mods who use negative moderation frequently (or even exclusively as many mods claim to do) should not be given mod privileges as often. Being cuplable for what you post is one thing; being targeted because your post doesn't necessarily agree with the Slashdot grain is another. It's difficult to have the former when you're subject to the latter.

        Just wait and this post will likely become proof of that. I said something negative about certain mods in this post, so it will most likely be shot down in rating.
      • by himself (66589)
        Some ACs are people who need _anonymity_. Perhaps their posts could be moderated (though it'd take quite a bit of work to separate the tiny kernels of wheat from the piles of chaff).
      • I get your point, but I know that there have been times when I wanted to share some small bit of information about a former employer (my NDA had expired in these cases), or my experience with something that I'd rather not associate my name anymore. In those cases, I've found that posting as AC was a way to contribute to the discussion without having to attach my monicker to those experiences.

        I've never trolled as an AC, mostly because it's a cheap shot way of arguing with someone. I've been tempted to bas

    • by John Harrison (223649) <[johnharrison] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:53PM (#12873424) Homepage Journal
      FK, you should check out Taco's recent JE on AC comments.

      What is interesting to me is that /. has some defenses against crapflooding and trolling. These defenses have been built up over years and years to react to new threats. Then the /. user population was unleashed on the LA Times page, with no defenses. Of course it was a disaster. /. bred trolls against a brand new site. Good luck.

      I hope that this experience doesn't end the experiment for the LA Times. Maybe they need to build some anti-crap measures into their system first and be ready to react.

      • just what they are doing. Those who have build successful online communitiy discussion sites (and yes I consider Slash to be very successful) have invested a lot of time and energy getting it right.

        One would think a high profile exercise like this would be worth a few bucks getting some real talent in on the ground floor to insure success.

        They saw some buzzwords and jumped in and got wet.

      • by Bozdune (68800) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @02:28PM (#12874495)
        Dammit, mod Mr. Harrison up. He's right, it's a perfect "Guns, Germs, and Steel" analogy. /. has bred a virulent strain of trolls and assholes who are controlled reasonably well by the moderating system here and by other /. posters who point out their stupidity.

        By and large, this system works. Yes, there are germs all over the body. But the body lives.

        Putting a naked wiki out there like the LA Times did is the classic example of 20,000 Indians being slaughtered by 200 shit-scared Conquistadores. The Indians had never seen steel. They had never seen a horse. They had never seen armor. They never had a chance.
    • by dr_dank (472072) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:59PM (#12873497) Homepage Journal
      When I get mod points, I often find that quite a few ACs are capable of being insightful and mod them accordingly. Discounting ideas simply because of anonymity is intellectually lazy.
    • Have to disagree with you about the AC bit. I have most AC's filtered out. Since creating an account is so easy, I'd have to have all new users filtered out as well. At least trolls get it out of their system by posting AC.

      Slashdot is still fairly readable at +3 and up -- for the articles I can actually muster any care about these days. For the most part, it's largely just idle chatter, but even that remains more or less civil at +3.

      I'd like universal moderation with trust metrics myself, but advogato
    • AC's. Really, that's what kills slashdot.

      What in the world do AC posts have to do with a wiki at the LA times? AC posting does not have anything ot do with the people who click on links to stories on Slashdot. Removing AC posting would not prevent the malicous users from seeing the wiki.

      Unfortunately the LA times reporter fails to realize that the bulk of the Internet is lude(by any sane standard). I don't have any sources, but I would guess that something like 60% of the domains on the public Int
    • by Stalyn (662) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:09PM (#12873598) Homepage Journal
      The Anonymous Coward is an important part of Slashdot. It's been around longer then the current ID system. Yes there are abuses but thats why we have the moderation system. It's there for an important reason, if a person wants to remain anonymous they can. Also it allows people to say what they actually feel. Even though we might label a majority of this obscene or crap, it's out there. Yes trolls exist and will continue to exist. But hell trolls are part of life too. At least here we can moderate them down.
      • Hear Hear!! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PotatoHead (12771) *
        This is totally true. And if you newcomers to the site dig through the archives you can find many valuable in insightful discussions on this and other topics.

        AC posts are good for:

        - leaking info that might have consequenses to the person doing the leaking

        - challenging the groupthink

        - theraputic posts (face it, we need 'em sometimes)

        - capturing casual insights that we might otherwise miss if registration were a requirement.

        It's all been hashed out here before. The mod system and later the filtering s
        • Re:Hear Hear!! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by FortKnox (169099) * on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:57PM (#12875406) Homepage Journal
          This site embodies the concept of free speech and set the bar long ago for how it should be done.

          Then why is it that when some dufus crapfloods/trolls/posts badly at my clients proxy (keep in mind this is a 25 floor skyscraper, so hunting him down is not possible), I get banned for 2 weeks when I haven't posted a single thing that has been modded down?

          Free speech? Yeah.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:17PM (#12873683)
      Lets face it, slashdot breeds trolls.

      If you experienced the BBS days of old, you know that Slashdot has zero to do with creating trolls.

      AC's. Really, that's what kills slashdot.

      Speaking as someone with Excelent Karma and who moderates /. about 1x/week, I have to say nope.

      Annonymous Coward posts (like this one) start at zero. If you browse at 1 or 2, you will not see this post unless it gets modded up. At that point, maybe it's worth reading?

    • by reflective recursion (462464) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:37PM (#12873928)
      Nonsense. There were far fewer trolls before Slashdot even had user registration. Then /. turned hostile towards the users... calling them anonymous "cowards" and removing entire threads (sometimes trolls, many times not). And let's get serious here... FortKnox? That's not exactly a person. You're still anonymous as just about everyone else is.

      And for what it's worth... Slashdot is not geared towards discussion. You will not find discussion much further past the front page (the archive navigation to this very day is garbage). Slashdot is designed for quick, ADD-riddled posts that have little depth.. so don't be surprised if you get what is designed for.
    • It's NOT broken (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Progman3K (515744)
      I started out caring about karma, eventually realized it made NO difference, stopped moderating and meta-moderating, and now I'm much happier.

      I can still find the interesting and insightful content on Slashdot and I'm convinced NO moderation system on a public site like Slashdot could ever make any difference.

      There is still good content, and still lots of trolling, but I just ignore the trolling.

      And I'm happy. Happier than I would be if I gave a crap and started trying to "fix things".

      That way lies madn
  • Wiki's have their purpose. Collaborative story writing? Sure. Editorials and news stories? Maybe not - after all, an editorial is suppose to be a group of people's opinion, so in that case you want a "read-only" wiki with "write" ability to a very small subset.

    What the major newspapers should do however is allow comments (a la slashdot style - include user moderation and some basic spam/troll protection). This would let them to two things:

    1. Make more money off of ads (Google or otherwise) as people come back to see who's commented on their comments.

    2. Readers can point out errors or omissions - yes, this can have an echo chamber effect such as when a group of liberals and conservatives fight it out about who's got the bigger penis and/or breasts, but overall it might be useful if a anonymous commentator could point a reporter towards another source or more information, or bring another opinion in.

    Again, wiki's can be a great thing, but perhaps the format they chose was not the best one. And to blame Slashdot readers is a little silly - I'm sure there were many, many other people who wanted to just grief the article to death. Slashdot just helped people know about it.

    Of course, this is just my opinion - I could be wrong.
  • by ChrisF79 (829953) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:41PM (#12873261) Homepage
    It's as censored as a Chinese blog... and congrats to slashdot. THis may be the first time a site was taken down by slashdot users without it being a bandwidth issue.
  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:42PM (#12873269) Homepage
    It's funny, because /. itself went through much the same thing. But by careful filtering and moderation, it's been kept reasonably useful. You still have all kinds of morons posting here, but you don't ever have to see them if you don't want to. And we don't even have editors, really.
    • I would argue the opposite for Slashdot in particular. This site has gotten increasingly biased, increasingly inflamatory. The comments under stories, even after moderation aren't a fair reflection of truth or reality. In fact, due to the overwhelming bias found here on many topics, what could be otherwise insightful commentary is moderated -1 Flamebait if it disagrees with the bias, whereas stuff that reenforces it gets tossed up to +5 Insightful.

      Slashdot is NOT the site you should point to when you wa
      • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:23PM (#12873751)
        A rule I've learned is don't argue politics here (or anywhere?). Stay away from YRO in general. There's no point in arguing politics, the one truth is that there is no truth, so what's the point? There are lies, damn lies, politics and statistics.

        On most other subjects moderation seems to be pretty reasonable. The more tech related the subject matter is, the better the moderation is. Of course, it's also easier to detect trolls, dimwits and other degenerates, which helps.

        There's no perfect system, on /. or anywhere. Even in a newspaper we let reporters, people with $$$, hollywood stars (WTF?!?) and politicians shape our news. Not exactly a guarantee for intelligent or even semi-comprehensible insight. Good ideas start small, and people just adopt them. Sometimes no one gets credit.
  • by digitalamish (449285) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:44PM (#12873300)
    Just think, we gave you over a year's worth of experience in about 24 hours. We're not malicious, we're efficient!
  • by OctoberSky (888619) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:45PM (#12873317)
    I spent 3 days pounding that site and all I get is a link to NYTimes?
  • by mogrify (828588) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:47PM (#12873338) Homepage
    I'm all for pushing the boundaries, collaborating, finding new paradigms, whatever you want to call it. But most people I've met shouldn't be let anywhere near an editor's desk.

    That said, it's good to give them a shot. An online community of sufficient size is clearly capable of producing quality content and dealing with constant vandalism. Slashdot and Wikipedia are examples of this. There are just too many people watching to let bad content stay around for long. It's too bad they got hit so early; if there had been a chance for more people to get involved, it probably would be self-regulating.
  • by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:51PM (#12873388) Homepage
    Now the problem in replying to this article is that if I troll in my reply am I trolling or being insightful? Or, if I try to be insightful about trolls, am I trolling?

    Damn you Taco! How does one reply to a post about slashdot trolling properly?

    In soviet russ... ...err.. no...
    goatse.. no.. ...PROFIT!!!! err...

    ***USER BRAIN OVERLOAD. CORE DUMPED***
  • by cvd6262 (180823) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:51PM (#12873393)
    From the BBC article ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/2/hi/technology/411 4312.stm [bbc.co.uk] ):
    The online version of the paper started its "wikitorial" experiment last week. It was meant to give readers a "voice".

    It was suspended after it was bombarded with inappropriate material.


    The grad student who taught a tech for pre-service teachers class the semester before I took over was researching the use of wikis for his thesis. He kept preaching about how wikis give everyone a voice.

    It was finally one of my history teaching majors who pointed out, "Wikis only give a voice to the last person who spoke."

    Yes, you can look in the document history and all that, but who does? If the last person to speak was a liar, or wanted to put up some p0rn, or even wanted to spam the page with viagra adverts, that's what you get.
    • It was finally one of my history teaching majors who pointed out, "Wikis only give a voice to the last person who spoke."

      And how is history any different?

      Wikis suffer from the same thing all human endeavors suffer from... too much noise in our communication channel. And by noise I mean information loss (yes noise itself is information but if the objective truth is our goal we want a type of modal information) . You try to describe an event to someone and you have to use words. Plus these words are filter
    • Not to quibble, but wikis offer several remedies to your concern:
      • Most wikis come with version tracking and user administration. You diss this with 'yes you can look at history, but who does?' I'd counter that people can forge citations, fake quotes, etc. Eventually, the evidence accumulates, and once it does, wikis provide capability to re-examine and undo everything a Troll submitted.
      • More advanced wikis (wikipedia) work to improve this with several frameworks: editors, reviewers, buttons to ask for
  • Stupid LA Times (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spiritraveller (641174) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:59PM (#12873496)
    Not foreseeing that this would happen proves that the LA Times knows nothing about the internet. The opportunity to post pornography on the website of one of the biggest newspapers in the country would certainly never be overlooked by the Beavis and Buttheads of the world.

    Blaming Slashdotters for it is even stupider.

    Talk about a failure to accept responsibility!
  • by DanThe1Man (46872) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:00PM (#12873505)
    As someone pointed out in the original article, could this have just been a ploy to discredit on line journalism and drive up paper subscriptions?
  • by stuffduff (681819) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:28PM (#12873823) Journal
    I recommend Slashdot to my friends and I'd be the first one to say that I enjoy Slashdot. And I'll admit that occasionally it's more than an entertainment. There are articles and comments that really do deserve moderations like Insightful, Informative and Funny. And there is 'other content' which is patiently moderated Offtopic or Flamebait. I think that it is the principle responsibility of Slashdot to insure that the entire spectrum of freedom of speech be maintained, without giving in to any outside pressures from the greater journalistic public, which is most certainly, by in large, run at the editorial whim of a very few people. People who's self appointed task it is to 'select what is important' (from their own personal point of view) and, in so doing, to deprive us of the experience of the world at large.

    If there is one thing that I can say of a Slashdot reader, it is that that reader has the freedom to chose what they want to read and how they want to interpret it, rather than the 'pre-digested' and outright biased reporting that is available from the media at large. This openness is the key to developing the independent, 'out of the box' thinking; the generalists of the evolving age of Information and Knowledge.

    So kudos to Slashdot and their outspoken and many faceted readers.

  • Personal Perspective (Score:3, Informative)

    by ilyah (50440) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:28PM (#12873824) Homepage

    I'm a Wikinews editor, and was kind of interested in the LA Times experiment: over at the English Wikinews, we've been avoiding editorials since they're so personal in nature, and not NPOV.

    I ended up on the Wikitorial wiki soon after it opened, and proceeded to help with the vandalism, and with providing some navigation, new user help, etc. Jimbo Wales (founder of Wikipedia) was also around from time to time, as were other Wikinews and Wikipedia people, trying to grow the wikitorial from a one page thing to something actually usable by a group of people.

    I've written up about my personal view on the wikitorial experiment [netapt.com]. Take a gander.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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