Home > Non-CSS > Wikipedia Will Use Colors to Add Layers of Trust to its Articles

Wikipedia Will Use Colors to Add Layers of Trust to its Articles

Original blog post: http://ow.ly/15N7SK

Back in 2007, Mashable wrote about a plan to add different colors to various Wikipedia edits, signifying the level of their trustworthiness. It’s easier to trust editors with a high number of entries and revisions than those who are new to the site, and now registered users will be able to easily discern between the two by looking at the color of the text’s background.

If an untrusted source adds text to Wikipedia, it will have a bright orange background; text from trusted editors will be lighter. The background color will change over time; as more people view and edit the new entry, its background will slowly change color to white, signifying that it is getting more and more trustworthy. This feature, called WikiTrust, will be available for registered Wikipedia users.

Accuracy and bias on Wikipedia have always been a source of debate surrounding the largest online encyclopedia. After all, if anyone can edit it, it means that some degree of misinformation will always slip through. Wikipedia’s army of volunteers, however, have so far managed to do a pretty good job at keeping this enormous body of text relatively clean, with only a handful of incidents in its entire history.

The principle of how Wikipedia keeps itself accurate and bias free is simple: when people notice misinformation, they react and correct it. This is also the basis on which WikiTrust resides: the longer text is visible, the bigger the chance that it’s accurate. While WikiTrust won’t make Wikipedia’s accuracy 100% perfect – no encylopedia, regardless of how it’s maintained, can ever claim to have 100% accurate information – its color-based trust system will definitely make life easier for those for whom accuracy is crucial.

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