The New York Times gets it exactly backwards

So the New York Times story today is exactly wrong in the most important detail. The story reports on changes to policy, and in particular the introduction of the semi-protection policy.

The headline and first paragraph of the story give the impression that today at Wikipedia, articles are protected and semi-protected, whereas in the past “anyone can edit”. This completely ignores the facts, which I explained to them in great detail.

The facts are that protection as a policy has existed for years. Semi-protection was devised as a softer, more open approach. Rather than full protection, which means that no one can edit, we now increasingly use semi-protection, which allows people to continue to edit the article.

Let me rewrite the headline and first paragraph for them:

Wikipedia Becomes More Open

Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that ‘anyone can edit,’ and this has become more true in recent months. In past years, Wikipedia was sometimes forced to protect some articles from editing, but recent software and policy development has allowed for articles which would have formerly been protected to be open for editing.

Ah, well. I keep looking at the New York Times site, looking for the “edit this page” button to correct the errors, but of course, that’s impossible.

By Jimmy Wales Posted in General