Hot on the heels of Wikipedia's decision to begin using editors for certain pages, they've announced another method of attempting to keep things accurate on their website. According to Wired, the organization will begin color coding the text of their entries in orange, to indicate untrustworthiness, based on a couple of factors.
The feature will be aptly named "WikiTrust", and will color the text after analyzing the reliability of the author in question, as well as how long the text has been on the entry. Virgil Griffith, a Wikipedia software developer and neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology, said, "They've hit on the fundamentally Darwinian nature of Wikipedia. Everyone's injecting random crap into Wikipedia, and what people agree with more often sticks around. Crap that people don't like goes away."
It should be noted that this algorithm has actually been available since November, last year, in the form of a MediaWiki plug-in; it's only now that the WikiMedia Foundation has decided to roll it out to the full site, with changes starting to happen this fall. A computer scientist named Luca de Alfaro was the one who originally had the idea, and thus he lead the WikiMedia Project; he said, "Online collaboration is becoming more and more central to the way in which knowledge is created and assembled worldwide. There are more and more services that simply cannot exist without some notion of user reputation and trust in the content."
Work is progressing nicely on the project, with algorithm speeds increasing at a huge rate, so it'll be exciting to see how it fares when it's rolled out to the millions of current users.