- Privacy and Terms of Service Changes on Instagram Effective January 16, 2013, Instagram is updating its Privacy and Terms of Service documents. The new policies, which can be read on their blog, addresses sharing user information as a part of Facebook and new spam/abuse policies. The biggest change, found in the ‘Rights’ section of the new Terms of Service, gives Instagram the right to use your photos and profile information in ads without compensation. [Instagram Blog]
- Facebook to Launch Its Own Snapchat Competitor App Facebook is prepping to launch a service that will go head-to-head with Snapchat, a popular app that lets users send photos and short videos to one another—which are then automatically deleted after a brief increment of time. Facebook’s as-yet unnamed application will be, much like its Messenger and Camera apps, entirely self-contained and separate from the main Facebook app. Look for its release before the year’s end. [AllThingsD]
- New Rhapsody for iPad and iPad Mini: the Fastest, Most Visually-Stunning Rhapsody Experience Yet Premium music streaming service Rhapsody has released a new iPad app. Built for the ground up for the tablet with a visual-heavy interface, the Rhapsody app comes with a free 30-day trial for those looking to give it a shot. [Rhapsody Blog]
In a small but fundamental change to Wikipedia, a tool which protects articles from malicious vandalism while simultaneously permitting good-faith edits has gone live on the English Wikipedia.
When a page under ‘pending changes’ protection is edited by a new user or a user without an account, the edit does not go live until it has been reviewed by a more experienced editor.
Edits made to Wikipedia articles are normally visible immediately.
The new tool is in contrast to the typical means of page protection on the online encyclopaedia, which, in the case of a flurry of vandalism to an article, completely locks it from being edited at all by new users.
Pending changes is already used on the second largest Wikimedia Foundation project, the German Wikipedia, but unlike the English one, on which pending changes can be assigned to and removed from pages that are frequently subjected to unconstructive edits, it’s applied to all articles by default.
This is a significant and long-awaited development. Wikipedia cannot remain the resource that it is if its four million-plus articles – the product of enormous amounts of volunteer time – are fair game.
At last, the burden for dealing with problematic edits is being shifted away from good-faith editors constantly having to challenge them, and onto those who make drive-by and contentious edits, who may now find themselves arguing the case for why their changes should even appear, let alone remain once already published, as they otherwise would.
There is already plenty of evidence within the project that suggests this is the only way forward. More and more experienced editors are inserting FAQ sections in the discussion pages of articles to save themselves fro! m consta ntly dealing with the same questions and disputes, and at the top of the dispute resolution ladder, the Arbitration Committee has a large list of sanctions for various articles and topics, which can be applied to editors who don’t follow the rules.
But some might argue it’s much too little, much too late. Wikipedia has regrettably served as an anonymous platform to libel people, one which appealed to Johann Hari when he used it to describe people he didn’t like as alcoholics, anti-Semites, or homophobes.
Pending changes would not only have made it much more difficult for such edits to get through, but might even have diminished the incentive to make them in the first place if they didn’t appear immediately after submission.
And then there’s the matter of simply getting things right. If pending changes was enabled on all articles, would Lord Justice Leveson have inadvertently labelled a 25 year old Californian student as a founder of The Independent newspaper?
The fact that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone is arguably both the site’s best and worst aspect: without it, it wouldn’t be what it is. But with September 2012 seeing the lowest monthly level of new editors since September 2005, a laissez-faire attitude to content is no longer sustainable. Sharing knowledge is a worthy and appealing undertaking; baby-sitting its potentially fleeting presence in a digital no-man’s land, not so much.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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