Web Users Control
Information Reliability

Author: Gianpiero Pescarmona
Date: 06/09/2009



Wikipedia to Color Code Untrustworthy Text

Now, researchers from the Wiki Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz have created a system to help users know when to trust Wikipedia—and when to reach for that dusty Encyclopedia Britannica on the shelf. Called WikiTrust, the program assigns a color code to newly edited text using an algorithm that calculates author reputation from the lifespan of their past contributions. It’s based on a simple concept: The longer information persists on the page, the more accurate it’s likely to be.

Text from questionable sources starts out with a bright orange background, while text from trusted authors gets a lighter shade. As more people view and edit the new text, it gradually gains more “trust” and turns from orange to white.

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