Ed Driscoll

Who But The LA Times Couldn't See This One Coming?

UPI reports that obscenities have ended the LA Times’ wiki project:

The Los Angeles Times has ended an experiment that let readers rewrite editorials on its Web site after pornographic pictures were posted on the site.

The project began Friday and was cut off early Sunday when obscene pictures and words were found on the site, the Times reported Tuesday.

It said the so-called “wikitorial” project could return at some future time.

“As long as we can hit a high standard and have no risk of vandalism, then it is worth having a try at it again,” Los Angeles Times Interactive General Manager Rob Barrett said.

The publication last Friday allowed readers to rewrite its lead editorials using “wiki” technology, by which many people can write on a single Web page. Some 1,000 users signed up.

Even early messages were often obscenity-laced, the Times said.

Jim Wales, who founded “Wikipedia,” volunteered to monitor the process but logged off about midnight Saturday. By 4 a.m. Sunday, pornographic pictures had been posted on the site, leading administrators to suspend the project.

The L.A. Times itself reports:

Within hours one user had managed to change the headline on several pages to read “F*** USA”. Editors scrambled to remove the offensive headline, but lost some readers’ comments at the same time.

But the number of “inappropriate” posts soon began to overwhelm the editors’ ability to monitor the site and on Sunday they decided to remove the feature.

Earlier this month, as Patrick Ruffini noted, at least one liberal blogger chided many conservative blogs for not having comments after their posts. The L.A. Times’ Wiki experiment is reason number 328,281 why we don’t have them–and their experience was one that virtually everyone (who works outside of the L.A. Times’ offices) could have spotted coming a mile away.)