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One of Wikipedia's founder members, Larry Sanger has launched a rival online encyclopedia, with the hope of improving on the original by avoiding the vandalism and inconsistency which affects some of its entries.
Sanger believes that allowing anyone to edit entries anonymously has caused problems for the original site, and plans to solve this by asking contributors to provide their real names.
The new site, called Citizendium, also aims to improve the quality of entries by having experts check them for accuracy. Approved articles will receive a green tick to indicate their reliability.
According to Sanger:
"If there’s going to be a free encyclopaedia, I’d like there to be a better free encyclopaedia.
“It has bothered me that I helped to get a project started, Wikipedia, that people are mis-using in this way, and yet the project itself has little chance of radically improving.”
Sanger said he didn't expect that having people identify themselves and leave a short biography will avoid every abuse of the system, but he hopes it will significantly reduce the problem and lead to more reliable entries.
As well as having the same look and layout as Wikipedia, Citizendium will be non- profit, free of advertising, and free to read and edit.