I had debated doing it this way in the past, but almost immediately decided it was a bad idea for this site. A couple of reasons why:
- It really does become a popularity contest. Even if incorrect changes aren't made immediately, they are still made. I agree with the mods: most issues here arise from people not reading the rules and not even doing a forum search before posting. Even when they are made aware of why we do things a certain way, they complain about them and sometimes vandalize things. Would the majority of our users vandalize content? No, we've proven already that they won't. However, the majority WILL make changes based on their own personal needs rather than our site rules.
- You said that you can prevent people from making a denied change again in the future. I say shenanigans. On a site that holds music content it's a little easier, since you can work per-field and more easily track a history of denials for that field. But handling situations where people want a group of episodes reordered requires that you track that entire set. If you try tracking all of the episodes for that season, any time a new episode gets added you allow one more incorrect proposal that will either get voted in (oh fun) or have to be denied by a mod.
- People, despite mostly being helpful and friendly people, tend to get militant about their media. This applies doubly to anime, NASCAR, and soap fans, btw. In a popularity based system (as much as you deny it, any system that includes voting IS popularity based), people will tend to be more selfish than helpful unless someone is there telling them that they aren't allowed to do that. We've proven this time and again on this site.
There's a far easier way we'll be handling this eventually on the new site. In a nutshell, we'll do automatic locking per-field/translation after certain criteria is met. We'll also include a moderator queue where people can make a pending change on a locked field, but will have to include sources AND check a box saying that they understand the rules... mods will then either approve or disapprove that change. This history will be available to users. This won't be implemented right when the new site goes live, but the framework is being built to handle it so some variation of what I've described will be implemented eventually.
So in a nutshell, thanks for the suggestion, but no.