As many of you know, we have been testing an improved version of Article Feedback v5 in
two pilots on the English and French Wikipedias throughout 2013. The main purpose of this
experiment was to increase participation on Wikipedia by inviting readers to leave
comments on article pages.
The French pilot just ended last month, providing informative results about this
experiment. In the final RfC we ran on the French site (1), about 45% of respondents
wanted AFT5 removed everywhere, while 38% wanted to keep it an opt-in basis, and 10% on
help pages only (2); nearly everyone agreed it should not be on by default on all 40,000
pilot pages, let alone on the entire French Wikipedia. Their concerns are is consistent to
what we heard from editors on the English and German pilots: overall, a majority of
editors do not find reader comments useful enough to warrant the extra moderation work.
Based on these pilot results, we recommend that Article Feedback be removed from our two
pilot sites at the end of the month, as outlined in this report (3) — since the tool is
not welcome by a majority of editors, despite its benefits to readers.
We propose to give editors two weeks to transfer any feedback they find useful to their
article talk pages, using the ‘Discuss on talk page’ tool (4). We also recommend that we
archive the data from our pilot sites, and that we keep one instance running on Labs, for
Lastly, we recommend further discussions between the community and the foundation on how
to give readers a voice on our sites. Suggested topics include how to make it easier for
readers to comment on articles they read — as well as how to enable readers to participate
in decisions that impact them, so that we can better serve the needs of all our users in
the free culture movement.
We would be grateful for your comments about this recommendation — and how to better
integrate readers in our communities. Could you share your thoughts on this Article
Feedback talk page (5) in coming days? You are also invited to share any lessons learned
from this experiment in our report's discussion page (6).
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the community and team members who
contributed to this experiment. We’re particularly grateful to Matthias Mullie, Pau Giner,
Oliver Keyes, Maggie Dennis, Philippe Beaudette, Howie Fung and Erik Moeller at the
Wikimedia Foundation, as well as to community members Denis Barthel, Benoît Evellin, Tom
Morris, Sebastian Peisker, TMg and Utar, to name but a few.
We appreciate your willingness to experiment with new ways to involve our readers in our
communities — and we hope that the lessons we learned together can inform future
Regards as ever,
(1) French RfC Discussion:
(2) French RfC Results:
(3) Article Feedback Report:
(4) Discuss on Talk Page Tool:
(5) Article Feedback Post on English Wikipedia:
(6) Article Feedback Discussion Page: