Hello everyone,

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 reference purposes. 

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 initiatives.

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:


Fabrice Florin
Product Manager
Wikimedia Foundation