Those all sound like good suggestions. I have flagged this entire
conversation for me to review if and when I get funding for continuing work
on my project. I hope that the WMF Growth team is also aware of this
By the way, Edward, if you're still reading this, thanks for letting us
have an extended conversation about community health in the thread that you
started about the CEI survey.
On Wed, Oct 3, 2018 at 8:54 AM Kerry Raymond <kerry.raymond(a)gmail.com>
Stripping out a long email trail ...
I am not advocating lowering the BLP bar as there are genuine legal needs
to prevent libel.
What I am advocating is not letting new users do their first edits in
“high risk” articles. When I do training, I pick exercises for the group
which deliberately take place in quiet backwaters of Wikipedia, eg add
schools to local suburb articles. Such articles have low readership and low
levels of watchers and no BLP considerations, i.e. low risk articles. If
the newbie first edit is a bit of a mess, probably no reader will see it
before it is fixed by a subsequent edit. They will be able to get help from
me to fix it before anyone is harmed by it and before anyone reverts them.
The “organic” newbie can dive into any article. It would be a very
interesting research question to look at reverts and see if we can develop
risk models that predict which articles are at higher risks of reverted
edits (e.g. quality rating, length, type of article eg BLP, level of
readership, number of active watchers, etc) and there might be separate
models specifically for newbies revert risk and female newbie revert risk.
Or we just simply calculate the proportion of reverted edits and just use
declare anything over some threshold as “high risk” and not bother finding
out what the article characteristics are. We could also calculate what is
the newbie revert rate.
Then we have something actionable. We could treat the high risk articles
(by predictive model or straight stats) as semi-protected and divert
newbies from making direct edits. Or at least warn them before letting them
loose. For that matter, warn any user if they are entering into a high
When you learn to drive a car, you normally start in the quiet streets,
not a busy high speed freeway, not narrow winding roads without guard rails
up a mountain. Why shouldn’t we take the same attitude to Wikipedia? Start
where it is safe.
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