Your comments are well taken (at least by me)!
I like the idea of letting users upvote or downvote edits, and having a
time-weighted average of those scores be public or at least visible to
administrators. Users who accumulate a significant number of downvotes
would be good for admins to review, especially if those downvotes come from
multiple users in a short period of time. Upvotes could be closely linked
to the "Thanks" feature, except that users could be offered the option to
thank anonymously or thank non-anonymously. I suggest that you propose your
suggestions in IdeaLab, and I may make some comments on the IdeaLab post.
The Anti-Harrassment Tools Team might be interested in that idea for their
Regarding reversions, I think that I heard Jonathan Morgan once say that
reverting good-faith new editors makes them significantly more likely to
stop editing. Perhaps he could share some research or thoughts on that
point, and any other thoughts about the problem with excessively aggressive
reversions and/or comments on reversions.
On Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 4:47 AM Kerry Raymond <kerry.raymond(a)gmail.com>
While I have no objection to the administrator
training, I don't think
most of the problem lies with administrators. There's a lot of biting of
the good-faith newbies done by "ordinary" editors (although I have seen
some admins do it too). And, while I agree that there are many good folk
out there on en.WP, unfortunately the newbie tends to meet the other folk
first or perhaps it's that 1 bad experience has more impact than one good
Similarly while Arbcom's willingness to desysop folks is good, I doubt a
newbie knows how or where to complain in the first instance. Also there's a
high level of defensive reaction if they do. Some of my trainees have
contacted me about being reverted for clearly good-faith edits on the most
spurious of reasons. When I have restored their edit with a hopefully
helpful explanation, I often get reverted too. If a newbie takes any action
themselves, it is likely to be an undo and that road leads to 3RR block or
at least a 3RR warning. The other action they take is to respond on their
User Talk page (when there is a message there to respond to). However, such
replies are usually ignored, whether the other user isn't watching for a
reply or whether they just don't like their authority to be challenged, I
don't know. But it rarely leads to a satisfactory resolution.
One of the problems we have with Wikipedia is that most of us tend to see
it edit-by-edit (whether we are talking about a new edit or a revert of an
edit), we don't ever see a "big picture" of a user's behaviour without
lot of tedious investigation (working through their recent contributions
one by one). So, it's easy to think "I am not 100% sure that the
edit/revert I saw was OK but I really don't have time to see if this is
one-off or a consistent problem". Maybe we need a way to privately "express
doubt" about an edit (in the way you can report a Facebook post). Then if
someone starts getting too many "doubtful edits" per unit time (or
whatever), it triggers an admin (or someone) to take a closer look at what
that user is up to. I think if we had a lightweight way to express doubt
about any edit, then we could use machine learning to detect patterns that
suggest specific types of undesirable user behaviours that can really only
be seen as a "big picture".
Given this is the research mailing list, I guess we should we talking
about ways research can help with this problem.
From: Wiki-research-l [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
On Behalf Of Pine W
Sent: Wednesday, 26 September 2018 1:07 PM
To: Wiki Research-l <wiki-research-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>rg>; Rosie
Subject: Re: [Wiki-research-l] Results from 2018 global Wikimedia survey
I'm appreciative that we're having this conversation - not in the sense
that I'm happy with the status quo, but I'm glad that some of us are
continuing to work on our persistent difficulties with contributor
retention, civility, and diversity.
I've spent several hours on ENWP recently, and I've been surprised by the
willingness of people to revert good-faith edits, sometimes with blunt
commentary or with no explanation. I can understand how a newbie who
experienced even one of these incidents would find it to be unpleasant,
intimidating, or discouraging. Based on these experiences, I've decided
that I should coach newbies to avoid taking reversions personally if their
original contributions were in good faith.
I agree with Jonathan Morgan that WP:NOTSOCIAL can be overused.
Kerry, I appreciate your suggestions about about cultural change. I can
think of two ways to influence culture on English Wikipedia in large-scale
1. I think that there should be more and higher-quality training and
continuing education for administrators in topics like policies, conflict
resolution, communications skills, legal issues, and setting good examples.
I think that these trainings would be one way through which cultural
change could gradually happen over time. For what it's worth, I think that
there are many excellent administrators who do a lot of good work (which
can be tedious and/or stressful) with little appreciation. Also, my
impression is that ENWP Arbcom has become more willing over the years to
remove admin privileges from admins who misuse their tools. I recall having
a discussion awhile back with Rosie on the topic of training for
administrators, and I'm adding her to this email chain as an invitation for
her to participate in this discussion. I think that offering training to
administrators could be helpful in facilitating changes to ENWP culture.
2. I think that I can encourage civil participation in ENWP in the context
of my training project <
that I'm hoping that WMF will continue
to fund. ENWP is a complex and
sometimes emotionally difficult environment, and I'm trying to set a tone
in the online training materials that is encouraging. I hope to teach
newbies about the goals of Wikipedia as well as policies, how to use tools,
and Wikipedia culture. I am hopeful that the online training materials will
improve the confidence of new contributors, improve the retention of new
contributors, and help new editors to increase the quality and quantity of
their contributions. I hope that early portions of the project will be well
received and that, over time and if the project is successful as it
incrementally increases in scale and reach, that it will influence the
overall culture of ENWP to be more civil.
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