On Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 3:44 PM, Risker
On 18 April 2012 06:22, Andreas Kolbe
On Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 5:18 AM, David Goodman
The problem is not the ratio between editors and biographies, but the
> of editors editing within policy vs editors who come only to write a
> hatchet job or an infomercial. This is something that can be addressed
Let all those who only edit an article to defame or advertise, to write
hatchet jobs or infomercials, make their suggestions.
And let an editor who understands what a coatrack is, and who is
to core policy, decide what the public should see
when they navigate to
The right to edit BLPs, and approve pending changes, should be a
distinction that people are proud of, just like they are proud of
> or adminship. And like rollback, it should be a privilege they will
they abuse it.
The really hard calls on how much negative material to include in a BLP
should be made by teams with a diverse composition. A whole new culture
needs to be built around BLP editing.
Andreas, I generally agree with you on matters relating to BLPs. I
however, understand why you think Pending Changes
will have any effect
whatsoever on improving BLP articles. Bluntly put, the policy that is
currently being discussed on the current RFC does *not* authorize
reviewers to shape the article (in fact, it doesn't really give any
instructions to reviewers), and it permits any administrator to grant or
withdraw reviewer status on a whim; there's no requirement or expectation
that the status is granted or withdrawn in relation to actual editing.
During the trial, we had a rather significant number of experienced
refuse to accept reviewer status because they do
not want to have any
permissions that can be withdrawn by one single administrator.
Please go back and read the proposed Pending Changes policy in the RFC,
tell me that you really and truly believe that it
will have the effect
desire. It is essentially the same policy that
was in effect during the
trial, and there was never a determination of whether it meant "reject
vandalism" or "reject anything
unsourced" or "reject anything you do not
personally think will improve the article." There are problems with all
these interpretations of the policy, just as
there were considerable
problems with them during the trial. It just seems that nobody cares to
actually mine the data from the trial itself to figure out whether or not
Pending Changes does what some people want it to do. Of course, it's
possible that the proposed policy is so vague
specifically so that people
can read into it what they want, and use it in ways that aren't supported
by the majority of the community.
Hi Anne. I did read the proposed policy, and I agree it's not brilliant.
The reason I support the current proposal is simply because it's the only
proposal on the table, and to my mind having even some minimal support for
Pending Changes established is better than nothing.
German Wikipedia has had a similar system of Pending Changes for years –
with the rather large difference that it is applied to *all* articles by
default – and I believe it does make a difference.
In part, the difference is a psychological one. Vandal fighting and
approving/rejecting changes foster and attract very different psychologies,
and create a different working climate. Reverting a vandal edit is a
"dramatic" event, because the edit is live, and may already be read by
hundreds of people; reverting it goes along with feelings of having been
invaded, of "defending the project", being a "hero", and so forth.
like the company troubleshooter who secretly *hopes* for trouble, so they
can glory in being a troubleshooter. People wedded to their troubleshooter
role are psychologically conflicted about systemic changes that would make
their role obsolete.
Approving or rejecting proposed changes, on the other hand, is a calmer and
more reasoned act; one that can be taken time over. It's more akin to what
editing, in the traditional sense of the word, is about.
I'd like to see Pending Changes applied preemptively, at least for all
minor biographies (i.e. those watched by less than a given number of
editors). And yes, there should be a process for withdrawing the reviewer
flag from an editor other than one admin deciding that it should be
withdrawn. But those are things that I hope can come over time.
How would you approach the issue?
Having been very involved in the trial, I would not re-enable the use of
Pending Changes until significant changes to the proposed policy are made.
Most of the problems that were encountered in the trial are left completely
unaddressed. There should be a prohibition on it being used for articles
larger than 55K - after that point, too many people crashed when trying to
There should be a prohibition on its use for articles that are moving
rapidly; contrary to what some thought, pending changes was not really
effective for current events articles, because the proposed edits were
being overwritten before anyone even reviewed them; and because there is no
way to review a single pending change at a time (instead of ALL pending
changes), it is inevitable that either bad edits will be accepted or good
I'd keep pending changes off of biographical articles that have a history
of attracting vandalism or excessive vitriol or fandom. Using pending
changes for these articles effectively enshrines the
otherwise-never-existing vandalism into the history of the article. We saw
this in quite a few highly visible biographies.
Everyone needs to be clear what exactly the role of the reviewer is; this
created a considerable amount of strife during the trial. I have been
given various interpretations of the manner in which flagged revisions is
used on German Wikipedia, so do not want to characterize their policies and
practices; however, in the absence of good quality, confirmed information
on their processes, it's not appropriate to say "let's do it like they
Until it's clear what the role of the reviewer is, editors have no way to
know whether or not they are performing in the manner that the community
expects. Further, there is no guarantee that reviewer permissions won't be
removed for reasons that have nothing to do with the act of reviewing.
The proposed policy essentially says " you can use this instead of
semi-protection", but it does not change the criteria for protection in any
way. Therefore, the articles you propose to be covered by pending changes
aren't eligible. What if you think something should be under PC, and
another admin comes along and says "hold on, doesn't meet the policy, off
it comes"? Right now, decisions about protections are rarely the subject
of inter-admin disagreement. Is that going to change? If so, who wins?
The RFC started from the wrong place. It should have been focused on what
kind of PC policy we would want to have if we wanted to have one. I do see
potential uses for pending changes, but I do not support the policy that is
being put forward.