[Foundation-l] Porchesia atonement

Birgitte SB birgitte_sb at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 2 23:28:01 UTC 2006

--- Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:

> > 
> > In any case, I pointed out how I sincerely believe
> > that this example
> > is important for all our projects, although it
> > happened to be one that
> > happened on our largest project.
> > 
> > It seems to me that we can best address issues of
> > "en.WP dominance" by
> > communicating and being sensitive to and aware of
> > the challenges that
> > participants in each project face... I don't see
> how
> > silencing
> > discussion is going to further that goal.

I have been thinking about this alot today.  I badly
mishandled this disscussion.  Although I cannot say
that I believe I was wrong on any particular point, it
was not handled well.  The fact that you have
misinterpted my intentions to such a degree proves
this.  I will try to atone for this by giving the
disscussion I believe you would like to have another
chance.  So every one please add more information
about the problems and soulutions as well as sharing
your own expeirence in these things from your home

*Wiki's inherently lend themselves to vandalasim and a
subset of this is hoaxs.

*On a open wiki there is little or no efferot to
prevent such things, but rather many people working to
fix these things afterwards.

*Once a hoax survives a week or so it will likely be
around indefinately


*People who care that the wiki does not fill up with
hoaxes patrol recent changes and new pages with the
goal to immediately remove such material.  They use
numerous tool to do this as efficiently as possible
including bots, rss feeds, and software features like
"patrolled edits" ( anyone know of other tools?)

**Pro: Problems are removed quickly 

**Pro: With the right tools this can be amazingly

**Con: Requires a large amount of manpower 

**Con: Tools are not centrally distrubuted some
require uncommon technical skills to use

**Con: On the rare occasion a problem is missed or
fools the patrollers it is around indefinately

**Con: Depending on the which tools are used (and
especially when using a combination of uncomplimetary
tools) it is possible several people may patroll one
"good" edit/article which is a waste of effort.  This
is because only "bad" pages are guranteed to be
visibly marked.


This solution involves pages being examined more
closely than is done by patrollers and being somehow
marked as approved which may or may not involved
limiting further edits.  

**Pro: Pages being closely examined means no hoaxes
will get "approved"

**Pro: Approval is very very slow process (when
thinking of ALL pages)

**Pro: Since "good" pages are visibly marked there is
no wasted effort

**Con: options which include limitations on future
edits may prevent further improvents.  (This can
largly be addressed by the development of more subtle
means of "limiting future edits")

**Con: Since "good" pages are visibly marked the
"approvers" are in effect a more visible subset of the
population than patrollers are (since anyone nominate
a "bad" page for deletion).  This can be a particular
problem in wiki's where there is a large amount of
distrust amoung the population.


Periodic reveiw of all -pages. Either all at once or
in  a rotating basis (Jan #-C, Feb D-F, etc.)

**Pro: Every page is eventually review (Nothing slips

**Con: Very very labor intensive

**Con: Slow process.  Hoaxes could exist for as longer
as a year depending on how fast the rotations or how
long periodic is.

**Con: Wasted of effort.  "Good" pages that have bee
previously review and have little or no changes
recieves the same amount of attention as pages that
are a high-risk to be a hoax.

**Con: Such a large task means that at some point
pages will only recieve a cursoury review.


Ok I will now share my own experience with these
methods at en.WS.  Firrst I need to explain that we do
not have the manpower to approach any of these
solutions in a serious comprehensive manner.  What I
mean by that it is I believe there to be a vandalism
and maybe even hoax on en.WS right now.  There is not
a directed effort to combat these thisngs at en.WS.  I
know several people, including myself, try to keep an
eye on it, but I am sure you all can imagine the
results "trying to keep and eye on it" brings.

en.WS has patrolled edits enabled.  I am unsure if
anyone besides my self makes use of this feature,
although I suspect Zhalshadar does.  There is no
effort to patrol *every* edit.  I particularly try to
patrol the edits of IP's.  If use Recents changes to
hide all logged in users and to hide patrolled edits,
and after marking a significant number of IP edits
patroled I can manage to display a weeks worth.  So I
try to do this about once a week but I know there are
gaps . . .  I do not know if anyone makes a particular
effort to patrol New Pages or New Users.

We also have pgkbot and an vandalism IRC channel.  At
many times there is someone keeping an eye on this
channel but not at all times . . .

Many editors at en.WS (by which I mean 6-10) regularly
 make a cusoury checks of Recent Changes for anything
suspicous looking whenever they are working on the
site.  Some of these people work on the site daily,
others much less often.

Watchlists are barely useful for vandalism.  There are
too few people watching.  However they are useful for
the few vandal magnets we have.  Like "Macbeth"

In all en.WS does not have the manpower availble to
allow the "Patroller" solution to be effective.

*Visbly marked approved pages

Because en.WS cannot manage to patrol against
vandalism, we rely on this method.  All proofread
pages may be nominated for protection under our text
integrity policy.  This is obviously successful, but
has the downside of completely preventing future edits
including interwiki links.  This is not so bad as it
seems because of two things.  One Wikisource
inherently deals with a large amount of static
material, so there is littler that anyone would want
to add to a proofread page.  Two this paolicy was in
force before the lang subdomiain split so people from
other languages are usually aware in the event thaty
want to add an interwiki and they know to just request
it be added on the talk page.  I imagine many people
will be upset at the thought of a wiki protecting
pages, but proofreading would be pointless without
this or some other similar method (section protection
requested nine months ago or the likely scenario that
the community will agree to use stable versions). 
Please realize that proofreading far more labor
intensive than even fact checking is at a WP project. 
No one really likes that pages are protected it is
simply the lesser of two evils.  The outstandingly
strong support that was gathered for section
protection is evidence that WS is simply making do
until a more subtle method is developed.  And that is
out of our hands.

*Review of All Pages 

en.WS has no intention of doing this periodically. 
However we effectively went throught this method when
we adopted a header template to be placed on all
pages.  Over 20,000 pages have been "handled" with
only the dregs of around 1,500 pages to be done.  Of
course many pages only got a cursory look, but we did
take care of many problems with this method. 
Vandalism, hoaxs, as well as copyvios (which is a more
significant problem a WS projects)

AS I said above I am sure that en.WS has existing
vandalism right now.  And it will sit there until
someone finds it.  Here I suppose my expectations are
properly adjusted to reality.  en.WS simply does not
have the manpower to comprehensively deal with the
vandalism it recieves.  Currently I am happy to ensure
to work of proofreaders is secure and the the rest of
the site will eventually be taken care of.  If one of
our readers finds something we have missed I would
hope they would alert of to it so we may fix it.  

Birgitte SB

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