[Wikimedia-l] effect of edit filter on editing levels, (was thanking anons)

WereSpielChequers werespielchequers at gmail.com
Wed Jan 15 18:15:28 UTC 2014


It isn't just the vandalism and reversion of vandalism that we've lost as a
result of the edit filters (originally known as abuse filters) there is
also the lost userpage warnings, AIV reports, block messages and removal of
AIV reports:) But yes the majority would have been vandalism and its

Supporting this theory, we have as one would expect a drop in the number of
editors clearing the five edit a month threshold - typically any vandal who
got through the whole four level warning cycle and then did something block
worthy would have made it into the 5 or more edits count for that month.

I suspect we've also seen a some of our active vandal fighters drop away or
shift to things that involve fewer edits per hour. Unfortunately I don't
think we yet have any sort of estimated editor hours donated figure, for
example one could do this crudely by only counting unique hours in which an
editor has made at least one edit. It would be salutary to see how that was
changing over time.

Also the pattern of decline in raw edit count fits with a steady refinement
of the edit filters from 2009 to the present day. The exception of course
being the decline from 2007-2009, but I suspect much of that comes with
Huggle et al speeding up vandalism reversion. Once you start blocking
people after half a dozen edits rather than a couple of dozen you are bound
to have a drop in total editing,

Of course there remains the issue that our audience is still growing faster
than the Internet whilst  nobody really knows whether the underlying rate
of goodfaith editing is increasing or stable. I suspect that much of this
is the growth of mobile where we are much more of a broadcast medium than
an interactive one. But that is a rather more tenuous theory than the known
effectiveness of the edit filters.

I wrote an essay about this last
I'd be interested in your take on it. Erik Zachte tweeted it and I don't
think that anyone has rebutted the main points.



> ------------------------------
> Message: 4
> Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2014 23:38:15 -0500
> From: "Marc A. Pelletier" <marc at uberbox.org>
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thanking anonymous users
> Message-ID: <52D4BF37.90403 at uberbox.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> On 01/13/2014 11:20 PM, Tim Starling wrote:
> > The English
> > Wikipedia edit rate has been declining since about January 2007, and
> > is now only 67% of the rate at that time. A linear regression on the
> > edit rate from that time predicts death of the project at around 2030.
> That's...  come /on/ Tim!  You know better than to say silly things like
> that.
> The abuse filter alone could very well account for this (the prevented
> edits and the revert that would have taken place).  :-)  I used to do a
> lot of patrol back in those years and - for nostalgia's sake - I tried
> doing a bit over a year ago.  The amount of "surface" vandalism has gone
> down a *lot* since.
> -- Marc

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