User talk:Jimbo Wales
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WikiVoices #51 
I'm here for that. Yay. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:19, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Flagged Revisions 
I tried to read through the full discussion on your enWP talk page; it mostly reminded me why I dislike The Other Place - you're talked to death before any work gets done. The one, perhaps non-obvious, point I vehemently agree with is that the WMF needs to take a much more active role as toolmakers.
I'll bug a couple of local people for info on what Huggle is; it seems there is a huge focus on RC patrol and vandalism reversion. On the flip-side, deWP have shown that being unable to admire your handiwork makes IP vandals walk away. That is a definite win. If not already in place, here's an initial point that might gain a percent or two more support:
- If an IP edits a page marked with Flagged Revs they're invited to register, or sign into their account and claim the edit. Invite them to become a project contributor, establish a reputation, and improve project content.
- This also solves the headache some contributors have who're paranoid about their IP being visible in logs.
Now, our EzPR gadget is more like what I'd expect on a GA, or FA - in most cases, that'd be using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. The need is for a flexibility to vary between completely open, anyone's edit instantly visible to the world, and a full-blown formal review. We have that headache here too; once an article passes initial EzPR how do we decide if subsequent updates require a full-blown re-review, or simply click 'fine' because it's a grammar or spelling fix?
For us, that'd ideally be getting the diff of an unreviewed change and being able to push it in several possible directions:
- This is fine, thanks for making that correction.
- This is nonsense, I've reverted it.
- This is unsourced, I'm not sighting it, but it'll be reverted in x hours if it isn't backed up with a source.
- This is a really substantial change, seemingly within policy, I'm moving to do a review of it, or flagging it for a fellow reviewer who has more time.
I was also highly amused that you snagged one of my troubleshooter catchphrases; "what is the problem you are trying to solve?" That is usually reserved for utterly non-technical people who've been telling me, "make simple change x" which is, in reality, 2-3 man-years of development. [Example: I once had a client ask me to change an ERP system to include the last 2 digits of the year as a prefix in invoice numbers. The problem he wished to solve was starting invoice numbering from 1 every financial year. Archiving all invoices at year-end was unacceptable to him, and he was adamant,... Until after 3 days analysis I listed 500+ programs needing changed to accomodate him. You can imagine what that would've cost; he quickly settled for a tweak to a half-dozen programs to display and print numbers with a year prefix.]
Now, anecdote out the way, can you precis what the nay-sayers to Flagged Revs in The Other Place have? Ignore those utterly ideologically opposed to it, those you think would never accept any type of implementation. What, as bullet points, are the primary gripes? --Brian McNeil / talk 23:08, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Wikinews:Flagged_revisions/Requests_for_permissions#Jimbo_Wales_.28talk_.C2.B7_contribs.29 — μ 09:33, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Hi Jimbo. Your last edit to the above appears to have been made to an old revision by mistake, accidentally cutting out a lot of comments posted since. I'd fix it myself, but I'm preoccupied in mainspace right now. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:33, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Accidental removal of other editors' comments? 
- Yes. I'll fix it now, if it hasn't been fixed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:56, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
I apologize for this. I felt you were trying to ... have some special treatment for being... dunno, the founder of Wikimedia or something like that. I'm really sorry. Diego Grez return fire 01:21, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Reviewer, trust versus knowledge, and seeing eye-to-eye 
Regardless of what problems there have previously been on Wikinews, I do feel that this is actually a communications failure and not hostility. I'm hoping here to salvage things before both sides get permanently wrong views of what the other side was up to.
I'm pro-inactivity-removal, but not strongly so, and I take the view users should be notified first. That, however, is a general view not really relevant here. Reviewer is a special tool in that mere trust is not sufficient; if it were, I doubt the nomination would be made. Half the problem is I don't think anyone has properly explained to you how we view the tool — partly because it was doled out to you before we properly worked out what we were doing with it and then, frankly, forgotten about.
The present attitude and consensus on Wikinews is that users should first display basic knowledge of our style guide, as well as avoidance of copyvio, factual accuracy and NPOV. In your case, I think the last three can be safely considered things you know already(!) — I'll touch back on that point later.
I think a very fair question from someone not active on Wikinews is "why on Earth would you do that?!" (or less polite versions of the same). That seems to be your view; and why, indeed, do we make users learn first? The reason is that Wikinews has decided to set itself up so that articles have a phenominally high standard before they are published — i.e. no content should go out until everything has been checked out, including news-style. (There is a discussion underway about the future of this model, such as cutting it back or even scrapping it, but for the time being that's how it is.)
So, in this case there's something greater at stake than mere minor security - there's quality. A fundamental difference between WN and almost any other wiki is that elsewhere, no matter how badly you mess something up with literally any tool (except, perhaps, highly specialist things like CU and Oversight) it can be fixed. So don't worry and get stuck in. Because of how we have set ourselves up, once something's out there it's out there. It goes out on Twitter, into Google News etc. We've decided that we want these to be the best we possibly can — a very high ideal (and, as hinted above, one which we may yet abandon). Policy has continued to evolve over the last few years, such that an inactive reviewer could easily miss changing standards — though my opinion is people should be informed of such changes.
So, my interpretation of things is that you've come here thinking of this as a mere trust issue. Coming into it with that attitude - which is a reasonable view for you to take, given a) nobody has ever properly explained things to you b) every other tool everywhere else is mainly or entirely about trust — then cutting out inactive peoples looks hostile. Your responses then in turn wrongly appear hostile to the community and Bad Things happen needlessly. Oh, which reminds me: it's strongly implied by my other comments there, but I am satisfied you meant no 'emotional blackmail'; I withdraw that. It seems I too have contributed to the communications breakdown.
One thing that has not helped is that you've been nommed individually when in fact there are a number of users it could have been; and that discussion on what our policy should be has only happened after the nom — perhaps not the best judgement (ah, the pleasures of retrospective thought). That comes accross as targetting you — I genuinely believe it was never specifically about you.
Part of my reason for writing all this is that you and I are actually in-tune in our lines of thought. While we can't hand bits straight out to trustowrthy people from other wikis, like en.wp, it is fair to say that the learning curve for them consists entirely of getting used to two things: The local style guide, and proper verification of Original Reporting. As mentioned above, copyvio, NPOV, proper sourcing &c are hardly new concepts for active Wikimedians. As I've mentioned at the nom, WP admins etc could be informed they'd very quickly be ready for the tool.
I also like the mention you made on Diego's talk — " wonder if you'd like to come on IRC sometime and get a tutorial and see what we're doing with it..." — spot on. The other night, following on from this, I'd wondered about forming ourselves some sort of crash course to quickly work experienced Wikimedians into reviewers. I'd been thinking text-based on-wiki, but informal IRC-work also sounds good to me.
These are exciting ideas, though pace is currently so slow I worry about getting them to stay. In any event, I'd love to see how present discussions on our future go and how they might impact active recruitment of established people from The Other Place.
In closing, I thank you for reading this massive spiel — in particular since writing it has left me with no stamina for the daunting task of proofreading what I just wrote, which probably means it's Pleonasm Central - a small breakaway dictatorship with it's capital city on Mt. Typo (elevation: over 9,000 ft). So well done on getting through it. I hope this goes some way to clearing things up and to making clear what should have been explained long ago - and I also look forward to seeing what comes from the positives generated tangentially to all the arguments. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 14:28, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
- I think it is still 100% a trust issue. All you need is a notice in the right place to tell trusted users the steps, and to please not review something if they aren't sure of the steps. And if they do it anyway, non maliciously, you just thank them for the effort, fix what needs fixing, and give them some tips for next time.
- Anything that is not irreversible, anything that is fixable with minimal effort, ought to be available to as many people as possible. That's what makes wikis work.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:54, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
- Publishing to Google News is not reversible. The review process uses various gadgets to automate doing so; someone with the relevant right can do so with about a half-dozen mouseclicks. Within the last week, several UK papers have been found guilty of contempt of court for use of an inappropriate photo which appeared online for less than an hour. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:38, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
- Right. We don't want our editors in court. Further, publish is neither reversible nor fixable with any amount of effort. It's done, we've published something, and the best we can do if needed is issue a notice in its place that the article content has been withdrawn. Englsih libel law is infamous and iirc Carter-Fuck have rulings which make the entire Internet fair game before a British court (they've certainly tried it); meanwhile, libel is a criminal offence in Italy and the European Arrest Warrant lurks in the shadows. As Amanda Knox will tell you, there's only one verdict when foreigners are prominantly tried over there - and I'll take my chances with an extradtion request on that one. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 17:59, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
- The legal argument is not compelling at all; you might as well argue against open editing altogether. There is no particular reason to suppose that Wikinews editors are at any more risk than editors at any of our projects, and a fair amount of reason to suppose that they are at less risk, since Wikinews is not nearly as popular as Wikipedia. Additionally, we are talking about the right as extended to known members of the wider community - me for example, or Wikipedia administators - all of whom can be trusted not to go through a process with a half-dozen mouseclicks (with suitable warnings along the way about what is about to happen) and publish something without first learning what to do.
- I can't think of any reason why Wikinews should subject itself to more stringent fears about libel than any other Wikimedia project. Individual contributors who do the wrong thing are always at risk in any project.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:21, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
- While I entirely agree with you, Jimbo, about the legal paranoia, there is a fundamental difference between en.WN articles and en.WP articles: en.WN articles have a very limited time to get it right, after which the article is frozen and never substantively changed even where the published article is wrong. To exemplify this, see Category:Corrected articles. In some respects publishing en.WN articles without knowing or caring about our publishing policies would be like arbitrarily deleting articles on en.WP without knowing w:WP:PROD - it would piss off the locals, and shows a serious lack of civility. Yes, en.WN is tiny compared to en.WP (I've suggested it be closed), but it is no less, and no more, territorial than its bigger sister. - Amgine | t 17:17, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
- Now, Amgine, I prefer 'cynicism' to 'paranoia'. At any rate, I'm not going to cary on with this conversation; I've done what I set out to do - explain. This is morphing into a debate on the wider model currently employed on Wikinews - which is fine, but we've already got one of those and I'd rather have the discussion there, and not on any individual's talkpage. For your benefit specifically, Jimbo, lest you are unaware: I'm pointing at Wikinews:Water cooler/policy#Re-opening worm of cans: Radically alter or dump the develop-review-publish process when I say that. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 17:45, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
- I'm a bit late to this discussion, but I was on vacation when it happened, so I hope you'll all forgive me;).
- There are a few reasons why reviewer isn't handed out to every admin from every project Jimbo, and, contrary to what some people here have been denying, trust is indeed part of the reason. Here's an incomplete list:
- 1) Every project has different standards for raising someone to admin. On some projects (en.wikipedia), the standards are high (waaaaay too high). On others (such as the Strategic Planning wiki or Arabic Wikinews, when those projects were active) the standards are low enough that essentially anyone could become an admin simply by asking politely. Those projects don't meet our standards.
- 2) Due to the inherent nature of the reviewer flag and the powers it grants, people with it have the potential to cause just as much harm to the project as people with an admin flag on en.wikipedia. Does the fact that I'm an admin on this wiki and a bureaucrat on another mean that I automatically get an admin flag on en.wikipedia? No. Should it? No. Just because I'm an admin here doesn't mean I understand all the relevant policies (and project needs!) on the various wikipedias. The same principle applies here. I don't see how you can ask us to allow Wikipedians full access to a fundamental process on Wikinews that they don't understand (it takes most people a week or three to pick it up... there is quite a bit to learn), while you would never consider asking them to extend the same (unnecessary, counterproductive) courtesy to us.
- 3) Right now en.wikinews is listed on Google News... barely. We had to fight with them to get listed, and we had to make significant concessions (implement flagged revisions, implement a mandatory peer review process, and, using those two systems, implement a "trusted editors" program). It took a long time, and it was a lot of work. What you're suggesting would open us up to getting delisted. (Of course, Google News is perfectly willing to list conspiracy theorist blogs, and random rambles from any idiot with a press badge and web access with No Questions Asked. Personally I think they have something against wikis, which ticks me off >:(. )
- All that said, I agree with you that we should be trying (harder) to recruit admins from other projects. In spite of the reservations about their lack of knowledge about our necessary practises, they're by-and-large a more trustworthy and knowledgeable group than any random person who we recruit off the 'tubes. We just shouldn't give them a reviewer flag *immediately*. After three weeks of contributions with no significant problems? Sure, why not. No reason not to at that point. Furthermore we should be trying to partner up with journalism schools, getting students to write articles for us. Unfortunately that latter is easier said than done. We've made initial inquires, and most journalism profs seem to be firmly stuck in the mid-20th century:(. Gopher65talk 16:49, 25 March 2011 (UTC)