Wikinews:Flagged revisions/Requests for permissions

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See also Wikinews:Requests for permissions

Wikinews is currently running MediaWiki with the flagged revisions extension. Article validation allows for reviewers to approve articles and set those revisions as the default revision to show upon normal page view. Readers can also give feedback. These revisions will remain the same even if included templates are changed or images are overwritten. The text with expanded transclusions is stored in the database. This allows for MediaWiki to act more as a Content Management System (CMS).

Flagged revisions is used for quality control at Wikinews. In order for an article to be published, a reviewer must approve of the article (commonly referred to as sighting the article). See template:peer reviewed for more information on the publishing process. After an article is published, any subsequent change must also be approved by a reviewer. Articles waiting for review are listed at CAT:REV.

While Flagged revisions adds a new tab and info box to pages, the wiki does not work any differently for Logged in users. Users who are logged in will continue to see the most recent version of the page (Referred to as a "Draft"). Users can opt to view the stable versions by default instead ("My Preferences" > "Stability" Tab > Check "Always show the stable version..." > Save). The major change of Flagged revisions is what Anonymous users (those who are not logged in) see by default. They will see the most recent Stable version (The revision that has been marked as "Sighted"). If there have been additional changes to the page since the last "Sighting", there will be a small infobox informing them of a new draft of the page, and if they edit the page they will be presented with the latest draft.

In addition to the above rights, "Reviewer" status also comes packaged with rollback, a tool that allows an editor to revert the last edits to a page in a single click, without even having to check the diff first. This is primarily meant to deal with blatant vandalism.

Please use the below page to request FlaggedRevs permissions, putting new requests at the top. Requests will generally stay open for at least about a week (unless fast-tracked), after which an administrator will read the comments made by other users and decide whether or not to give out the flag. Before requesting this permission, you must be familiar with key policies, particularly the style guide and neutral point of view. Prior to review of any article, and its subsequent publication, you will be required to copyedit the article for any style issues. This requires a very good understanding of English grammar to maintain the quality of the project's published works.

  • When adding a request, please use {{User-rights|<username>}} as a L3 heading for the request, and note if you are putting forward a nomination for someone else who has not as-yet accepted the nomination on-wiki.

If it has been over a week and no one has gotten back to you about your request for Reviewer access, feel free to drop a note at the talk page of an administrator.

Archived requests

Requests for Reviewer Status[edit]

Darkfrog24 (talk · contribsEdit rights)[edit]

I was going to hold off on requesting WN reviewer status for a while but right now there are twenty-four articles in the hopper and only one or two people to work on them. I feel confident that I can check for plagiarism, remove facts not supported by sources cited, correct English usage and assess newsworthiness. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:37, 20 March 2017 (UTC)


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This conversation has been marked for the community's attention.

Please remove the {{flag}} when the discussion is complete or no longer important.

I think this discussion needs just a little more input at the moment from the community. —mikemoral (talk) 07:50, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

  • I'm thinking, tentatively, it may be good to keep this nom open for a while, give plenty of time for folks to chime in (though perhaps things will go entirely differently than I imagine).

    The current glut on the queue is something that will be dealt with, one way or another. Perspective: these are students; they're aspiring journalists, on the other hand they haven't necessarily already made their mistakes, making them far above the average in some ways yet not in others; I believe they get some sort of class credit for successful publication on Wikinews. It's important, in this sort of glot, to not let things get through that shouldn't; in the past week alone, in addition to a great deal of "copyvio" material (often copied-and-scuffed-up, which requires closer examination to pick up on early in the review process, and is more properly plagiarism than actual copyright violation — pretty clearly not malicious coming from these students imho, but it takes them a while to realize copy-and-scuff is not the way to use sources without plagiary), I've had an article that may have been fake news trying to work its way in from the fringes toward the mainstream press (I discussed the problem in review comments, including warning signs something might be fishy, and asked for more details and stronger sources), and another that was about somebody claiming an elliptical feature on a moon map was evidence of alien moon bases (I discussed the suspicious features of the story, significant features of the sources, and such). It'll probably take a while to clear the glut since, when an article does go stale waiting on the queue, as some of these surely will, I like if at all possible to point out other problems so the author can get some learning out of the submission — not omitting copyvio problems because it's really important for authors to recognize that before they write more articles with the same problem.

    Being acquainted with the nominee from years back on another project, I'm going to wait a bit to write my own vote (I mean to support, but want to think through my brief remarks to go with). --Pi zero (talk) 14:30, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Honestly, in my deeply distracted way (with all the student articles on the queue), I've been slowly forming a thought that I'd like to ask Darkfrog24 a question here, but haven't got to the point of actually framing it clearly yet. --Pi zero (talk) 14:11, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't happen to be in a hurry. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:42, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I know I should be moving faster on this. A remark in the interim: my difficulty is that I have doubts/concerns about your perception of neutrality policy on the project, and would like to ask some really insightful question(s) of you, but since I've been quite open for years about my disapproval of how poorly written our NPOV policy page is, and I've been meaning for a year or two to write an essay on practical news neutrality and haven't gotten to it, I find myself wondering if I should be trying to get the essay written either instead of or at least before drafting questions about it here. Which really doesn't help to make either happen faster. --Pi zero (talk) 13:45, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Question Your recent article (though I agree it's interesting science, which is relevance) had only one source corrobrating the focal event, didn't say when the focal event happened, and it turned out to have happened six days before submission. What is your view on your own ability to catch such errors when other people make them, and not-ready those articles? --Pi zero (talk) 03:25, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Response: It wasn't an error so much as a decision. 1) "When" is "in the last issue of MEPS." 2) I expect the next source to cover this will be mainstream news, which tends to lag behind scientific press releases since many of them are updated weekly or less often. 3) This is a report about the release of a paper covering a professional scientific study. Sad to say but if we held them to the normal schedule we'd probably publish very little science news. It's pro journal or conference, then press release, then newspapers. The upside of working from the press release is that we can actually get the information to the public before the Guardian or New York Times. The answer to what I'd do with other people's articles is weigh it on a case-by-case basis. For most kinds of news, no this wouldn't be a suitable choice but if it's a professional paper that hasn't hit mainstream yet? Cost of doing business. Even then, it would depend. Darkfrog24 (talk) 06:19, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
And now that the sun's up, to address what I think you were really getting at, drafting an article and editing an article that someone else has drafted take two very different viewpoints and perspectives. It's easier to see that kind of detail from arm's length instead of elbow length. You and I both worked MoS for years and we've both had other people catch typos in our posts easily. Basically I'd be wearing my "find a reason to say no" hat instead of my "find a reason to say yes" hat. Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:00, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
I actually composed my comments below at the same time you were drafting the second "now that the sun's up" part of those remarks (yes, it took me a long time to write that comment, as I was trying to give it a sense of nuance and at the same time keep it short, a moderately impossible combination). I've been uncomfortable and hesitating to express my discomfort since this nomination started; and I find myself rather in that position still. The second part of your remarks are good to hear, and if I'd seen them before writing the below I probably would have just been stuck back in my awkward hesitancy. I'd like to hear more of your thoughts on this. --Pi zero (talk) 14:11, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
It was a long night. Any chance you could be more specific about that? Darkfrog24 (talk) 14:39, 4 May 2017 (UTC) EDIT: Here's what I've got right now. When you're drafting an article, the time and freshness factors are so pressing that the best thing to do for an article on the bubble is toss it into the review tank and see what someone else thinks. It's just as easy for something that looked like it might be a problem to turn out fine as for something that looked fine to be recognized as a problem. The reviewer, however, must be critical, not hopeful. That's why we don't have people doing their own reviews. It's a pretty big gear switch. Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:21, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
I think my perspective on the writing side of the collaboration has been changed by seeing it all from the reviewer's side (not entirely unlike, I think, the difference between listening to a complex piano piece and playing it); indeed, if there were a way to give writers (well, the sincere ones, anyway :-) an opportunity to see articles from the reviewer's side — without compromising site standards, obviously — that seems like it could be a great way to help deepen their grasp of the principles (and of course it'd help prepare them for later reviewership and help us assess when they're read for the review bit).

I would be interested to hear your thoughts somewhat more specifically on how you would envision, as a reviewer, applying neutrality principles to a submitted article; and also, applying freshness and sourcing. Also, still more specifically: You suggest a writer might be more willing to try something and see what a reviewer thinks of it. A day or so ago you submitted an article that, I found on review, had only one source corroborating the focal event, and the focal event had happened six days ago. So, if someone else had submitted an article with those characteristics, and you were reviewing it, how would you deal with that situation? --Pi zero (talk) 16:28, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

If it were regular news, I'd probably have said "not ready." If it were science news and the focal event were something like the release of the study, neither of these things would have been a dealbreaker.
There actually is a mechanism by which you could give writers that view. Establish a novitiate. Any prospective reviewer goes through a one-month trial period that automatically expires. The prospective reviewer can then apply for permanent reviewer status no earlier than X weeks after that expiration date, and the application involves a writeup of what they learned. Darkfrog24 (talk) 17:33, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
My (imho appallingly ineptly put) comment below was trying to get at two points both of which are brought up by this example. Both points relate to a basic meta-principle, which is afaik most nearly explicit on-wiki in the quote from Strunk's Elements of Style at WN:IAR — where it comes up in the context of the page's explicit recognition that some rules here are non-negotiable. The meta-principle is that you need to have a really good intuitive grasp of the rules before it's safe for you to start doing stuff that may appear (to a less informed eye) to be "breaking the rules". When you contemplate letting an article like that through, you clearly don't have an appreciation of the magnitude of the policy violation you're talking about, and the fact that you're willing to just do something that extreme one you get the review bit shows not just an unawareness of the weight of that rule but a failure to take the rules seriously enough; review is about enforcing the rules, not making them — you need to develop an intuition before you know when and how to do unusual stuff, you need to be able to tell when you're not yet up to that, and certainly the very beginning of knowing when you're not up to it yet is realizing, to start with, that you're not up to it yet. I don't think you've realized that, and I truly do not know how to communicate the point to you.

I notice you didn't mention neutrality.

It's not safe to give people a temporary reviewership, even if it does expire in a month. You're underestimating the responsibilities of the position. When we publish something, our reputation is on the line, the thing cannot be retracted (the adage that you can't un-say something has become much truer in the internet age), it goes out globally with the same trust-worthiness status in the google news aggregator as articles from BBC or AlJaz — that is, it's counted as news, not blog output), and if somebody ever got sued over something published on Wikinews the targets would be the reviewer and the writer. It's not something to hand out casually, not from anyone's perspective. (I remember a long-ago discussion with Jimmy Wales in which, when he finally realized what we were saying about the responsibility of reviewers, he pretty clearly concluded we were utterly insane; of course, I don't think he ever did really grok that the whole social, and workflow, dynamics of Wikinews is profoundly different from Wikipedia's.)

I do think something might be done... but not a trial period; something more like "training wheels", maybe (although that's a commonly-used metaphor that I think exceeds the reality on which it's based; I once had a bicycle with training wheels fitted on it, and my experience was that it didn't work for any purpose; the bicycle was substantially unusable that way and it wasn't like riding a bicycle). --Pi zero (talk) 18:40, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

You didn't ask about neutrality. Would you like to do so now? Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:09, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Heh. I guess it is easily missed; it's in there, though, in my now-second-to-last comment, buried between more general remarks and a much more specific question. Although, my remark from about nine day ago is still true: that I'm not really sure how I ought to be scheduling inquiry here about neutrality versus writing an essay on neutrality. Recalling: "I would be interested to hear your thoughts somewhat more specifically on how you would envision, as a reviewer, applying neutrality principles to a submitted article". --Pi zero (talk) 21:54, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
I thought about what you said (benefits of the slow pace we have here) and it sounds like your key objection to the science article in question is that you think it would have worked better as a Wikipedia article. You used the term "poaching." Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:47, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
I didn't say anything about whether it would work as a Wikipedia article; my remark in that regard (on your talk page) was that stuff that isn't fresh is within the purview of Wikipedia. That's just a matter of partitioning of responsibilities, not judgement of viability. Freshness is a basic element of the concept of news, and tbh you don't have enough of a sense of the underlying principles of Wikinews to be contemplating throwing out one of our major policies; moreover you apparently don't have enough of a sense of the underlying principles of Wikinews to recognize which principles are the major ones, and it seems you don't appreciate how weighty the major ones are. Wikipedia doesn't have any principles as weighty as the major ones on Wikinews, which goes hand-in-hand with the fact that in principle there's nothing irreversible on Wikipedia (with perhaps the obscure exception of a history merge); and Wikipedia also socially lacks a concept of expertise as profound as we have on Wikinews, which goes hand-in-hand with the difference between Wikipedia's egalitarian emphasis on treating everyone the same and Wikinews's meritocratic emphasis on accumulated reputation. --Pi zero (talk) 22:31, 9 May 2017 (UTC)


* Support I was about to ask for the permission, but if Darkfrog24 is ready for this, xhe has my support.
acagastya 07:50, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
that reason is not enough, I think. I would like to reconsider if it is a support or oppose.
acagastya 03:06, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

  • Support I think the user has an understanding of the requirements that Wikinews articles must meet. In addition he takes part quite frequently giving his views about the articles and which in my opinion are always quite right. —Alvaro Molina ( - ) 20:46, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support I feel this user has a good grasp on the requirements of Wikinews writing and would do well as a reviewer. —mikemoral (talk) 06:10, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose To be clear, I consider the nominee a great asset to the project as a writer; I wanted to get that out up front, because I'm not going to gentle my remarks on the nomination. I hesitated at first to articulate my concerns about this nomination (it sounded harsh; still does, but I'm sometimes too reluctant to say harsh things).
Reviewers have to have a conservative approach; and there's also a deeper level beneath that. A reviewer needs a sure sense of the core living dynamic of the rule structure, giving them an appreciation of which are most important and a respect for the 'why' of them. (You can't put the spirit above the letter unless you grok both.) I don't get that at all from this nominee; neither the sense of the rule structure, appreciation of which are most important, nor the respect for why. I think this nominee's attitude toward the rules is one of feeling free to ignore them if they don't like them. That's not the profile of a reviewer. --Pi zero (talk) 13:59, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Okay, I'm going to try this again, and see if I can actually coherently express some of the important points I failed to last time. I believe (at this time; I'm open to further discussion) the nominee is not at this time ready for the reviewer bit — I Oppose granting the bit at this time. This is not, directly, about disagreement on the specific issue of freshness of articles about scientific papers; it's about attitude toward acting on such disagreement, and underlying attitude toward and understanding of the "rules" (review standards/principles/practices). Exactly because of my accumulated experiences with the nominee, I have no doubts whatever about their integrity and, hence, simply asked what they'd do (above, in the Comments section). I also know they tend to hold strong beliefs and stick to them, which encourages weighing their thinking on review very carefully for this nomination. Reviewers do have to exercise judgement, including judgement about one's own judgement and about precedent and consensus, and I think at this time they haven't grokked in fullness what they'd need to grok. (Yeah, if I knew how to articulate it all, I would.) --Pi zero (talk) 22:47, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

Removal of Reviewer status[edit]

Post requests here regarding any user who you consider has abused editor status. Provide a justification for the removal, preferably providing examples of where the privilege has been abused. Note for this section, support (or remove) indicates you believe the user should have the privilege withdrawn, oppose (or keep) indicates you believe they should retain the privilege.