Wikinews:Water cooler/policy/archives/2013/May

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Australian Security Intelligence Organisation website hacked, blueprints stolen

Something went wrong with the review on this. What I'd mainly like to raise as an issue here is, what should I have done about it? What I actually did do was unpublish, but I felt quite uncomfortable doing so. Here's the backstory, as I understand it:

A reviewer reviewed and published the article. The was some sort of problem with the lede (possibly, though I'm unsure, related to an update the reporter made to the article about an hour before the review in hopes of preventing it from going stale). The reviewer attempted to repair the lede by moving some material from much further down in the article up to the front of the lede — my knee-jerk reaction is that this seems like a significant change so that the reviewer should either have not-ready'd instead of the change, or disqualified xyrself from review after the change, but in fairness I have not immersed myself in review of this article, so I really can't assess the reviewer's judgement call on this. The reviewer subsequently made an edit that removed key information from the moved passage (the subject of the sentence, in fact) and left the sentence in a state that did not make sense, was not grammatical, and came across sounding like a serious breach of neutrality. We all failed to fully register the depth of the problem at the time. So the article remained published in this form throughout the day in Australia, until in the morning my time (around 1200 UTC today), I took a hard look at it, tried to untangle what had happened, and found myself having to decide what to do.

The option I chose was unpublishing the article. The publishing reviewer wasn't available by this time, so consulting xem in real time (which would have been my first choice) was not an option. The changes involved were rather difficult to untangle — I'm still unsure quite what happened — and in any case I'd never attempted a full review of the article myself so didn't have a straightforward way to determine what repair might be needed (and there was uncertainty about various issues to do with the focus of the article, which is problematic to change even with a second reviewer to review the change).

Would it have been better (or worse?) had I instead slapped a correction on the article? We will in any case have to keep some sort of page there forever even if the article isn't published, since it now has been published and there may be legitimate links to it out from out on the internet, so we mustn't turn it into a memory hole. If a correction notice would have been appropriate, what should it have said? --Pi zero (talk) 16:01, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Having read the criticism here and on the articles talk page, and subsequently reading the lede, I probably should have left it for someone else to review. Publishing made sense at the time but hindsight (the wonderful thing it is) says otherwise.
I think a correction notice should be put at the top of the article saying something like: "An earlier revision of this article identified the government of the Peoples Republic of China as objecting to the allegations made. We apologize for the subsequent omission of this fact." Something like that should suffice I think. Other mistakes, if any, aren't immediately apparent to me, either from reading the criticisms or the article proper. --RockerballAustralia c 00:51, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Hindsight is a wonderful thing. This is suitably rare that — nowadays — we just rely on you to beat yourself up for it. :P --Brian McNeil / talk 06:58, 30 May 2013 (UTC)