Being able to tell which edits have been patrolled is essential for making the edit-review, anti-vandalism and other processes more efficient. Being able to do so will stop edit-reviewers and vandalism fighters from stepping on each others' toes and enable on-the-fly generation of backlogs, among other benefits.
MediaWiki has a system for this already (RCPatrol), but some years back different communities decided to turn off this feature (for all but more advanced users). In English, my understanding is that some users objected to how the flag is displayed on RecentChanges (with a !).
As a first step towards addressing this issue, let's do some research so we understand fully:
- Which wikis this affects.
- What the objections were and whether they remain relevant.
- What remediations might overcome any remaining objections.
- What a path forward for this might look like.
What do we know
- Wikis with Flagged revisions will have validated revisions marked as patrolled automatically.
Conclusions and notes (March 2017)
- RCPatrol (patrol-flag) is disabled on most WMF wikis (except for 94 wikis: P4996), but it allows patrolling edits in general.
- NPPatrol is enabled on almost every WMF wiki (except for 4 wikipedias: P4996) . It ''essentially'' allows patrolling only new pages (the first edit of a page).
(The huge number of alternate/historical names for the [actions / activities / user-rights / user-groups / features] makes it all much more complicated!)
Turning it on, is desired for the benefit of:
- edit-patrollers, who currently duplicate each others work, without knowing how much they're duplicating it. A single edit can be scrutinized by hundreds of editors, without any way to tell. (Eventual benefit, but no changes for now.)
- the external tools which each have to maintain their own databases (huggle, snuggle, stiki, CVN, RTRC, etc) because RCPatrol isn't enabled in the databases on the wikis they cover.
- https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Krinkle/Patrolling - further notes and action items
Enwiki turned it on-and-then-off-again in 2005, because:
- A rapidly growing backlog, that some felt obliged to triage
- A number of bugs that made it impractical at the time (e.g. self-patrol was possible for anyone)
Additionally, I believe / have-heard / vaguely-recall, that it was also because:
- The red exclamation mark and/or the yellow highlight, annoyed some editors
- Editors wanted the web of trust idea, because they didn't want to have to trust "any editor that I don't know" to patrol a revision on their watchlist. (See "Trusted Users idea" section below)
- Editors had difficulty prioritizing edits to patrol, out of the firehose of incoming edits. (See T157715 for a possible solution, plus the ERI project as a whole)
- Turn on RC Patrol (the software) and just hide the RC Patrol status indicator ("!" in recent changes) (at the wikis that don't currently use it for that purpose). Thus, no one would be bothered who didn’t want to be. Then, over the medium-term, we can (collectively) slowly discuss future improvements, based on this newly available set of features and of now-interacting tools.
Old links for the 2005 RCPatrol enable/disablement at Enwiki:
Useful links, to other ongoing work, and historic discussions and proposals.
Related Phab tasks (incomplete)
- T157715: Selective patrol: an AI-based system to prioritize patrolling of edits
- T102818: Disable patrolling on de.wikipedia - requested because of logspam, and they don't use it directly, they use FlaggedRevs instead
- T101161: "Mark as patrolled" gadget for Contributions and History - for Wikidata
- T98617: Make page moves patrollable - related to the ongoing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Unpatrol_moved_pages
- T31611: Make patrolled/unpatrolled status (more) visible in diffs and page history
- T19237: Better integration of patrol feature (rc_patrolled, rc_bot in revision: rv_bot, rv_patrolled)
Trusted Users idea
- But also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Checked_edits_brainstorming#User_trustworthyness
Main current features at Enwiki
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Pending_changes (aka customized-flaggedrevs, associated with "review" keyword)
Upcoming 2017 feature led by Cenarium
and the related:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_119#Should_tagged_recent_changes_be_shown_as_unpatrolled_.3F (2015)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Cenarium/Passive_reviewing (2016/2017)
Standard user-right and feature docs
Assorted other notes
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:New_pages_patrol/patrolled_pages/Archive_1#Query - (2007) "Patrolling for recentchanges is turned off here and on other large wikis due to the huge amount of edits we get. You can post on the village pump to get more input and if there is consensus the developers might turn it back on. - Mr.Z-man"
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_54#New_RC_patrolling_concept (2009 proposal to turn RCPatrol on, with only 1 comment)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Protection_policy/Archive_12#Need_for_better_monitoring_tools (2010) (in a collapsed section) - "Watchlists and recent changes have become quasi-useless for sitewide monitoring of articles with the high volume of editing, and don't allow for any kind of coordination. Various technical and development requests have been made to improve our ability to cope with the number of articles and volume of editing, but little has come, for example not much has been done on common watchlists or wp:patrolled revisions. Thus we're left with the daunting choice of protecting more or not being able to properly monitor our vast number of articles, although some individual initiatives have been of great help for the latter. The Wikimedia foundation should invest more in technical development with views on improving the situation for our BLPs. - Cenarium"
Old notes from the 2010 Patrolled Revisions idea (not implemented because it would have been excessively difficult to technically have both this and Pending Changes protection enabled. The upcoming Passive Deferral feature is the updated similar idea.)