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Disable ContentTranslation New article campaign in fiwiki
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Finnish Wikipedia community voted to disable the invite to test translation when creating a new article so we would like to request to disable it from the settings. This should be possible as the newarticle campaign is not enabled in enwiki and dewiki. See enwikis wmgContentTranslationCampaigns settings in InitialiseSettings.php as an example.

Additional details (from Language team)


The motivation for the request seems to be about low quality articles created by newcomers with Content Translation. Editors from Finnish Wikipedia consider that it is preferable to let newcomers create articles from scratch rather than invite them to do a translation instead.

Although the quality of articles created from scratch is lower, these are easier to handle by reviewers (articles are shorter. test and articles of non-notable topics can be deleted), while translations don't qualify for direct deletion (less vandalism, mostly notable topics so deletion ratio is much lower) but they require additional efforts by other editors for a more in-depth review (articles contain much more text as content is automatically generated, checking that the original references are valid, etc.).

In order to have a better understanding of the effects of the change it would be useful to measure:

  • How many translations are created through the "new article" invite (by newcomers)
  • How does the article creation and deletion process compare before and after the change


This ticket is focused on disabling the "new article" invite on Finnish Wikipedia.

Note that this ticket is about the invite shown on wikis where Content Translation is still available as a beta feature:

Screenshot 2021-04-14 at 15.38.52 2.png (615×956 px, 107 KB)

The invite can be accessed by disabling the Content Translation beta feature and opening a non-existent page for editing (example)

(Wikipedias where Content Translation is provided by default have a different invite: T232372 )

Event Timeline

This is summary by Kyykaarme of the reasons why the community wants to disable the invitations to translate articles.

@UOzurumba (WMF):Some editors have already commented on English, but I'll try to give my explanation on why I started this discussion and why many of us think that it's not a good idea to suggest the CT tool for newcomers. One of the main issues is the quality of the original article. There is no guarantee that the original article is a good portrayal of the topic, and it can have multiple issues which all are imported here. Some of them can be technical problems like template errors, but a newcomer who has never even seen wikitext is unable to fix them and could get discouraged from editing altogether.

The second concern is with the sourcing of the article. Unlike some other wikis who "assume good faith" and just copy the original sources, we expect that the translator has access to the sources and has checked that the content is supported by them. While the original article might have sources (some don't have any sources at all), they can be offline, broken links etc, making it nearly impossible for the translator to access them. And newcomers are not even aware of this expectation, and they are told that translating is an "easier" way to create an article, only to learn aftewards that the community expects more effort than just copyediting a Google translation. Again the newcomer might get discouraged if the article is tagged with problem tags and the user gets negative feedback. Some articles are massive and probably took a while to translate, but they end up with issues that will probably never get fixed because 1) the newcomer doesn't know how and/or they ran for the hills and 2) experienced users don't have such interest in the topic that they would want to spend a lot of time on it.

I don't have a problem with translating in general. Using another Wikipedia's content can be helpful and you don't have to worry about copyright if you just remember attribution. But there aren't many experienced users who use the CT tool here (and not all of them without issues). Personally I believe one reason to be that translating just isn't as fun as actually writing an article. Researching a topic, learning about it and then sharing that information to readers is the best part about creating articles, at least in my opinion. The readerships are also different, and a Finnish user will probably make a slightly different article for Finnish readers than an American or German would create for their readers. Now, if experienced users want to translate and they follow the rules, that's their choice, but we should not encourage newbies to begin their editing experience by translating. -kyykaarme (keskustelu) 5. maaliskuuta 2021 kello 22.52 (EET)

Change 672416 had a related patch set uploaded (by 01miki10; owner: 01miki10):
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Disable ContentTranslation New article campaign in fiwiki

Pginer-WMF triaged this task as Medium priority.Mar 30 2021, 8:25 AM
Pginer-WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)
Pginer-WMF subscribed.

I added this to our quarter board to start planning the work on it. I added some context to check the context and some considerations about how to support this.

Given the context above, it may be worth considering whether to focus this change to focus only on newcomers. In this way, the more experienced editors would still get opportunities to contribute in a way that better suits them.

@Pginer-WMF As the current implementation is that promotion of the new article campaign launches if there is no cx_campaign_newarticle_hideset it will re-promote itself when the cookie goes away. For example, if the user uses another browser, or cookies are deleted at the end of the session, or if there is a max-age set for the cookies, etc. The cookie is also set per wiki so if you go to another language version of Wikipedia you need to click it again. This means that experienced users are regularly seeing the promotion even when they are clicking it away and at least some are complaining that it feels like spam. In terms of feeling like it is spam, it doesn't help that the only way to get rid of that is to enable the tool which will change the user's interface.

So, it is unlikely that experienced editors would be happy if the new article campaign promotion would be re-appearing without the ability to disable it.

So, it is unlikely that experienced editors would be happy if the new article campaign promotion would be re-appearing without the ability to disable it.

These invites were created long time ago before there was support for global preferences. This resulted in the fragmentation you mentioned. As part of this effort we may consider improving the approach to make use fo global preferences so that discarding an invite does so for all wikis in a more persistent way.

In T280446 it was reported that:

  • The issue in the current ticket was not properly summarized (Input is welcome to capture the issue in a better way)
  • A related issue was mentioned about the invite appears every time when starting a new article despite selecting "No thanks" each time (More details may be needed because I could not reproduce in two attempts)

Under the title "Mielipidetiedustelu työkalun asetuksen muuttamisesta" Kyykaarme wrote: "When a user is starting to create a new article Wikipedia is asking to translate... I propose that settings will be changed so that this [asking to translate popup] will be removed."

And under the title "Ehdotus":
Remove the setting that asks users to use the translation tool when an user is starting a new article.

Actually many users wrote in their support votes that the best choice would be to remove the whole tool, but this is a good start, at least.

I don't always get the popup when I'm starting a new article. It just randomly sometimes appears. Right now I'm creating a new article, and after I already wrote the article I clicked "preview" and then the popup appeared. Also when I changed from VE edit mode to wikitext edit mode the popup appeared.

This is a bif of offtopic, so if you think this should be a separate bug report feel free to create one.

Again when starting a new article I got the popup window while previewing, and also while switching the edit mode.
(I took videos now to show it preview and switch edit mode (preview))
FYI I'm using Firefox 87 and Windows 10 if it matters.
I haven't tried Chrome if it does the same.

I understand that I should not get the popup if I click "Ei kiitos" (No thanks), but I every time get it again. I have cookies enabled in my browser.

I did mention new users in my opening message, but I feel that it was the language team who fixated on newcomers and the deletion ratios etc. I contemplated if it might be possible to limit the CT tool to the autoreviewed user group (which is manually assigned by admins), but because I didn't know if that would be feasible, I ended up suggesting that the new article invitation be removed completely. I felt that it was a softer method and much easier to implement than trying to limit the use of the tool to certain user groups. Maybe it doesn't seem like a soft option to "hide" the tool from everyone, but something had to be done to stop the disruption caused by the tool. I actually care about new users and their wiki experience, and I have saved many new articles from the trash bin, but fixing translated articles is too time consuming and often practically impossible.

I usually keep the CT tool on so that I can test it and see what kind of messages it gives to the user etc, but I turned it off a week ago to test if I see the invite. I tested it almost every day and a few times a day. If I saw it, I didn't test again until the following day. I used the same browser and computer the whole time and didn't log out. Out of maybe 20 tests, I saw the invite maybe four times, so that's 20%. If users keep seeing the invite, they will only end up disliking the tool even more than they already do, and as Stryn mentioned, there were users in the discussion who would like to see the whole tool go.

My main concern is the invite shown to new users (because the Language Team decided that they would work on that only) so I don't want this invite bug getting in the way of that or delaying it, but it should be fixed too.

Thanks for the additional details.
Given the concerns about quality and the issues to effectively discard the invite, I think we can disable it in Finnish Wikipedia in for all users. In the future, if we consider graduating the tool out of beta, we can discuss whether that includes the more modern (and reliable) invite or further adjustment is needed.

I'll update the ticket to reflect this.

Change 672416 merged by jenkins-bot:

[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Disable ContentTranslation New article campaign in fiwiki

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2021-05-04T11:06:48Z] <urbanecm@deploy1002> Synchronized wmf-config/InitialiseSettings.php: 8228f6beacd2f7e94a65f32d41f558c0f440db0a: Disable ContentTranslation New article campaign in fiwiki (T277473) (duration: 00m 59s)

Thank you, everyone who worked on this.