I am also active in suggesting articles for deletion and, when my eyes can stand it, vandal-fighting. I think that de-crapifying Wikipedia is at least as important as adding content. Wikipedia is a hotbed of fancruft, self-written articles by employees of third-rate companies, and overemphasis on subjects plucked off the Internet. It greatly underemphasizes subjects of great importance that don't have a fan base or following.
Special:Getting Started. It is a list of articles in obvious trouble that even beginners can fix. I've found some instances where the articles are so bad they really shouldn't be in Wikipedia at all. Editing these articles results in a tag branding the editor as a "beginner getting started," but you can avoid that by copying and pasting the URL of the articles listed there.
"STiki", a really great counter-vandalism tool, crated by the awesome, brilliant software maven Andrew G. West. Every Wikipedian should spend a few minutes a day using this.
Because if not fixed immediately, it may never be fixed.Here are fixes of vandalism I made to the article of a prominent theatrical producer. The vandalism was committed in February 2014. I caught it, purely by accident, 10 months later.
Why 'driving them underground' is a nonsense argument: a case study
The "paid editing" imbroglio has been dormant for most of the past few months, but while it's still fresh in my mind I wanted to address one of the arguments that one hears frequently: which is that stiff action against paid editors will "drive them underground."
With the passage of time, a good illustrative example has come to mind. To avoid naming specific companies and editors, let's call it the Acme Finance Company (h/t to Bugs Bunny).
For a period of several months, editors openly affiliated with the Acme Finance Company had been plaguing the article about Acme: intimidating non-Acme editors, engaging in rampant sockpuppeting, dominating Talk:Acme Finance Company, and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Efforts by non-Acme editors to rectify the situation ran into a wall of abuse and stonewalling, which was a situation of serious public concern because Acme had some serious regulatory issues that the Acme editors, and their socks, had managed to banish from the article.
The issue finally came up at WP:ANI. This time, in the face of clear evidence of sockpuppeting, the Acme editors were indefinitely blocked. One editor, an administrator I'm sorry to say, argued strenuously against taking action, on the grounds that Acme editors would be "driven underground." But even he or she gave up, and the editors were indefinitely blocked.
It's been five months since the events I've described above happened. And what has occurred. Has there been any sockpuppeting of any kind in the article? Any indication that the Acme editors have been "driven underground"? The answer: No. In fact, the article in question has been absolutely quiet since the socks, including the declared Acme editor, were indefinitely blocked.
What this indicates to me is that Acme officials decided that fighting this out in the pages of Wikipedia was just not worth the trouble. Wikipedia had been a "soft target" but no longer was. So they didn't "go underground" and continue a fruitless battle that might have resulted in untoward publicity. They just went away.
Congratulations, Coretheapple! You're receiving this barnstar because you recently crossed the 1,000 classification threshold using STiki. We thank you both for your contributions to Wikipedia at-large and your use of the tool. We hope you continue your ascent up the leaderboard and stay in touch at the talk page. Thank you and keep up the good work! West.andrew.g (developer) and Pratyya(Hello!) 05:10, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
The Original Barnstar
An old school barnstar for an old school defense of old school values at Jimbotalk. Don't be afraid to think outside of the box, sometimes the most effective course of action is an enforceable compromise. best, —Tim /// Carrite (talk) 22:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your help at WP:ANI and for helping me get a sense of perspective on my talkpage. The vitriol shocked me for a second. Rest assured, I will continue to go and improve the encyclopedia. :) OrigamitePlease talk here 00:23, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
The Anti-Flame Barnstar
Your week seems to have been just lousy with acrimony and bad energy involving tendentious editors, seemingly as a consequence, at least in part, of dedicated efforts at WP:ANI. For keeping your calm and staying on point, I offer you one of the most well-earned barnstars I've yet awarded. Made from asbestos, same as your hide. ;) Snow (talk) 10:20, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
Editor of the Week
Your ongoing efforts to improve the encyclopedia have not gone unnoticed: You have been selected as Editor of the Week, for "old school values and a common sense approach focused on what will help Wikipedia survive the long haul". Thank you for the great contributions! (courtesy of the Wikipedia Editor Retention Project)