Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, revert, revert

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Meh...what harm could it do?

The BOLD, revert, revert, revert cycle (BRRR) is a proactive method for forcing the version of an article that you prefer. It is a cross between the Gaming the system process and "Ignore all rules," and it is particularly useful for upsetting your opponents that object to your edits, initiating escalation, keeping discussion from ever moving forward, and ensure that dispute resolution is never used, saving you time and aggravation. Note that this process should not be used with care and diplomacy; some editors will be really upset with this approach, and that is the idea.

What BRRR is, and is not[edit]

BRRR is most useful when you want to escalate an edit war and get all editors involved worked up. It is an excellent strategy to keep your opponents on their toes, as most people will react with indignation, which you can later call upon as a personal attack on your "good faith" edits.

BRRR is best used by experienced edit-warriors. It requires no more diplomacy or skill to use successfully than other methods. Use popups or other similar tool to revert your opponent, and always use "rv Vandalism", or "rv POV" in the edit summary.

Sometimes BRRR is used to indirectly bully newcomers of Wikipedia (particularly for their perceived lack of experience), but bear in mind that one day these Wikipedians might just evolve into legends.

You can try using it in less volatile situations, but take care when doing so. BRRR is a justification for imposing one's own view, and tendentious editing without consensus. It is a way for editors who have realized that if they start edit-warring, it will attract other editors with the same POV, and help in forcing the desired outcome: get the article reverted to the preferred version, regardless of merit, and to get the other side to be blocked for "disruption".

The BRRR process[edit]

  1. Boldly make the desired change to the page.
  2. Wait until someone reverts your change or makes another substantial edit.
  3. Revert that change immediately with an edit summary designed to get your opponent as upset as possible (e.g. "rv vandalism" or "rv to consensus version")
  4. Be sure not to get caught in WP:3RR violations; be sure that you have learned how to game the system before ever attempting BRRR!

Wash, rinse, repeat. If no one reverts after a couple of days, congratulations! You won!

Details[edit]

For each step in the cycle, here are some points to remember.

Bold[edit]

  • Stay focused: Make only the changes you absolutely need to. Bold doesn't have to be big, and keeping your edit focused is more likely to yield results than making an over-reaching change. Actually, that's not really necessary. Make any changes you want; if the BRRR process goes correctly, you'll be fine.
  • Expect strong resistance—even hostility: Deliberately getting people to revert or respond to you feels a bit like disruption. Trying to change things certainly does, even when it's an obvious change for the better! If you do this cycle perfectly, most people will grudgingly accept you. Do it less than perfectly, and they will certainly be mad at you. Do it wrong, and they will hate your guts. Actually, that's the whole point. What can they do? As long as you have connections, you're always a step ahead.

Revert (anything that you don't agree with)[edit]

  • Revert-wars do not help build consensus: Try to avoid reverting a revert yourself. Go to the talk page to learn why you were reverted, or to try to get the reverting party to unrevert themselves, and/or get them to make an edit themselves. Revert as much as possible, as long as you don't overshoot 3RR. If you game the system right, it won't happen.
  • If people start making non-revert changes again, you are done: The normal editing cycle has been restored. This is the result you want.

Discuss Totally unnecessary[edit]

* Adhere to Wikiquette and civility guidelines: The easiest way to intensify this cycle and make it unbreakable is to be uncivil. Try to lead by example and keep your partner in the same mindset.

  • Talk with one or at most two partners at once. As long as the discussion is moving forward, do not feel the need to respond to everyone, as this increases the chance of discussion losing focus and going far afield. Stay on point and pick your responses. If discussion dies off, you can always go back and get yourself reverted again to find (or refind) other interested parties.
  • There is no such thing as a consensus version: Your own major edit, by definition, differs significantly from the existing version, meaning the existing version is no longer a consensus version. There is, consequently, no requirement that "the consensus version" or "the long-standing version" or any other version of the page be visible during the discussions. If you successfully complete this cycle, then you will have a new consensus version. If you fail, you will have a different kind of consensus version.
  • Do not accept "Policy" , "consensus", or "procedure" as valid reasons for a revert: These sometimes get worn in on consensus-based wikis. You are disagreeing, that is okay. Do not back off immediately, BUT:
    • Listen very carefully: You are trying to get the full and considered views of those who care enough to disagree with your edit. If you do not listen and do not try to find consensus, you are wasting everyone's time. You should not accept, "It's policy, live with it."
    • Be ready to compromise: If you browbeat someone into accepting your changes, you are not building consensus, you are making enemies. This cycle is designed to highlight strongly opposing positions, so if you want to get changes to stick both sides will have to bend, possibly even bow. You should be clear about when you are compromising and should expect others to compromise in return, but do not expect it to be exactly even.
  • Discuss on a talk page: Don't assume that an edit summary can constitute "discussion": There is no way for others to respond. You can use the article's talk page (preferred) or the editor's user talk page, but one or the other is the proper forum for the discussion component of the BRD cycle.

Edit warring (who cares, as long as you don't violate 3RR?)[edit]

  • Do not edit war. The BRD cycle does not contain another "R" after the "D". It should. Discussion and a move toward consensus must occur before starting the cycle again. If one skips the Discussion part, then restoring one's edit is a hostile act of edit warring and is not only uncollaborative, but could incur sanctions, such as a temporary block. The objective is to seek consensus, not force one's own will upon other editors. That never works. Whoever wrote these guidelines has no idea how to game the system. Forcing one's will upon others is fun, and a rational behavior of any reasonably ambitious Wikipedian. In fact, that's what admins do all the time.
  • However, don't get stuck on the discussion. Try to move the discussion towards making a new, and different, Bold edit as quickly as possible. One should seek to have an iterative cycle going on the page itself where people "try this" or "try that" and just try to see what sticks best. Warning: Repetitively doing this can easily violate the (recently strengthened) 3RR policy and get good-faith editors blocked even during a productive editing exchange. Any such edits must be clear attempts to try another solution, not ones that have been tried and rejected. If you have reached three reverts within a 24 hr period (3RR bright-line rule), do not edit that content in any manner that reverts any content, in whole or in part, even as little as a single word, for over 24 hours. Doing so just past the 24-hour period could be seen as gaming the system and sanctions may still be applied. Don't discuss at all.

Variations[edit]

BRRRC has been proposed as a more faithful description of Wikipedians behavior, especially if a basic BRRR is unsuccessful due to unaccountable interference from multiple other editors. BRRRC is BOLD, revert, revert, revert, complain to an admin. If you haven't got a handful of friends among the active admin corps who are willing to do you a few small favors, no questions asked, then WP:ANI is the most appropriate venue for the complaint. However, the complaints can also be presented at WP:AN, WP:AIV, WP:AN/3RR, or other suitable noticeboards.

If other editors attempt to discuss the issue, the simple tactic of refusing to be drawn in will work for a while and is often all you need. If the discussion doesn't die down or an opposing editor persists in restoring, join in briefly: add a disparaging one-liner, then a long rant about how expert you are on the topic and the opposing editor has committed every Wikipedia sin you can find to link to. Do not return to the discussion unless it is to mis-read some valid criticism of you, in which case repeat as before.

See also[edit]