Wikipedia:Editcountitis

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Editcountitis, or obsessive edit-counting disorder (OECD), is a serious condition consisting of an unhealthy obsession with the number of edits one has made to Wikipedia (or another online resource). Thankfully, no fatalities or serious injuries have been recorded so far. Furthermore, if caught early, resumption of normal life activities may be possible.

Symptoms[edit]

Classic symptoms:

  • Gloating over an extremely high edit count generated by excessive bot usage, often at the rate of 100s of "edits" per minute -- and then boasting about being one of the most active Wikipedians on your user page.
  • Announcing on your user page or your talk page that one of your main aims in editing is to reach 1000 edits, or 10000, or any other number you pick out of the air.
  • Using one of the tools listed at Wikipedia:WikiProject edit counters to check your edit count more often than you check your watchlist.
  • Having an edit counter as your home page.
  • Never using the preview button, so corrections to your own typos increase your count.
  • Thinking of your position in The List as a competition.
  • Getting frustrated if you click on "My contributions" and then click on "Edit count", only to be confronted with an icon saying that the replication lag is high so that any edits made within the last eight hours will not be counted.
  • Being especially frustrated if you clicked on the "My contributions" icon and then clicked on "Edit count" at 22:52 UTC on April 2, 2012, when information was given that the replication lag was so high that any edits made within the previous "2 weeks, 1 hours, 36 minutes, 21 seconds" prior to that date would not be counted (in particularly bad cases, marking this day off as black letter day).
  • Being overcome by overwhelming emotion and relief when the aforementioned replication lag problem ended on April 3, 2012.
  • In extreme cases, making bad changes just so you can revert them later.
  • In really extreme cases, keeping a current manual count on your user page and frequently updating it.
  • When you update your manual count, habitually forgetting to include the edit in which you just updated your manual count, and making another edit or three just to put it right. Technically, in fact, you could do this forever, adding one each time you increase your manual count, but we hope you don't.
  • Voting support or oppose based on number of edits at Requests for adminship, rather than by checking the user's actual contributions.
  • Editing the main sandbox, or your own sandbox if you are a registered user, excessively.
  • Checking the edit count of any other editor that you come across in Wikipedia, and comparing their results with yours.
  • Becoming a "New Page Patroller" so that you can check the grammatical or spelling errors on new articles and increasing your edit count by correcting them.
  • "Accidentally" vandalizing pages using your IP address, just so you can login and revert them.
  • Using an edit counter script, and running it over and over again to increase your edit count. You could do this forever, thinking that no-one would see it as it would disappear from Recent Changes instantly, due to the fact that so many edits are made on Wikipedia. Please don't do this though!
  • Playing the random article game too much.
  • Removal of whitespace characters, one at a time.
  • Playing The Wikipedia Adventure over and over (even if they've been editing for years), as to artificially inflate their edit count with the automatic edits.

If you find yourself exhibiting at least one of these symptoms, consider seeking professional help. Remember:

Every time an account with more than 200,000 edits is renamed, the developers kill a server kitty. Please, think of the server kitties.
  • Unless you want to be an admin, nobody really cares how many edits you've made. Even then, it's really not quantity, but quality, that matters.
  • After your tenth edit, there is no prize for making 2,000, 3,000, 10,000, 216 (65,536), 217 (131,072), or even 218 (262,144) edits. Full disclosure: there are some privileges based on edit count, related to Wikipedia elections, edit filters, image moves, and AutoWikiBrowser software, but the vast majority are granted on or before 1,000 edits.
  • If you've made over 200,000 edits, your account can't be renamed as it would kill a server kitten.
  • No matter how high you rank on the list of Wikipediholics, you'll never catch me! (That's what the creator of this page thought anyway. He's number 1665 in the list!!!)

Seriously, though...[edit]

Editcountitis is used humorously to suggest a belief that a Wikipedian's overall contribution level can be measured solely by their edit count. This is a phenomenon which some think may be harmful to processes such as requests for adminship, as well as to the Wikipedia community in itself. The problems with using edit counts to measure relative level of experience are that it does not take into account that users could have an extensive edit history prior to registering an account (posting anonymously), and that major and minor edits are counted equally, regardless of whether the edit is a typo fix, or the creation of a full article.

Furthermore, edit counts do not judge the quality of the edits, as insightful comments on talk pages and acts of vandalism are counted equally. Hence, it is not always a reliable way of telling how experienced or worthy a user truly is. Nevertheless, using the edit count tool is often useful for obtaining a very rough idea of how the editor interacts with the Wikipedia and how much experience he or she has.

All edits are perfectly welcome, including wikignomish edits like fixing typos. Each edit consumes disk space and other resources, so please do not edit in a manner intended to increase your edit count artificially, such as never using preview. Remember what we are all doing here is building an encyclopedia, not competing to see who makes the most edits.

Editing tools[edit]

"Mr. President, we must not allow... a mine shaft gap!"

There is a perception among some that editing tools such as Twinkle and Huggle inflate edit counts. This has even led some to oppose the adminship of candidates who heavily use such tools, as judged by relative edit counts. This is a more subtle form of editcountitis. A narrow focus of any sort for a prospective admin is surely a concern, but discouraging people from constructively using the tools available to them is a concern as well. The irony is that this logic is likely a misguided response meant to discourage editcountitis, to discourage those who would inflate their edit counts with "easy" edits to gain credibility.

Forced to make many edits[edit]

Not everyone with a high edit-count is actually a sloppy editor, with change a phrase & save, change a phrase & save, etc. They might have tried to keep their edit-count below 40,000. However, some people, in their daily roles are, more or less, forced to make many minor edits, such as reverting a whole collection of random articles that a vandal has quickly trashed. Presto: 30 edits (for "nothing"). Many major articles are edit-protected from public enemy #1 (the "anonymous IP vandals"). However, vast numbers of articles are not, due to bizarre vandalism ideas: a vandal finds article titles with letters "boo" to become "boob" (or such), in an endless universe of puns. Even privileged users must increment their edit-counters for undoing bad edits or fixing categories (etc.), as part of their daily tasks. Those people shouldn't be condemned for having a high edit-count.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]