Wikipedia:Pending changes/Request for Comment February 2011/Archive 3

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This page contains the third and final phase of a three-phase RfC regarding what to do with Pending Changes in the interim period following its trial. It was decided by consensus that it would be removed from all pages by May 20, 2011. For more information, skip to the closing.

The full text from the proposal page is below. See also its concurrent talk page.

Contents

Proposal

The Pending Changes trial ended many months ago, but around 1000 articles are still using PC protection. It is proposed to remove pending changes protection from all articles, for now, with no prejudice against reinstating it in the future, in some form, based upon consensus and discussion.

  • This proposal does not affect potential future use of Pending Changes; it is only to end the trial. It does not affect the ability to apply pending changes for testing purposes, to a few non-article pages. e.g. Wikipedia:Pending changes/Testing, its sub-pages and user sub-pages that the user requests it for.
  • Discussion of whether and how we want to use Pending Changes in the medium and long term are being overshadowed by a lack of consensus on what to do with Pending Changes in the short term. This RfC is an attempt to reach a consensus on that short-term issue.

Please indicate support or oppose with brief reasoning in the comments section. Comments longer than 1000 characters, responses to the comments of others and general discussion of the topic should go in the discussion section.

Comments

Support proposal

  • Note: the proposal is "to remove pending changes protection from all articles, for now, with no prejudice against reinstating it in the future, in some form, based upon consensus and discussion."

  1. Support. By removing the current articles from pending changes, we will be able to focus our discussions and move the process forward faster and with less conflict. Any new trial would likely be on different articles anyway. The default should be to return the articles to their protection status before the start of the trial. —UncleDouggie (talk) 07:41, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  2. support while there are individuals who oppose PC for reasons of openness, many of the heated discussions I read centered around the fact that the trial period had ended, yet the trial continued. With this out of the way we can work on the other questions like how to improve it, reviewer responsibilities, and how to select articles for the next trial. Cliff (talk) 08:08, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  3. I support the continuation of pending changes in the longer term. However, it is clear that many editors consider the refusal to end the trial on the date promised as a breach of trust, and that this is harming the longer term discussion. Therefore, as an interim measure I support removing PC from all articles. —WFC— 09:00, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  4. Support - we agreed to a 2-month trial; it has stayed on for eight. A 'straw poll' supported (60%) temporary continuation with a drop-dead date of December 2010. Why on Earth is this still on, with no consensus? To move forwards - to have any meaningful discussion - we must first clear the air. The use of PC right now makes a mockery of the Wikipedian ethos of consensus.  Chzz  ►  09:17, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  5. Support - As I've said in past arguments, simply to clear the air. The discussions are currently going nowhere because it's impossible to assume good faith when a past assurance continues not to be honored (i.e. begs the question: How can we trust you to honor the results of discussions if you're not honoring the results of a previous one?). From what I can see, it will be reinstated soon enough (assuming no major problems are found with it), with usage guidelines, scope, and implementation more reflective of actual consensus. ObsidinSoul 10:19, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  6. Support - purely and simply on Chzz's very good point, that a clean slate will help (eg only for BLPs while were already using it elsewhere). WormTT · (talk) 10:41, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  7. Support Ending the PC trial will help clear the air and allow future debates to stay on topic, rather than all ending up as discussions about the trial. It will also help future features be trialled (the main reason the trial got in in the first place was due to users supporting with the understanding that it would be removed, and only because it would be removed, saying they wanted to try it out. If we don't keep the promise of turning features off after the trial, this factor will be lost for future trial proposals). In addition, there is no consensus, and no evidence that PC is good. User's claiming we should keep the trial on because PC is "good", are expressing their own opinion, not fact. Stopping the trial may mean people to actually analysis the results properly. - Kingpin13 (talk) 10:50, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  8. Support - Who the hell's been administering this trial, von Karma? If consensus had seriously been followed, this would have been done a long while ago. Time to reset to the status quo and assess the trial, then make a final decision after we're better informed. —Jeremy (v^_^v Hyper Combo K.O.!) 10:54, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  9. Support It is only logical that PC is removed from pages using it. I'm all for PC but let's remove it first since pages using PC are using it because of the trial (which has ended). After we have a clear consensus, policy and guideline on PC usage, then only implement it proper. Bejinhan talks 11:02, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  10. Support Per UncleDouggie. Jsayre64 (talk) 12:10, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  11. Support Now if only some clever people could, from a neutral standpoint, analyse the trial data and make some kind of sense of them to enable more informed debate. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 12:39, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  12. Support If a new consensus emerges that PC should be used on this project, then pages can be PC-protected under this new consensus. But the consensus that lead to the current protections does not cover any use after the trial has ended and should be respected. Ending this trial does not mean that PC cannot be reinstated in future with a real policy for its use after all (although I personally am against it). Regards SoWhy 12:45, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  13. Support Correct the mistake made at the straw poll. Revcasy (talk) 13:03, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  14. Support I do not understand why keeping PC on a relative handful of articles prevents discussion of future process. But it seems to. End the trial & move on. (Keep a tally of problem edits on the 1000 articles for future ref.) Wanderer57 (talk) 14:09, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  15. Weakly support taking it off non-BLPs. For example, it is on 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. On the other hand, it is doing no harm, and I agree with Wanderer57: how does it prevent discussion? Reaper Eternal (talk) 14:14, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  16. Weakly support Honestly why are we making a mountain out of a mole hill here. Its time to move on and if removing the protection is the only way so be it. Phatom87 (talk contribs) 14:24, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  17. Support the software needs more work on. It is not intuitive. mabdul 14:57, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  18. Start over time. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 15:19, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  19. Support. I originally was a strong supporter of PC, and have long wanted to see it become a success. But I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of clearing the air, and I also believe strongly that serious work still needs to be done on PC. The developers need to work on fixing problems that the community has raised, and they definitely can do so, so long as the infrastructure is left in place. And we, in the community, need to develop the now-missing policy for its use: what exactly should or should not be rejected?, and what are the responsibilities of the reviewers?, among other significant issues. These issues need to be addressed before there is any chance of a real consensus to use PC. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:53, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  20. Support - I think it makes sense to clear the air. People here have left many great comments about the situation I can agree with. Besides made agreements should be honoured. --Mikitei (talk) 16:13, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  21. Support. Long overdue and may help facilitate long-term consensus on the question of PC. Rivertorch (talk) 16:45, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  22. Support Per Chzz and Tryptofish. It's collaboration we're asking for. A test period was granted (2 months), an extention with a hard deadline was authorized (December), and now we're 3 months beyond that deadline with pages (beyond what I understand the processes's scope (like Atheisim)) still entered onto the PC rolls. I agree the procedure is nice, but untill we get more of the usage, responsibilities, and policy documents/guidelines I must register my viewpoint as removing the PC protection (to whatever protection the article had before) but not the infrastructure. Hasteur (talk) 18:07, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  23. Support the poll that produced the original consensus to turn the feature on was for a trial with a specified end date. In the absence of any consensus to make the feature permanent or start another trial the feature should be removed from articles. Failing to do this has damaged the credibility of any future software trial proposals. I don't object to PC being left on for a handful of articles if there are exceptional circumstances. Hut 8.5 18:59, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  24. Grudging support this side issue has hijacked the RFC on the future of pending changes. How it is deployed presently is just a distraction that has persisted through the whole affair. If this is what it will take to make forward progress then let's do it and get back to the real issues. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:02, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  25. Support The trial period has ended, so we should remove it for now and discuss. During those discussions, some changes might arise, and then an updated PC can then be applied. Angryapathy (talk) 19:09, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  26. Support Yes please. -FASTILY (TALK) 20:09, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  27. Support I disagree that this is just removal soley for the sake of making a point. This is making good on the original agreement that the trial would end, by the end of 2010 for the last agreement. Anything beyond that wasn't approved, it's that simple. In the absense of any community agreement to do anything else this is the default option and the one we must follow. The only way around that is to totally ignore the original agreement, which as Chzz mentioned above totally goes against the whole concept of consensus. --nn123645 (talk) 21:25, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  28. We can't go on using it ad hoc indefinitely without a basic consensus for its use.  Sandstein  22:10, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  29. Support Let's start afresh, remove it from all articles, and then let's add it to articles as the result of a protection request. Use it in cases where it is genuinely more appropriate to have PC rather than SP. I started as a rabid supported of PC but now I see its only real use as a protection level for BLP's - all of them. PC does little to stop vandalism. Pol430 talk to me 22:59, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  30. Support, it's time this trial were over, and we finally are able to use better reasoning in the discussions. Sumsum2010·T·C 23:03, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  31. Support. I sympathize with many of those who oppose because they don't see any reason to stop using PC where it is working, but I think PC has more potential than what we've done with it so far, and the continuation of the trial has caused enough friction to jam up discussion on how to make more of PC.--ragesoss (talk) 23:24, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  32. Support This is necessary to deal with negative feelings about being lied to. I must say I have trouble with those myself and feel a strong irrational urge to oppose to everything related to pending changes. Yoenit (talk) 23:27, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  33. Support -- While I do support the continued use of Pending Changes in the future, it is long time to stop this weird purgatory-esque state we are in and make a decision about the future of PC. Nolelover It's almost football season! 02:59, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  34. Support First things first. We are taking way too long to get to the real discussion, which should have happened at the end of the two month trial. Ntsimp (talk) 03:17, 25 March 2011 (UTC) (Moved comment from my accidental 2nd !vote--sorry) I've always broadly opposed Flagged Revisions, but the PC idea interested me because it could allow more IP edits. So I supported the proposed trial. There were those at the time who warned that PC supporters would cynically leave it turned on after the trial, but I assumed good faith. I've been proved wrong. Leaving PC turned on has done tremendous damage to the project's credibility and to our ability to settle controversial questions by consensus. The first step in solving the problem is to shut it down. Ntsimp (talk) 05:26, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  35. Support The trial ended months ago. While it was good to get a feel on how the feature works and how the community may adapt to it, there has been little community consensus to continue it or to implement the feature. We need more discussion of the matter, but in the meantime the feature should be turned off or drastically limited. At this point continuing it isn't going to lead to any revelations or change many opinions. Let's not make pending changes a fait accompli -- more discussion is needed and there needs to be a consensus to switch this on for anything more than the trial we agreed to. ThemFromSpace 03:18, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  36. Support I find the PC protocol a useful supplement to protection but as the trial is overdue for completion and there should be plenty of data already, why keep it on so many articles? It should be used as an alternative to semi and a protocol needs to be established rather than the current blanket use. Kyaa the Catlord (talk) 03:33, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  37. Support. The trial was supposed to be for a set period of time. It should have ended as soon as that time period was over. --Yair rand (talk) 03:42, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  38. Support, should have been handled sooner. Blurpeace 04:23, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  39. Strong Support Harm has already been done by promising to conduct a trial for a set period of time and then breaking that promise. I now have to treat any proposal for a limited-time-trial as a proposal for an indefinite trial. Stopping the trial now limits further harm. Guy Macon (talk) 04:43, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    Discussion moved to Response to Guy Macon per instructions. —UncleDouggie (talk) 06:42, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  40. Support Just seriously take it away. This is causing way more discussion than does any BLPs; which we'll deal with promptly later. We need to adhere first and foremost to the promise given in the previous PC RFC. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 06:42, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  41. Support Conclusions from the last round were PC is confusing, and I read that PC can create a backlog and stopping the trial should bring these issues to light. Are we keeping the trial because we can't stop because of a backlog? Clearly more stats are needed on which to base decisions. Let's properly stop the trial (as planned), and start a new trial asap. Jane (talk) 09:56, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  42. Support End the trial so a more clear and direct discussion can begin.--NortyNort (Holla) 09:57, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  43. Support - I'd like to see more trials, but that will be very difficult to organise while we have a hangover from the previous trial. I also find the arguments put forward in this section are more convincing than those put forward in the opposing section. Yaris678 (talk) 11:14, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  44. Support Things that hang about like this are a nightmare, and frequently prevent the rollout of a full solution. Turn it off temporarily and we can focus on agreeing some rules for whether and where it might be used. Oh, and maybe the developers might be tempted to do something about the sucky interface, Elen of the Roads (talk) 11:31, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  45. Support for every reason I've said on this before. It doesn't work, and continuing the trial indefinitely is to eventually have a fait accompli of accepting a deeply (and maybe hopelessly) flawed system. Courcelles 11:54, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  46. Support keep the tools streamlined. I thought there might be a place for this alongside semiprotection, but I really think the latter is better on all counts, therefore it is redundant. My own solution (as it has been for the past couple of years) is liberal semi-protection for low-traffic and high-risk BLPs as well as those already targeted. Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:02, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  47. Support. — This tool should have simply been imposed upon us. Jimbo, or whoever the eff, should have simply stepped in and said eat this or die. It was utterly stupid to promise a trial. That promise should never have been made in the first place. But a promise it was. And sadly, it needs to be kept. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 12:27, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  48. Support on principle and for practical reasons. The only consensus was for a fixed-term trial, with a clear expectation that if no further consensus arose then we would revert to the status quo ante. We need to deliver on that promise, to retain credibility for future trials in other areas. More pragmatically, PC may well be adopted in a different form or with a scope which excludes some trial articles. It will probably be easier to start from scratch than to modify what is there. Certes (talk) 12:46, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  49. Support - it was a trial for a set period. Dalliance (talk) 13:49, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  50. Support - there was never (as far as I can see) any kind of consensus for the trial going on for more than two months, so the fact that it has done so is unsupported - and, most of all, the air needs to be cleared and the slate cleaned (and possibly disinfected, too!) before anything more can be done in the way of movng on. Pesky (talk) 13:55, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  51. Support While the analysis of the discussions referenced at the top of the page shows high votes for 'it could be useful on BLPs' it also shows a large number of people think 'it's confusing'. We need to stop using it to sort out the 'it's confusing' problem. Edgepedia (talk) 15:59, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  52. Support As I have argued for some time, a minority of outspoken editors have steamrolled this idea through an unconvincing trial period and into this state of indefinite continuation regardless of consensus. Hopefully this poll discussion will set that straight Jebus989 16:49, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  53. Support the pending change is confusing and removing the pending change from articles will remove the defunct feature. --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 17:05, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  54. Support the ending of the trial process. Note that this is not support for the abolition of PC now-and-evermore, but only support for the discontinuation of this particular trial implementation. My impression from my dealings with it has been that the trial version is too slow and unstable to handle the high-traffic articles for which it was intended—and that extending it to all BLPs, as some below seem to be proposing, would bring the system grinding to a halt—but this is anecdotal. Someone needs to analyse where this worked and where it didn't, and the current "neither active nor inactive" state of PC is just causing confusion. – iridescent 17:46, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  55. Support Now you may say: why? It prevents vandalism, allows quality checking, but my reply is that it doesn't. The current implementation is uneven in its scope, and protects articles no bettr from vandalism as, say, a user using STiki does. If a single policy is made, choosing what level of FlaggedRevs to be used, where it is to be used, how it is to protect quality and impartiality in articles, then we will preserve Wikipedia's most sacred philosophies while protecting the reliability and quality of articles it is used on. The current trial implementation is an obstacle to that. Random articles seem to be protected with FlaggedRevs, and the current implementation of FlaggedRevs has not contributed at all to the quality of these articles, in my opinion. If we remove it, work on a proper implementation, and then implement it, Wikipedia will be a better place. --123Hedgehog456 : Create an account! 19:37, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  56. Support. Take PC off so that we can move forward with the discussion. If it's not taken off, then the discussion will go around in an endless circle. OhanaUnitedTalk page 19:42, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  57. Support. Better to turn off for now so that future discussions are not tainted by the trial issue. Kaldari (talk) 20:27, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  58. Support' Having this anomalous class of articles is not desirable. When we have a system that is will be clear to new editors and cpable of handling the editing intensity at Wikipedia, then we can consider one. DGG ( talk ) 21:00, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  59. Emphatic support: Never should have been allowed to dribble on this way in the first place. Next time someone wants a PC "trial", they shouldn't implement it unless the trial automatically stops at the appointed time.—Kww(talk) 22:29, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  60. Strong Support A trial is a trial. At the end of a trial you stop the experiment and evaluate, not let it carry on without consensus to continue.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 00:05, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  61. Support. The trial ended *how* long ago? SchuminWeb (Talk) 01:17, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  62. Support. It was used for a trial period and that trial period is over. Way over.--Michig (talk) 08:57, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  63. Support. This system is in place on the German Wikipedia and I have always severely disliked it, for several reasons. It takes over two months before a reviewer has approved the edit, which is just ridiculous. Though these times will be no doubt be less off the scale on the English Wikipedia, it simply takes the "flow" out of Wikipedia. This could come across as an editor's work not being considered "important" enough, chasing off any less "involved" user. It also feels distrustful to editors who, other than unregistered IPs, should be valued for their contributions and trusted to do the right thing without their every move having to be watched. Lastly, it causes unnecessary mandatory checking work, since bots and mods are doing a fine job as they are, and other editors just need to contribute wherever they can. With many WikiProjects, there aren't any editors available to assess articles, shouldn't our priority be on improving things like that? --Eddyspeeder (talk) 16:41, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  64. Support seems sensible. If "trial" comes to mean "turned on indefinitely", no-one else will get concensus to trial other new ideas in future.--Physics is all gnomes (talk) 17:03, 26 March 2011 (UTC) ETA - this doesn't imply I'm against PC: I'd probably support its introduction when a well-thought-out proposal is made.
  65. Support It doesn't even appear that there is anything that could be described as a trial going on any more. So time to remove it.©Geni 19:01, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  66. Support. Current protection with autoconfirmed editors is often good enough. Anyhow, since the trial is over, the articles should go back to their previous configuration. Xionbox 19:33, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  67. Support. I may expand on this later, but I increasingly feel this debate has become about something much more important than pending changes. It's become about good faith. A sizable portion of the editor base clearly feels that without a clear consensus to continue the pending changes trial that the original commitment to end the pending changes trial after two months should have been upheld. A neutral evaluation of the results of the pending changes trial cannot take place in a charged environment such as this. Political gamesmanship has no place in an environment where aggrieved parties can simply pack up and leave whenever they wish. Wikipedia is already hurting in recruiting and retaining editors, and cannot afford to reach a point where change and compromise has become impossible because of distrust. We need to end the pending changes trial in order to restore our ability to assume good faith of one another and to make future experiments and innovations possible. Grondemar 19:58, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  68. Support. At a minimum, it needs a complete retooling. Mokele (talk) 00:55, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  69. Support I do think that PC protection has proven to be useful tool in the fight of vandalism on the encyclopedia. Jessy T/C 04:05, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  70. Support. I found PC annoying, and I could swear it was implemented in a much larger proportion of the articles that the above number would have made me guess. Tijfo098 (talk) 10:34, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  71. Support As stated the PC trial is over so it only makes sense to remove it from articles. Peter.C • talk • contribs 14:24, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  72. Support I view Pending Changes as completely counter to the original spirit of Wikipedia, so I'm not happy with it being around in any form. Nevertheless, ending the trial will mean that the next "phase" of restricting the ability of the masses to contribute to human knowledge will be implemented faster. I view the expansion of restrictions on freedom a sufficient price to pay for getting this out of the way and ending the endless, pointless meta-meta-debates. Captainktainer * Talk 15:13, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  73. Support Trial has lasted far longer than promised. I am against pending changes in general anyway. I think pending changes is a presently unnecessary (the encyclopedia is still getting better!), it complicates Wikipedia (barrier to new editors), contradicts the spirit of the project (puts too much power in a few users hands), puts more potential legal burden on editors (I don't want to be responsible for other people's mistakes), and is just plain clunky and ugly as was implemented. My opinion is open to change. If it does become obvious that the encyclopedia is getting worse without some sort of edit review process I would be would be willing to give on my position. "Bad edits" exceeding, or getting close to, the number of "good edits" seems to be a logical choice for a major policy shifts. Unless than happens, full steam ahead! Jason Quinn (talk) 16:11, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  74. Support Remove for now to clear the way for long-term discussion. It would be easier to discuss the future of PC if it wasn't up and running during the discussions. Krashlandon (talk) 18:20, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  75. Support While I support the use of pending changes long term, the trial was supposed to end after two months. We know what the positives are, and we know what the negatives are. There are still some technical challenges to be addressed. While this process continues, the "trial" needs to be brought to a conclusion. We then need to figure out whether or not we want PC as a whole, and if we do we thence need to figure out how to implement it. N419BH 01:09, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  76. Support It is time to end the trial and that is overdue. The Foundation has indicated that we are free to wrap it up. PC should go away for now but a new and improved version (with clearer standards regarding its implementation) is of course something we should at least consider in the future (even if the future means as soon as tomorrow, of course).Cptnono (talk) 05:43, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  77. Support. Close it down, as promised. At that point - and only at that point - I will consider supporting a proposal to actually use it. I expect to do so, if the performance is improved and the use of pending changes has an actual scope which seems reasonable. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:36, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
    According to Jimbo or someone from WMF (don't have the exact spot right now), improvements have been made to it. However, because no test has been agreed to for the new version, they cannot test it and we're at a stalemate. Why waste manpower removing it from pages (BLPs from the trial in particular) just to readd it for a new test? CycloneGU (talk) 06:23, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
    Because support for a new trial is impossible without first ending the old one. Also, many have proposed drastically different criteria for selecting articles in the future. Manpower isn't an issue. We can just have a script or bot run through them. The only true waste is the manpower spent trying to get people to honor agreements. —UncleDouggie (talk) 06:36, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  78. Support The trial has ended, therefore all should be set the way it was before. —Mikemoral♪♫ 06:04, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  79. Support after moving from oppose. I still believe it is not necessary to remove PC in order to discuss policy on it. However in the interest of starting a new trial (which will never get support if this one isn't finally terminated) I begrudgingly accept that PC must be turned of temporarily. Polyamorph (talk) 07:59, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  80. Support It should have been removed as soon as the trial was over. rpeh •TCE 08:33, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  81. Support What did we learn from the trial by the way? Grimsooth (talk) 10:33, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  82. Support Lets get on with the next stages and clean up the last trial. (Lexandalf (talk) 14:44, 29 March 2011 (UTC))
  83. Support - I have no problem with pending changes as a process if its used but if we are not going to use it then we need to remove it from this list of articles. --Kumioko (talk) 14:57, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  84. Support Just a trial, so I agree with Rpeh. Should have been removed as soon as trial was over.Libertarianrule (talk) 18:35, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  85. Support - The trial has ended long ago. --M4gnum0n (talk) 21:12, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  86. Support PC is confusing to new editors. EngineerFromVegaDiscuss 04:14, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  87. Support. I am surprised that this has not already happened in the months since the non-end of the trial. SuperMarioMan 05:59, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  88. Support. Mulling it over, I actually like the way PC was implemented, and once guidelines are set for what articles should be there, I think it can work with semi-protection. That being said, the trial ended months ago, so until ground rules are set on all fronts and everything's in place, the trial has to be removed. Ask every corporation that's ever existed, when a trial runs out, the service is kaput. Wizardman Operation Big Bear 12:55, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  89. Support Ending the trial by decapitating the beast will have two effects. First, it'll back the supporters into a corner where the rest of us will finally have the leverage to compel them to make real, final, and clear decisions on scope, implementation, purpose, and legal ramifications, and to write a half decent document explaining those decisions to the community. Second, it will force the PC supporters to come back to the community with the above document and the trial data in hand, put all their cards on the table, and make their best and final case. This will galvanize both sides, lead to a more reasonable and hopefully more efficinent debate, and finally put this mess to bed one way or the other. I think it's time for these things to happen. Sven Manguard Wha? 15:17, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  90. Support - no more vagueness. — La Pianista  15:39, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  91. Support - I supported the trial (and support some form of flagged revisions... really anything workable, broadly interpreting workable), but I thought I understood that the trial would end... that is that the trial flagging would go away... unless the trial flagging was made permanent.Shajure (talk) 19:35, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  92. Support - I think the trial should be ended per previous discussion - PC can be reactivated if the community wants it to be, and I would support a seperate expanded trial in the future. I knew the trial was going on originally from reading WP:EN and never encountered it during my normal course of editing. I'm wondering how many other users never noticed it either. Psu256 (talk) 20:11, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  93. Support - with no predjudice toward further, well-defined trials and ideally agreed upon analytical metrics --unsigned comment by Ost316
  94. Support – I was entrusted with reviewer rights in December 2010, and I'm convinced that Pending Changes will do Wikipedia some good. If there isn't anything else to test from the current version, then we should move on to the next step. If Pending Changes is going to continue, it should be official and supported by the community. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 21:41, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  95. Support - it definitely HAS reduced vandalism and other un-wanted editing to high-target pages, so it should stay. Not to say that there should be a little bit more explanation to new users about it in the policy, but that can be rolled-out after full integration.  A p3rson  23:32, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  96. Support – If it will more quickly get us to the point where we can turn it on officially, then let's turn it off for now. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 05:58, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  97. Support – Chzz makes a compelling case for ending the trial. I for one find myself much of the time opposing PC merely because consensus is being overriden without paying much attention to the actual issues. A calmer atmosphere for discussion is needed. SpinningSpark 08:51, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  98. Support - In the spirit of fairness, if nothing else. Forcing the trial to continue indefinitely will probably do great harm to the social fabric of the project. As a supporter of the implementation of pending changes in some form, I am not optimistic that once removed we will ever see it again on this project. However, it is only fair that the trial is ended so the playing field can be levelled and a serious debate can be held on the future for flagged revisions. CT Cooper · talk 15:27, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  99. Support per UncleDouggie and Chzz. SpencerT♦C 16:58, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  100. Support so that discussion can advance. Also, this was supposed to a be a short trial. Aaron Schulz 19:15, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  101. Support - should have been done a long time ago meshach (talk) 22:54, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  102. Support - Per Chzz. Alpha Quadrant talk 01:17, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  103. Support to touch base, draw a line. This is where the trial ends. Then we can start a new RfC to see on what conditions it can be used. It's a great tool, and a shame to waste it on process wonkery. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 13:03, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  104. Support While I support the eventual continuation of PC, and I lend this support with mixed feelings as a result, I don't think there's really any other direction that will lead to forward progress. So it goes. --joe deckertalk to me 00:23, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  105. Support Because it would be a blow against consensus as our community decision-making process if we leave this tool running while there's no consensus for that. Also because we cannot properly use a tool when there's no consensus as to how it should be used. Cenarium (talk) 00:31, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
    I will also address some of the points made by users made in opposition. (1) The argument 'pure process wonkery, it's useful so keep it' is of equal weight as the argument 'pure process wonkery, it's not useful so remove it', and that weight is zero, because the community never had the chance to make a full determination on the usefulness of PC (in any case you failed to prove that) so this amounts to a classical 'I like it, and I should prevail' argument. (2) Regarding the contention that removing PC will harm articles, this won't occur simply because semi-protection can be used if needed. (3) The allegation that removing PC will preclude or indefinitely delay further discussion of it is not supported, in fact the opposite will happen as this will reduce the drama-level in the area (a well known enemy of consensus building), and we're already considering plans for further discussion. As the author of the original trial proposal, I'll make sure that we move forward in the debate. (4) I also reject the statement that the current situation is satisfiable. The current status quo, a tool for which there's no agreed upon policy for its use is not tenable in itself, the current usage instructions (if they can be called that) to admins (showed in the protection interface for articles) is that: a previous poll (approved by simple majority as required by Jimbo) concluded that PC would be temporarily kept on most articles where it's already, and also reads "Please don't do anything drastic. Please don't fight.". It's difficult to make more ambiguous. With a few exceptions, PC is not applied to new articles now, we're stuck, both ways. And there's been no sign of any progress, at this point we need to reconsider the whole thing with a specific proposal to be submitted to the community, and it's not going to happen with this status quo, we need to reset, then only we'll be able to make a decision. Cenarium (talk) 13:56, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
    I'd like in response to later comments to make the observation that the continuation of PC after the trial was made as a result of a poll decided by majority vote, as required by Jimbo. There has never been any kind of consensus for continuing PC after the trial. And now we have various users who say that there's no consensus for this proposal, arguing for using high standards for assessing consensus here. That's one of the most obnoxious of double standards I've ever witnessed on Wikipedia. WP:CONSENSUS is policy, and even much more than that, we should follow policy not only when it suits oneself, but all the time where it makes sense. Due to the intervention of Jimbo, consensus was not followed, but it should be followed now. Consensus weighs arguments, so please take under consideration the argument that I've just made. Cenarium (talk) 21:13, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  106. Support Community perception, et all, also I don't see how it can continue in its present incarnation without eventually growing to encompass all of Wikipedia (although that might take a few years). I think we need to discuss exactly how this ranks above/below semi-protection, whether this should go on all BLP, how the chances of simple minority consensu and/or sock puppets affects "confirmed status" and what that might do to the chance of lawsuits. Worst, though, the interface is a little cludgy. From the list of pending edits, you can't just review the edit listed there, you first have to look at the history to see if there were any previous edits made by someone else or the same person (otherwise you will only be show the diff between the "present" and "most recent edit". I have seen it apparently make a difference, though, when I reverted obvious vandalism that had sat there for an hour or less. Banaticus (talk) 09:15, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  107. Support. In my eyes PC is a decent new tool in the "Fighting vandalism" toolbelt, and i believe it will certainly help with the BLP headaches that sometimes occur. Even so, i do not support keeping the 1000 or so article's on PC for now. We initially agreed on a two month trial after which changes would be evaluated, which would then lead to an improvement round, before we have a final discussion on whether or not this would be enabled. Regardless whether it is eventually kept around or not, I believe we should honour the original agreement to stop the trial now the time is over (Without prejudice for future trials). I believe this is no more then fair towards the people who were against, but still agreed with a trial - besides, how many would support a trial if they knew it would simply go months overdue? Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 09:30, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  108. Support, and I supported introducing PC in the first place. It clearly isn't going anywhere for the time being, and keeping it on only 1000 pages is just unhelpful to everybody; newbies who come across one of those articles will be puzzled why they operate on a completely different system. Pending changes should either be widely used, or not used at all, but using it on only a few pages is the worst of all options. We should turn it off (as this was supposed to be a trial, after all), take some time to consider the results and effects it had, and then come to a decision whether to reintroduce it on a larger scale. Robofish (talk) 17:48, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  109. Support trial over, let's go forward from there. Hobit (talk) 23:36, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  110. Support I was comfortable with the trial. But if the trial is over then it's over. Refusing to wind down the trial because we need to have RFC after RFC would violate the entire spirit of the trial. Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, and trying to extend the trial through procedural objections would just be Wikilawyering of the worst kind. Shooterwalker (talk) 18:46, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  111. Two months is two months is two months. T. Canens (talk) 04:05, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  112. Support, as the lingering of Pending Changes on the few articles can cause resentment or a sense of unfairness, and ultimately removing it from the articles - but maintaining the possibility of PC - hopefully will clear the air and allow things to proceed more quickly, benefiting the community whether the ultimate decision is for or against PC. Even if it is decided it's best to implement PC on a large scale, removing it temporarily to decide more quickly will be beneficial. Layona1 (talk) 02:53, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  113. Support.it is confusing. Ianlopez12 (talk) 12 :08 , April 15, 2011 (UTC)
  114. Support. What is the point of having an encyclopedia that anyone can edit, if you have to wait for your edits to get "moderated"? --Mûĸĸâĸûĸâĸû (blah?) 06:50, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
    Because Pending changes is a hell of a lot better than indefinite semi-protection. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:52, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  115. Support. Start over without baggage. Tarl.Neustaedter (talk) 07:24, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  116. Support.Can prevent vandalism and unwanted unreliable articles. --User:PREVRAVANTH Prev Ravanth 10:11, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
    This is for supporting ending the trial, not the whole question of PC. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 20:15, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  117. Support. IMHO "pending changes" is a bad idea, (complication downsides far outweigh the small benefits) keeping the trial going is a step in the wrong direction, ending it a step in the right direction. North8000 (talk) 10:19, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  118. Support per clear agreement to do so when the trial was started. TotientDragooned (talk) 20:15, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  119. Weak Support - Although I like the idea of the pending changes, in it's current form it's not wide reaching enough. Ending it for now and starting out fresh after some discussion would be a good idea Cls14 (talk) 09:51, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  120. Support. Until improved version is available and a trial remains a trial. --KrebMarkt (talk) 17:58, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  121. 'Support - PC protection has shown to be excellent alternative to semiprotection however I have seen many cases where admins place PC on a page thatshould be semi'd or not protected at all abd do think a break from PC is desperately needed mauchoeagle 18:44, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  122. Support We should not need a RfC to do this. The trial was scheduled to end at a certain time; it therefore should have been ended at that time, period. A Stop at Willoughby (talk) 03:03, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  123. Support, but shouldn't need to. I and everyone else who agreed to the trial proposal agreed to a limited-time trial. A trial means "We'll let everyone try it out to see how it works in real-world scenarios, and then we'll shut it off while we figure out if we want to use it permanently". It does not mean "We'll sneak it in by calling it a 'trial', and then ramrod through leaving it on after the trial the community approved has ended." That's totally unacceptable, and it's past time to shut this thing down. Maybe someday we'll want to turn it back on again. Maybe we won't. That's up to the normal consensus process to decide. But the trial, which was the only thing that did gain consensus, is long over. Seraphimblade Talk to me 04:53, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  124. Support - This whole thing is against wiki ethos, it makes vandal fighting the responsibility of a smaller group. If most non-established users want to do more damage than good, a project like Wikipedia wouldn't work. A better editing system to make it easier for new users to edit is what's needed, not the other way round. Even were that not the case it should be removed per comment (4) by Chzz.--IanOfNorwich (talk) 18:21, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  125. Support - regardless of the good or harm of the feature, the trial has continued far longer than initially stated. thinking even longer-term than just this one feature, it is likely that when other possibly useful features are proposed in the future that editors that feel burned by this episode will simply reject it out of hand. just as a comment on PC itself, i have had no experience other than an occasional page visit that contained the PC notice, and it seemed a good idea to me as long as it was a very short-term tag. i have no opinion either way as to the final outcome, but i feel that it's obvious that the good-faith acceptance of this trial by those who now question or decided against the feature has done far more damage than any good that could come from continuing it prior to further discussion. (sorry forgot to sign Shelleybutterfly (talk) 16:48, 21 April 2011 (UTC))
    note - the user above has six edits - two of them to this page. Off2riorob (talk) 17:08, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
    And? This is a community-wide proposal. How can you single out a new editor when you have an anon voting oppose on the same proposal? You have a fucked-up double-standard, O2RR. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 18:05, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
  126. Support. A trial is what was promised. Neglecting so prominent a promise by just keeping it going pretty severely damages the basis of trust we need to be able to work cooperatively, in my opinion. It'd be best at this point to end the trial, give the community the chance to draw conclusions from it, and discuss it calmly without all the drama that the neglected promise engenders.  – OhioStandard (talk) 04:40, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  127. Support. While I think pending changes is pretty inevitable, I understand why the methods used to implement it have made many people feel disenfranchised. With a change this fundamental it seems important not to push it through as a fait accompli and by breaking an agreement, but rather through good faith discussion that doesn't dismiss other people's concerns because they disagree with you about the results that would stem from not using pending changes for a little while. Also, can we please put together a set of guidelines for them before use? UsernameRedacted (talk) 13:19, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Oppose proposal

Oppose move to support. I say keep the pending changes on the articles they're on. It appears to be doing no harm, indeed even helping on them. Now we've seen pending changes working, removing them seems like a step backwards. (NB, this isn't a strong objection - I just don't see the point in removing them) WormTT · (talk) 10:08, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  1. Oppose The suggestion is akin to having automatic starters removed from cars after they were proven to work. Ot to removing a new medicine from patients in a clinical trial when the medicine was proven effective for their illness. Pending changes has been proven to reduce vandalism and BLP violations. All it is is "removal for the sake of removal" which makes precious little sense at all. Collect (talk) 10:35, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  2. Oppose - Pending protection is working fine on less than one thousand articles and there is no worthwhile reason to remove the tool from them. Off2riorob (talk) 11:27, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  3. I would oppose in principle, because I think that PC is a useful tool; I'm baffled by the idea that we might have to stop using it in order to get a clear discussion on the best protection options for articles in future. (It reminds me of the government who sent us a letter recognising that my wife had a right to live with me, and therefore the government insisted that she had to be deported, so that she could fill in a form in another country requesting permission to be with me again). However, we've been mired in difficult debate for some time; if, for some bizarre reason, stopping using PC is genuinely the best way to move the debate forward to establish consensus on the best use (or non-use) of PC in future, then pragmatically I'd say we should switch off PC in the short term. I am skeptical that this scenario will come true, though - after switching off PC I think we would still be mired in similar debate. bobrayner (talk) 14:52, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  4. Oppose, per Bobrayner. This will make it harder to keep watch over sensitive articles. Stifle (talk) 15:53, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  5. Oppose, per Bobrayner. It's working fine, it's in the interest of a credible Wikipedia to keep it working on these 1,000 articles or more, something like 135 edits/min to 10-12 reverts/min is not healthy for a credible Wikipedia, to insist on switching it off on the short-term is absolutely not logical to me. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 16:07, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
    Oppose, it is a useful tool, it should remain on the articles it is currently protecting (unless consensus on those pages decide that the protection isn't needed or another form of protection would be better, but that's for the article editors to decide). If consensus decides that PC will be mothballed then it can be removed then. Polyamorph (talk) 16:41, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  6. Oppose This process bullying is exactly why WP is such a mess. Nothing can be done without process fetishism. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 20:11, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
    If trying to enforce a consensus is "process bullying" or "process wonkery", I wonder what the hell edit wars and wikilawyering are! —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 04:29, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    The differences is between bureaucrats who are here for the sake of the rules and pragmatics who are here for the sake of the content. Every self regulated system eventually breaks down under the weight of the bureaucracy, and it is pobvious that wikipedia is going that way under the guise of "process needs to be followed". We have a functional tool about which most editors agree it helps at least in some areas, but it is torpedoed by the process-oriented bureaucrats because of process fetishism. I think it is disgusting. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 14:42, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  7. Oppose. I am not aware of any real problems, and I believe the benefits outweigh any that might exist. Hans Adler 20:14, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
    PS: I don't actually care much either way. However: (1) I have not seen a single valid argument for removing PC from articles now and then presumably restoring it after phase 231 of this RfC. The only thing approaching a valid argument was that those who insist on this are causing disruption, so we must cave in to them. (2) By removing the protection now I am afraid we increase the danger that this RfC will be delayed further and further by introducing more and more similar red herrings until the cows come home (or phase 231 of this RfC, whichever happens earlier). Because then the delayers have the status quo fully on their side. (3) This kind of immature behaviour should be shunned, not rewarded with success. Hans Adler 14:30, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  8. Oppose. I love Pending Changes. As this thesis predicted as the number of Wikipages increases, reality is catching up with us: more tools are needed to manage the: "untenable trend towards progressive increase of the effort spent by the most active authors" to maintain quality. History2007 (talk) 22:13, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
    Discussion moved to Response to History2007 per instructions. —UncleDouggie (talk) 07:20, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    Oppose as ever. Are you guys still talking about this? Just implement it Wikiwide and move on. History2007 (talk) 09:30, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. Oppose - I like the pending changes. It provides us with a great alternative to protecting some pages, and I quite honestly don't understand why some people want to remove that. Ajraddatz (Talk) 22:12, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  10. Oppose. Pending Changes undoubtedly reduces the vandalism load, allowing vandal fighters to make other contributions. We need to focus on improving Wikipedia's quality. Guoguo12--Talk--  22:48, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  11. Oppose - no reason whatsoever not to allow admins to use it. On lightly edited articles, it's a useful tool to ensure that vandalism doesn't get published until reviewed. --B (talk) 23:22, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
    Oppose (Moved to observe) I wanted to support this notion as a comprise. Unfortunately, I see the context more as an indictment, and any compromise I bring in good faith would constitute surrender. I have already seen the calls for finding fault. I am sure at some level "I dropped the ball". And I know when a proposal says "The Pending Changes trial ended many months ago" followed by "it is only to end the trial". It is a position I can not support. My76Strat (talk) 23:31, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  12. Oppose Useful tools should not be laid aside solely for the sake of what Kim terms the "process fetishism" of a few users (and the hopes of a few more to kill the tool off entirely, leaving us with much greater use of semi-protection). WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:12, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Also: The proposal here is to remove PC from all articles, so that editors can talk about its future. Fine, right? Except that this inherently means that the only people who can talk intelligently about PC are the small fraction of editors who have already looked into it. The new editor, or the average person who hasn't previously encountered it, will be unable to try it out during these future discussions. We'll be saying, "Oh, when it turns up in your watchlist, then you just click on this, and then it..." and they'll be saying "It doesn't turn up in my watchlist. I don't see anything to click on. What are you talking about? How come I'm not allowed to try it out, so I can figure out what we're talking about?" WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:13, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
    • This is incorrect, if you had actually read the proposal, you would have seen that testing will still be possible in project space. Cenarium (talk) 12:20, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Sort of, but not really. For example, right now, if someone edits a page under PC (e.g., Gout), and that page is on my watchlist, then when I go to my watchlist, I get a note about it needing review. It's automatic, and it's real. That's simply not going to happen on the couple of test pages. These people will see zero real articles and zero real editing and end up with zero real experience about how it really works. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:46, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. Oppose Very useful tool, see no reason to remove it. Don't see how this would move forward a rational debate about its broader usage. --Elekhh (talk) 00:25, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  14. Oppose This proposal appears to advocate harming the encyclopedia for the sake of process wonkery. It is perfectly possible and reasonable to keep pending changes in use while discussing its use. Captain panda 00:57, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  15. Oppose Pending changes is useful that it prevents vandalism from building up, without having to use semi-protection, which punishes IP users for the actions of a few. It is also useful for articles that not many people have on their watchlist. Finally, I believe that every article should have pending changes. This way, Wikipedians can focus on content addition and copyediting, rather than having their edit counts boosted by reverting vandalism, warning vandals, placing vandals on the AIV, and requesting page protection. Johnny Au (talk/contributions) 03:00, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  16. Oppose It's working and it's working well. I don't recall a consensus that it would be turned off after the trial period, just that there would be more discussion. Just because that discussion is belated still isn't a reason to shut it off. —Elipongo (Talk contribs) 03:19, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    Discussion moved to Response to Elipongo per instructions. —UncleDouggie (talk) 07:11, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  17. Oppose - I am an opponent of Pending Changes on a broad scale and really don't like the whole "trial that was not really a trial" fiasco... However, I've recently had the occasion to be involved in an article that was the subject of protracted vandalism that was on the verge of a lawsuit and having the OPTION for Pending Changes protection was a real boon. If PC is only being used on 1,000 pages out of nearly 3.6 million articles, that's just about right. Leave well enough be... Just don't try spreading that crap indiscriminately across Wikipedia. Carrite (talk) 03:43, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  18. Oppose There is simply no justification for removing a tool that helps keep down defamation in BLPs while still allowing "open" editing. Want a new and improved version? Fine. Keep this one until it's ready--the alternative is widespread semi-, if not full protection of BLP articles (or non-BLP articles that attract BLP allegations). Jclemens (talk) 06:30, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    Oppose I have put pending changes protection on BLPs of various folks who were considering suing Wikipedia for allowing defamation. I strongly oppose any attempt to remove any part of our toolbox for preventing BLP issues. Jclemens-public (talk) 01:15, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. Oppose Pending Changes are a useful tool against BLP Vandalism. It is less harmful to our core goal of being an encyclopedia "anyone"** can edit then semi-protection. (Yes, I know blocked/banned users cannot)... Semi-protection removes the ability of IP Editors completely.. Pending Changes allows them to still edit, but having the edit reviewed before going "live" reduces the risk that google spiders and the like will echo vandalism further out. We should be aggressively ramping UP the use of Pending changes, rather than this. I compare this to an attempt to rob PC of its momentum, and then argue that we shouldn't restart it, because we already tried once, and then stopped. SirFozzie (talk) 06:55, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    See discussion below.
  20. Fozzie took the words right out of my mouth. Quite why anybody would want to rob us of a useful tool in the fight against vandalism that doesn't make anybody without an established account feel unwelcome is beyond me. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 07:22, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    See discussion below.
  21. Oppose It's working. Bobrayner brings up a good point also. Mkdwtalk 07:49, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  22. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Pending changes are better than any other way for protecting articles here. Wikipedia is supposed to be free encyclopedia which all people who come in good faith should be able to edit, not only for few elected sysops or confirmed people, protecting articles with regular protections (edit=autoconfirmed or sysop) is evil and removing opportunity for regular people to edit this encyclopedia would not make it better. Petrb (talk) 08:26, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    Oppose Keeping the PC trial going will expose more people to PC, and give more chances to identify bugs/future enhancements. --JaGatalk 09:00, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    Although I still maintain there's nothing wrong with allowing the trial to continue, other editors are using this issue to hold up the process. In the interest of moving forward, I withdraw my oppose. --JaGatalk 17:29, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  23. Oppose - it's working perfectly well as it is right now and is serving to protect a number of significant BLPs. I'm not willing to accept the 'collateral damage' involved in removing it; there's too much already as it is - Alison 11:42, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  24. Oppose. Why semi-protect 1000 editable pages? You must really hate new editors. If some of the articles don't need protection take them to RFPP. Otherwise get over it (the 'difficult to discuss' thing) and think about moving swiftly forwards, not backwards. -- zzuuzz (talk) 12:34, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  25. Strong Oppose. I have noticed that in some pending changes there is severe vandalism. This is working very well. Keeping this will also give some editors the opportunity to have there edits seen by others, and then possibly applied to the article while at the same time keeping vandalism rates way down. If we remove this tool and replace the pending changes with semi-protection, tens of thousands of new editors will not be able to have their facts added to an article. Crazymonkey1123 (Jacob) (Shout!) 16:38, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  26. Oppose While we wait for the improved version, I think PC protection should at least be added to all BLPs. Dugnad (talk) 17:34, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  27. Oppose. I'm afraid I don't follow the logic that PC has to be turned off completely before we can move on to discussion of its future use. If there is a consensus to not use PC at all, we can turn it off. Personally, I would like to see its use expanded. -- Donald Albury 17:42, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  28. Oppose I don't see a clear practical reason here for why we need to remove it. I don't see this as an "either-or" situation. I see great potential for PC as an option for some situations, while still using semi-protect for others. E.g. perhaps use PC for current-events and lower-traffic pages. ★NealMcB★ (talk) 20:37, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  29. Oppose I really do not understand why we have to turn pending changes off in order to determine how to use pending changes. If we were deciding a new policy on acceptable usernames, we wouldn't insist on stopping anyone from registering. If we were rewriting the BLP policies, we wouldn't just systematically delete all BLP articles so that we have a "clean slate" to work from. This whole discussion is a way of avoiding the actual substantive discussion. Indeed, if we have pending changes turned on, the discussion of the policy can be informed by the fact that we can compare like-for-like pages that are under PC protection with those that are unprotected, semi-protected and fully protected. —Tom Morris (talk) 21:55, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  30. Oppose. If the trial has not ended, it simply means "It is working !" *** in fact *** ( contact ) 04:08, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
    What sort of logic is that? —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 09:39, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  31. Oppose I can only use common sense to guide me. I haven't read enough about this to have more information. But my gut says there is no reason to stop a good thing that works for no reason. My gut also says if there was a good reason, it would be easily seen. I haven't seen it. Town,WP (talk) 23:26, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
    People have discredited my opposition on my talk page. I don't know what else to say. I like pending changes. I want it to continue. and this is my opinion. If that's not good enough, erase my comments. Town,WP (talk) 22:29, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  32. Oppose Why remove it. I see no sufficient reason.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 11:06, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  33. Oppose I don't see any reason to remove it, regardless of when the trial ended. It's only benefiting the articles it is currently activated on. Tyrol5 [Talk] 17:14, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  34. oppose per Alison and Doc James --Guerillero | My Talk 19:55, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  35. Oppose – No, just no. PC is working well on articles that do not merit the need for semi-protection, such as low-traffic BLPs (high-traffic ones should be semi-protected). If it ain't broke, don't fix it. mc10 (t/c) 20:06, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
    Moved to #Response to MC10 below. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 06:39, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  36. Strong Oppose - BLP articles that currently use it should be able to keep testing it. Others, perhaps it can be removed, but this tool helps curb BLP vandalism which could otherwise be libelous. Let's not reopen ourselves to that problem at least on those articles. However, I recognize there is currently a 2-1 consensus as of my vote in support of the above proposal. CycloneGU (talk) 16:55, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
    Addendum to above opinion: I have yet to see a single valid reason why this ought to be removed other than "the trial is ended". CycloneGU (talk) 19:16, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
    Discussion moved to #Response to CycloneGU below.  Chzz  ►  22:08, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  37. Oppose useful tool. Buckshot06 (talk) 17:06, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  38. Oppose - Really? We need to 'clear the air' by removing pending changes from all articles in order to continue discussion of the future use of pending changes? Absurd. There's also no mention of what level of protection that current pages with PC protection would be changed to if it were removed. None? Semi-protection? This proposal is flawed. Mojoworker (talk) 05:44, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
    When a trial is over, things should revert to the way they were before the trial started, whatever protection that may have been for each article. If you want something else, you're free to propose it here. You can also directly request any protection level for a given article using the normal method. —UncleDouggie (talk) 06:02, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  39. Oppose I'd prefer to see us implement Flagged revisions on all articles as is working on DE wiki. But Pending changes on 950 articles is better than nothing, and if we remove it from those 950 I've no confidence that it will restart until the next major incident. ϢereSpielChequers 21:17, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  40. Oppose - Clearly a good alternative to semi-protection and should be allowed to be applied on an case-by-case basis if there is consensus. Marcus Qwertyus 20:09, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  41. Oppose - I think keeping them on the articles they are on is fine. I don't see any harm being done by leaving them where they are. Maybe in the future, we can come up with a new system to replace them in that case it can be removed. Tofutwitch11 (TALK) 00:31, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  42. Strong Oppose - Pending Changes protection is exactly what Wikipedia needs. The less vandalism that can be visible to the public; the better! Barts1a | Talk to me | Yell at me 02:45, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  43. Oppose - On the articles I watch that have it, it seems to be working just fine. On vandal patrol earlier today it prevented the entire contents of Harvard University from being replaced with this crap.[1] One more hurdle for vandals to overcome, and good edits can easily be approved and then implemented. Doc talk 05:00, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
    I should note that Harvard University is exactly the type of page that I believe it works best on, per my earlier comments down below. While the page was probably being watched in any case, PC is extremely useful for pages like this that get maybe a few edits daily. CycloneGU (talk) 15:46, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  44. Oppose per Alison and WereSpielChequers.  -- Lear's Fool 05:21, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  45. Oppose - I think that the current level of anon edits to pages uinder PC is under controll (we're approving or reverting them quickly enough), and it's better then semi protection (as it allows good faith edits to get through). עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 05:44, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  46. Oppose I found it frustrating when I found an error with a Wikipedia Article before I was Autoconfirmed that was semi-protected, and I remember thinking that it must be frustrating for so many people who are in good-faith when they wish to edit semi-protected articles so when pending changes came in I thought it got the balance right as it stopped the vandalism on the article but still allowed good-faith edits through. After all, is it not one of the Five Pillars of Wikipedia that anyone can edit, yet with semi-protection so many people cannot. Jamietw (talk) 17:45, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
    The proposal is whether to remove PC from the thousand or so pages it is currently on. Are you opposing its removal from those pages at this time? Your comment more advoates PC than addresses the current proposal. CycloneGU (talk) 18:19, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  47. Strongly oppose anything that reduces the amount of protection we give our BLPs. We need to expand Pending Changes or any other method already - this problem has gone on far too long and BLPs continue to have damaging and defamatory material added by drive-bys. Don't take away the little automatic protection that we have. Tvoz/talk 23:03, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
    Comment And by the way, this double-negative proposal could have been made clearer - "supporting" the proposal means taking away PC, "opposing" the proposal means keeping it in place - this is like Prop 8 in California. Yes should mean yes, not no. Tvoz/talk 23:03, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
    There are many who argue that supporting the proposal moves the process forward while opposing dooms PC to permanent limbo status. —UncleDouggie (talk) 04:34, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  48. Oppose as an IP editor here and on wikibooks, I find PC far less annoying to deal with than semi-protection. I filled in the aborted questionnaire proposed a few weeks ago here with further comments. Short summary: keep PC on, develop policy as experience increases (just like with any other new feature), and also reach out to existing PC-using wikiprojects for guidance based on their experience. 75.57.242.120 (talk) 04:55, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  49. Oppose, we know it works, why remove it? Lankiveil (speak to me) 00:04, 10 April 2011 (UTC).
  50. Oppose removing it from existing article because its actually proving useful on a number of articles, and after so much dead horse beating on this topic I think the only way to close this discussion appropriately is as "no consensus" - I don't think any consensus to remove pending changes entirely or expand its use is valid as the discussions on this have gone on far too long - and its perfectly possible one side of the discussion is less interested in continuing the discussion indefinitely than the other - if any significant changes are wanted it should be bought up again after a significant interval. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 16:16, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
    Comment to add a second oppose argument. To increase the 2800 odd indefinitely semi protected articles by 1/3 seems to be highly counter-productive. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:18, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  51. Infuriated oppose - I've been busy IRL but every so often have taken time out in the last couple of months to check in on this ABSOLUTE CAR CRASH OF A DISCUSSION (apols for caps, but let's call a spade a spade). In general wiki is very conservative to trying new solutions, and even when change does occur, groups who are opposed to it continue arguing against it, often long after everybody else has moved on, assuming the battle is over, and doing so on pages which the sane/productive/busy just don't have the time or patience to keep checking up on. I don't begrudge them that. And while I found their arguments on this page utterly unconvincing, there hasn't been a sparkling, knock-out counterargument from the pro-PC group either (especially since the quality of quantitative analysis has been very poor, mostly due to lack of prior planning for evaluation). But I didn't have the time or inclination to step in and argue, because (a) I felt this battle had already been fought, (b) I was well-aware that the anti-PC group are much better-motivated and will have far greater endurance, whereas my contributions would be unlikely to sway anybody. Wiki-arguments should not be won by endurance alone. But looking at the numbers of voters on this page, this will be exactly what has happened. This vote has several very negative features - not least, when I glanced at WP:CENT I had no idea discussion had entered a terminal voting phase. I assumed that the same old tired arguments would still be being wheeled out by exhausted participants in an overlong thread that nobody else was reading; instead I discover something approacing "MfD for a button". How many people who use PC day-in, day-out for their admin, reviewing and anti-vandal work, are even aware of this? I can't believe it's very many, otherwise the number of participants here would be far greater. If this is closed as "support" you're going to get an almighty row, several hundred people quite correctly jumping in to say "we weren't informed", and the interminable ding-dong will grind on interminably. At least stick a warning-tag specifying that a voting stage has been reached on the main pending changes-related pages, so that its users can be directed here. It's absolutely appalling that they wouldn't be specifically invited to come here - I appreciate the "temporary" nature of the planned removal, but you wouldn't AFD an article without putting a tag up on its page, and you shouldn't do "temporary MFD" of PC without showing the same consideration. TheGrappler (talk) 02:00, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  52. Oppose There was no implication in the original "trial" that it would be removed after the trial period had passed (although many users seem to have interpreted "trial" in that way), only the need for the community to establish policies and processes for the implementation. We have a failure of documentation and not a failure of the feature. The endless debate to remove the feature is detracting from the job of making it work. We should just acknowledge that the tool is here to stay and work on process, documentation, problems with implementation, and requesting improvements from the developers. Removing it at this point will further delay these necessities. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 14:56, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
    Response here
  53. Weakly Oppose I don't understand why pending changes cannot be reviewed, expanded upon, and/or completely reconstructed while it is running in its current state. The 1000 or so articles that the protection is currently applied are benefiting from the protection. With that said, pending changes definitely needs to be changed, but a step back does not seem necessary because there appears to be consensus that the protection could benefit from new guidelines (i.e. BLPs only). I would say that a category of articles that should be pending changes protected should be established (once again, BLPs). I would change my view to support if the only way 'Pending Changes' can be redefined is by first removing it; this seems to be the main point for those who support the proposal, but I disagree that it is necessary. --Ghostshock (talk) 06:01, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  54. Strong oppose - it works, no need to remove it. Let's figure out ways to improve it rather than debating over whether it should be running or not. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 21:56, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  55. X mark.svg Ridiculously Strong Oppose: Pending changes works. It is a good alternative to semiprotection, and gives IP editors the power to edit the article without exactly editing it. --43?9enter ☭msg☭contribs 02:22, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  56. Oppose It works. It's good. This fetish of exalting process over substance is getting waaaaaay out of hand. And this from a guy who generally supports fetishes. For those who feel hoodwinked by the way the trial wound up getting extended please WP:AGF. And I'll repeat from an earlier discussion the wisdom of the seismologists: "SHIFT HAPPENS" David in DC (talk) 03:32, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  57. Oppose: It's a better way to keep away vandalism and other unsatisfactory edits. Bill william comptonTalk 04:01, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  58. Oppose - As stated above previously, it is useful when pages are vandalised and is a system that has been shown to work. If it isn't broken, why fix it? Gb105 (talk) 16:52, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
    Response here
  59. Oppose It is a good alternative to semiprotection, and gives IP editors the power to edit with going live with it Bentogoa (talk) 16:52, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  60. Oppose -- I don't see why it has to be removed in order for a decision to be made; that seems like red tape for the sake of red tape. — anndelion  18:13, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  61. Oppose I was recently granted reviewer rights and I expect to use them. Keep PC!--The Master of Mayhem 21:22, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  62. Oppose useful tool even in short term. Buckshot06 (talk) 16:04, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
  63. Oppose This PC tool has been very useful, and I don't see a problem with keeping it. Creation7689 (talk) 15:51, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  64. Oppose While not a perfect solution it is useful and I can see with some minor improvement being as handy as twinkle. Golgofrinchian (talk) 00:01, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  65. Oppose It's a good start - scrapping it removes the testing and pressure for improvements, quite the opposite of the point. James F. (talk) 12:21, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Neither support nor oppose

  1. Comment: The trial of PC was a success but the community has been very clear that the user experience was inadequate. A much better experience is needed and should be trialled before permanent adoption. The present version is simply not good enough. AJRG (talk) 11:51, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Discussion

Wikimedia Foundation issue

There previously was concern that if we stopped using PC, the WMF would not permit us to later restart it. Steven Walling from the WMF has recently made it clear that we are free to stop using PC until we make a final decision. The only restriction is that should we decide to dismantle the infrastructure for PC, the foundation will not set it back up again. There is no need to be so drastic. The trial can be ended by merely removing PC from all articles. —UncleDouggie (talk) 07:50, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, UncleDouggie is correct. Just to be super clear: what I'm trying to say (for the tech folks managing Pending Changes right now) is that the community has always and will always be free to just quit using Pending Changes if it wants. But we're only going to remove the extension entirely (and get rid of the rest of the infrastructure, such as the test suite) until the community can show a clear consensus that it does not want to use the feature in the long run. If people want to end the trial and put a moratorium on use until that decision about the long run can be made, that's fine by us. Steven Walling at work 23:15, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
But we're only going to remove the extension entirely ... until the community can show a clear consensus that it does not want to use the feature in the long run.
The "super clear" clarification actually leaves me more confused. By only, did you really mean not? By until, did you really when if and when? — ℜob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 16:59, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
No, Alarob, the extension will remain; the proposal is merely to remove PC from all articles with it until a final consensus can be gathered. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 08:56, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Question: what about other Wikimedia-run wikis that are using PC? It is being used on English Wikinews and Wikibooks, and also on other language versions of Wikipedia. If English Wikipedia reject PC, does that mean the WMF are going to abandon all development and maintenance of PC and support of other projects if they want to use PC?
Don't be so naïve. Any decision on PC in en.wp will affect en.wp only. en.wn and en.wb willn't be affected. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 08:56, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not being naïve. I'm asking a question: Steven is talking about getting rid of "the infrastructure" including the test suite. The question I'm asking is if English Wikipedia's possible rejection of PC will affect other projects? The Foundation haven't expressed themselves very clearly over the issue of PC, so I'm seeking clarification. I also think calling me naïve for asking an honest question directed towards the Foundation shows an AGF deficit.Tom Morris (talk) 23:52, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I think it's clear to everyone here that the WMF aren't going to abandon PC just because en.wp doesn't use it, hence why I called you naïve. It would be far too disruptive to the projects that use PC or FR to dismantle it entirely. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 00:01, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

No big deal

I want to emphasize that, I think PC has the potential to be a useful tool, a useful addition to our toolbox. But to sort out this mess, we need to remove it for now; we need to take a step back, so we can move forwards. And to anyone who thinks this is unnecessary...OK, we can agree to disagree but - do you really strongly object to use removing it, for now?

This polldiscussion really should be no big deal at all; a few hundred articles - a tiny test - brought to an end, so we can discuss things without them imposed on us.  Chzz  ►  10:01, 24 March 2011 (UTC) gah; even 'I am mistaking it for a poll; aargh  Chzz  ►  19:46, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm on the other side of the poll, just about, but I was under the impression that this poll would help determine consensus on the articles currently under PC. I think they're no big deal to be left on, and if the community agrees with me here - we should be able to move on and leave this point alone. If it agrees that they should be removed, we should be able to remove them, move on and leave this point alone. I'll be very glad when we can leave this point alone! WormTT · (talk) 10:16, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
The reason that it is a big deal if the trial continues is...it makes it extremely difficult to discuss. What's the point in our discussing e.g. "can it be used only on BLPs" when - right now - it is used on gout? We need a blank slate to work with. A large portion of the community is disillusioned with the entire process - because consensus has been disregarded. I'm not interested in recriminations, I just want us to 'clear the air'.  Chzz  ►  10:19, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
While in theory everyone could just forget that these articles exist and move on, in reality people don't work that way. As long as they exist with PC protection, they keep coming up in discussions and we get nowhere. It's terribly frustrating. —UncleDouggie (talk) 10:27, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I hadn't spotted that it might actually preclude discussion on where to use it. That's a very good point, and I've moved to support. UncleDouggie, my thoughts were that you could always refer people to this consensus - which I'm hoping would be enough to move on either way. WormTT · (talk) 10:41, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
It shouldn't be hindering forward progress but apparently there are some who just can't discuss things hypothetically when they feel they've been betrayed. When this is all over it may be worth re-examining whose responsibility it actually was to remove it when the trial was over, that is a point that is still unclear to me. Was the Foundation supposed to do it automatically, or was someone from here supposed to tell them what we wanted done and that just never happened? I don't know but it as so many have mentioned rebuilding trust and feeling betrayed I think it is important that we establish who really "dropped the ball" in this affair. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:06, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

To those who don't see the harm in the trial continuing

I personally feel that it's probably not doing direct harm. That said, I'm sure many people will disagree, and say that it is doing harm in some or all of the places where it is applied. Either way, it is patently obvious that the ongoing trial is standing in the way of progress on the longer term future. Therefore, I believe it is in the interests of both broad sides of the PC debate for the trial to be halted. Those broadly in favour of PC because it will highlight the need to actually get on with this discussion (which should have ended months ago), and achieve a consensus of sorts for either another trial or longer-term implementation. Those broadly against PC partly because they will be glad to see the back of it in the short term, but also to give us the opportunity to either ditch PC for good, or at least, if it does remain, ensure that it has a defined scope, and that there is consensus for that scope. The sooner we know what is happening with PC, the sooner we can stop worrying about it/ start learning to live with it. And if ending this trial speeds that process along, then ending this trial is what we must do. —WFC— 10:38, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

In answer to the question "why does PC remaining in place on these articles prevent discussion?". If it were a case of "is PC good or bad", the trial would not be a problem. But my judgement is that there is not consensus for full or permanent implementation yet, but that there probably is consensus for a continuation of PC in some form. But progress on what form that takes (be it more articles, fewer, the same number, different software, specific types of article, whatever) is being undermined by the failure to implement the previous "hard shut-off". —WFC— 16:09, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
More simply, it's hard to get consensus for a future, short-term trial, if the last short-term trial kept going indefinitely. —WFC— 16:10, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with continuing the PC on articles, but others seriously do, and I gather from their comments that they have stronger opinions on the topic. As such, I concede to their wish to end the trial so that we can discuss how to proceed. Cliff (talk) 16:29, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
With all due respect, the people who don't like pending changes aren't the ones being protected by it (they're not BLP subjects) nor the ones benefiting from it (they're not the anonymous editors allowed to edit PC-protected articles). Jclemens (talk) 06:39, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I think you're forgetting who does the work around here. We're not your reviewing slaves to be ordered about to whatever articles you deem in need of protection. There have been loud objections to the lack of PC policies and problems with the technical implementation as well. We can quickly revert edits today with Huggle and other tools using clearly defined policies. Just why should we switch to a slow interface in which we must put our name by edits without any policies regarding such operations? —UncleDouggie (talk) 08:06, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Of course you're not anyone's slave--everything any of us do is as volunteers here. We're agreed that the technical implementation needs improvement, but given the years of development that have gone into Huggle and similar tools, it is unreasonable to expect that PC will spring forth fully formed with that level of support. I'd say the solution to that problem is to move forward and hammer out the issues, not undo what's been accomplished to date. Jclemens (talk) 09:42, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't see how having 1000 pretty much random articles (except for the few you have done) being under indefinite PC protection with no reviewer guidelines or policies is much of an accomplishment. By that logic, we could enroll all of en.wikipedia in PC tomorrow and have success beyond our wildest dreams. Although, somehow I don't think that's exactly the reaction you would get. Success is a well functioning protection system that doesn't destroy the mission of Wikipedia. The stats from phase 2 about PC being confusing should make it clear that's not where we are at. What are you going to do if 95% of the currently protected articles turn out to be ineligible per a consensus article selection policy? —UncleDouggie (talk) 10:04, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I think it would be relatively easy to write an adminbot that goes through Special:StablePages, checks for Category:Living people, and removes PC on all pages that do not contain it if that is the consensus. At one page per second, it would only take 162/3 minutes to process 1000 pages. Reaper Eternal (talk) 12:29, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't really see how that is of particular relevance to what UncleDouggie was saying, however, if it is of interest, here's a list of BLPs currently under PC - Kingpin13 (talk) 13:40, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Medical

@collect - to continue your analogy - following a small, controlled clinical trial, you would not simply start giving the medicine to more and more people. You'd stop, and carefully analyse the results.  Chzz  ►  10:49, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Nope. When a clinical trial shows pronounced and unequivocal benefits, the people taking the drug do not have the drug withdrawn so they can die faster. In fact, the drug may then be given to the control group as a simple humanitarian act. Collect (talk) 14:12, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Just one of many reports: [2] Does appropriate early trial reporting result in patient benefit? I believe the answer is clearly yes. In the case of a clearly convincing superiority of one treatment over another, if both therapies are available, the importance of allowing an appropriate change in clinical practice is clear. Even if the superior intervention is not generally available, cross-over to the superior arm may be allowed for patients on the other arm(s), providing all enrolled patients the opportunity to receive the therapy with greater benefit. Collect (talk) 14:22, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Does the pages and pages of dispute over this indicate unequivocal benefits to you?  Chzz  ►  14:25, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
It reminds me more of a group of theologians debating the size of angels at this point. No one has given any basis for stating that PC has in any way, shape or manner harmed WP, and there is substantial agreement that PC is a valuable tool with regard to WP:BLP. That being said, on Wikipedia, "virtual paper never refused virtual ink" as some ArbCom pages make reasonably clear. Collect (talk) 15:00, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
The failure to end the trial, as was promised by the Wikimedia Foundation, has resulted in thousands of hours of editor time wasted, in debating this. That has harmed the project, because we could've been doing something much more productive.  Chzz  ►  15:03, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Neat argument - that means that nothing which ever attracts opposition should ever be tried because the people opposing the change will use up enough time that they can say the proposal itself has harmed Wikipedia. I had not thought of anyone proposing that logical argument! Collect (talk) 15:13, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Two words: side effects. Drug trials sometimes show efficacy with the targeted condition but produce unintended new symptoms that are deemed worrisome enough to delay or even prevent the drug's approval. Rivertorch (talk) 16:54, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Ok... so are we talking about the pharmaceutical industry or Wikipedia? You didn't specify any new symptoms or "side effects" that PC has caused. Coffee // have a cup // essay // 23:31, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
How about, "Warning: PC may cause drowsiness, nausea and headaches"?  Chzz  ►  02:47, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I've been on WP so long today that my eye can't stop twitching every two minutes. I blame PC. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 02:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Clearly, PC causes anxiety, nervousness, and irritability. I'm tempted to suggest paranoid neurosis of some sort, but my DSM-IV is out of date and no longer a reliable source. Where's an expert when you need one? Rivertorch (talk) 04:13, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Once again: The trial is already over, because we have stopped collecting data. Trial == collection of data. We are not in a trial; we are actually using the product.
Consider the following imaginary conversation:
A: "I think we should do X."
B: "I am not so sure X is a good idea."
A: "How about a limited time trial? We can try X for two months and see well it works."
B: "OK. Why not give it a chance?"
B: "(four months later) Hey! Why are we still doing X? I only agreed to a two month trial!"
A: "The trial is over. We are not in a trial. We are actually doing X We all agreed to see how well X works for two months then to stop collecting data and do X forever."
B: (Slowly turns purple...)
Guy Macon (talk) 14:48, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
To use the medical analogy, it is not uncommon to keep using an apparently effective medication after the trial is over, while you are evaluating the results. Continuing to provide access to a medication does not mean "extending the trial". It means "using the product". WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:08, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
This medical analogy is being stretched to breaking point. However, if you're going to use it as a justification for using PC from a trial, you need to read up. Comparing this to medicine is the absolute worse analogy if you want to seriously persuade people that it is okay to continue using this from a trial run, without any evidence that it is good, any evaluation of the trial, and no analysis of the possible future implications of continued use. It's convinced me even further that it is essential for due diligence to be taken in this matter, and for us to examine the result of the trial before using PC all-out, rather than just briefly glancing at them and saying "looks good"/"ILIKEIT" - Kingpin13 (talk) 02:07, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Or perhaps you need to read up: Thalidomide was not tested in pregnant women, so none of the trial participants—all healthy, non-pregnant males—had any reason to keep using it outside the trial.
Modern trial designs do not typically withdraw potentially life-saving medications from patients while the paperwork is being processed. Just imagine what that would do to an HIV+ person: "Here's your life-saving antitretroviral drug, now you can't have it because we need to 'respect the process', even though the treatment interruption means you will develop resistance and die."
Now consider your story again in a cancer patient: "Thanks for participating in our trial; now please go home and die quietly while we spend two years doing paperwork." Drug manufacturers may not market (~sell) unapproved medications, but they may continue to provide them to the individuals in the clinical trials. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:27, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
You've missed the point I'm trying to make, which is simply that it is important to trial a new feature properly, and evaluate the results rather than just continuing blindly (because continuing blindly can result in very serious consequences, which was all that I was trying to highlight with the Thalidomide case). My story was not a case of "go home and die while we process the paperwork." It was more of "lets continue shoving our medication down the throats of participants regardless of the effect it has, because we think it 'looks good' at the first glance, and can't be bothered to actually look at possible side effects." The point is that there has been no proper evaluation of the results, and while it continues to be used it appears that there will be none. Saying "I like it, so we should keep it" is not a responsible attitude to take, but seems to be what a lot of the opposition consists of. - Kingpin13 (talk) 22:14, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I wish I could get someone to tell me what a "proper evaluation of the results" means. Several editors, including myself, have provided statistical descriptions of what happened during the trial. Have you, by any chance, bothered to read these? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:27, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
And what happens if we decide on things that do not conform with current implementation? What happens if we decide that certain articles shouldn't have that or that certain users shouldn't be reviewers? Would you guys also willingly relinquish control then? Or would you also obstinately argue that anything that opposes the current implementation is 'process fetishism'?
Letting the 'trial' continue is accepting that the de facto implementation is official and approved by consensus.
And it isn't. And you know what the funny thing is? I support implementation of PC with solid guidelines, but the way some reviewers are already finding it hard to let go of their newfound rights is doing nothing but proving exactly what I had been afraid of: Power is always hard to let go of isn't it? ObsidinSoul 02:45, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I assure you, I have seen absolutely zero reviewers see it as a "power" - it is actually a burden, but a burden undertaken for the benefit of Wikipedia. Collect (talk) 10:46, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Honey, you ain't seen nothin'. I see rights-hungry teenage users act like they have power all the time. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 15:18, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Limbo

To those opposing this proposition;
  • PC is in a state of limbo. The policy is unclear. Administrators cannot determine if/when PC can be used.
  • If we're going to use PC, we need to form much clearer policies. That is going to be difficult, if not impossible, until we end the current deadlock state.
  • So, if you support Pending Changes - if you want to see it used, on a wider range of BLP articles - then the best chance of that happening is, if we draw a line under this trial, and start to discuss how we could implement it.

The actual protection policy states; (with my bolding);

For a two month trial period that began on June 15, 2010, articles could be protected by pending-changes protection. The trial is now over and the Wikipedia community is currently seeking to gain consensus on where to go with the pending changes idea.

Well, we've been 'seeking to gain consensus' ever since. And frankly, it is never going to happen, until people accept that the trial is over.

The policy goes on to explain we had a poll (about temporary continuation), and (based on the 60% support) that during the interim period it could be used only with caution. That "interim period" had a drop-dead date of end of December 2010. So in reality, the policy tells us nothing - it doesn't say if we can use it, or if we cannot.

Also, please look at the text admins see when they protect a page - MediaWiki:Protect-text. It says,

No page in the Wikipedia namespace should be protected under pending changes except those for testing

Notice, that page refers to the "February RfC". Yes, this RfC itself has now been running for 3 years.[3] We're still in limbo - nobody knows quite what we can and cannot do, in terms of using PC.

If you want PC to be used more widely then - perhaps paradoxically - the best chance for that to happen is to consent to closing down the trial. One step backwards, then two steps forwards.

I sincerely hope we can find consensus here, so we can boldly move ahead. Thank you for reading.  Chzz  ►  02:26, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly agree. Captain Panda wrote above, "This proposal appears to advocate harming the encyclopedia for the sake of process wonkery. It is perfectly possible and reasonable to keep pending changes in use while discussing its use." Well, would someone please tell me why we still, since eight months ago, haven't figured out what the hell to do with PC other than discuss in circles? The people against turning it off are afraid it will never get turned back on. The people wanting to turn it off are afraid it will never get turned off.
What we need now is either a consensus, or for the WMF to make an executive decision and have the community stick with it. Frankly, I don't care if the WMF says "PC on every page" now; I just want this waste of time over with. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 02:33, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
The WMF has made it clear they will respect the communities decision on this issue. If my design for the next phase is allowed to proceed it should answer the yes/no question and allow us to publish a rough guideline to how it is to be used that can be refined into a finished policy as we work out the kinks. We can't expect to anticipate every possible issue beforehand, and as we all know no policy is ever perfect or truly "finished" but we should be able to cough up something usable at the end of this thing. Beeblebrox (talk) 04:38, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but I don't see how allowing the trial to continue prevents consensus to be formed about PC itself. They seem like entirely separate things. Could someone point to an example of how the trial has blocked debate about the future of PC? --JaGatalk 21:08, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
They are entirely separate things. It is an obstacle that exists only in the minds of some users. Those users have succeeded in stalling discussion of the future while we discuss the present. The purpose of this RFC was supposed to be about the future but it has unfortunately been derailed despite my efforts to keep it on track. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:24, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
A few recent examples are Wikipedia_talk:Pending_changes/Request_for_Comment_February_2011/Archive_3#Phase_three_draft, Wikipedia_talk:Pending_changes/Request_for_Comment_February_2011#Re_Question_1, Wikipedia_talk:Pending_changes/Request_for_Comment_February_2011#Question_1. There have been dozens of similar problems that have consumed many man-months of effort in the past and resulted in the current limbo situation. Look at how hard it is just to discuss this simple proposal to end a two month trial in which there are only two possible outcomes. Image if there were four options instead of two, with complex interactions between them. What if we decide it's best to conduct a 2 day trial on some articles as a quick test of something? Oh right, that's not possible because we threw away all credibility by not stopping the last trial. The bottom line is that it's impossible to ask for community support for a proposal, and especially for a major change in policy, when you have demonstrated that you don't have respect for the processes used by the community. —UncleDouggie (talk) 04:19, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Excuse me? What do you mean when you say I "don't have respect for the processes used by the community"? That is a serious accusation that I do not believe is supported by the diffs you provided, which show discussions with other users that did in fact result in numerous changes to the questionnaire. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:55, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
The indentation of my comment made it clear that I was replying to JaGa, not to you. The diffs were examples of how hard it has been to make progress with the trial running, which was the question asked, and isn't your fault. My comment about not respecting the processes used by the community referred to the original question of "how allowing the trial to continue prevents consensus to be formed about PC itself." —UncleDouggie (talk) 21:57, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Replying to JaGa, in parallel with UncleDouggie. UncleDouggie sums it up pretty well. So far as I'm concerned, the refusal to stop the trial at the agreed upon date was an act of dishonesty, and means that I no longer trust assurances from people that have argued that continuing the trial was harmless. The only way I will ever approve another trial of a feature like this is if the software to automatically remove it at the end of the trial is included from the beginning. I won't even discuss the feature until the trial is stopped. How can I proceed in any kind of discussion with people that have already lied to me about the topic at hand? What's the point in reaching an agreement with people that don't honor their agreements?—Kww(talk) 22:17, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Honestly, I think allowing the trial to continue does no harm at all and is nothing to be taken personally. But, other editors feel very strongly that this trial should end, and that's causing a problem. Although I'm not convinced the trial does any harm to assessing PC, I'll withdraw my oppose to appease those who are delaying further action. --JaGatalk 17:24, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm still not clear on whose responsibility it was to have it removed when the trial was over. The Foundation wouldn't have done so unless we told them to. Did we? Or did we all just assume somebody else was handling it? (I know I did) Beeblebrox (talk) 23:10, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Pending Changes should be an extreme measure

I am a very strong opponent of Pending Changes on a broad scale as it runs counter to what Wikipedia is about — being an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. I've been an opponent at every step of the way, but I tell ya, the TOOL of Pending Changes is a good one and it should not be abandoned for an extremely limited number of problematic articles. I was recently involved with a BLP that was the subject of protracted defamatory vandalism that was fast approaching a lawsuit against the Wikimedia Foundation. I'm not a lawyer, I'm not going to pretend to know how meritorious the potential suit was or its probable outcome, but I can assure you that a lawsuit WAS close. The biography was more or less fixed and Pending Changes installed as a tool to help protect a recurrence of the problem. PERFECT use of the tool... I loathe the idea that all, most, or many articles make use of Pending Changes, but you know what — if there are 1,000 problematic articles that need the protection to deflect potential lawsuits and the drain upon the foundation's resources that these would entail, win or lose, I'm TOTALLY fine with the honchos giving the middle finger to the community and keeping the tool in place until a final reckoning is made. Carrite (talk) 04:00, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

The problem with that is in your paragraph: the honchos. So far the WMF has not gotten involved, so absent their butting in, which is unlikely unless there's another Sigenthaler Incident, those arguing to keep PC on are arguing in a position that runs counter to two consensi. Jimbo has indicated he supports PC, but has also indicated he will submit to whatever consensus is made, so again there's been no official involvement.
(Having been one until I surrendered the rights due to them including a Robert King punching dummy, I can tell you administrators have no practical political power on WP. This is turning more and more into a civil war.) —Jeremy (v^_^v Hyper Combo K.O.!) 04:10, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

This is THE PROBLEM: we are not an encyclopedia that ANYONE CAN EDIT. Many aren't even able to. We aren't a blog that ANYONE CAN EDIT. We are an ENCYCLOPEDIA that has qualities, and these qualities get traffic, and this traffic attracts vandalism. Voluntary work has to work hard to write a quality paragraph. Instead of pushing and fillibusting, we should defend and improve the qualities of Wikipedia, defend and improve the tools we got to defend a Wikipedia with qualities. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 07:28, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
There is no limit of 1,000. It just happens that there are about 1,000 (actually, 956) PC-protected pages right now. We have no policy declaring the limitations (type of article, etc) - and that is, for many of us, our major concern. We'd like to see it written somewhere. At the moment - as noted above, referencing MediaWiki:Protect-text - admins shouldn't be applying PC. If we could resolve the deadlock, we could form policies on where it could be used - and you, me, and everyone else would be able to discuss it and work out some consensus.  Chzz  ►  04:12, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
@Carrite Was the problematic content being added by registered editors? If not, semi-protection should have had the same effect; if so, full protection should have done the trick while the IPs involved were looked into, abuse reports filed, and ranges potentially blocked. The one instance where something along the lines of PC seems potentially invaluable is the sort of very rare case where semi is no help because one or more vandals are registering from different IPs and just keep coming back. Even there, though, I can think of at least one alternative. Rivertorch (talk) 04:25, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Yea, what we need is input from the community on when it is appropriate, and not appropriate, to use pc, not a hard limit on the number of articles. That would be no help at all. Very, very few users have indicated that they believe it should be applied on every article or even most articles so I wouldn't worry too much about that. The way things are leaning so far it looks like the community favors using it sparingly. We just need to define the criteria for using it as we have for the other forms of protection so that admins have some guidance on how it is to be applied. Beeblebrox (talk) 04:33, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, I did say I could think of an alternative. It has to do with raising the bar for autoconfirmed status. Precious few BLP-vandals would bother to wait several weeks and make x number (50? 100?) genuinely constructive edits, I think, before maliciously zeroing in on their target. A few really dedicated evildoers probably would jump through such hoops, but there's nothing to stop anyone that patient from getting reviewer status, either. Rivertorch (talk) 05:00, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Precious few VOAs are autocon-busters as is. Usually, it's an LTA or accomplice of same, so upping the edit count hurts us more than it harms them, since they will quickly adapt. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 05:04, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
The articles currently under PC aren't the most problematic on Wikipedia by any means. They were just randomly selected for the trial with a little bit of guidance, such as using some articles that previously had semi-protection to see if we would get more constructive edits. During the actual trial, the most problematic articles had to be removed from PC and returned to semi-protection due to excessive vandalism. PC is doing next to nothing for us today on those 1000 articles. They are trial articles that will survive just fine without PC. This type of confusion is making it impossible for us to proceed. —UncleDouggie (talk) 05:49, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Time to take off those articles with PC so that the discussion can move forward. OhanaUnitedTalk page 06:18, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I beg to differ. Offering Pending Changes protection to BLPs is something I've actively been doing in relation to BLP concerns expressed in OTRS. Probably done about 10-20 so far. It would be helpful if your statements were accurate. Jclemens (talk) 06:28, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
You could have just as easily semi-protected them. We have well over 100,000 BLPs. Do you really want to put them all under indefinite PC today given all the technical and policy shortcomings that have been identified? Talk about harming Wikipedia. The way to expand usage of PC is through consensus, not force. —UncleDouggie (talk) 06:59, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
In some cases, I did also semi-protect them (see below). What you're missing out here is that every time I used PC on a BLP since getting OTRS access, it's been because a real, live human being complained about it via email. 100k BLPs may have problems, or they may not; real numbers are probably under 10%. What I can tell you is that of the ones I've added PC to, 100% of them involved someone personally sending us an email saying "I'm being defamed/insulted/lied about/stalked/whatever, can you please help me out here?" Policy shortcuts are a red herring: we can sort them out, yet they will always be in a state of flux, just like WP:V. Technical shortcomings can be dealt with by improvement, and are the major reason I don't currently support proactive use (vs. the reactive usage I described) of PC. As far as "force" goes, the major external force isn't those of us who think BLP is important enough to use PC on despite its shortcomings--it's the threatened lawsuits that can cost the WMF real money, and can result in a PC-by-WMF-decree. "We had a way to prevent just this sort of defamation, your honor, and it was implemented and working, but we decided to turn it off and have a debate, even though some of our senior administrators who dealt with complaints from the plaintiff in the past predicted exactly this sort of outcome." Yeah, that'll play well in discovery. If you want to replace PC, it's got to be with something which protects articles equally well or better. That's not solo semi-protection, mind you. On a couple of occasions, I've set PC for reviewers only+semi-protection to give articles the strongest sub-full-protection: only confirmed editors can even make a change, and only reviewers can accept it. Jclemens (talk) 08:12, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying that. During the actual trial, PC level 2 saw almost no usage and most discussion since has pretty much assumed that it would be dropped or forgotten. You raise an interesting point about having a use for it, even along with semi-protection. I don't want to solve this here, it's really an issue for a later phase of this RfC. I will also note that the few articles in this state could be fully protected, in the event that this proposal is accepted, to avoid any potential legal liability until a comprehensive policy is agreed upon. While you may think your current protection is effective in all cases, it is vulnerable to the undefined duties of a reviewer today. Perhaps we need to apply a higher reviewing standard to articles under level 2 protection. —UncleDouggie (talk) 09:03, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Response to Guy Macon

Discussion of comment from Guy Macon moved here per the instructions. Comment mentioned the breaking of the promise for a time-limited trial.

I agree with you. I do however believe, you've misidentified who and where promises were broken, attaching ill sentiment to the wrong antagonist. I think it is an honest mistake because this whole discussion is rot with false premise spawned by inappropriate interjections of innuendo and propaganda. If only we could know who think PC is useful and who think it has no purpose. By this poll I am convinced that some will support thinking they are supporting PC. It is as apparent now, as was said of the first straw poll, these results will not produce useful information. And it appears to have built in its own bias as well. Nothing at all like what I had hoped would emerge. My76Strat (talk) 05:11, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Too late, My76; see Esuzu's comment above in this section. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 05:13, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
This proposal is not directly related to supporting or opposing PC, thus any confusion is irrelevant. There are many PC supporters who are correctly supporting this proposal as a way to move us forward. If keeping the trial going was so great for PC, why is it still locked in limbo? —UncleDouggie (talk) 06:53, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
In my oppose, I stated a desire to support this compromise. The reason I can not, is; It builds on a premise I do not accept. (will not) That is: I must concur that the trial ended months ago, continued without consensus, and concur that Jimbo is shown as a liar. Well I don't agree with those sentiments, I have stated why, and I have refuted them. Requiring me to adopt them as my own, creates the impasse. If the language simply stated we would like to suspend its use to facilitate discussion without distraction, I would support. I can be seen advocating such a compromise. To support a proposition which adds my name to a group who believe lies have been directly told is beyond good faith for my support. To one last point, when the idea of reaching a compromise was first being seriously considered, I was given the impression the subsequent trial would be guaranteed, not diluted to a possibility. Now I see that if this proposal advances, I can add it to my list of pipe dreams. Because it is a last stand, I will stand where I believe the best for Wikipedia is served. My76Strat (talk) 08:07, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
There is nothing in the proposal about Jimbo being a liar. I guess some people supporting it think that... but there is no reason for you to have to think that in order to support the proposal. Yaris678 (talk) 11:20, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
My76Strat, I have no interest in recriminations, and I certainly do not simply "blame Jimbo". The wording of the poll is simple, to avoid any such confusion. Stick to supporting, opposing, and discussing this proposal - you can't seriously be objecting just because other people are unable to understand it? I think the proposal is abundantly clear on the point you're concerned about; (with emphasis to highlight
"It is proposed to remove pending changes protection from all articles, for now, with no prejudice against reinstating it in the future, in some form, based upon consensus and discussion. [..] This proposal does not affect potential future use of Pending Changes"
I have no idea how we could make that clearer. I've tried.
Also, this is a discussion, not a vote. I'm not looking for 50%, 60%, 70% - I'm looking for consensus. So if you can think of any possible compromise, to end this deadlock, let me know. What would you agree too?
Remove it on half the articles? Don't add it to any more, until we get agreement? Only allow PC on Tuesdays, Thurdays and Saturdays? I don't care. I'm absolutely willing to discuss, for consensus; frankly, anything is better than this utter, utter madness we have now.
If we cannot come to agreement on this most basic of PC issues, we're stuck in limbo, forever. Can't add to the PC scope, can't remove the current ones; impossible to get any agreement for anything. I fear for the future of the project, if such discussion/consensus is no longer possible. Best,  Chzz  ►  11:41, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I apologize that I have chosen staunch opposition. I agree that most of the rhetoric I do not wish to join is echoed in comments and not exactly the proposal. I give credit for a reasonable effort. The reason I attached some of the negativity is that I see a poetic example that mocks many of the things discussed over this trial. For one, with the many threads which condemn the straw poll, I see their reflections as if a jeer. And confusion is built right in to the proposal itself when it opens by stating the trial had closed, followed later by saying this proposal was effectively to close. My76Strat (talk) 12:09, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
And that is exactly the confusion we need to address - otherwise, we're stuck in #limbo.
The confusion is not the fault of the poll; the confusion is in our (mostly lack-of) policies and guidelines. I've already said, in that other section - it is the policy that says the trial is over; all we could do, in this proposal, is state facts. WP:PCPP policy says, "The trial is now over".
It is a mess. So let's not waste time worrying how we got in the mess; let's just clean it up. Chzz  ►  12:34, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
To remove the confusion in the text that went with the proposal, I have removed the phrase "it is only to end the trial". Yaris678 (talk) 13:23, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I've put it back. If we change the exact wording of a proposal, while it is in progress, that causes many problems. People have already expressed opinion on some exact wording - we cannot amend it now, whether it is right or wrong.
I don't think that specific edit would've eliminated the problem raised by My76Strat anyway; I believe the point xe was making was, that we're saying "The trial has ended" and that the proposal is to "end the trial" - which is, indeed, paradoxical. However, because of the stupid situation we are in - it's also true.  Chzz  ►  15:37, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I am puzzled as to why my comment, which consisted in its entirety of:

>"Strong Support Harm has already been done by promising to conduct a trial for a set period of time and then breaking that promise. I now have to treat any proposal for a limited-time-trial as a proposal for an indefinite trial. Stopping the trial now limits further harm."

resulted in a reply of

>>"you've misidentified who and where promises were broken, attaching ill sentiment to the wrong antagonist."

I do not believe that I identified or misidentified anyone. Frankly, I don't care who broke the promise or why, only that a promise was broken and Wikipedia was harmed.

My point is that the harm has already occurred.

(List of comments showing harm moved to separate section) Guy Macon (talk) 12:57, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

With regards to the comment that "you've misidentified who and where promises were broken", several of us have had discussions with My76Strat since this was written that ultimately resulted in their oppose vote being indented. It's probably not worth rehashing that at this point, although I agree with your observation that harm has been done. —UncleDouggie (talk) 21:26, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Response to Elipongo

Discussion of comment from Elipongo moved here per the instructions. Comment mentioned not having had a consensus that PC would be turned off after the trial period.

See [4]  Chzz  ►  03:31, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Oh, a mailing list post. I do hate stuff kept off wiki. Anyway, we did request an extension, did we not? Regardless, I see no reason to shut off a useful tool because of hurt feelings. —Elipongo (Talk contribs) 04:06, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
We did request an extension - that expired 12/31/2010. And of course that deadline's been dodged so much I will be amazed if anyone will support any trial in the future. —Jeremy (v^_^v Hyper Combo K.O.!) 04:12, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
The extension did not expire 12/31/2010 unless there was a delay in implementing the changes. I observed the implementation of changes so the effect of that date is irrelevant. Suggestions that there were not the things that were, is disconcerting. For example the 65% who were discounted as the significant group necessary for continuation after the trial. Or the 60% who supported continuation again, allowing if nothing was improved by December, we would turn it off and start over. Improvements were released prior to December, the trial did continue with significant consensus. This discussion is framed to validate these misconceptions and therefor is not a compromise at all. And I feel sure 65% would be called significant as long as it is related to turning it off. And what do we do if this proposal falls short of the 80% range which so many have suggested. Call it no consensus, Then what? My76Strat (talk) 04:49, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think anyone at this point - pro or con - is even advocating aiming at 80%. I've seen more the 60-75% range as the target (I myself prefer 66% as the fairest to both sides, due to the issue's divisiveness). —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 04:55, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree. It would better derive as accepted consensus if the straw poll wasn't disregarded as insignificant, while accusing an unauthorized continuation. Each requisite milestone was achieved, the trial is not running against consensus. There is a wolf in sheep's attire appealing to good commonsense while looking rather nonthreatening. I think the wolf hopes to receive the advantage of these reasonable minds, but has intentions to scoff at them for gullibility. I require better than that. My76Strat (talk) 05:24, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── To respond to Jeremy's comment about trial runs. I'm perfectly fine with never having a trial run again because I've found that this place doesn't work like that. Kind of like the "temporary measure" of disallowing IPs from creating articles (I'm still against that move, but good luck reversing it). We should simply decide to implement things when we want and rescind them when we decide we don't like them. That is in fact how Wikipedia actually works whether or not people like it; all this talk about "temporary" or "trial" just causes bad feelings when the reality of this place asserts itself. The nice thing about PC is that it's not mandatory, if we don't like it people will just stop using it without even having to go through a vote! —Elipongo (Talk contribs) 08:41, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

There is a wolf in sheep's attire appealing to good commonsense while looking rather nonthreatening' .... is there? But there is a problem with sheep, anyway. They tend not to have the characteristics of good leaders. Not saying anything about anyone here, y'all understand. Just wondering what the above-quoted comment was aimed at. Smacks a bit of ... summat. Can't think of the right word. Pesky (talk) 16:09, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes I apologize for using that little known analogy. What I should have said is. It looks good at face value, but with a closer look, I am concerned enough not to support. My76Strat (talk) 05:26, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure you're assuming good faith, Strat. I also, sort of, dislike being called gullible (I did hear that there is a picture of me in a dictionary somewhere). I know that there are people who oppose PC and will not change their minds, but I also think there are a good number of people who have been trained to think like lawyers. Whether this is due to their education, their time at WP, or simply a desire to adhere to the letter of an agreement I do not know. I have heard many people state that they aren't against PC, but are against the way in which it was instigated, as a trial. While I'm sure that there are some conniving souls in the mix, I can't believe that it is some vast conspiracy to get one step closer to never using the tool again. That is just too cynical for me. Cliff (talk) 05:52, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
That is an entirely fair observation. I will disclaim that I am conflicted by emotions which should not be assumed present in this proposal. I am stepping back from commenting further than to say: "I have arrived at the position to oppose the proposition based on my expectations". The rest I shall observe. I apologize to whatever extent I may have stumbled the project. Cheers. My76Strat (talk) 03:58, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Response to History2007

Discussion of comment from History2007 moved here per the instructions. Comment mentioned that more tools are needed to manage the "untenable trend towards progressive increase of the effort spent by the most active authors" to maintain quality.

Except that maintaining any objective form of "quality" is nigh-on impossible (not to mention a very slippery slope into WP:NOTCENSORED), especially on subjects that attract polemics. Silvermoon's Law applies here: The idiot-proof has already been bested by idiots. In fact, when the trial was being debated, it was all but unanimously decided that PC was not to be used for "quality control" short of removing obvious vandalism or on BLPs (which are also susceptible to extremely subjective "quality" as notable people will sue at the drop of a hat for even sourced negative press). —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 04:47, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
No, I can not agree with you. I see the very existence of Pending Changes as a deterrent to vandalism in general, given that the person making the change knows that it will not go un-noticed. In my experience vandals hope their changes go un-noticed, With Pending changes that hope evaporates away. And I see Pending changes as the first step in starting to make Wikipedia protect itself. That thesis I linked to was valid and we are seeing those effects now. History2007 (talk) 07:07, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
This is an issue for the long-term usage of PC. It is irrelevant for ending the trial, but is a perfect example why having short-term and long-term issues intermixed is killing us. The issues surrounding long-term usage of PC are complicated and we need to be able to discuss them without the old trial hanging over us. —UncleDouggie (talk) 07:25, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Killing us? I see no dead bodies yet. But I must confess the length of the discussion on PC is getting close to producing the first dead body as that of yours truly. The technical cause: "death by boredom" due to reading about this again and again. So let me sign off for now, so I will not make history by becoming the first official fatality of Wikipedia. History2007 (talk) 08:08, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
The decline in our number of editors is real, and though I hope it can be reversed it does have a direct bearing on Tools like PC and Flagged revisions. Currently we have two broad approaches to checking new edits, tools such as PC, NPP and poop patrol where we know if a new article has been patrolled or a new edit reviewed, and tools like recent changes and watchlisting where sometimes lots of editors will look at an edit and sometimes edits slip through unwatched. I want either PC or Flagged revisions because not only will it stop batches of vandalised edits slipping through, but because it is much less wasteful of the time of volunteers like myself to run a system whereby every edit is checked once, as opposed to many being checked multiple times and some not at all. In the past we have had sufficient numbers of recent changes patrollers that whilst it doesn't use their time efficiently, the system was quite efficient at removing vandalism. If the trend of declining editor community continues then it becomes more important that we implement systems such as pending changes or flagged revisions and make sure that every newbie edit is checked once. ϢereSpielChequers 09:01, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well, at last we are agreeing on something WereSpiel. But seriously you have made a very good point that needs much more attention. So far there are two concrete reasons for PC here:

  • Reduce the perception that vandalism can go on without being "noticed" - because to be visible it needs to be noticed.
  • Reduce the amazing amount of duplicated/triplicated work in checking edits.

The 2nd point needs special attention and with further data can make a serious positive impact on Wikipedia for years to come. But you need more data. FYI, after our last discussion, I wrote to the boss exactly 2 weeks ago to complain about quality and challenged her to produce policies that improve quality. The point you have brought up needs attention along with all the charts the paid consultants are producing there. But as I said you need data, showing the "overlap of diligence" by the patrolers. It is not enough to say that edits are checked "more than once". We need data. Are they on the average checked 3 times, 30 times, 300 times? Who knows. I think the next best thing to do is convince one of the data experts, say Mr MacBride, to run a few graphs. They are producing graphs here and they can probably do a few more about the overlap of diligence. Then a study can be produced from that showing how much effort is being wasted. I can touch the study up with the suitable statistical lingo so it will be almost watertight, and reduce debate on it. But I think that type of study will make a positive impact on Wikipedia for sure. I am not going to check this page that often, so please respond on my talk if you wish. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 00:13, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I suggest checking out WP:STiki, which allocates review tasks from a queue to avoid duplication of effort. It even supports multiple edit rating engines. Most importantly, if an edit is flagged by rating engines A and B, it will only be shown to one reviewer. After it is accepted or rejected, the edit is removed from all queues. For general purpose use, we could add additional rating engines that cast a wider net, even all the way up to all recent changes. The tool still needs more work and bulletproofing, but I think this is the future for all patrolling. I would also like to see it integrated with pending changes in several ways. A user with the reviewer right should be able to accept a change using STiki. In addition, only edits flagged as high risk by one of the rating engines should be delayed from public view. This can be done by either automatically accepting all pending changes and then letting the tool "undo" the auto accept on the high-risk edits, or letting the tool perform an automatic accept on edits not classified as high risk. The risk threshold should clearly be lower for BLPs. —UncleDouggie (talk) 00:47, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I'll add that it's quite impressive to revert 30 day old vandalism with STiki. You don't need to work off the whole queue back to that point. You can get a 5 minute old edit followed by a 30 day old edit because the queue order is dependent entirely on risk. It currently doesn't handle well the cases in which there have been subsequent good edits, but it certainly is possible. —UncleDouggie (talk) 00:54, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I know STiki, etc., And I have talked about the vandal-bot related approaches with the Cluebot people etc. Those are very good ideas, but do have inherent limits, in that they need some algorithm. I am actually pretty impressed by all the work that went into those systems, and the impressive track record of Cluebot, etc. There is no doubt that part of the future of content protection in Wikipedia is bot-based. But they still miss many edits that I have to revert by hand - as of a month of ago Cluebot was facing the inevitable size limits that those types of systems will run into as data sets get large. I have actually been collecting a dataset of the type of edits those systems miss, so eventually a multi-layered system can be designed. I think bots should be allowed to revert within PC. But that is another story. Bots can not be trained to detect clever & deliberate vandalism - they can usually only detect simple minded vandalism. Take my word on that, I am an expert in that field. In any case, So there is need for an approach that uses bots as well as other items. In any case, the study I suggest will also shed light on how bots revert and what bots miss. And there is nothing to lose, but certainly a good deal to gain by having data. Having good data always clarifies things. History2007 (talk) 04:58, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
STiki has the advantage of self-learning. Most bots can improve performance by just lowering their detection threshold. While this would increase the manual review workload, it would still be much less than requiring PC review of every edit. If you haven't already done so, it's interesting to watch the real-time Cluebot IRC feeds that show the rating of every edit. There is one feed for all RCs and another for just the high risk, non-reverted edits that is what gets fed into STiki. Also, keep in mind that Cluebot misses many things due to 1RR or just that it was beaten to the revert. Of course bots can't catch everything. The question is whether using them as a better first line of defense frees up us humans to track down the rest or even write better bots. —UncleDouggie (talk) 05:27, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Regarding your point about duplication of work and missed edits, this is a reason why the original trial proposal also included Wikipedia:Patrolled revisions, which unfortunately didn't get implemented. Cenarium (talk) 12:58, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Response to HJ Mitchell and SirFozzie

Ending the trial is not the same as ending PC

I think you, like others opposing the proposal, mix up two different questions: "Should we use PC at all?" and "Should the trial be stopped?". The question of the RFC here is not to stop or not stop PC usage at all, it's to stop the specific usage that is not covered by the consensus that allowed to start it. PC can (and, I fear, will) be implemented in the future using a new consensus and a clear policy but that does not mean we cannot stop the trial. Noone is trying to "rob" anyone of this tool. The point of the RFC is that those in favor of PC should gather consensus for a real implementation instead of simply prolonging the trial period indefinitely. Regards SoWhy 07:36, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree completely with SoWhy, except for the part of "and, I fear, will". Further to the related point by SirFozzie, how can you say that PC has momentum at this point? It's in a stalemate and has little chance of expansion without first honoring the terms of the original trial and clearing the air so we can move forward. —UncleDouggie (talk) 07:44, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
We also didn't try and stop PC. We had a 2 month trial. There is no shame in ending a trial and conducting further discussion to reach a consensus to move forward. —UncleDouggie (talk) 07:51, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think EVERYONE who votes to remove is doing so, but I think a significant percentage who are morally opposed to PC in any way, shape or form are attempting to use this to throw the emergency brakes on PC as a concept. And as I state above, we should NOT be throwing the brakes on, but instead pressing on the accelerator pedal (expanding it as quickly as the Wiki can take it). I see no reason to remove an active, working tool from the tool of administrators and registered editors in fighting against malicious vandalism, both sneaky and blatant. I think SoWhy's comment above shows.. that some people voting in this RfC fear Pending Changes WILL be fully implemented. We can work with data gathered while keeping PC on the articles it is already on. Again, I see no reason to curtail the use of a tool that helps Wikipedia fulfill its core mandates, both in mission statement, and policies. SirFozzie (talk) 07:56, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with your observations about those who are morally opposed to PC, and I didn't expect anything else. However, the most effective roadblock to expansion of PC to date has been the never ending trial that has prevented any new consensus. As a veteran of the PC RfC trenches, I don't see how having an active trial has been of any actual advantage to the supporters of PC. They think it's an advantage, but at the end of the day, it's just a huge distraction. —UncleDouggie (talk) 08:35, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
People keep asking why there is opposition, and I asked myself that too. Then I saw what SoWhy said: "PC can (and, I fear, will) be implemented in the future using a new consensus and a clear policy". Now I understand. But no worries, the handwriting is on the wall. You guys just need to accept it. A PC-like system is in the future of Wikipedia, and the handwriting is on the wall. So let us move on and implement it. History2007 (talk) 08:02, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I have caveated my agreement with SoWhy above, thanks for pointing out my error. I have said many times that while I don't like PC in it's current form, including the lack of policies, I believe that it has great potential in some cases and I'm not eager to see it die. I also find the current stalemate extremely frustrating, as do many others, and after having tried just above everything, the conclusion I have come to is that we must end the trial to move forward. —UncleDouggie (talk) 08:23, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
There doesn't need to be a stalemate. What true harm is being done by leaving PC on articles that they are currently on, while things are being reviewed? I submit that not only is there truly no harm being done, and it has the potential to prevent harm. SirFozzie (talk) 08:27, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
You're correct that there doesn't need to be a stalemate if we were all logical beings that could separate such things in our heads. But human nature is such that it is a problem. I make no statement of why that is, it's just my observation of the facts on the ground. —UncleDouggie (talk) 08:41, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
And that is exactly why I can never support PC - it assumes too much of Wikipedia's editors, and in most cases extremely incorrectly. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 20:57, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I personally don't think PC is a good idea in general, having seen the experiences at de-wiki, but the main point is that this is not a discussion about PC in general, so comments like "lose momentum" or "rob us of a tool" are simply misplaced and thus not a good foundation to build your argument on. I am realist enough to know that PC probably can't be stopped anymore but if the community wants to implement it, then at least it should be done with a clear policy, not an indefinitely-prolonged trial. The point of a "trial" is that it ends and is then evaluated. If you continue the trial during the review, you cannot possibly review the results in any objective manner because the continued use will continually generate new data, which in then has to be reviewed, leading to an infinite loop that cannot be completed. Regards SoWhy 08:33, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I think you're committing a logical fallacy here, SoWhy. We have data up to this point. We can surely limit any review of data to that which is already gathered. To say that continuing PC means we get caught in an infinite loop is.. simply not true in that case. SirFozzie (talk) 08:35, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. If we continue to use PC during a hypothetical review, there is a possibility that things happen that are not in the current data, thus prompting the need to review those things as well. And while they are reviewed, other such things might happen, thus requiring further review, etc. It's our version of Achilles and the tortoise. Regards SoWhy 08:44, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
(de-indent) So, we make it clear beforehand that further issues will not be reviewed. The only reason this gets into the infinite loop you propose is that you seem to be building a loop back that is not already there. SirFozzie (talk) 08:49, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
The possibility that issues are uncovered exists as long as the trial is active, so I'm not "building a loop back". Instead I'm pointing out that any complete review will have to cover all issues and that requires that no new issues can arise from the trial. If one wants to do a partial review only, then of course you are right, but I honestly see no point in that. Regards SoWhy 08:57, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I still don't see this. We have plenty of examples of studying phenomena we cannot stop, and doing it perfectly reasonably. Astronomers don't suddenly say "hey, stars, stop doing things, I've got to write this paper". I just don't see the validity of this argument. —Tom Morris (talk) 23:35, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Next time you wish to de-indent, try putting {{outdent}} on a line by itself. It does this:

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

Getting back to the point that ending the trial is not the same as ending PC, I was unwilling to vote to end the trial until I heard that Wikimedia would leave the mechanism in place so that, should a consensus emerge to do so, it (or an improved version of it) could be restarted. As much as I dislike breaking the promise to end the trial, I really like the idea of PC. Guy Macon (talk) 01:47, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Comparing to semi-protection and robbing momentum

SirFozzie, you compare PC to semi protection, and say that since, in your opinion, it's "better" (in that it is less restrictive), we should keep on using it. However, this only applies if we never apply PC except from in case where we would also be happy to apply semi-protection. Do you agree that we should only ever use PC in these cases? If not then surely it is irrelevant to compare PC to semi-protection? See also: Wikipedia:Pending changes/Request for Comment February 2011/Archive 2#PC is not an alternative to semi-protection. Also, isn't the "momentum" PC has a headlong rush without actually stopping to see what's happening and properly consider the implications that continued use of PC has for the future of the project? Do you think this is a good way to implement a new feature? Personally I feel it's got a little bit too much "momentum", and stopping to catch a breath and think this through a little bit would be a good idea. - Kingpin13 (talk) 08:59, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

It's only a headlong rush if you compare it to fingernail growth! We've been discussing flagged revisions/ pending changes for, quite literally, YEARS now. My position now is only slightly modified from what it was at the start. I initially thought we should replace semiprotection with it, now I see it being useful as part of the spectrum of page protection. We're exchanging just three options for seven options. It should be added to articles just like all forms of protection, i.e. on a reactive rather than a proactive basis. —Elipongo (Talk contribs) 11:06, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

The remainder of this discussion has been moved because it is off-topic and covers the long-term future of PC, along with a personal exchange between Elipongo and Jéské Couriano. Please keep discussion here to the proposal at hand. —UncleDouggie (talk) 09:17, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Confusion

Moved from 'oppose', as it was a commentry on the process, not a !vote  Chzz  ►  10:56, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

---Note: I see quite a few confused votes, those who oppose removing PC voting support, those who support voting oppose, I've made a small change (3/25, 07:25 UTC) to make it clear what the RfC vote is for, and what the options mean, in a neutral fashion. SirFozzie (talk) 07:26, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

That refers to this edit. It was later reverted, with this edit.
For what it is worth, I agree with the reversal; whilst I understand your concern, SirFozzie - and indeed, I'm very frustrated by the constant misunderstandings - I've personally put a tremendous amount of work into trying to de-fug this mess...but given the lack of true consensus above, I think I've failed. But if people will not listen, will not consider, then there is little we can do to make it clearer. If I could, I'd have written in bold flashing letters, "Do you want PC to work, or do you want it to be stuck, forever, with no way to get agreement to improve it? YES/NO" - because that is the reality here.  Chzz  ►  11:07, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I supported removing PC-1 from non-BLPs, as I do not believe that PC-1 on non-BLPs is valuable. (There may be a case for applying PC-2 + semiprotection to a non-BLP when a dedicated socking vandal persists in disrupting a low-traffic article with autoconfirmed accounts.) If the non-BLP is getting heavily vandalized, then semiprotection would be appropriate. If it isn't, then leaving it unprotected would be OK, since it isn't likely to have defamatory content. BLPs, on the other hand, can destroy another person's reputation and job search. Imagine if a university got a resume from a professor looking for a job. He notices that Wikipedia has an article on this man, and he looks it up. Seeing that "xxxxx was arrested for molesting children" (unsourced and blatantly false, of course), he places the resume in the circular file and hires someone else. BLPs have real-life consequences. Reaper Eternal (talk) 12:48, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Well said - and I think I agree - although, I'd like to discuss the specifics. And that's what I'd like - for us to be able to propose specific usage, like that - agree on it, and implement it. If this proposal succeeds, I think that would be feasible. Right now - due to the state of limbo - it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get any agreement.  Chzz  ►  13:57, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Note that non-BLP articles like Stargate fandom and GMT Games can attract some pretty nasty BLP material. Who's to say that pending changes on those articles are inappropriate? Jclemens (talk) 00:15, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) *sigh* The first edit pretty much matches what we are proposing here in my opinion. Also, please let's not fool ourselves I think this would definitely qualify as "a collection of opinions collected from a group for analysis", also known as a poll. I would change the header to the exact text "Support removal of pending changes from all articles, for now, with no prejudice against reinstating it in the future, in some form, based upon consensus and discussion" and the opposite, but I have a feeling people will complain that the header is too long and takes up too much space on their watchlist. Maybe we can transclude it? --nn123645 (talk) 13:59, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
We can't change the question, once we've started gathering answers. Any edit to the format of this - which includes the section headings - would be misrepresentation. People have supported what they read; we cannot edit it. Right or wrong. Even if it was just a missing full-stop  Chzz  ►  16:36, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
It may be bold, but we are not fully vested that withdrawing for the shortest interim to correct these few important things, and then go forward is not viable. Otherwise I so fully believe the exact underpinning is in place to discredit the results and a a thing repeated that we have learned. My76Strat (talk) 02:20, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
It's impossible to word anything as controversial as PC to everyone's satisfaction. We finally got consensus on the current working wording on the talk page, so we went for it. This isn't a poll so I think that your objections can easily be handled within the rationale for your comment, so long as you are clear about what you want done to the articles currently under PC. —UncleDouggie (talk) 04:30, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I am fine with accepting consensus as if emerges. I am also stubborn at attempting to include my thoughts about how it effects me as a user. (perhaps others) But I did have a fond interest in seeing this program through. So here, which could be the end, I am suggesting with the best of what I know and best wishes for Wikipedia, this important proposal requires me to oppose. And if we have to try again, this is the work we must be willing to do if getting it right is the goal. My76Strat (talk) 05:40, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Confusion, part 2

Can someone please tell me,

1. If PC is working, why aren't there clear guidelines/policies for admins to follow regarding PC? Is it really "working", then—should we just forget about trying to form clearer guidelines and let is stay ambiguous, because that is what people believe is working?

2. If there is no reason to temporarily remove PC and we can form consensus while it remains on, why is there still no consensus after eight months?* No one can prove there we can't form consensus with it off (actually the consensus for the initial trial occurred with it off and while it's been on nothing definite has been determined), but I think it's slowly becoming obvious that PC staying on is hindering progress (example: this RfC is wasting another week, we need to make a decision either way now).

Thanks, /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 15:30, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

*Nine months.[5]  Chzz  ►  16:44, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Fetch, I understand and share your frustration that this issue has completely stalled any discussion of the future while we deal with the present. As can be seen here you and I are nt the only ones who think the whole idea that we have to settle this first is a bit silly. I have repeatedly characterized it as needless obstructionism and still believe that this entire sub-RFC is a waste of time that is impeding further progress. That being said I was overruled on this point and we are stuck with this sideshow for now. I think those who have been critical of the way I was handling things may now have a somewhat better understanding of how difficult it is to manage an RFC on a contentious and complicated issue like this. This is why I have been advocating for a more structured format aimed at gathering input instead of stirring up fights between polarized positions. I sincerely hope that once this side issue is settled I will be permitted to move ahead with that process and we will not be forced instead to continue this us-vs-them style of RFC. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:44, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I continue to see people in the "oppose" section say something to the effect of "why do we need to turn it off to generate consensus?" My response is, again, why the hell do you think we haven't got a damn consensus already? Anyone got any more bright ideas, like keeping PC on forever because there's not going to be a consensus while we keep arguing over temporary nonsense? /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 21:25, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Why is everybody so keen to do something now? Is the current state so messed up that it threatens the survival of wikipedia as a whole? On a project that promises to be long-term, like WP does, it doesn't seem right to make hurried, rash decisions and to be so concerned with speed. Cliff (talk) 04:48, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I think that those people in the oppose section don't understand the importance that a bureaucracy (or a bunch of lawyers) places on exact wording of a contract or agreement. To have something written, and then not follow it to exact specifications makes some people physically ill. Cliff (talk) 04:53, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The concern is really that too much time and energy is being put into discussions about PC with no progress being made. The purpose of this proposal is to change that by removing a huge distraction. —UncleDouggie (talk) 05:03, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Fetchcomms: The answer is very simply because not everyone reads the page. A comment containing a question that is abundantly answered on the same page doesn't carry much weight unless it is accompanied with some type of rejection of the answers given. —UncleDouggie (talk) 05:03, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Cliff, you realize the original trial was set for two months, after which it was planned that the community figure out what to do next. Now we're at nine months. Do you like being behind schedule at everything? Because last I checked, that was a Bad Thing™. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 22:42, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
This user is not schedule-oriented. So he doesn't mind taking extra time to figure things out. Cliff (talk) 16:36, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Consensus

I'd like to remind anyone who can be bothered to read this, that this is a discussion, not a poll.

We got into the current state, because of polling. Let's learn from our mistakes.

We're looking to develop consensus. If anybody has any ideas how we can work towards that, I'd love to hear them.

Frankly, at this point, I would happily !support a suggestion to "Only have PC on articles that start with the letter S, but not on a Thursday", if I thought it had a realistic chance of success.

I don't mind what we agree to, but we really really need to agree to something.

Beer and a chat? Just to cool down with? Pesky (talk) 18:29, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

If this proposal fails, then we're still stuck.

At the time of writing, the numbers are 53/28. I also think, increasingly, people are misreading this as a "YES/NO" to Pending Changes - which it is not. I don't care about numbers; I'd like us all to agree on something.

I ask all the !oppose above: do you think that it will be possible to form a coherent policy for use of PC? You've seen the !voting here; do you think there's a chance that any proposal for "Use it on all BLPs" or whatever has any chance of passing? Not while we're in this mire, it doesn't.

Usually, if we can't form consensus, the default position is the status quo. But here, there is no status quo.

There's no agreed policy for current use of PC.

Any attempt at proposing one is going to meet with even more difficulty in forming a consensus than this one is.

So please - remember it is a discussion; if anyone opposing has any ideas how we can resolve this ongoing turmoil, please speak up.

Thank you for listening,  Chzz  ►  17:21, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

There certainly IS a status quo, the PC being active on the subset of BLP articles. SirFozzie (talk) 18:35, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
That's a de facto position, but hardly status quo as PC is in effect squatting on those articles. The retention of a pilot (as in a small scale test or application, not de guy flyin de plane) can frequently cause problems for a larger rollout, as it is doing here. Elen of the Roads (talk) 18:41, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Not to be all "I told you so" but my modified questionnaire that was forced aside while this phase is underway was aimed at settling all these matters in a less contentious fashion. The idea behind that process is to gather input rather having a dogfight between positions, and to use that input to construct a rough guide that can be improved as we use the tool (assuming it is kept) into a fully fleshed out policy. Even if this phase fails to achieve any consensus we can (and obviously I am advocating that we should) still proceed with my proposal afterwards.Beeblebrox (talk) 20:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
That's a discussion for the talk page, not for this proposal. Just because you want something to be less contentious doesn't make it so. —UncleDouggie (talk) 04:48, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm confused as to why it keeps getting mentioned that users who have commented in the "oppose" section are confused as to whether or not this is a "YES/NO" to Pending Changes. I don't think there is any real evidence to support this and most users make clear they oppose the removal of PC, whether it be temporary or not. The same argument can be applied for those who support the move since their motives may or may not be biased by their opinion of PC. Polyamorph (talk) 19:36, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I know at least one user who supports the use of PC but supports removing it temporarily to work out a more permanent solution. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 22:44, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
As for the "confused" part, opposes #10, #11, #12 and #24 for example (at the time of this comment) clearly express that they !vote based on the merit of PC itself, not the trial. So I think there is no doubt that at least some of those opposing are confused or at least their comments look as if they are. Regards SoWhy 09:02, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes I agree the comments look like they might be confused but this doesn't mean that they are, but besides support for PC isn't necessarily an invalid reasoning for opposing the end of the trial. I must admit though that I originally mis-read Chzz's point, nowhere do they suggest that it's only the opposed votes that might be biased by their opinion of PC. Polyamorph (talk) 09:35, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Wait, wait—this RfC is not about ending the trial. The trial is over, and has been since August 2010, when a) it was scheduled to end, and b) when data stopped being regularly collected. We are currently in an interim period where PC is on but guidelines on its current and future usage are unclear, and this RfC was started in the hopes that PC might be turned off until a new trial or proposal or whatnot can be formed. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 20:57, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
<shrug>Trials aren't over just because they're scheduled to be over, but your second point (about data collection) makes sense. Who knows? It probably is emblematic of the depth of disagreement over PC that consensus doesn't exist even on as seemingly basic a question as whether the trial has ended. But I can't see that it makes much difference either way. Clearly, many editors understood that PC would not continue to be applied after the scheduled trial period without consensus. Whether continued application of PC constitutes an extension of the trial is really sort of a moot point, isn't it? I'll cheerfully agree to disagree.

About the possible confusion of some participants in this phase: while some additional boldface in the proposal description might have been nice, the wording is perfectly clear. I confess to holding little sympathy for anyone who weighs in to support or oppose a proposal without making quite sure what the proposal proposes. Rivertorch (talk) 05:07, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I just used the word "trial" when I possibly should have used more precise language. But the fact that PC remains in use on a number of articles is, in my opinion, a good thing. I personally don't think PC should be turned off, whether it was originally scheduled to be or not. I think it is a good thing for wikipedia and a good thing for the articles it is currently protecting. I hear your arguments for removing PC (even if only temporarily) but I disagree that it is necessary to do so. Polyamorph (talk) 08:02, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
It isn't just necessary. It's vital to remove PC. A consensus was formed to start it on a certain date and to stop it (as in really stop it - no weasel words about the trial being "ended" while PC is still in effect on multiple pages) after a specified period of time. Continuing it without seeking a new consensus to do so is a violation of trust that has already harmed Wikipedia. Guy Macon (talk) 01:58, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
It hasn't harmed wikipedia, outside of this discussion wikipedia is ticking over just as it always is. Seriously no one should feel betrayed about it. Who has betrayed you? It's the community that is responsible for this and it's just one of those things that at times the community cannot work together as effectively as one would hope. Polyamorph (talk) 08:16, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Response to MC10

(section moved from above by —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M on 06:39, 28 March 2011 (UTC))

  1. From your comment, it appears as though you advocate keeping it on because you see it as useful now, not because there's some reason to keep it going to trial it, and that you don't see the current implementation as a trial at all, instead being an actual use of PC, having been snuck through the back door without full consensus, and you're perfectly fine with this and think it should continue. Is this correct? --Yair rand (talk) 21:11, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
    user Yair rand, your nine edits to article space in the last three months are greatly appreciated but please allow editors to comment, you can discuss your experiences with pending protection, you don't appear to have any experience with pending protection, if you actually have any, on the talkpage. Off2riorob (talk) 00:26, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
    Do you have reason to debase someone's experience based merely on editcount? :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 01:17, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
    I have had essentially no direct experience with PC, but I don't think that prohibits me from asking a question to a user who posted their opinion in this discussion. --Yair rand (talk) 01:58, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
    I have the same request for clarification on MC10's comment that Yair rand has made above. I hope that my 1200 article space edits over the last 3 months is deemed sufficiently worthy to participate in this discussion. —UncleDouggie (talk) 04:27, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
    Probably not. Off2riorob has objected to my participation in these discussions in the past on the same basis, and that was after I hit 45,000 edits. Apparently, they have to be very special edits that experience the editing flow in the way a normal editor would before your opinion counts for much.—Kww(talk) 05:02, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
    I think it was clear from the first poll that O2RR has a bias for PC, much like I'm biased against. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 06:41, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
    Yes, apparently very special edits. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 06:47, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
    Off2riorob has no business telling people whether or not they can participate. If a participant's comments are deemed unsubstantive by the people organizing the consensus, that is their call, not his. Further, I just cast my !vote above, be it as it may. I still think removing it from BLP can do more harm than good if someone comes along the next day and puts libelous information in the article. While it's in the edit history always, it's less likely to be noticed if someone quietly shuffles it aside with PC, and we can always surpress those conflicting edits as well in extreme cases. CycloneGU (talk) 17:01, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
    I am opposing because it is currently being employed on low-traffic BLPs, and its protection is quite necessary. Semi-protection prevents IPs and newer users from being able to edit the page. I do think that we should continue employing its use (or at least stop adding more pages to its protection) until a final discussion results in a decision one way or another. And by the way, I don't think Off2riorob should be asking people to stop others from commenting; edit count usually doesn't mean much. mc10 (t/c) 14:23, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Response to CycloneGU

Comments regarding the oppose, moved from the "oppose" section  Chzz  ►  22:08, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

We have 518,177 BLPs, 440 of which are part of the PC trial. What is about those 440 articles that concerns you so much that you're willing to perpetuate 9 months of conflict and distrust that condemns the other 517,737 articles to never receive the protection you value so highly? If PC is useful, it should be able to withstand the bright light of approval by consensus instead of sneaking in by never-ending trial. —UncleDouggie (talk) 01:37, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
There must have been some reason these 440 BLPs were selected for the trial. I may be ignorant in this statement not knowing each individual one, but I personally saw one page under PC that got vandalistic edits that fortunately never made it to the page and got it upped to semi temporarily. It did its job. Why remove something that works? CycloneGU (talk) 06:17, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Because there is no consensus to use it, there are no policies in place governing its use and significant technical objections have been raised. Put all 1000 articles under semi-protection if you are so concerned about them. You are throwing away any trust to ever experiment with something again on this project because of a misplaced concern about 0.003% of our articles. How does that make any sense? —UncleDouggie (talk) 06:42, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Again, I have no problem removing it from articles; the trial is over. I have a problem with removing it from articles where it does a better job than semi-protection has. I must say that is something I fully agree with Jimbo on. Even so, may I remind you this is the opinion of a non-administrator. We have differing opinions. There is no point hashing it out under my voting opinion. CycloneGU (talk) 21:45, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
"There must have been some reason these 440 BLPs were selected for the trial." Not scientifically, at least. I've removed PC from several pages that barely got edited at all during the trial and the months following it. I suspect there are more pages that don't even need PC but still have it enabled. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 00:16, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I actually do have a differing of opinion there. I think pages that get very few edits - and thus, aren't watchlisted - should be under PC. The reason? Someone will always come across to check an edit that might otherwise go unnoticed until 4 months later. I actually came to an article one day and read something that was not factually correct; I found that the last edit to the article had been over a month prior. That page would have been a perfect candidate for PC. (Yes, I reverted the bad edit.) Active pages are sometimes bad for PC because they are probably already being watched. Pages less active and not often getting an administrator's eye are perfect for PC. I think that is why a lot of these pages were chosen, but unfortunately, some pages get so few edits overall that two months is in no way near enough time to track changes on those articles; namely, this is because there were no changes to those articles. I don't know what percentage of the encyclopedia falls into the less than 100 edits a month club, but all of them would be good PC candidates. And once the system works well, it takes care of itself. Regardless of whether the proposal to remove from all pages goes through or not (looks like it is), I think this kind of consideration for a new trial ought to be tested (and please no Barack Obama setting). CycloneGU (talk) 02:17, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that this is a good potential use of PC and it's been proposed by several others as well. It would be nice to collect some stats on how many articles this would potentially be, broken down at least by BLP vs. others. One problem is that it can be difficult to accurately review a change on some of these articles due to obscure sources. Perhaps the policy could make allowance for putting a review on hold until we can reach someone more knowledgeable about the subject. However, that starts to look like semi-protection pretty quickly. —UncleDouggie (talk) 02:25, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I would hate to make PC look like SP. =) I know if there is any doubt about a change, or the given source does not specifically mention the change made with that source, I tended to omit the change. I ran into a lot of changes at one of the Top Model show season pages that got tested, and trust me, I had no clue how to source that information (it's a T.V. show after all, it "Alyssa" is eliminated, she's eliminated, nobody's gonna write an article on it unless it's a blog post or the finale); that type of page is a bad one for PC, becaue reviewers can't really verify sources for the information, instead deferring to people who also watch the show to approve the changes. I've seen similar problems with soccer player statistics; I can't watch the games, and if they score in a live game it's not disputable that they have another goal in their record, but I have no way to know until sites are updated. But articles that have much fewer edits, even if in either of these categories, can still go under PC; that way, the reviewer gets time to research without a change being blindly approved. I also wonder if allowing only one reviewer to work on a change at a time is a good idea, putting maybe a five minute delay on someone else getting to work on the change and reducing the likelihood of edit conflicts (I realize this may bar others from editing with the wrong setup, but maybe it can be programmed otherwise). Similarly, so one editor isn't taking all the articles, if one starts working on one page don't load three others to do "in a moment"; only do one at a time. Maybe a one minute delay can be used here, but honour is more worth testing in this and determine how well it works. These are just some ideas. CycloneGU (talk) 02:31, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I thought PC was meant to be used like semi-protection—applied after vandalism occurs, rather than a precautionary measure. There was no support for applying it to articles without vandalism, or at least, there's no guideline/policy. That's sort of worrying, because we still haven't gotten consensus for how it should be used. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 02:20, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
This is largely how it was sold, but it's become clear that many want a broad expansion, especially on BLPs, that isn't feasible with semi-protection. I prefer to look at the total impact. Using it on 100,000 articles with one non-confirmed edit every 10 days is similar to using it on 1,000 articles with 10 non-confirmed edits per day. In both cases, what message are we giving to new users? Does reviewing all the changes distract from other tasks? Can we maintain reviewing quality? How much vandalism would we really prevent? Are we making other types of vandalism easier? What are the alternatives? There is no perfect anti-vandalism system. —UncleDouggie (talk) 05:13, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Using it on 100,000 articles is radically different than using it on 1,000 articles, regardless of how many edits are made each day. It's like investing in 100,000 shares of a stock that only go up by $1, versus 1,000 shares that increase by $100. Just because you get the same amount of money doesn't mean there's the same effect—on risk, your portfolio, etc. Your questions about reviewing are valid, but we can't simply change the scope of PC without consensus, which we don't yet have. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 13:53, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

RFC on closing this :)

The votes are clear. The arguments are pretty decent (if not overwhelming) for "support". So are we going to wait a 30 days? Can we actually close this? We haven't been a able to get anything done since the scheduled end of the trial so I have little hope that the above RFC will accomplish anything. So at the end of the month, can we have another long conversation on closing this RFC. Of course, discussing how to implement PC or how to improve it (if it is to be used) would be better but it is obvious that there is consensus on what the hurdle is.Cptnono (talk) 06:55, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

A request for the close has been made per our previous discussions. —UncleDouggie (talk) 07:01, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Oh sweet! Thanks for the links. Kind of hard to understand what is going on with this trainwreck. Nice work to those trying and all but it has been kind of a mess.Cptnono (talk) 07:03, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I still find it laughable that people now agree with removing the feature "for the sake of progress" after a seven month period who previously insisted it be kept. I still have concerns that the feature will not be allowed to return; in the short term, I will set those fears aside and see what the realization is. Phase II seems to have stronger support for PC than against it, but I hope with clearer guidelines more people will be on board and a full implementation may be possible. I do think PC does more good than harm. CycloneGU (talk) 19:21, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
"I still have concerns that the feature will not be allowed to return; in the short term, I will set those fears aside and see what the realization is." – Basically, you're arguing for the other side now, because this shows that many users are simply opposing because they fear PC does not have enough community backing to be kept, and that it will never come back if removed. I don't think PC is inherently evil (though some do), but I don't think the "keep it on because what if it never comes back" mentality only stalls consensus building, as has been obvious in the past. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 23:51, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I am merely having faith that those in support of the proposal will still be willing to discuss the bringing back of PC in the future. Barring a sudden flurry of people suddenly showing up and opposing (most likely a case of sockpuppetry if that occurs), it appears we're heading towards PC being removed from all articles in the coming days. My feelings regarding that are thus moot at this point, and we have to move forward and determine a consensus for actually implementing the thing (or not). CycloneGU (talk) 00:27, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
A Simple Situation

In my opinion, the situation is simple. Continue the trial until the problem is resolved (this also keeps Reviewers in place). Until then, we must work out a way to completely distinguish and make clear distinctions between full-protection, semi-protection and pending changes applications on pages. Once this has been done, the trial can then be lifted (yes, it's overdue, but there is a reason it has been extended) and the new system be imposed. There is otherwise no point bickering about it uselessly, and it's not a bad idea: it has been working, and would only fail to work if there isn't a great enough difference or distinction between it and semi-protection. Kfodderst (talk) 09:05, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

For the record, it must also be mentioned that this page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:PendingChanges) can be used by Reviewers to quickly check any article with PC that needs to be reviewed. It's quickly picked up, the longest time I've seen so far being 2 hours until it being reviewed. There are already so many reviewers that any topic can be dealt with, really, and with efficiency. And this relates to the confusion with SP - from what I can see, PC refers to vandalism. It is distinct from SP, in that someone doesn't necessarily need to be of knowledge in that subject; in any case, even if it requires someone knowledgeable about it, then someone will definitely turn up. It's been working so far, and I don't think it will prove a problem in the future, should we implement a permanent PC system. Kfodderst (talk) 09:09, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
There is no agreement on what problem PC is intended to resolve - and therefore this is another proposal to keep it turned on forever, for no clear benefit to the encyclopedia. Nothing lasts as long as an temporary emergency implementation. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 10:10, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you that PC is intended to curb vandalism. The problem is that some reviewers have allowed unsourced or poorly sourced material to make its way into articles. While we do curb vandalism quickly and it's best for that, we also might be doing a bad thing by letting people approve revisions that are not proper. I myself noted a couple such approved revisions and had to do extra work either finding a reliable source or simply removing it without a source. I even was called on one improper change that I did not think was outright vandalism, but it was later pointed out to me it was. So, in other words, we need better instructions on usage of the reviewer userright, and maybe make it just a little harder to get. Simplifying and, if necessary for discussion, rewriting the scope of the different guidelines is something to consider in this process. CycloneGU (talk) 13:42, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
You're starting to sound like a supporter instead of a "strong oppose". —UncleDouggie (talk) 14:14, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Haha - I still strongly oppose removing it where it's working, but I am simply raising the concerns where I feel it appropriate. =) Regardless of the outcome, I am looking for a way forward, and "support" appears to be the consensus, so I will look for a way forward from there. CycloneGU (talk) 14:33, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
"Continue the trial until the problem is resolved"—basically, forever. It's been nine months and this "problem" (what is the problem, that the guidelines are ambiguous, that the "trial" is over, that PC is slow?) hasn't been resolved yet. You don't think we haven't tried several times to resolve it, Kfodderst? This is RfC is an attempt to try to resolve the problem because when PC was on, it didn't work. Maybe turning it off will do the trick. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 21:24, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
As a reviewer, I reject several things: those outlined by Wikipedia (eg, vandalism, copyright violation, personal threats or libel, etc.) but also highly doubtful things, or (again under Wikipedia's guidelines) those in possible breach of BLP. If not exactly damaging, and possibly right, accept it and then add a citation needed tag after it. As stated: "If you find no reason not to accept the new revision, then accept it from the reviewing screen; accepting doesn't prevent you from later editing the article to address concerns you may still have". That's key, I think. And particularly, too, to work towards what the page itself needs - why it had PC put on it, and aim 'reviews' toward that idea. Kfodderst (talk) 21:28, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
That's why we need to focus on PC itself. It should be fairly straightforward - not saying it is, but it should be.. I don't think we should be focusing on the trial, but instead on pending changes itself. The system can be developed if we work together and put our heads in. Kfodderst (talk) 21:30, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
So what questions need to be asked? Apart from whether PC is useful or not, what are the boundaries for PC? To me, this part is simple: it provides a safety net against pages which are susceptible to vandalism, patent nonsense, libel/threats, copyright violation, breach of BLP, illegal blanking, etc. but are under the jurisdiction of reviewers and not just administrators, who are much fewer in number. By checking the 'articles with edits awaiting review', one can see clearly that attention is so quickly being given to PC pages by reviewers - cases are resolved, as I said before, at most at 2 hours. I think, if there are any questions, that the foremost question is, are there any other rules for rejecting an edit, not included in the other conditions? Eg, lack of citation for something that may be wrong, a clash against the referenced source, etc. Kfodderst (talk) 21:45, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Any comments on this proposed way forward. It would consist in drafting a proposal to submit to the community, elaborating a policy for use of PC based on the views expressed in the RFC, with differences resolved through compromise, would be an integral part of that. Cenarium (talk) 21:50, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

All right, I (personally) propose this: primarily, the trial is ended. Let talk continue after its end as to how it should be implemented, and in what way, but to be honest, if it is strong enough to hold on itself, the idea should be able to garner enough consensus to pass it and fully implement it. With this in mind, the new PC feature would have the same 'acceptance/rejection' system, as opposed to the user-edit-only function of SP. However, there would be cause to reject for: vandalism, patent nonsense, libel/threats, copyright violation, breach of BLP, illegal blanking - and then, most particularly - lack of citation for something that may be wrong, a clash against the referenced source, definitely incorrect information, etc. Kfodderst (talk) 07:31, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
In regards to the first comment of this subsection: No. Simply stop using it. In regards to the other proposal: No. Stop using it. That was the point of the RfC way up above and it is clear. Bringing it back will have to be a whole other discussion. The RfC was intended to be a short term solution to the roadblocks we are experiencing. That is the opposite of any proposals for the way forward. Turn it off. Continue to discuss. If consensus is found to go forward with PC then it can come back. Keep the backend in for now to make reimplementing it a realistic possibility. Cptnono (talk) 02:32, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
If your latter reply was to Cenarium, he is proposing a way forward based on the consensus that he has perceived above. His proposal doesn't accommodate keeping it switched on while we continue to discuss. CycloneGU (talk) 22:45, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
That proposal calls for yet more studie. I don't understand what questions those studies are supposed to answer. See analysis paralysis. I think there is enough info by now to say yes (turn it on permanently) or no (turn it off permanently). Saying "yes" should not require a Big Design Up Front. Just turn it on and figure out through experience how to use it. 75.57.242.120 (talk) 06:41, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

So closing this has gone nowhere so far for various reasons. Newyorkbrad was asked, but he's very busy with ArbCom stuff. I just asked WJBScribe to do so, since he offered before as a 'crat. If neither of those things happens soon we should act ourselves. Steven Walling at work 06:33, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

I would like to see if one of them will still come through to set a better precedent for handling PC related RfCs. They are both uninvolved, highly respected and no one has raised any objections to having them perform the close. —UncleDouggie (talk) 07:28, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I'll second that. A status update would be nice, but I think we can afford to be patient. Rivertorch (talk) 16:50, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I thought the discussion on if this was closed was going on somewhere else??? All I know is that the proposal to stop it at this time for now has consensus. Why are we even discussing it? Oh... because it is now going to be perennial and never going away. It was shoved down our throats and isn't going anywhere. There was an option to temporarily suspend it (the RfC!) but no... it is all shenanigans. Thank you for the idea and the server space. We will just have to accept your will Wales. Please help us shape how to present the sum of human knowledge since any give person on the internet is to dense to do it on their own. You truly know all. Cptnono (talk) 08:17, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
How about using PC only for articles with BLP content and less than 3 watchers. If an article gets only one viewer/ day, it doesn't matter much if it takes c. 3 hours to review the change. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 15:08, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Close as no-consensus

Discussions on Pending changes have been going on for a very long time now and an extremely large number of editors must be extremely bored by the whole exercise. I would expect moderates would be much more likely to be tired by the whole discussion going on and on and on than people with more extreme views, and moderates are much more likely to support the status quo.

I think the only sensible way to close this discussion is as no consensus - I personally am very concerned at how this discussion seems to be continuing indefinitely and that is highly, highly unproductive and I am also concerned that the users involved here don't make up a representative subset on the community.

If pending changes are to be completely removed, or significantly expanded then I think the only way to do so reasonably and to engage a reasonable representative subset of the community is to stick with the status quo and re-visit pending changes in a year or so. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 16:38, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Problem: What is the status quo? PC is on c. 1000 pages, but there's no policy to support it (nor any demonstrable consensus for it). Can it be used? Added to more articles? Who knows. It is being. Can it be used on non-BLPs, on articles with no history of vandalism? Can admins remove it from existing articles, because there is no consensus for its use? Nobody seems to know.  Chzz  ►  16:59, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Well why not suspend all discussion of it for the time being and focus our efforts on forming an interim policy for its use and then revisit it in a year? There are cases where it is unambiguously useful. There are also cases where its usefulness is doubtful, so working out how to get the best use from it would be far more beneficial than attempts to drive a stake through its heart. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:27, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Eraserhead1, have you actually read what this RFC is about? It's not for removing PC permanently. It's for removing the current usage temporarily so we can move on and discuss its actual implementation. Sheesh. Whether or not it is useful is not the question here, it's whether or not you guys are interested in writing up scope and guidelines at all or if you're all just planning to wing it forever on a trial-that-doesn't-end™ --ObsidinSoul 17:15, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
"Stamp duty" - a tax when you buy a house, in the UK, was introduced in 1694 as a four-year emergency tax to fund a war with France. It was repealed in 2003. Something reminded me of this.  Chzz  ►  17:48, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Also, although I may be non-neutral, but I think there is a good consensus for the question in this RFC. There might not be a consensus for PC itself but I think there is a strong and reasonable agreement here that the trial should end. Regards SoWhy 17:43, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

HJ, but what does 'suspend discussion' mean in reality? Can admins still apply it on new articles? Can anyone request removal when it is inappropriate? How can that work? Or are you suggesting we say "don't add, remove, or do anything"? Believe me - I am totally open to ideas, of any kind. I'm as keen as anyone to sort out this mess of crap.  Chzz  ►  17:42, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm suggesting we put the discussion on hold and try to form a workable policy for the use of PC, giving guidance to admins on when to apply and remove it and to non-admins on when to request its application/removal. We can prohibit the addition or removal of PC while we try to come up with a policy that hopefully gets the best use out of PC and ends this damn limbo. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:30, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

As of this edit, there are 111 editors in support and 50 editors opposed to the ending of the pending changes trial and the temporary removal of pending changes protection from all articles. Percentage-wise, just short of 69% of editors who have spoken are in favor of the proposition. I think that, on such a contentious issue, greater than 66.7% support should be considered consensus. I also think that a no-consensus close will ensure that pending changes remains in limbo until this same subject is put up for another !vote in six months.

I also think that we as a community need to be resistant to appeals to a silent majority. This discussion has been widely publicized throughout the project by every means short of spamming every user talk page. At a certain point, we need to assume that users who do not comment are simply indifferent to the question at hand, at least until they prove otherwise by speaking up. Otherwise, it will prove impossible to ever reach consensus on anything. Grondemar 18:22, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

There are 111 editors in support and 50 editors opposed to the end of the pending changes trial who have been prepared to continue a seemingly endless discussion for six months after the trial finished.
If we remove pending changes from the 1000 remaining pages then without beating dead horses yet more pending changes is dead completely. If we suspend discussion for a year or so and keep the status quo, then regardless of what happens its quite plausible to remove it completely at that time (when we'd have a lot more information as well on how it works), continue it as a step before semi-protection, or significantly expand its implementation.
To answer Chzz's points I think significant expansion or contraction isn't a good idea, as that's a substantial change. I think it would be very silly to prevent removal of pending changes where it isn't really working. The remaining issue is whether we should add (small) numbers of additional articles to the trial. I'm easy on that, and I'd be more than happy to leave it ambiguous. But I don't think it would be a big issue to discuss whether we should be able to add any articles at all and whether there should be a hard limit of somewhere between 1050 and 1500 or so, I think that discussion as it would be so limited could be productive and would be so minor that the fact that lots of people are really bored of the discussion wouldn't be a major issue. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:57, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
This small comment added in later: "Leave it ambiguous"? Oh, ffs, please please, no. That will just keep this pointless time-waste going. Make a fucking decision already. Yes, no, on, off, on-for-these, off-on-Tuesdays. I don't care. Anything. But...a decision - supported by the community.  Chzz  ►  22:11, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm happy to go with whatever you think will reduce drama :). -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:28, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
If there's doubt of a silent majority, put a notice at Special:PendingChanges where the 5,545 users with Reviewer rights who are actually using the tool to fight vandalism will see it... Mojoworker (talk) 23:41, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Please tell me you're joking. Votestacking would not prove anything. - Kingpin13 (talk) 23:57, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
While it may not be against policy neither does holding a discussion which goes on forever. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:20, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but your comment makes no sense, do you mean "While votestacking may be against policy, so is holding a discussion which goes on forever"? In any case this discussion isn't going on forever, it's in the process of being closed at the moment, besides which holding a discussion which does "go on forever" isn't against policy - consensus can change. - Kingpin13 (talk) 14:12, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
I know consensus can change, but that doesn't have to involve a continual stream of RFC's. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:45, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Right, and no one is saying that's what we should do. But that doesn't mean it's against policy, and it in no way justifies votestacking. - Kingpin13 (talk) 22:55, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
In my original comment here I specifically stated that a discussion going on forever isn't against policy... -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:58, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
You'll need to clarify "While it may not be against policy neither does holding a discussion which goes on forever." It doesn't make any sense, I asked if you meant "While votestacking may be against policy, so is holding a discussion which goes on forever" and you did not comment. - Kingpin13 (talk) 23:11, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
My point was that while holding an endless discussion may not be against policy that it doesn't really prove anything, I'm sorry for being unclear. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 23:13, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

No consensus? So the opinions of the many editors who participated should be set aside in favor of a brief discussion thread? As SoWhy said a bit above, it's pretty obvious what the community has said here. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:57, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Well, going by Grondemar's analysis, if this were an RfA, it would be closed as non consensus. I think this is much more important than a discussion over whether to appoint a single administrator, so why should we have a lower majority? Also, simple head-counting is not consensus. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 20:35, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

HJ: If you can make a proposal that you think can gain consensus - whatever it is - go for it. Please do. Whether that is 'no consensus to remove', 'consensus to add it to all articles', whatever. I don't care. I'll support ANY proposal I believe might have a realistic chance of community support.  Chzz  ►  22:21, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

HJ: I totally agree with you about WP:NOTVOTE, but common sense here is that there are (at the time I post this) 112 support and 50 oppose. That applies only to the question posed, not to the ultimate disposition of PC, but common sense says there's a consensus on the question posed. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:46, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Low standards for consensus when it suits your needs but high standards when it doesn't

Remember that PC was continued after the trial because of a poll, which was slightly in favor, it was decided by majority not consensus because Jimbo said so. There has never been any consensus to continue PC after the trial, not ever. You cannot say when it arranges you that a majority is sufficient, then when it doesn't arrange you, that majority is no longer in your favor, well that consensus is needed. Anyway, I think there is clearly a compelling consensus for enacting the proposal, considering the arguments. The status quo is terrible, we don't have any kind of policy for how it should be used, there's no way it can change otherwise than by stopping PC until further notice, or it'll be the same thing over and over since we've ended the trial. Consensus could not form yet on the future use of PC because of that. If we halt PC until further notice now we'll be finally able to make a concrete proposal with policy for its use. Cenarium (talk) 20:57, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Cenarium is correct, we should not require a different level of consensus than for the trial to start. If anything, the level should be lower because not everyone in favor of having a trial would have supported it indefinitely prolonged. The last poll on this, Wikipedia:Pending changes/Straw poll on interim usage, had "only" 59% in favor, yet it was considered sufficient to continue the usage of PC until November, but 69% is to be "no consensus"? I'm all for requiring a significant consensus, like for adminship, but then this requirement has to be applied to all discussions about PC and if you retroactively apply it, there would never have been a consensus to start a trial in the first place. Regards SoWhy 21:13, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
59% with well-reasoned support from respected contributors might possibly have scraped a consensus for the extension to December 2010, but where was the consensus for a further extension into 2011? The only debate I can see on that decision is this page, and surely no one can argue that 31% (50 of 161 !votes above) is a consensus to extend. Certes (talk) 22:01, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) What's done is done, you can't go back in time and change the result of the original decision to enable it.
What we can do is not continue this discussion endlessly. As it is we are going to need at least one more serious RFC to actually make a final decision about Pending Changes, and if we hold off on doing that for a year, then what if we do decide we want pending changes then? Do we then have to have another trial? And then repeat all this bullshit?
At least with closing as no consensus we'd be able to make a final decision in a year or so about which way to go as the trial would be continuing. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:07, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
And actually if you wait a year the question can be come up with in advance with the data, so that the question can be asked once and for all whether we want to continue pending changes with a large number of articles, a small number of articles or remove it completely. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:12, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
I've proposed a way forward here, which is reasonably well supported. Essentially, we would elaborate then submit a proposal for using PC, detailing the policy for how it should be used. Divergences of view in the elaboration of the proposal would be resolved through compromise. Cenarium (talk) 22:14, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
What I would suggest is that we do the best we can for now that minimises drama, and discuss it again in a year with three options (or whatever other options seems good), big pending changes (on all BLP's or whatever), small pending changes (as a step below semi-protection), or no-pending changes. And then have a three way straw poll, possibly with approval voting (which we already use for Arbcom elections) and whichever option gets the most votes gets implemented.
*cough*Repetition*cough* - only way forwards; it'll happen in the end. This week, next year, IDK. But it'll happen.  Chzz  ►  22:29, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
I've given arguments on the talk page as to why a proposal with multiple options is a no-go (extremely hard to determine consensus, methods subject to contestation). And we can't approve something if we don't have a precise idea of how PC would be used. So the only possible way forward is to submit a detailed proposal for approval. Cenarium (talk) 22:44, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Anything which leaves the future unclear sounds like a terrible idea frankly as that is what is allowing this discussion to seemingly continue forever. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:25, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
My proposed way forward is clear, I can make it even clearer. Cenarium (talk) 22:44, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand it, can you spell it out here? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:21, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
This is at Wikipedia_talk:Pending_changes/Request_for_Comment_February_2011#Proposed_motion. Cenarium (talk) 15:00, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
I've commented there. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 17:22, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  • There was never consensus to continue with PC after the trial. There is now a two-thirds consensus to remove it from articles for now, and this is the usual standard for consensus; comparing it to the higher standard needed for RfA isn't appropriate. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 22:41, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
    • I have to agree with this, my concern was that the consensus in this case was invalid due to too much WP:DEADHORSE beating regardless of the percentages involved. Not that the percentage isn't high enough for a consensus. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:45, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
We already have the only consensus we need to stop the trial now: it's in last year's "two-month extension" debate. Stopping is automatic unless there is a further consensus to extend. Do the oppose statements above outweigh support enough to form a consensus to extend? I think not. Certes (talk) 12:31, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Fair point. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 20:18, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

This is degenerating into an XFD-alike, and wider usership has NOT been informed of this development

Putting a notice on Special:PendingChanges wouldn't be votestacking. Contrary to what some people suggested above, it would simply be common courtesy.

The !vote above is basically an MFD for the PC button and related pages e.g. Special:PC. We'd tag an article or a category or a template with the appropriate !XFD tag. It isn't votestacking to do so, even though it will obviously tend to be biased towards users/readers of an article/category/template. We should do the same for PC. How many people who regularly use PC can be aware that this !vote was taking place? It can only be a tiny proportion, otherwise we'd have far more people commenting. Scrap PC, even temporarily, on the back of that !vote, and I'll bet you good money you'll discover hundreds of people turning up to comment "what on earth is going on?" and "why wasn't I informed?", and the whole sorry mess will rumble on for yet another round.

As for "everyone already is informed", I don't think that's true at all. This RFC and the previous one have been utter car-crashes. Only the high-endurance, the highly-motivated, and the utterly masochistic can have been following it, let alone reading all the content added. From the occasional reports that reach WP:POST and WP:CENT, or even from what is visible at the top of this page, it's not at all clear that a terminal !voting stage had been reached. I assumed that the same old arguments were still being knocked about, and no progress was being made, because that's what has been going on for months. If you're going to have a !voting stage, then that itself needs to be widely advertised. And since it has XFD-like properties, properly informing users of this feature (just as we would inform users of templates or readers of articles) would be basic courtesy. It would also save the inevitable sight of further arguing about "why wasn't I informed" vs "it was your duty to read and keep up-to-date on several novels worth of rehashed arguments so you knew that after several months it had reached a voting stage". Please let's apply some common sense here! TheGrappler (talk) 02:16, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

The belief that PC only affects the newly created reviewer class is seriously wrong. The reason why this is so controversial is because it affects everyone not just the people who 'regularly use' PC (they oversee it, they don't use it, there's a difference). Without guidelines, reviewers would basically be lording it over everyone else on what info you let through a 'review', without even quality control as to who gets the reviewer rights or on what articles it should be used on. A lot of the reviewers are also very new antivandal users who apparently have a penchant for "collecting" user rights, the reason why specifically asking them to !vote is a bad idea. If they took their responsibility seriously, don't you think they should have been here already?
The lack of interest of reviewers for the discussions only highlights one thing: you've been pretending that this trial was the implementation for a while now, unconcerned with the issues raised because PC is in effect, and no one can do anything about it ('battle had already been fought'... what? You mean the 60/40 vote for a 2 month trial?). The trial is overdue for months now, I assume there should be sufficient data to start formulating the actual rules. But no one bothers because you occupy the high ground, and everyone else is powerless to tell you otherwise. So if it requires that you honor the trial period to finally make you acknowledge them. Then so be it. I believe PC will be useful for BLP's, but without a proper system of checks and balances in place, it's not something I would want. Implement it properly or don't implement it at all. --ObsidinSoul 02:35, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Anyone who isn't aware of this page must be dead or brain dead. It's on every watchlist. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 02:42, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
It's not on my watchlist. There's an RFC about whether autoconfirmed status should be required to create articles, but nothing about this RFC. Mojoworker (talk) 05:49, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
There was a watchlist notice for many weeks. I've lost track of when it was removed, but the endorsements on this page had dwindled to a trickle before that happened. Rivertorch (talk) 06:20, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I was thinking about this and its going to turn into a dramabomb if people find that pending changes has been swept out from under them without the opportunity to comment. I doubt the wider reviewers realise at this point that Pending Changes is going to be switched off - even temporarily. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:49, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Nothing on my watchlist either
@Obsidian Soul, I just treat pending changes like I do for everything else on my watchlist - i.e. I "lord over" and remove things that I don't like. I am pretty relaxed about what I don't like, but not everyone is.
I highly doubt people treat pending changes any differently from their watchlist. You can write all the guidelines in the world, but people aren't going to read them, and they will still follow common sense which is to treat it like their watchlist. The only guidelines I've actually properly read in my first 15000 edits are parts of WP:RS, WP:EL, WP:TITLE and WP:ITNR (as I've made a lot of edits in the ITN area).
If you're shocked by someone's behaviour on pending changes, then they are probably behaving just as badly on the other articles on their watchlist. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:01, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
The standards for being a reviewer should include that you actually read the guidelines. I think you are dramatically overestimating the reaction from removing PC from 0.03% of our articles. Editors are more worried about the other 99.97%. Many commentators are in fact thinking about those other articles in supporting this proposal. If you are correct and we are about to unleash a backlash tsunami, then fine; all that manpower can be put into use developing some real guidelines and solving the myriad of issues that have been identified. The other alternative is that there are no more trials of anything on the project and approval for a "trial" becomes final approval for use. How can you possibly not see the problems with that? —UncleDouggie (talk) 07:32, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
See, this is the bad part. Advocating IAR on something like this isn't helping. Leaving it to something as ambiguous as "common sense" will only lead to more BLP issues that PC was made for in the first place. I'm not shocked, I'm actually horrified that you would actively go against any attempt at creating guidelines for this. Reviewers will benefit from not being constrained by anything of course, but how exactly does that translate into its actual intended usage? "Removing things I don't like" is extremely POV, and POV, specifically libel, is what PC was originally intended for.
And yes, this RFC was featured prominently in the watchlist for a good long while. Anyone who didn't see it then probably wasn't paying enough attention or was busy IRL like TheGrappler was. But real life commitments don't exactly count as a valid excuse, and hey you did make it and voiced your standpoint after all. Dramabomb or not, anyone who didn't care enough to follow the discussions here only have themselves to blame. A fair amount of people with or without reviewer rights have already stated their !votes on both sides of the issue. And forgive me for saying so but retconning the proceedings to make it seem like you weren't informed sounds like simply laying down the groundwork for more unnecessary drama that may or may not happen. Besides, gauging the reactions, PC will be reinstated soon enough anyway (but with proper guidelines this time). So instead of derailing yet another effort to bring all this to a close, why not help? Do you really think all this will just go away if you just ignore it?--ObsidinSoul 07:46, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
@UncleDouggie, People don't generally read their work contracts before signing them, you cannot seriously expect people to read the pending changes guidelines before reviewing edits. I certainly haven't. The only user rights where you could possibly reasonably expect people to have read the guidelines are RfA and above. But to be honest I highly doubt all admins have read the guidelines. The level at which I'd realistically expect people to have actually read the guidelines would be people applying for Arbcom.
@Obsidian Soul, I don't think it remotely legitimate to claim that everyone whose interested has to be following the discussion. Most people try and avoid discussions which contain lots of drama, especially if they aren't going anywhere.
@Both, lets be clear that by "common sense" I mean that they will do exactly the same as on their watchlists. If pending changes is causing them to introduce BLP issues, then they'll do exactly the same on their watchlists.
And frankly if everyone who wants to be involved is involved what would be the issue with adding a link to Special:Pending Changes? This motion would still pass, and it would be more legitimate. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 17:32, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Only Reviewers would be looking at that page, however. A watchlist notice, while not perfect (as it misses IPs) can attract a far more varied audience. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 18:36, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Eraserhead1, you should probably have your rights removed if refuse to read the guidelines. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 18:39, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflicts) It's a little late in the game. While I empathize with editors whose real-life commitments have kept them out of the loop, I don't think there's any way that can be helped. There was a watchlist notice for a long time, there was mention in the Signpost, and there were notices on the centralized discussion and community portal pages. (There probably were other notices as well.) It would be inappropriate at this time to start soliciting new comments on a widely publicized, well-attended RfC that has been open for weeks. And btw, I'm a bit unnerved by your casual attitude toward reading guidelines. How can anyone who hasn't bothered to read a given guideline contribute meaningfully to a discussion about the same? Rivertorch (talk) 18:49, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
To be clear I'm not refusing to read the pending changes guidelines, and I have had a quick glance at them. Additionally if there are any issues with my use of the Reviewer privileges (or anything else on the site) I will actually read the relevant guidelines. I highly doubt many other people's behaviour is significantly better - all I'm doing is being honest about it.
Additionally while I may not have read the guidelines about pending changes I have used it since it was introduced. Additionally I've managed to get a substantial number of pages removed from indefinite semi-protection because pending changes allows IP's to edit, as well as letting editors keep an eye on the articles in question. On this ground I've actually been able to remove 50 or so articles from indefinite semi-protection completely as a really obvious target page for this particular long term vandal has been on the pending changes trial since June 2010 without issue. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 20:00, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Experienced users would not need to read the reviewers guidelines to review any edit - they already totally know how to review an edit and have been doing it every time they log on. Erasures comments are insightful and I totally agree with them. As he/she has mentioned - the advantages of pending are perhaps only known and understood by truly involved contributors such as him/her - on some pages that were previously vandal magnets only supportable by indefinite semi protection the disruptors have realized the valueless of their attempt to disrupt the article and some such articles have become almost vandal free - easily protected by a few experienced watchers. I have the feeling that we may find out more when the articles are removed from pending than is easily to be accurately reflected by requests for data from the trial, requests for data specifics are just a red herring - an impossible request, how must vandalism and libel has the tool stopped from being published by en wikipedia is an unanswerable question, as I previously said - the question of how beneficial has been this protection is perhaps easier to see when that protection is removed. Personally - all I am bothered about is protecting living peoples bios and that the primary goal of as open to contribute as possible interface - I can sacrifice one and if our options to protect articles is diminished by the removal of the pending protection tool from the box, I will be requesting admins support wider liberal long term semi protection of any BLP attacked without speedy correction of a vandal/defamation addition. I don't care how we do it but stiki users and recent changes pattrollers are not keeping defamation, libel attacks or vandalism against living people out of articles and we need to deal with that and stop people being long term defamed and libeled through this project. Off2riorob (talk) 22:22, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but that is *at present*, where there's a 7.5:1 ratio between reviewers and articles. As I've noted, even applying to BLPs alone will cause the number of articles covered to skyrocket to upwards of 518,000, IIRC, for a ratio of ~1:69, assuming the number of reviewers remains static. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 22:54, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
So lets start indefinitely semi protecting any BLP article that is defamed, libeled or vandalized and that attack content published and mirrored all over the www via this project is not removed within say, forty eight hours. I came to the position during the discussion that if pending was accepted that it should not be widely added like that to all BLP articles but just added as and when required, personally at current reviewer activity I feel that 50,000 low activity articles would be easily manageable, but with rejection of the tool, I will move to support liberal long term semi protection for any BLP that is left with attack content as stated above. Two very similar articles, Peter Mandelson indefinitely semi protected, George Osbourne pending protected - both completely stable - which is a more open editing environment for unconfirmed editors? It is unquestionably pending protection. If pending protection is removed from Osbourne the only future for that BLP is indefinite semi protection. While pending protection has been available to help protect the articles especially in relation to living people I have used it and found it extremely beneficial and if it is switched off nothing will change, I will continue to protect living people from defamation any way I can using whatever tools remain. Off2riorob (talk) 23:32, 12 April 2011 (UTC) Off2riorob (talk) 23:08, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Then start reining in your own herd, Off2RioRob; I have seen a disordinate amount of "All BLPs" arguments on the same rationale you just gave. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 17:59, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think applying to all BLP's would be overkill - and something I'm against, but what Off2riorob says sounds reasonable suggestion. We cannot allow defamation to stick around for ages as a mature project. I also think that writing some detailed guidelines is worthwhile. But there is no point in stopping using the tool while we do so. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:39, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, there is a point:
If you want to expand the scope of PC, we'll have to get a consensus to do so.
While this trial continues, there is no realistic chance of getting such a consensus.
If the trial ends, we may have a chance at getting consensus for some use of PC.  Chzz  ►  15:35, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
If we need to stop the trial on grounds of principle, fair enough. My point is that we stop the trial we don't need to wait 6 months, or whatever before re-enabling it just because the guidelines on how to review edits haven't been fully fleshed out. There are currently 2648 (plus a couple of hundred that have dropped off the bottom) indefinitely semi-protected articles, adding another thousand articles to that count for a long period - when they don't need that level of protection - seems pretty silly to me. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:38, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Maybe we need a new category: Articles previously under pending changes prior to removal that may have it again in six months. Yes, this is in jest, but we need to remember which articles PC was applied to in case it does come back, because articles HAVE been helped by it. Also good for reviewing data. CycloneGU (talk) 02:15, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
FWIW if you look through the log of indefinitely semi-protected articles, there are a fair few which already say "returned to indefinite semi-protection after the original trial was over". -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:14, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Another "trial" is being discussed with no assurance that it will ever actually end.

After seeing the harm that continuing pending changes against consensus has done, (See Wikipedia:Pending changes/Request for Comment February 2011#Response to Guy Macon), I am seeing the word "trial" used over at [ location deleted due to legitimate concerns about canvassing ] In my opinion, given the broken promises to end the pending changes "trial" and the violation of consensus associated with that broken promise, any proposal that includes a "trial" is deceptive. Editors may support it with a "let's try it and see how it works" attitude not realizing that it may be a bait and switch for a "trial" that goes on indefinitely. This is, in my opinion, an example of the harm that continuing pending changes without consensus is having. Guy Macon (talk) 23:35, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Could somebody post a diff showing the "promise" Guy refers to, that the trial was going to end by shutting down PC? I thought the trial ended with the straw poll that went 407 to 217 in favor of keeping PC going in some fashion. So I'd appreciate some kind of clarification about the "broken promise" if it exists. Who promised what to who when? Did anyone demonstrably (i.e. with a diff) support the trial conditioned on such a promise? Thanks. 69.111.194.167 (talk) 20:27, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Response to Jim Miller

"There was no implication in the original "trial" that it would be removed after the trial period had passed". Are you serious? A time period for a trial implies nothing about the length of time the trial will run?

This is the kind of reasoning that really disturbs me. Refusing to honor the original agreement is bad enough. Refusing to acknowledge that the original agreement even existed sinks even lower.—Kww(talk) 16:35, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

I am absolutely serious. I always read "trial" as "We are turning this on for use on a limited number of articles for enough time to allow the community to determine the necessary policies and procedures." - a limit on the articles, not the time period. Frankly, the idea that once turned on it would later be turned off never entered my mind when reading the original proposal. In the ensuing discussions, I ignored those who worked under the "use and remove" assumption as I didn't think that the concept was logical. Unless PC was an absolute failure, and it certainly seems it was not, there wouldn't be a justification for turning it off. The time period was for the purpose of evaluating the tool and creating the necessary procedures for its expanded implementation. While others may have read it differently, this is how I interpreted the proposal - as having the inevitable result of having PC in use under whatever limits the community devised. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 16:59, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
That would be an "indefinite trial with a preliminary evaluation to be performed in two months time", or some equivalent wording.—Kww(talk) 17:24, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
The huge number of responses from folks who felt betrayed when it didn't end tells you how the average person interpreted it. Guy Macon (talk) 18:00, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
It could be just the way I saw it - like a beta test. Unless the problems are technically unable to be fixed, the feature will be rolled into the production version automatically. And I haven't seen A "huge number of responses" regarding feeling of betrayal, once you discount the opinions of those who objected to even having the tool available in the first place. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 19:48, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
You can't discount those views, Jim. In my view, the trial failed: PC didn't do much to solve the problem it tried to address, and there was no consensus to continue it in that form. Silly me, I expected people to work on getting consensus on what to change, changing those things, and then starting a new trial. The idea that a consensus was required to stop a two-month trial after two months were up, as opposed to a consensus being required to continue the trial, still seems alien to me.—Kww(talk) 20:08, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Nice a beta test :) Now we have fillibusting and U can't ride a dead horse. It's true that PC doesn't solve all problems, it needs a voluntary force for reviewing. We don't have it, I'm afraid. But de:wiki gets less vandalism by kids since PC is online. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 20:14, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  1. You are now making the assumption that it was approved unconditionally before the trial (in software terms, it should have already been feature complete - i.e. complete with guidelines). If that were the case then it would have been a beta. Even then, a beta run still requires gathering feedback and confirmation for a go-ahead after its run. I don't recall anyone making that effort from your side (anyone who does gets labeled 'anti-PC' like you just did).
  2. Months of wall-of-text discussions you admitted to ignoring doesn't translate as a 'huge number of responses' to you? And no, you can't 'discount' negative opinion as well. Now who exactly is filibustering here? As a side-note to Chris.urs-o mentioning the FR-enabled wikis: a few days ago a helpee came online the irc channels perplexed on why his edit on ar.wiki still hasn't shown up. Guess why?--ObsidinSoul 20:19, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
The sorts of pages that I, and even Off2riorob (who seems to be very positive about pending changes), want put on pending changes would probably be on indefinite semi-protection instead (or at least a good percentage would be). Even having your edit delayed a while that is much better than not being able to make it at all. And if you only put a small fraction of the articles onto pending changes you aren't likely to have a big problem with slow reviews. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 20:31, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Believe me, me too. But there are certain issues with PC that just won't go away if we ignore them. And notice your wording: "would probably be". That is the problem. "Probably", "may be", "could be", "will be", which is which? While I would happily encourage the use of (low-level) PC instead of Semiprot in some articles, the actual delineation on when and where to use them has not been defined. Others are advocating complete adoption (i.e. flagged revisions for all articles), which I strongly oppose, others want it removed, which would be a waste imo. As long as that is the case, anyone can use it in whatever way they like and no one can challenge their actions.
Anyway, whatever my (our) opinions are, it doesn't change the fact that we need guidelines to be defined first and that we all must abide by consensus, not on what we think is best. Removing the trial for now is the first step towards (hopefully) reaching a middle ground. Argue the merits of your "probably" then, not now when PC has been in effect in violation of the previous agreement. Whatever points you put forward now, however sound, are useless when there isn't even trust between both parties.--ObsidinSoul 21:51, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Pending changes for all articles would definitely be overkill. I think even for all BLP's its overkill. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:57, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Mind u all: we aren't an encyclopedia that ANYONE CAN EDIT. We aren't a blog of nonsense that anyone can edit. Wikipedia is many ENCYCLOPEDIAS with qualities, these qualities gets traffic, this traffic attracts vandalism. Vandalism doesn't need verifiability, reliable source, neutral point of view, notability, and goes LIVE. These QUALITIES need protection, otherwise we disappear... --Chris.urs-o (talk) 03:14, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Even with such protection editor flight will kill us far faster than vandalism will, Chris. Can't have an encyclopedia without editors. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 03:59, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't mind Sports & Entertainment. But I do think we are drowning on BLPs and Science. I do think too, that PC by default is over the top. But de:wikipedia is surviving and has quality, almost no kiddy or ill vandalism goes live, that is nice. Checks and balances, what shall we do ??? If we do nothing, then we disappear. If we are too tight, then we don't get the new editors that we need. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 08:55, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
de.wp has a culture entirely different from en.wp. The same can be said for any other WP in relation to any other WP. —Jeremy v^_^v Components:V S M 20:49, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Generally cultural differences are always vastly outweighed by cultural similarities. I doubt its different with Wikipedia. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:11, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree. But on the otherside, the American way of life of a self-made man has clubs a lil bit more open than the German and British ones...--Chris.urs-o (talk) 14:06, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Replace the watchlist notice

Resolved: watchlist notice replaced for another nine days, bringing us up the the usual RFC thirty day limit - thanks

It is now twelve days since the community watchlist notice was removed without any discussion, I asked for it to be replaced but to no avail - seems awful premature considering the lack of closure, many more editors could have had chance to comment - the notice was only there for eight days. The RFC discussion/yes no remove from all articles has now been open 20/21 days and with hindsight it would have been/might of well have been left for the usual thirty days with a community notice for the full time. If anyone has the capability to replace the notice please do. Off2riorob (talk) 17:05, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

The RfC is currently being closed by Newyorkbrad - Kingpin13 (talk) 17:07, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Newyorkbrad has been closing the thread for around the last twelve days, that is not excuse to have removed the community notice, neither is it not an excuse not to now leave the RFC open for the usual 30 days and replace the community notice. Off2riorob (talk) 17:29, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
It would be highly inappropriate with something as controversial as this to not leave it at the very least for the full 30 days. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:13, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I will notify the discussion here that I have requested the community watchlist notification to be replaced, see here. Looking there it has been replaced for another nine days from now. Many thanks for that replacement to User:Kingpin13 - Off2riorob (talk) 18:33, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - The notice was missing for about 12 days. Should this not also be accommodated? CycloneGU (talk) 19:20, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Personally I am happy without that - although comments dropped off in that time there were still some, lets just do the additional nine days from now with the watchlist notice and then close the thread down (approx 23 April) - archivetop and bottom and be done with it and then get Brad, or someone as trusted if he is unavailable around that time to close it at their leisure. Off2riorob (talk) 19:33, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough. I was not sure if that concerned you, hence if you are satisfied I will let it be myself. =) CycloneGU (talk) 19:37, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
As long as it stays up for the remaining 9 days I think that is reasonable. No need to make a mountain out of a molehill :). -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:38, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, please leave the RfC open for 30 days. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 03:53, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually, this RfC has been running for 1399 days[6] but, as we're 1645 days[7] into a two month trial,[8][9] I suppose another few days won't matter.  Chzz  ►  07:19, 15 April 2011 (UTC) Note: date calculations as of today when RfC closed 18:48, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
All three parts, yes. I think they mean just this phase. CycloneGU (talk) 22:27, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Response to GB105

ABecause Pending changes is a hell of a lot better than indefinite semi-protection. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:52, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Where has it been shown to work ? Cenarium (talk) 21:12, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I have certainly at the very least got a significant number of pages off indefinite semi-protection due to the existence of pending changes. And I'm just one editor. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:14, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
And how does it prove that, taking all aspects under consideration, PC works ? Cenarium (talk) 21:22, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Because having 50-100 odd pages on indefinite semi-protection is quite clearly worse than having 1000 pages on Pending changes, and there must be plenty more pages - such as George Osbourne which would have to be on indefinite semi-protection if they weren't in the Pending Changes trial. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:30, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I cannot see how it proves that, taking all aspects under consideration, PC works (or, as I assume it is understood, works better than the no-pc system.)
But that was essentially a rhetorical question, as personally, I believe that the PC system works better. But I see that many users above say that 'PC works' without even trying to prove their claim or pointing to a community discussion that determined that PC works. So we're supposed to believe them just like that ? Well no. At least they could try to substantiate their claims, but even so whether PC works better is something for the community to determine. The latest relevant discussion is this RFC, it shows that there are both good points and serious issues, in no way it allows to deduce that overall PC works better, nor the opposite. Cenarium (talk) 22:19, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
So basically because it "is quite clearly worse"? A significant proportion of users disagree with you there. Here's a scenario to consider: 75 pages are on PC. Each page gets an average of 2 edits last month, every single edit was vandalism, each edit took 10 seconds to review and reject. Under semi-protection they would never have shown up and would not have taken any review time up. Is it better to have these pages under PC or semi-prot? Clearly semi-protection is the answer in this case. Now equally clearly this is not a realistic scenario, but hopefully it highlights for you that things aren't quite a simple as you think (i.e. more complex than PC > semi) - Kingpin13 (talk) 05:37, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── In that case you clearly suggest semi-protetion for that article would be appropriate. But not all articles are in that category. Take 3 Idiots (a very high grossing Indian film). Lets take a look at the last 100 edits. Of those there were 16 good IP edits, 22 rejected IP edits (some of which are highly likely to be in good faith - I didn't check in detail), 1 good faith acceptance that was reverted as the section was too long and 1 incorrect acceptance. The incorrect acceptance was down to the change of an Indian name to what appears to be an incorrect spelling. Given that ratio there is no doubt that without pending changes that indefinite semi-protection, which it was on before, is the only sensible alternative, but thanks to pending changes we have had 16 good edits to the article over the past 2 months that we would otherwise have missed. I think its worth having to check through some bad edits in order to keep those good edits. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:58, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Another example, which went onto pending changes more recently, Islam in India has a similar ratio, but one of the editors who edited that article, was encouraged and has gone and largely written Spanish Mosque, Old City Hyderabad both of which, while not perfect, are pretty good articles for a week or so's work. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:15, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
I looked over the last 100 edits on 3 Idiots. Of the rejected changes, I count 2 gross vandalism not specific to the article, 3 minor vandalism introducing incorrect facts and 5 possible vandalism that should possibly be accepted on AGF without lots of research. That isn't at all a victory for PC. The gross vandalism could have hit any of our articles and is quickly reverted normally. The 3 minor cases wouldn't have seriously hurt anyone if it took a day or two to fix; the article could very well have bigger problems already. The last 5 are tough and come down to how much research is a reviewer required to do? There are other lessons as well. This edit was rejected with a summary of "The section's too long already!" even though only one short sentence was added. Is that an appropriate use for PC? Should it have been accepted and dealt with using other methods? Then there is this edit that you rejected as unsourced even though the existing countries are also unsourced. You then added a citation needed tag on the existing onsourced material but you didn't do the same for the IP edit, instead leaving it to the PC dustbin. Perhaps if there was no PC you would have left the IP edit and marked them all as unsourced. Then there is the ridiculous case of this removal of a very wordy section with incorrect grammar that was rejected without comment. However, the low quality material had been added as a PC three days earlier without being accepted. It seems that the rejection of the removal acted as the acceptance of the original addition. It's too confusing to follow, which is a big gripe I have with PC. You don't know who really did what to whom when. In any case, the material isn't in the article today, so apparently we had to wait for a "trusted" user to remove it later. Overall, I don't see much real benefit to having PC on this article. It would have done far better without PC than tens of thousands of our other articles over the same time period. —UncleDouggie (talk) 11:28, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

I've just re-looked at the rejected edits and there are only two edits that were rejected that possibly shouldn't have been, should have been kept and I should have shown more diligence, and could be correct - I haven't seen the film. On the former, given that I apply watchlist criteria to articles I check for pending changes it could very easily of happened to any page on my watchlist, on the latter. This probably was OK, but if the edit was missed (as that edit was never marked checked) before then when it was removed reverting it might well have seemed reasonable. People are hardly going to be better at catching each edit as they happen with just a watchlist than with pending changes as well. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 13:09, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

All this really really just emphasizes the fact that we need guidelines. And why do you keep comparing it to watchlist patrolling? Reviewers are not watchlist patrollers.
It's a special user right, inaccessible to the vast majority of other editors who may disagree with his acceptance or rejection of an edit. It is mostly impossible/too much work for a non-reviewer to challenge the actions of a reviewer anyway. Reviewers basically become a jury of one, not even subject to the the review of his peers - something not even administrators have the luxury/authority of claiming to be.
Watchlist patrolling is far more open in that it provides checks and balances naturally by not only subjecting the original editor to review by the rest of the community, but also the subsequent editors who may revert the edits. Sure you wouldn't get 3RR's with PC, but you never get a discussion either. No discussion + no consensus = censorship.
It's a powerful position, which frankly has me worried that there is very little quality control being done over who gets it. It takes dedication, patience, and responsibility. Reviewers should do all they can to research the edits of inexperienced/IP editors they are rejecting in case it was valid but done without enough knowledge of the policies. Because their edits are harder to challenge and they are 'trusted' after all aren't they? I wonder how many are doing that and how many are simply taking edits at face value over subjects they know nothing about because it's too much work? And how many actually check the reviews of other reviewers currently? Since there are no rules governing that, I bet no one does.
Oh and one more thing, unlike the editors you 'oversee', the edits of reviewers are automatically accepted. So yeah, quis custodiet ipsos custodes?--ObsidinSoul 14:03, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Good faith edits can be challenged on the talk page. The kiddy and perverse vandalism should just not go live (on BLP content and Science pages without watchers). For more the knowhow of the reviewer isn't enough. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 14:16, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Are you seriously trying to justify needing PC to prevent a period from being inserted? Many of the items you call vandalism don't fit the definition. Why the comparison to your watchlist? We're talking about treating new editors as second class citizens, which you have just done in ample detail above, in exchange for what pressing benefit? If this article is the poster child for PC, it fails. While I have always thought that Jeremy's dire warnings were way over-blown, in many ways this article proves his point about the potential for abuse with PC. While the period wasn't appropriate, the existing format is non-conformant as well and is unsourced to top it off. If an IP had deleted the whole section as unsourced, what would you have done? And I don't mean with the benefit of long thought here in the limelight. It seems that the use of PC on this article may be reinforcing the notion that whatever an IP does defaults to bad until proven beyond a reasonable doubt otherwise. All this points to a cry for solid reviewing criteria and policies. —UncleDouggie (talk) 14:11, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
@Obsidian Soul, the edits of all auto-confirmed users are automatically accepted as well. And trying to claim its a "jury of one" is silly - pending changes can still be reverted afterwards by other editors by checking their watchlists - as you can see happened several times with 3 Idiots. Additionally if new users don't like their edits being rejected by the reviewer they can discuss it on the talk page - in exactly the same way that they can when someone uses a watchlist or recent changes to reject their edit.
@UncleDouggie, I'm not saying PC is required to get the period right, just that although very minor it was still worth catching.
@Both with Obsidian Soul's quote "Reviewers should do all they can to research the edits of inexperienced/IP editors they are rejecting in case it was valid but done without enough knowledge of the policies." - so should watchlist patrollers, otherwise they to end up making IP editors second class citizens too. Ultimately life's too short. Now maybe we should treat new users less like second class citizens but that's something the project as a whole has to do, as the problem isn't limited to articles with pending changes.
And why I picked 3 Idiots? Its a page on my watchlist that has been edited recently and has been on pending changes for a while. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 14:39, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
And then what about articles like Lamar Odom which is now on indefinite semi-protection due to BLP violations? That has had quite a few good IP edits and would probably do well on pending changes. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 15:07, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Again, why are you still comparing watchlist patrolling with reviewers? Almost all Wikipedians are autoconfirmed or higher, only a handful are reviewers. And, yes, low level PC can be edited by autoconfirmed users, but how about the rest? Given the vastly smaller population of reviewers, how do you ensure that they can remain neutral and pragmatic on articles they probably don't even have the layman's knowledge of?
While yes, I agree that Semiprot is worse in terms of IP editing capability, I still don't see how a type of protection of the pick and choose variety is any better. Especially a pick and choose variety unguided by specific policies, overseen by a tiny pool of editors, some of whom haven't actually been screened enough for the task (I've seen another example of highly questionable rejections from a reviewer a while back, I can't remember where though or who, ugh), and has remained without policies for the months it has exceeded the trial period by choice of the reviewers themselves. As I've said before, I agree, PC has definite possibilities when compared against semiprot, but the impression being given by the obstinate refusal of the more hardline reviewers to keep agreements, value consensus, and to actively help in defining the actual scope and guidelines is not very reassuring.--ObsidinSoul 16:50, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
I would presume articles use pending changes level 2 because semi-protection isn't enough - so then the legitimate comparison is with full protection - which is obviously worse. However if you think Pending changes level 2 has been applied inappropriately on some of those articles (of which there are less than 100), and that another form of protection would be more appropriate challenge them on WP:RUP. I think a database report on pending changes (especially level 2) would be useful as well. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:25, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
I've been thinking a little more, and there is a legitimate issue if pending changes level 2 is applied widely. As of now with less than 100 articles on it challenging the bad ones on WP:RUP is achievable, but if the size of the pending changes level 2 pool expanded significantly (to say 500 to 1000) then challenging them individually wouldn't be easy. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:01, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't see how Reviewer is "inaccesible", I thought it was given to editors who asked for it, and had enough history to show that they basically knew what they were doing. Certainly I'd expect RC patrollers to meet a standard like that. I don't know exactly how RC patrol works but I'd have expected it took a certain level of estalished user (past autoconfirmation) to mark an edit as patrolled. Also, statistics on IP edits on PC articles aren't meaningful taken by themselves. You have to compare with IP edits to the same article when the article is not protected in any way, because the PC dissuades vandals from even bothering to try. 69.111.194.167 (talk) 20:40, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
For what its worth I took a look through a hopefully reasonable sample of articles on Pending changes level 2 ([10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16]), of these articles, the last one looks poor - though looking at the log it looks like an honest mistake, and I've requested unprotection with the protecting admin, and the second could be a little borderline. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:00, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

A simple question

So has anyone gone back to the original test, & performed an analysis on the data whether Pending Changes actually helped the quality of articles or not?

I ask this not out of snark, but if anyone has performed this study then, speaking for myself, I could overlook how it was imposed & agree to keeping it going despite that. Nothing succeeds like success. However, if little or no effort has been made to determine whether it "worked" -- or even what "worked" was supposed to mean -- then the best thing to do on this issue would be to simply turn it off & for its advocates to make an effort to create trust; if that is done then a useful experiment with it can be attempted, & we can actually get somewhere with this issue. Otherwise, I'm leaving this matter to the zealots on either side to beat each other to death over the matter, even though the survivor of this battle royale probably won't be allowed to make the final decision. -- llywrch (talk) 20:54, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Your comments are appreciated but terminology such as labeling contributors as zealots and battleground descriptions such as users beating each other to death and describing discussion as battle royale are not really helpful. I don't know if you have any experience of using the tool? but detailed data is not something that is really attainable, as for asking, how much vandalism and libel attack defamation did this protect from publication through wikipedia to all mirror sites and as to what you are wanting to compare it to no protection or semi protection...is open to various considerations. I have started laying out my personal experience of using the tool and started to bring up specific comparisons from my experience of usage of the tool and users are requested to comment on their experience but if you are looking for hard data as to possible outcomes and scenarios you will wait forever because such data is equivalent to pie in the sky. - and as we know the tool has been happily working in environments that the only possible replacement was indefinite semi protection we at least have that point to focus on. After the end of the trial over the next couple of months we will also have a comparison of what happened to articles after the tool was removed from articles that have been long term protected using the tool. Off2riorob (talk) 21:16, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Using battleground language is unacceptable. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:21, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
We need to fight battleground language to the death! We need to attack it, destroy its defenses and attain victory over it! We need to slay...Uh, never mind. (slinks away...) Guy Macon (talk) 23:23, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Evidence that not ending the trial has harmed Wikipedia

Quotations that harm has already occurred

The quotes below clearly show that harm has already occurred. Removing PC now only serves limit additional damage. Consider these comments:

  • "It is clear that many editors consider the refusal to end the trial on the date promised as a breach of trust, and that this is harming the longer term discussion."
  • "This is necessary to deal with negative feelings about being lied to. I must say I have trouble with those myself and feel a strong irrational urge to oppose to everything related to pending changes."
  • "The discussions are currently going nowhere because it's impossible to assume good faith when a past assurance continues not to be honored (i.e. begs the question: How can we trust you to honor the results of discussions if you're not honoring the results of a previous one?)."
  • "The main reason the trial got in in the first place was due to users supporting with the understanding that it would be removed, and only because it would be removed, saying they wanted to try it out. If we don't keep the promise of turning features off after the trial, this factor will be lost for future trial proposals."
  • "Harm has already been done by promising to conduct a trial for a set period of time and then breaking that promise. I now have to treat any proposal for a limited-time-trial as a proposal for an indefinite trial. Stopping the trial now limits further harm."
  • "If 'trial' comes to mean 'turned on indefinitely', no-one else will get consensus to trial other new ideas in future."
  • "It's collaboration we're asking for. A test period was granted (2 months), an extension with a hard deadline was authorized (December), and now we're 3 months beyond that deadline with pages ... still entered onto the PC rolls."
  • "I increasingly feel this debate has become about something much more important than pending changes. It's become about good faith. A sizable portion of the editor base clearly feels that without a clear consensus to continue the pending changes trial that the original commitment to end the pending changes trial after two months should have been upheld. ... Wikipedia is already hurting in recruiting and retaining editors, and cannot afford to reach a point where change and compromise has become impossible because of distrust. We need to end the pending changes trial in order to restore our ability to assume good faith of one another and to make future experiments and innovations possible."
  • "The poll that produced the original consensus to turn the feature on was for a trial with a specified end date. In the absence of any consensus to make the feature permanent or start another trial the feature should be removed from articles. Failing to do this has damaged the credibility of any future software trial proposals."
  • "This is making good on the original agreement that the trial would end, by the end of 2010 for the last agreement. Anything beyond that wasn't approved, it's that simple. In the absence of any community agreement to do anything else this is the default option and the one we must follow. The only way around that is to totally ignore the original agreement, which ... totally goes against the whole concept of consensus."
  • "We agreed to a 2-month trial; it has stayed on for eight. A 'straw poll' supported (60%) temporary continuation with a drop-dead date of December 2010. Why on Earth is this still on, with no consensus? To move forwards - to have any meaningful discussion - we must first clear the air. The use of PC right now makes a mockery of the Wikipedian ethos of consensus."
  • "Continuing the trial indefinitely is to eventually have a fait accompli of accepting a deeply (and maybe hopelessly) flawed system."
  • "The only consensus was for a fixed-term trial, with a clear expectation that if no further consensus arose then we would revert to the status quo ante. We need to deliver on that promise, to retain credibility for future trials in other areas."
  • "A minority of outspoken editors have steamrolled this idea through an unconvincing trial period and into this state of indefinite continuation regardless of consensus."
  • "Next time someone wants a PC 'trial', they shouldn't implement it unless the trial automatically stops at the appointed time."
  • "I supported the proposed trial. There were those at the time who warned that PC supporters would cynically leave it turned on after the trial, but I assumed good faith. I've been proved wrong. Leaving PC turned on has done tremendous damage to the project's credibility and to our ability to settle controversial questions by consensus. The first step in solving the problem is to shut it down."
  • "I for one find myself much of the time opposing PC merely because consensus is being overridden without paying much attention to the actual issues."
  • "It would be a blow against consensus as our community decision-making process if we leave this tool running while there's no consensus for that."
  • "I believe we should honor the original agreement to stop the trial ... I believe this is no more then fair towards the people who were against, but still agreed with a trial - besides, how many would support a trial if they knew it would simply go months overdue?"
  • "Refusing to wind down the trial because we need to have RFC after RFC would violate the entire spirit of the trial. Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, and trying to extend the trial through procedural objections would just be Wikilawyering of the worst kind."
  • "This tool should have simply been imposed upon us. Jimbo, or whoever the eff, should have simply stepped in and said eat this or die. It was utterly stupid to promise a trial. That promise should never have been made in the first place. But a promise it was. And sadly, it needs to be kept."
  • "I and everyone else who agreed to the trial proposal agreed to a limited-time trial. A trial means 'We'll let everyone try it out to see how it works in real-world scenarios, and then we'll shut it off while we figure out if we want to use it permanently'. It does not mean 'We'll sneak it in by calling it a 'trial', and then ramrod through leaving it on after the trial the community approved has ended.' That's totally unacceptable, and it's past time to shut this thing down."

The above quotes clearly show that harm has been done. Removing PC now is just a baby step toward mitigating that harm. You cannot unring the bell. We need a firm and clear published policy that promising to try something for a limited amount of time and then breaking that promise will never again be tolerated on Wikipedia, and a formal apology for doing it in this case. Those responsible need to be warned, and if it ever happens again, sanctioned. That is the bare minimum required to start to regain the editor's trust. Guy Macon (talk)

Discussion regarding harm having already occurred

Repeating stuff does not make the stuff any more important. The person who posts the greatest amount of repeated verbiage to a discussion, is least likely to be correct. [17] Collect (talk) 13:01, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

No, but endorsement by 66% of editors does... TotientDragooned (talk) 14:18, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Deleting material from one place and placing an updated version in a section by itself is not "repeating stuff." Guy Macon (talk) 15:39, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
When half those editors - namely those NOT quoted, I could do this too - are only supporting this proposal because they feel they have no choice if they want to see PC eventually be fully implemented? Also, Totient, this is not a vote. This is a consensus discussion. The numbers above mean nothing in the end. I feel bad for Newyorkbrad for having to make a ruling on this in the coming days, but given how many of the people commenting in the Support and Oppose sections have not commented since then, I don't know if they can be considered as part of the consensus discussion. CycloneGU (talk) 15:13, 21 April 2011 (UTC)}}
Actually, you can't "do this too", because you wouldn't find any material in the comments saying that there has not been any harm. You will find a number of oppose votes, but those are not the same thing. I was careful to not list the many support votes that did not mention actual harm.
Did you bother actually reading the quotes? What I have documented is multiple editors who are telling you in the clearest possible language that Wikipedia has been harmed. Nobody, including you, has even attempted to argue that those editors are wrong and that Wikipedia has been harmed. So far the only responses have been user Off2riorob claiming that talking about the harm is disruptive and you (user Collect) claiming that the harm is not important. Guy Macon (talk) 15:48, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I read the quotes at the top of the page when I first chose to Oppose the proposal (and others as time went on). I do not have to reread them. I already know their opinion. I never said they were wrong; I will not tell someone they are wrong to have their own opinion. That is all it is, their opinions. The consensus is formed from opinions. CycloneGU (talk) 16:13, 21 April 2011 (UTC)}}
Off-topic chatter from this point that is better for talk pages has been deleted. CycloneGU (talk) 14:28, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks!
Getting back to the discussion at hand, I may have been unclear about something. Consider the following propositions:
(1) Pending Changes is harmful and should be stopped at once, never to return.
(2) Not stopping Pending Changes despite clear consensus to do so is harmful. PC should be stopped at once, but there is no problem with starting it again later.
My argument is (2) - that it is the ignoring of consensus that is harmful. I strongly disagree with (1). I like PC and wish that folks would not assume that my position is (1) when I clearly say it is (2).
BTW, This RFC is asking us to vote on (2). (1) is excluded by the statement "This proposal does not affect potential future use of Pending Changes." Guy Macon (talk) 15:20, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Moving forward

  • - Moving forward - Discussion here is about Pending protection, the tool pending protection has not harmed the wikipedia in any way - it has protected articles. Any issues users have with the way the trial did not end on time would be better forgotten about, let it go, a series of messy issues and we were waiting for a new roll out and it didn't happen and so on, all in the past now anyway, a poll has occurred and this wiki process discussion is over. It was about consensus and not about pending protection at all. It would benefit the discussion moving forward if users cease to comment about that wiki process here. This talkpage and RFC page are about the protections benefits and not benefits. This page moving forward is an attempt to lay out and resolve the issues raised with the tool and an attempt to find out if there is consensus for the tools usage in some way and what the guidelines should be. If you are unable to constructively contribute to such a discussion please allow others to, thanks. Off2riorob (talk) 16:59, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Please try to respond to what was actually said. Nobody claimed that the tool pending protection has harmed wikipedia. Do you have a comment on what I did say harmed Wikipedia? Guy Macon (talk) 17:15, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Your not listening - I said that has got nothing to do with pending protection and what this page is for. You should take those issues if they are important to you to a more correct location like the village pump or whatever the correct location is.Off2riorob (talk) 18:44, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Proof that Pending Changes helps Wikipedia in general

Quotations regarding how Pending Changes helps

The following quotes are comments that prove PCs usefulness to Wikipedia in general and constitute keeping the system in place.

  • I say keep the pending changes on the articles they're on. It appears to be doing no harm, indeed even helping on them. Now we've seen pending changes working, removing them seems like a step backwards.
  • The suggestion is akin to having automatic starters removed from cars after they were proven to work. Ot [sic] to removing a new medicine from patients in a clinical trial when the medicine was proven effective for their illness. Pending changes has been proven to reduce vandalism and BLP violations. All it is is "removal for the sake of removal" which makes precious little sense at all.
  • This will make it harder to keep watch over sensitive articles.
  • This process bullying is exactly why WP is such a mess. Nothing can be done without process fetishism.
  • Pending Changes undoubtedly reduces the vandalism load, allowing vandal fighters to make other contributions. We need to focus on improving Wikipedia's quality.
  • On lightly edited articles, it's a useful tool to ensure that vandalism doesn't get published until reviewed.
  • This proposal appears to advocate harming the encyclopedia for the sake of process wonkery. It is perfectly possible and reasonable to keep pending changes in use while discussing its use.
  • I am an opponent of Pending Changes on a broad scale and really don't like the whole "trial that was not really a trial" fiasco... However, I've recently had the occasion to be involved in an article that was the subject of protracted vandalism that was on the verge of a lawsuit and having the OPTION for Pending Changes protection was a real boon.
  • There is simply no justification for removing a tool that helps keep down defamation in BLPs while still allowing "open" editing. Want a new and improved version? Fine. Keep this one until it's ready.
  • I compare this to an attempt to rob PC of its momentum, and then argue that we shouldn't restart it, because we already tried once, and then stopped.
  • Quite why anybody would want to rob us of a useful tool in the fight against vandalism that doesn't make anybody without an established account feel unwelcome is beyond me.
  • Pending changes are better than any other way for protecting articles here.
  • It's working perfectly well as it is right now and is serving to protect a number of significant BLPs. I'm not willing to accept the 'collateral damage' involved in removing it; there's too much already as it is.
  • Why semi-protect 1000 editable pages? You must really hate new editors.
  • I have noticed that in some pending changes there is severe vandalism. This is working very well.
  • I think PC protection should at least be added to all BLPs.
  • I don't see a clear practical reason here for why we need to remove it. I don't see this as an "either-or" situation. I see great potential for PC as an option for some situations, while still using semi-protect for others.
  • I really do not understand why we have to turn pending changes off in order to determine how to use pending changes. If we were deciding a new policy on acceptable usernames, we wouldn't insist on stopping anyone from registering.
  • If the trial has not ended, it simply means "It is working !"
  • ...my gut says there is no reason to stop a good thing that works for no reason. My gut also says if there was a good reason, it would be easily seen. I haven't seen it.
  • I don't see any reason to remove it, regardless of when the trial ended. It's only benefiting the articles it is currently activated on.
  • PC is working well on articles that do not merit the need for semi-protection, such as low-traffic BLPs (high-traffic ones should be semi-protected). If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  • ...this tool helps curb BLP vandalism which could otherwise be libelous. Let's not reopen ourselves to that problem at least on those articles.

The above comments provide a general agreement among a collective group of editors that removal of the Pending Changes system will be a harm to the project as a whole, and that if the system is indeed taken off of articles, that there is legitimate fear and concern that it will never be returned and will eventually be dismantled. Removal of a system that is working on Wikipedia articles can only go to harm Wikipedia in general, which is a risk to the project.

Also, I stopped at vote #36, my vote. There are more after that that I could have included, but chose not to. I think this makes my point. CycloneGU (talk) 17:11, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Discussion regarding how Pending Changes helps

The problem with the above list is that only a handful of them actually address the issue being voted upon here: that the current implementation is a trial that has not been stopped nor assessed. Those arguments are better done when actually discussing implementation, not the current !vote which is simply an attempt to bring back consensus. If, for example, this RfC goes in your favor, would any of the above commenters actually have a plan to move it out of trial? I think not. I think you'd all happily keep the current [incomplete] version because you can.
But yeah, 'it works' is not a good enough reason to continue something that was designed to be completely temporary. Better arguments would be to explain why you would all insist on deliberately shutting out the opinions of non-reviewers. If community consensus is now being called 'process fetishism', we might as well just become truly hierarchical and vote for a grand poo-bah of everything.
No one is asking that PC be removed permanently, something a lot of those comments seem to miss. To put it a bit dramatically, forcibly turning off the trial by RfC is a last resort to get the pro-PC people back to the discussion boards, because nothing else worked in the past. Maybe with everyone back on equal footing, we can all address the actual issues to it and improve it. PC being discarded now after the trial is ended is a very unlikely thing to happen, but it still can happen if you alienate enough people in the middle ground. The long discussions are frustrating for everyone involved here, not just for the pro-PC people. And the faster this gets resolved, the earlier an actual implementation happens (in contrast to an overdue trial), and that, I believe, is what everyone ultimately wants. A resolution.--ObsidinSoul 05:01, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Let me state quickly as a short response (I'm headed to bed) that I never said non-reviewers couldn't contribute; this unfortunately is something that has been suggested in the past, and I disagree with it. The rest I'll look at again in the morning or later. CycloneGU (talk) 07:20, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Move of off-topic sections

I am moving several sections unrelated to the current proposal over to the talk page so they can inform development of future proposals. It is especially inappropriate to start new proposals on this page when we are already 90% of the way through the current cycle. Any new proposals should be discussed and then started as a separate RfC as needed. —UncleDouggie (talk) 06:05, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

I object to the above. When I see a notice that says "The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion." I want to be confident that any additional comments will be removed as vandalism. I do not expect the closed discussion to be re-opened. In particular, I strongly object to my comments under the heading "Evidence that not ending the trial has harmed Wikipedia" not being inside a "discussion closed" box. They relate to a RfC that is now closed. Further debate is moot. Guy Macon (talk) 03:49, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure what you are trying to say -- UncleDouggie made that edit the day before the close. Mojoworker (talk) 05:48, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
I must be confusing this with a similar page. I thought that the entire page, including my comments mentioned above, had been put inside the usual purple box. Sorry about that. Guy Macon (talk) 08:31, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Closure

(first posted on the talk page here; see Archive 5)

A few preliminaries. First, I'd like to thank the editors who came to my talkpage and asked me to close this discussion, for their confidence. Second, I'd like to apologize for the fact that it's taken me a few more days to finish reviewing the input than I had hoped. Third, I've tried not to write this closing using too much Bradspeak, but if I've failed, forgive me. Fourth, I'd like to ask that if I've posted this closing in the wrong place—e.g., if it should be in a nicely formatted box at the top of the project page or something like that—then could someone please copy it and put it there. (I don't think anyone wants me to delay this closure any longer while I figure that out.)

I'll begin by emphasizing the exact scope of this discussion. The proposal reads: The Pending Changes trial ended many months ago, but around 1000 articles are still using PC protection. It is proposed to remove pending changes protection from all articles, for now, with no prejudice against reinstating it in the future, in some form, based upon consensus and discussion. Thus, that's the only proposal I'm addressing here. The future of pending changes (or flagged revisions or anything else) on English Wikipedia is not being resolved today. And I'm not presenting my own views on PC/FR, partly because that would be off-topic and partly because I have mixed feelings about them.

I find that both supporters and opposers made many valid points throughout the discussion. The vast majority of the comments were reasonable and entitled to full respect in assessing the consensus. Unlike what we have unfortunately seen in many other contentious discussions on-wiki, I did not find many problems with frivolous views, SPAs, socking, or anything else that would warrant discounting any significant number of comments or !votes. (There was certainly some excessive rhetoric from a few commenters, and I hope that future PC/FR discussions can have less of that, but I saw nothing that significantly derailed the discussion.)

As closer, my task is to ascertain consensus, as this vague term is defined on Wikipedia. Clearly we do not have a consensus in the optimal sense of the discussion's converging on a result endorsed by more-or-less everyone. The policy page on consensus tells us that in such a case, "sometimes voluntary agreement of all interested editors proves impossible to achieve, and a majority decision must be taken. More than a simple numerical majority is generally required for major changes."

Here, the number of commenters supporting the proposal is 127, and the number opposing is 65. That's a bit over 66% in support of ending the pending-changes trial now, without prejudice to community decision-making about a further trial or implementation of PC in the future. A voting result of 66% is not as high as we require for some decision-making (for example, most of the time it wouldn't be sufficient to pass an RfA, although ironically it would have been enough in the last election to get elected an arbitrator)—but it's a two-to-one margin and can't be disregarded either. For purposes of governance decisions on the English Wikipedia, two-to-one is almost a landslide. The basic outcome of the RfC is clear and it is that the current pending-changes trial should come to an end.

The closure comes with two caveats, however. (I am sure that no one expected a closure by me to end without at least two caveats.) The first of these is that we can't just turn off the PC trial by flipping a switch ten minutes from now. Although some of the articles that are currently part of the PC trial were chosen basically at random or as controls, others were put on PC because of serious and persistent vandalism, especially BLP-related vandalism, or of even more serious BLP-related problems. Editors will need time to review the list of articles currently on PC to ensure that as needed, they are semiprotected, placed on more watchlists, etc. Accordingly, the PC trial will end, with the possible exception noted below, 14 days from today.

The second caveat is that there may remain a few articles for which removing PC status would really be grossly irresponsible—an example might be if the trial list includes a handful of extremely sensitive BLPs that have been the subject of persistent vandalism or harassment by sleeper socks (so that semi'ing would be insufficient). This does not reopen, for this discussion, suggestions that "all BLPs should be on PC" or even "all high-risk BLPs should be on PC"—those are respectable viewpoints, and might be outcomes of a future consensus, but for better or worse, they clearly are not what the community has decided now. Still, I can imagine there being some extreme situations where it could be considered outrageous to remove PC with nothing to replace it, and where semiprotecting would be insufficient (and full-protecting would be unreasonable). Relatively few of either the supporters' or the opposers' comments addressed this possibility.

Therefore, I think there is a need for further input on this question: Given that there is a numerical consensus to discontinue the current pending-changes trial, should any exceptions be made for articles with a history of extreme problems that cannot be solved by other means? The most useful responses to this question, I might add, will contain specifics rather than generalities. Given that this RfC has been open for too long already, I ask that editors try to post comments on this new question within 7 days from today. I will post an update to this close afterwards. At that time I will also try to post some suggestions for the next phase of discussions about the future of this entire endeavor.

The proposal itself indicates that adopting it would not affect PC test pages, test pages created in userspace by user request, or the like. Such pages should continue to exist, so that editors who are curious what PC is or who are asked to comment about its adoption in the future, can experiment and know what is being talked about. This exception to "turning off pending changes" is included in the close.

I hope that these comments and conclusions are helpful to the community, and I am sure I don't have to ask that editors should feel free to comment on them. Newyorkbrad (talk) 04:21, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Additional comments from the closer

(first posted on the talk page here; see Archive 5)

First off, my sincere apologies for not having gotten these comments posted a few days ago as I had hoped. For various reasons that will not be of general interest, I have had limited wiki-time this week.

Closure follow-up regarding the near term

I have carefully reviewed the input on this page since my closing two weeks ago. My initial reaction is that I am concerned by the limited amount of input that has been received. It appears that the closing and my request for follow-up attention by administrators and for follow-up input on a specific, narrow question has, due to no fault of anyone in particular, received far too little attention using our internal publicity mechanisms. This situation should be corrected.

Despite this problem, it appears that administrators have been giving attention to articles that have been part of the pending changes (PC) trial, including deciding whether to use semiprotection in lieu of PC. However, there are still a couple of hundred articles under PC so this job obviously has not yet been fully completed. In light of the lack of publicity and the need for administrators to give careful attention to this task, I think it is best that we allow PC status on any articles within the PC trial that have not yet been carefully reviewed by an administrator, to remain in place for 7 additional days. In other words, the "deadline" for termination of the PC trial (except as otherwise specified), which had been today, is extended for 7 days. I acknowledge that in light of the 2-to-1 result of the RfC, even this limited extension may be near the limit of what can be considered consistent with consensus. Therefore, except as described below, I do not anticipate any further extensions.

In my closing, I specifically asked for comments on the following specific question: Given that there is a numerical consensus to discontinue the current pending-changes trial, should any exceptions be made for articles with a history of extreme problems that cannot be solved by other means? I thank the editors who have commented on this issue, although as noted I regret that there weren't more comments.

I understand the input I have received to the effect that it is desirable to draw a clear line separating the completed PC trial from any future implementation of PC, flagged revisions, or any similar system. Terminating the PC trial as to the vast majority of the articles that were under PC is consistent with the consensus. I remain seriously concerned, however, that for a small number of biographies of living persons, turning off PC without a reasonable substitute would be an irresponsible thing for the project to do.

Specifically, I refer to the subset of BLP articles in which there has been a serious problem of persistent vandalism, defamation, harassment of the article subject, or the like. Contrary to the views of some of our critics, I do not believe the number of such articles is a major fraction of our overall number of BLPs. But it is not a trivial problem either, by a long shot, and there have been instances of serious BLP problems even within the past couple of weeks.

I do not believe that the majority consensus in this RfC would necessarily oppose allowing PC to remain, for the interim period until we make a final decision here, on this limited subset of BLP articles. For some of them, there seems to be no good alternative to leaving PC intact: semiprotecting does not protect against defamation of article subjects by determined enemies or harassers who register sleeper socks and take the trouble to get autoconfirmed; and full protection would be an overreaction (and if instituted faute de mieux in the absence of PC, would be a far more drastic limitation on the ability to edit than PC is; I do not understand any argument that full-protection of an article is a better state for it to be in than pending-changes).

Therefore, my current inclination is to allow a limited exception to the termination of the PC trial, for the interim period (defined as the period in which the longer-term status of PC/FR is under discussion, up to 90 days), in which an administrator would be permitted to apply PC status to an article provided that:

  • The article is substantially the biography of a living person; and
  • The article has been subject to severe or persistent vandalism, defamation, or harassment of the article subject; and
  • The administrator placing the article under pending changes promises to watchlist the article and to urge other users to do so, so that proposed edits will be processed within a reasonable period of time.

If this exception is allowed during the interim period (which I've defined as lasting no more than about 90 days), like the termination of the PC trial in all other respects, it will be entirely without prejudice to the ultimate fate of PC/FR as decided in the future. It also would be meant to apply to a reasonably limited number of articles; it is not meant to be an exception that would swallow the rule.

Comments on this proposal will be appreciated, within the next 7 days. With the possible exception outlined above, the PC trial should be considered in its final stages of winding down, with a deadline of 7 days from today.

Suggestions for the longer term

I also indicated in my closing that I would provide some suggestions for discussion of the next phase of PC/FR.

I think that some prior discussions and attempts to gauge consensus have foundered because the community was trying to discuss too many issues at the same time, and because the continuum of options was not broken out well enough to gauge support for each.

Basically, I think there are three separate—although of course related—discussions to be had.

(1) The discussion of whether we want to have PC/FR at all. I think that any RfC or poll needs to be broken down within the following continuum of options:

  • No PC/FR at all.
  • PC/FR only for a very narrow subset of articles (e.g., exceptionally problematic BLPs).
  • PC/FR only for a specific but not especially narrow subset of articles (e.g., all BLPs, or all articles with high vandalism rates, etc.).
  • PC/FR on a majority of articles (perhaps with a subset of non-PC articles designed to introduce the wiki experience to newcomers).
  • PC/FR on all articles.

I think an RfC page presenting these options, perhaps with some tweaking of the wording or categories, could help bring us closer to knowing what consensus is, or indeed whether there is any hope of consensus being achieved at all. (I am not addressing here the "meta" question of what we should do if community opinion remains widely scattered among these options and we don't have any decision at all; suffice unto the day....) My suggestion is that an RfC among these options be set up to begin about 10 days from now, be widely publicized, and remain open for 45 days to obtain as broad in put as possible. We could then follow with a phase that would yield a specific final outcome within the selected option.

(2) The technical discussion. Features of PC/FR, how it should work, issues concerning the interface, and the like. I'm not an expert on these issues, so will defer in suggesting how this RfC page might best be set up in favor of those who are. I think this phase of an RfC could proceed in parallel with (1) and on more-or-less the same timetable.

(3) The personnel and operational issues. E.g., how we should select reviewers, what the criteria should be for accepting or rejecting edits, etc. This phase of the discussion, I think, would need to follow (1) and (2).

Comments on how the next phase of PC/FR input should proceed, including on my suggested methodology for RfCs as set forth just above, are also invited, within the next 7 days.

tl;dr version

  • For the most part, the pending changes trial is over, and we'll proceed to a discussion of whether the community wants to have pending changes enabled long-term.
  • Because there hasn't been enough publicity about this fact and there are still some articles left that administrators need to go through, the deadline for assessing articles under PC (and substituting semiprotection or whatever where warranted) is extended for 7 days. This is a final extension.
  • We might want to allow a limited exception to terminating the trial for some high-risk BLPs. I need more comments on this, within the next 7 days.
  • I've outlined a possible format for the next phase of the RfC, which will deal with the longer-term future of pending changes or flagged revisions. I request comments on this also within 7 days, so that we can get the RfC open within a few days after that.

I hope these comments and suggestions are helpful. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:21, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Final closure statement

In my second set of closing comments one week ago, I extended for 7 days the time within which pending changes status must be removed on any articles that still had it. That period expires today, but I understand that the process of removing PC on the remaining articles in the trial was completed a few days ago (albeit with an unanticipated hiccup or two along the way).

I also asked for input on a proposal to make a narrow exception to the termination of the PC trial for a narrow subset of high-risk BLP articles. Although I frankly am not sure why this proposal was as controversial as it seems to be, to say that my suggestion has not attained consensus on this page (or anywhere) would be putting it mildly. Accordingly, this suggestion will not be implemented.

Thus, the outcome of this RfC is that the pending changes trial that was started in 2010 is completely terminated. As noted in the question posed in the RfC, this community decision is without prejudice to any future discussion relating to adoption of pending changes or flagged revisions or some similar system based on a new discussion. There seems to be a consensus that a bit of a break from this discussion would be a good thing, but I will follow up on proposals for the next phase RfC in a couple of weeks (or sooner if people want me to).

I hope this is helpful. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:04, 27 May 2011 (UTC)