Wikipedia talk:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle

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BRD and group edit-wars[edit]

My understanding is that this is how BRD is supposed to work:

  • Editor A makes bold edit.
  • Editor B reverts bold edit.
  • Editors discuss on article talk page.

This is not BRD:

  • Editor A makes bold edit.
  • Editor B reverts bold edit.
  • Editor C reverts editor B
  • Editor D reverts editor C.
  • Editor E reverts editor D.:

In the second scenario, there's clearly an edit-war going on although no single editor reverted more than once. To me, this is not BRD. However, WP:BRD-NOT states ""BRD" is commonly used to refer to the principle that a revert should not be reverted again by the same editors" (emphasis mine). I've been told by at least one editor, that as long as it's different editors reverting each other, then BRD is being correctly followed. To me, that seems insane. One of the points (or at least benefits) of BRD is that it should be discouraging edit-wars, but this sentence seems to be encouraging it. Thoughts? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:33, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Scenario 1 is not BRD, becuase it doesn't return to productive editing.
Scenario 2 is not even half of a BRD cycle.
"I've been told by at least one editor, that as long as it's different editors reverting each other, then BRD is being correctly followed." No. As long as it's different editors reverting each other, then BRD is not being violated. But neither is it being followed. If someone doesn't make an edit that is a compromise of the reverted edit, a compromise informed and encouraged by some reasonable discussion, then it is not the BRD cycle.
The wording is poor. Under BRD...
  • A revert should not be reverted. (If it is, and though there may be a good reason, it is not BRD)
  • A bold edit should not be repeated if it was reverted or weakened.
  • A second bold edit should not be made, by anyone, without some minimal discussion
  • A new edit should be made following a minimal advance evident in the discussion.
Scenario 2 may be judged an edit war, but it has nothing to do with BRD. If A, C and E have previously teamed against B & D, then some blocking might be in order. If they are all just newly encountering each other, then they need to take it to the talk page. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 08:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
@SmokeyJoe: I'm not 100% sure that I follow. Under scenario 1, I did leave out the result of the discussion, but that's because the result of the discussion is unknowable. The result of the discussion could be in favor of the bold edit. It could be against the bold edit. Or it could be some compromise. My understanding is that BRD should be encouraging editors work out content disputes through discussion, not through edit-warring, and this particular sentence seems to be encouraging edit-warring. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:00, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
What happens at the discussion step is the part that people don't understand, and it is essential for an understanding of BRD. It is not BRDDDDDDDDDDDDD. BRD is supposed to allow a speedy return to productive editing. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:01, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Scenario 1 needs to make it clear that editing of that content is suspended until a consensus has been reached through discussion. THEN the consensus version is edited in and things return to normal. Obviously if no discussion follows for some time, then a resumption of editing may occur, but it should not be controversial. Slow edit warring over several days, with even only one repetition of the disputed edit, isn't good either. Basically BRD should stop an edit war and force editors to discuss and reach a solution. That's collaborative editing. -- Brangifer (talk) 00:40, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
"Scenario 1 needs to make it clear that editing of that content is suspended until a consensus has been reached through discussion."
NO. completely wrong. BRD DOES NOT mandate endless filibustering as long as someone is unhappy. Instead, BRD requires discussion between edits.
You can't insist on waiting for "consensus" to return to editing because consensus is VERY difficult to gauge from talk page discussions. Because talk page discussions are prone to meander on idiosyncratic tangent. After some discussion, a skilled edit is required to refocus discussion, if disagreement remains. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:01, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. This was subject to extended discussion at the poll above, and the resulting wording ("improved understanding") was the result. BRD does not expect nor intend that consensus is reached at talk pages; quite the opposite, it tries that editors return to constructive editing (i.e. abandoning mere reverts) as a way to reach consensus. As such, it only requires that editors expect their edits to improve the article according to discussion, not that the consensus has been already achieved at the talk page; it acknowledges that WP:EDITCONSENSUS is a valid dispute resolution method and tries to encourage it while avoiding edit wars. Diego (talk) 13:31, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes. "When the discussion has improved understanding, attempt a new edit that may be acceptable to all participants in the discussion" is well worded. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:37, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
I think we're kind of losing focus on the problem I'm trying to address. The current wording seems to indicate that BRRRRRRR is following BRD as long it's not the same editors doing the reverting. That's the problem I'm concerned about. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 12:59, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
I see your point. The bit about "the same editors" is not a blanket allowance to perform unlimited reverts by different editors, though; I see it as a poor wording to justify this reasonable situation:
  • Editor A makes bold edit.
  • Editor B reverts bold edit as a one-to-one disagreement that it's an improvement, without giving any solid reason grounded in policy.
  • Editor C reverts editor B, signaling that more than one editor sees it as improving the article.
If edits A and B are based on mere subjective criteria, editor C here would be still justified in the revert, given her understanding that at least two editors share the same opinion (an understanding that neither A or B could have before this third edit).
If editor B now sees that the bold edit has support from several editors, that can settle the dispute and achieve consensus. But if either editor B or D disagree with the last change, they should start a discussion to increase understanding, as a fourth revert won't improve it.
Also, if editor B gave a policy-based reason for the revert, then C should not re-revert without discussing policy first, as it's not a subjective situation. Diego (talk) 13:43, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  • BRRRRR is indisputably outside BRD, and editors engaging in repeated reverts without discussion will find themselves judged under the policy Wikipedia:Edit warring, weak throws to this essay won't save them. Only the most inexperienced headstrong editors would try that. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:37, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
I think that a simple change, removing the phrase "by the same editors" is all that is needed to fix this issue. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:44, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually I agree, and have removed those words. The case above doesn't merit mudding the guideline, and common sense should make clear when a second revert is reasonable given the right edit summaries. That also gets documented here in the talk page archive should anyone need to know about it. Diego (talk) 23:53, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
So, if I am following this correctly...we just removed the prose "by the same editors so that it is clear that a single revert by even another individual is still edit warring? I think that is a little bit outside of BRD myself as this seems to now say a single revert or edit by an editor is now edit warring. "Group"? we are lumping all together as a group for just reverting once? "if editor B gave a policy-based reason for the revert, then C should not re-revert without discussing policy first, as it's not a subjective situation" Oh yes it is. Editors try to use incorrect interpretations of policy all the time for a revert. I don't support the change at the moment. The heart may be in the right place but this is a major redefinition of BRD. It makes anyone at all, no matter what there reason is for reverting a BRD defined tag team which is not something BRD can really do. This wasn't broke...why did you guys try to fix it?--Mark Miller (talk) 00:36, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
BRD is an essay anyway; what counts is WP:EDITWAR. If the intent of the revert is to improve the article addressing the concerns raised by all other editors (e.g. a misunderstanding, or adding a reference for content that didn't have one the first time), it's not against BRD even if the same editor does it, so "by the same editors" would be wrong too. If the revert is done to restore WP:THERIGHTVERSION, it's edit warring and no editor should do that. Diego (talk) 02:16, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I disagree strongly with this recent change. I feel it undermines the very fabric of BRD and assume far too much. We can not say that another editor is trying to restore the right version. And using a soft redirect to a humor page is a horrible argument.--Mark Miller (talk) 05:27, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
So, what do you have to say about the link to policy, the thing that would override anything we write here anyway and which is the actual basis of my argument? Diego (talk) 07:57, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh that's actually pretty easy...there is no policy that calls a single edit an edit war and policy does not, nor has it ever dictated how this cycle works. Bold, Revert and discuss is not based on Wikipedia policy, its based on a fundamental principle that an editor must not revert more than once. If another editor reverts the cycle is either broken or started over. Now...I wouldn't mind seeing some caution to any additional editor reverting that revert in a manner that warns that some could see this as "tag teaming" but..... we cannot place that as an absolute definition. Grouping multiple editors as a part of BRD is not what this cycle tries to accomplish. It attempts to break a long and intense discussion that goes nowhere.--Mark Miller (talk) 08:12, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Your opinion of what BRD should be is actually the opposite of what the BRD essay actually says in the Cases for use section: "(When two factions are engaged in an edit war), engaging in similar behavior by reverting a contribution during an edit war could be seen as disruptive and may garner sanctions", "Never continue an edit war as an uninvolved party", and "A bold change during an edit war should be an adaptive edit to discourage further warring and not to escalate it; it should never be another revert". So no, BRD is not about individuals, and it also forbids tag-teaming. Not as "needing some caution", but as plainly "don't do it". Diego (talk) 09:53, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

How editors see things[edit]

Some editors will see any reversion as a challenge, so be considerate and patient.

I think this bold statement in the lead misses the point entirely. It's not that some editors see a revert as a challenge, it's that the reverts themselves are not necessarily explicit, and therefore, some editors may not necessarily understand why they were reverted. The "challenge" that the reverter perceives is not necessarily one of aggressive territoriality (although it might very well be interpreted that way), but one of understanding. Editors who explain their reverts on the talk page before reverting, should be respected and acknowledged, whereas reverters who use poor edit summaries or have some semblance of bias, may not be respected, and probably shouldn't be given the same weight. Posing this only in terms of a "challenge" misses the point. Viriditas (talk) 21:37, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

There is no such thing as a consensus version?[edit]

This essay currently states[1]

But this is flatly false. Of course, consensus can be reached. A revert only indicates that an editor disagrees with a particular version. If, for example, 99% of editors agree with a certain version and 1% don't, that doesn't mean there isn't consensus. If anything, that's very strong consensus. Yet, this section currently basically states that as long as one editor disagrees, there is no consensus.

Let's say for example, that there's a 30-day RfC that's closed with consensus in one direction or another. If an editor who disagrees with the result of the RfC, that doesn't mean that consensus wasn't reached. It simply means that an editor disagrees with consensus. This section, as currently written, basically gives any editor (or small group of editors) veto power over everyone else. I think that this section flies in the face of BRD and needs to be changed or removed. Thoughts? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:55, 16 October 2014 (UTC) Two points:

  • The problem that needs to be addressed here is that some people believe the status quo ante, aka "the consensus version" is a Real Thing. Let's say that you start writing a page. There are five versions. I add something: that's edit number 6. Which of these is now "the consensus version"? Mine? Yours? SmokeyJoe will add another: that's edit number 7. Is his "the consensus version"?
    We'll have an RFC. The RFC concludes that—at this time, and based on the opinions expressed—that we should add an image. We do so. Is the whole article now "the consensus version"? Or just the one bit that the RFC addressed? When does it stop being the "consensus version", and how will you know? Let's say that I add the image. Then I discover that there's a nearly identical image with a higher resolution. Is it okay with you if I replace the image, or should I stop because adding that image is "the consensus"? Maybe the true "consensus version" is actually the one that I'm about to create, that uses the higher-quality image.
  • BRD is fundamentally written with two editors in mind: the one who makes a bold edit, and the one who reverts it. Nobody else matters. Once you've got an RFC involved, or even a discussion involving multiple other people, you're no longer engaged in BRD. (This is yet another reason why BRD shouldn't be pushed as some ideal editing system.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:38, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
A Quest For Knowledge, I agree with you completely on this matter. Thankfully, WP:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle is an essay and not a guideline or a policy, no matter how much it is cited. Flyer22 (talk) 23:45, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
"Consensus version" is defined at m:The Wrong Version#Terminology. The WP:Consensus policy does not agree that there is a single version of any page at all that deserves the title "the consensus version". WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:52, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
The WP:Consensus policy is quite clear to me: When editors have reached a WP:Consensus, that's the WP:Consensus until it is changed. An editor coming along and making an edit that is not in line with that WP:Consensus does not mean that the WP:Consensus is now over. WP:Consensus is not unanimity; the policy is clear on that. It is up to the challenging editor to convince others to work toward a new WP:Consensus. If a new WP:Consensus is not formed, then the previous WP:Consensus remains intact. Every very experienced Wikipedia editor knows that. Flyer22 (talk) 23:59, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
According to WP:Consensus, it's something that happens when the last edit is not reverted or disputed. So when an editor comes along and makes an edit, there is no longer consensus; consensus happens when edits stop being made and discussed. What doesn't work is unilaterally declaring that there's consensus; it may very well happen that the new consensus is the same as the old one, but as long as there's changes being made or dispute resolution keeps evolving, the previous consensus is disputed so there's no consensus in place. If a new consensus is not formed, then there's no consensus (although it's easy to build a new consensus - it only requires discussion to die and the article to remain stable). Diego (talk) 10:35, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't see that in the WP:Consensus policy, and that's certainly not how WP:Consensus works in practice; no, an editor does not just come along and then there is no longer WP:Consensus. Flyer22 (talk) 10:38, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Otherwise, there would be no use for WP:RfCs and the like. Flyer22 (talk) 10:40, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
And Wikipedia policies and guidelines would not be treated so delicately when it comes to WP:Consensus. An editor cannot simply show up and make an edit to a Wikipedia policy or guideline and declare that there is no WP:Consensus because they have challenged the way that the policy or guideline has been for years, months or weeks. Everyone knows that the WP:Consensus at that policy or guideline will remain in place until, or if, that editor can convince others watching that policy or guideline to go along with the new proposal. Flyer22 (talk) 10:46, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
It depends. If an editor is being disruptive, it doesn't change consensus. But if the editor raises valid concerns, WP:C requires that those concerns are addressed in a way that is generally acceptable; until an edit has been made that addresses those concerns, there is no consensus. This is consensus policy, it's written in every procedure that describes how consensus is reached. RfCs are a way to make sure that the last change is "generally acceptable", but consensus lasts only as long as no new concerns are raised; concerns that have not been previously made do trigger a new round of consensus-building.
(And changes to guidelines don't change consensus, but that's for a different reason; guidelines document existing consensus, don't mandate it. A change to a guideline can't change consensus because this consensus has been reached elsewhere, either throughout articles talk pages or at community-wide RfCs). Diego (talk) 10:54, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
We clearly disagree on the WP:Consensus policy. I don't see us coming to full agreement on that; so, now, I'm simply going to state that I stick to what I've stated above on that matter. And as for whether "it's easy to build a new consensus" or not, that depends on the situation. It certainly has not been easy for the people at Talk:Circumcision who continually try to forgo WP:MEDRS. Flyer22 (talk) 10:59, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, this was about the idea that a "consensus version" exists - No matter our opinions about consensus, it's clear that there's no such thing mentioned in WP:CONS, so WP:BRD shouldn't be written as if there was one.
When I said "it's easy to build a new consensus" I really meant it's easy to "tell if there's a new consensus" - it only requires seeing that the article and talk pages remain stable. It's also possible to tell that there's no consensus at all, if discussion and reverts go on for ever; having consensus is by no means the default status, and controversial articles are the opposite of it. Diego (talk) 11:04, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Like I stated, I disagree with your view of WP:Consensus, the vast majority of it anyway; the WP:Consensus policy, from my view, is clear that there is a WP:Consensus that is only changed by new WP:Consensus. But I'm not going to sit here and continue debating this. Flyer22 (talk) 11:09, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
There has never been a consensus for your view, so pardon me if I see it as a wee bit contradictory. Diego (talk) 11:47, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
I feel the same way about your view, especially since I, someone who is usually very active on Wikipedia, tackling all sorts of disputes daily, see WP:Consensus working day in and day out the way that A Quest For Knowledge and I have described above. You clearly think that's the wrong way to go about WP:Consensus; I don't. Flyer22 (talk) 20:06, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I feel like I should do formal introductions now: Diego, this is Flyer, who is very active and who is often seen in messy disputes. Flyer, this is Diego, who has not only been editing longer than you, but who has also spent years dealing with guidance pages like this one. The idea that any given revision is "the consensus version" is almost self-refuting. It presupposes that the existing version actually reflects "the consensus". It takes a very limited set of facts and comes to an unwarranted and inflated conclusion:

  • I make a change.
  • Nobody else makes a change.
  • It's consensus!

Except, you know, when it isn't. I might have added spam on a page that nobody's watching. It doesn't matter how long that version is on top; there's a firm consensus against spamming. There might be a dispute raging on the talk page, in which case there is no consensus and no consensus version of the article. I might have made only part of the edits that I plan to make. In that case, even I, the most recent editor, do not agree that the current version reflects consensus! Let's say that there was an RFC about best section heading for the fourth section. We come to unanimous agreement, and we make the change. Is that particular page revision now "the consensus version"? Certainly not: that RFC only identified a temporary consensus for a single phrase on the entire page! The rest of the page may be disputed as well, or at least may be something that someone believes requires improvement. Unless there is a true consensus for every single jot and tittle on the page, then that revision of the page cannot be considered "the consensus version". WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:48, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

I am familiar with Diego Moya; we sometimes see each other at a sexual orientation article or two, like the Heterosexuality article, and even at the Lesbian sexual practices article. I've seen him elsewhere as well. I am well aware that he is an established Wikipedia editor with strong opinions (who edited Wikipedia three years before I edited Wikipedia, not that I see those three years as an advantage whatsoever after all this time I've been editing Wikipedia) and that he's been in his fair share of messy disputes, including ones going on at the Gamergate controversy article. But all of that is beside the point. Like I stated, I can't agree with your or Diego Moya's interpretation of WP:Consensus. And by that, I mostly mean your view that there is no WP:Consensus version. Flyer22 (talk) 04:58, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
And, really, it should be no surprise that editors have different interpretations of the WP:Consensus policy and passionately stick to those interpretations, calling the opposing view(s) wrong. As you and I know, WhatamIdoing, such differences happen enough at the WP:Edit warring talk page, especially regarding WP:3RR, and regarding Wikipedia policies and guidelines in general. Such different interpretations will always happen. You and I don't always agree on such matters, and I doubt we ever will. Flyer22 (talk) 05:17, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Given all the trouble that this bullet point is causing, I'm simply going to remove it. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:42, 25 October 2014 (UTC)


Please see proposals at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 116#WP:BRD as essay. --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:01, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Page's name/title[edit]

Hello. Currently, this page's name/title is "BOLD, revert, discuss cycle", which has left me wondering:

  1. why "BOLD" is all uppercase;
  2. whether, as the name of a cycle, its punctuation should be less list-like (e.g. "Bold–revert–discuss cycle", or, as its abbreviation seems quite common, "Bold–Revert–Discuss cycle"). Something like "Bold–revert–discuss cycle" also seems less ambiguous on first sight than "Bold, revert, discuss cycle".

Sardanaphalus (talk) 10:47, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Title changes have been proposed (and rejected) before. The last one which resembled yours was rejected here. Also check the page's history around April 24, 2014. The change was actually implemented and then reverted to the status quo version we have. -- Brangifer (talk) 15:53, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Thank you for these pointers – it looks as if the title may've included "BOLD" from its inception. If so, would anyone object to either/both:
  1. sentence-casing it, i.e. changing it from "BOLD" to "Bold";
  2. replacing the list-like commas with en-dashes (ndashes) as above..? (What, after all, is a "discuss cycle"?)
Sardanaphalus (talk) 16:40, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia Revert Essay (was Policy)[edit]

The WP:CYCLE page says: "Revert an edit if it is not an improvement, and it cannot be immediately fixed by refinement."

The WP:ONLYREVERT page says: "Don't revert an edit because it is unnecessary — because it does not improve the article. For a reversion to be appropriate, the reverted edit must actually make the article worse."

Reverting policy is fundamental to Wikipedia's operation. I propose that the written policy, at least, should be consistent. How say you? (talk) 19:43, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

What "reverting policy" are you referring to? Both the pages above are essays. BRD, while an essay, is a widely accepted method to break a deadlock and to stop edit warring. It forces contributors to use the talk page, where discussion and collaboration takes place. It's also the way to determine who started an edit war. (Any deviation from BRD, such as BRB, is the first step in an edit war.) In such a case, a further revert back to the status quo is often necessary to force the edit warrior to stop warring and stick to discussion until a consensus has been reached about the disputed content. -- Brangifer (talk) 20:57, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Fine, read the word "policy" as "essay". (BTW, have you noticed that the shortcuts begin with WP: and not WE:?) Once again, I am pointing to the inconsistency between these 2 essays: one says to "revert if it is not an improvement" and one says to "revert only if it makes the article worse". This is a big difference and I submit that this inconsistency is the basis for many edit wars. (talk) 23:09, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
What is the significance of "shortcuts begin with WP: and not WE:"? I don't recall seeing any which begin with WE:. The WP: means that the content is not part of the encyclopedia proper, but is behind-the-scenes content for editors. It can be policies, guidelines, essays, humor, news, etc.. -- Brangifer (talk) 03:52, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
The "P" in "WP:" stands for "pedia", not "policy." The purpose of an essay is to voice an opinion. By their nature, not all opinions will be in lockstep and artificially making them so is not an improvement. Not edit warring is indeed a policy. You can our see our actual policy on editing (including reverts) here. VQuakr (talk) 08:00, 10 December 2014 (UTC)