User:Alexia Death/Accusations of collaboration: 3RR hurts Wikipedia
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- 1 Preface
- 2 What is wrong with 3RR
- 3 Vision for future: A better 3RR
- 4 Solution
Recently, an Arbcom case was requested. One of the issues was that one group that agrees with each other too well, that I happen to be considered a part of, must be sock- and meatpuppets and need to be banned or punished since they must coordinate their edits somehow behind the scenes. Well, we don't, but the accusation itself... It just sounds wrong. Being accused of collaboration in context of a project that is based on people working together? There must be a logical fault somewhere. Is it not absurd? Why does this happen? Why is POV pushing successful and why is canvassing a problem? It is all because because of 3RR. Who ever designed it had nice ideals and in theory, if we disregard human nature, it works. Not so in real life. The goal of this essay is to clearly show why not and how, in my mind we could fix it and make editing more pleasant for all of us.
What is wrong with 3RR
At the core of the issue is the way 3RR ignores the content under dispute. It is designed so for enabling quick administrative decisions and enforcement not requiring evaluation of content, but in its current form the decisions do not empower discussion over steamrolling. And that has many adverse affects ultimately hurting community and creating unnecessary blocks in communication and development.
Its about numbers not about the content
3RR makes numbers matter, not the content and its validity. That is its number one fault. In ideal current rules would mean that consensus wins. Not so in real life. Whether a controversial change stands, has due to 3RR, nothing to do with how valid or sourced or neutral that content is. It has all to do with how many friends or supporters you can rally. Can this really be right? Wikipedia should be about the content and not social networks or how many supporters can you bring along without being slapped with canvassing.
The winners, the losers, and the victimized content
If an edit prevails through an edit war of this nature then accusations, witch hunts and conflicts are imminent. You can say it is not about winning or losing, but if you get steamrolled in an editwar, it matters naught, for the one just ran over will feel like he just lost. It is the human nature. And the content loses something, that perhaps unsuitable in the form reverted but when talked about and refactored would be worth inclusion. If the content is really unsuitable and unsourced, but the inserter believes it hard enough and has active comrades to editwar over it then nothing is solved and large scale editwar ensues where prevails the side that runs out edits first and that is rather a random thing. And again, content suffers. These streched editwars solve nothing and hurt more than is apparent to the eye. They hurt the will to collaborate.
Are all low activity users and newbies not in dark about conventions of Wikipedia Socks?
Accusations of being sock- and meatpuppets against active newbies or low activity editors are common in content disputes. If a newbie dares to agree with any side of a heated dispute someone is bound to accuse that newbie or low activity user of being a sock. This negates all rules about not biting newbies and leaves a rather unpleasant feeling in your heart. It is very degrading, if you are discarded as not being an individual. Making an effort to understand the system before participating is also a fault. This is insane! I personally went through this ordeal with disbelief and became very close to being permanently blocked due to these accusations even tho they were groundless and the accuser knew it... WP:RFCU is no magic and makes mistakes and I cannot imagine how many potential contributors has ambiguity in the interpretation of the results cost the project. But there are those who cheat. And the only way to fix it is to remove the motivation for socks to exists at least at the level of content disputes. Currently that motivation is 3RR.
Finding assistance and support is BAD
Why is actually developing Wikipedia so stressful? Its because asking for help in a dispute is frowned on! Getting more people who agree with you involved in disputes is called canvassing. Why? Because of 3RR! In terms of 3RR, asking for help would give you an unfair advantage. These people could benefit to the content, they could bring sources, they could bring a fresh view, but no, asking them is BAD. Editors stress levels rise, they get upset and lose focus on the goal. They fail to assume good faith and bicker. As a result the content suffers. And when the content suffers, the project suffers.
Vision for future: A better 3RR
The faulty system can be fixed. The rules CAN be made the good for the content and not for edit warriors. All it would take is a little change to the 3RR. I call it "3RR+1".
- Reverts are counted per edit not per editor.
- If an edit/material removal/material addition has been reverted three times and restored again then further reverts are not allowed without consensus in talk.
- as an exception to previous rule a previously uninvolved editor can revert just once again with a condition, that dispute resolution is started in talk on the matter.
- Disputed content must be tagged appropriately. If content stays removed, then it is replaced with a comment marker, if it is visible, with an appropriate disputed tag.
Wikipedia needs this change. Come, discuss in talk of this page. Lets see what can be done to make Wikipedia a better encyclopedia and a friendlier environment for editors!