User:BronHiggs

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The volunteer workforce that built the project’s flagship, the English-language Wikipedia...has shrunk by more than a third [between 2007 and 2013] and is still shrinking... The main source of those problems is not mysterious. The loose collective running the site today, estimated to be 90 percent male, operates a crushing bureaucracy with an often abrasive atmosphere that deters newcomers who might increase participation in Wikipedia and broaden its coverage. Tom Simonite, “The Decline of Wikipedia,” Technology Review, October 22, 2013 <Online: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/520446/the-decline-of-wikipedia>


A large proportion of articles contain some sort of warning that they are incomplete, poorly written or inadequately researched. The problem, most researchers and Wikipedia stewards seem to agree, is that the core community of Wikipedians are too hostile to newcomers, scaring them off with intractable guidelines and a general defensiveness. Chris Wilson, "Why Wikipedia Is in Trouble," Time Magazine, 15 January, 2016


[A] study led by Aaron Halfaker of the University of Minnesota found that the number of "collaborators" or volunteer editors has been on the decline from around 56,000 in 2007 to some 35,000 at the end of 2012. "Wikipedia has changed from 'the encyclopedia that anyone can edit' to 'the encyclopedia that anyone who understands the norms, socializes him or herself, dodges the impersonal wall of semi-automated rejection and still wants to voluntarily contribute his or her time and energy can edit,'" they wrote. "Wikipedia losing editors," Physics.org, 2013 https://phys.org/news/2013-01-wikipedia-editors.html


And then self-promoted leaf-pile guards appeared [on Wikipedia], doubters and deprecators who would look askance at your proffered handful and shake their heads, saying that your leaves were too crumpled or too slimy or too common, throwing them to the side. And that too was bad. The people who guarded the leaf pile this way were called 'deletionists'... it worked and grew because it tapped into the heretofore unmarshaled energies of the uncredentialed. Nicholson Baker, "The Charms of Wikipedia," The New York Review of Books, July, 2010 <Online:http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2008/03/20/the-charms-of-wikipedia>


Trolls in Wikipedia come in various types, from those who “edit war” (two or more editors that keep changing each others’ work), those who engage in vandalism (including inclusion of nonsense, foul language and unjustified deletion of material) and those called “POV pushers,” whose purpose is to promote a certain point of view. Leigh Thelmadatter, "Wikipedia expert — removal of Elizabeth Warren Cherokee controversy “contrary to Wikipedia rules”" 9 January, 2013 <http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/01/wikipedia-expert-removal-of-elizabeth-warren-cherokee-controversy-contrary-to-wikipedia-rules>


The problem instead stems from the fact that administrators and longtime editors have developed a fortress mentality in which they see new editors as dangerous intruders who will wreck their beautiful encyclopedia, and thus antagonize and even persecute them. This attitude comes from the fact that some of these intruders are indeed trolls, partisans, paid hacks, or incompetents. David Auerbach, Encyclopedia Frown, 11 December, 2014, http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/12/wikipedia_editing_disputes_the_crowdsourced_encyclopedia_has_become_a_rancorous.html


"Many women eventually find the bullying to be too much, and leave the site." Andrew McMillan, "The Troll Taunter," https://backchannel.com/one-womans-brilliant-fuck-you-to-wikipedia-trolls-aab4107d374b

Helpful links:

WP:EDITNINJAS

"The psychological drivers of online abuse are well understood. Anonymity emboldens some people to post things that they would hesitate to say. Trolls can get swept up in a mob mentality, the thrill of transgression, or the twisted belief that it is all a bit of harmless fun. These are not excuses. Online abuse is a crime, pure and simple. Online abuse is shockingly common, but rarely prosecuted. Unless people come forward, the scale of the problem will remain hidden, and the tyranny of the mob will go unchallenged." "Fight Fire with Fire," New Scientist, 2 September, 2017, p. 3


Throughout my entire working career, I put up with bullies. Now that I am semi-retired, I choose NOT to suffer more bullies. Bronwyn Higgs, February, 2017