User:Crazycomputers/Problems with WP:AIV

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One of the reasons I became an administrator is because I loved doing RC patrol but was frequently frustrated whenever WP:AIV would fill up without any administrators checking it. Becoming an administrator allowed me to apply blocks immediately instead of waiting on someone else, while also monitoring AIV myself.

However, I quickly stopped my activity on AIV at all and simply did RC patrol off on my own. This is not a bad thing, but there are reasons why I stopped. I will attempt to outline those here and propose a possible solution.

Problems[edit]

Edit conflicts[edit]

Probably the most obvious issue, when vandalism is rampant it can be very difficult to either file or remove a report just because of the massive activity on AIV. It can take several tries to make an edit to this page.

Wasted effort[edit]

When looking at AIV, I have no idea which reports are already being investigated by an admin. Probably well over half of my investigations have stopped short because I noticed that the report I'm working on has already been dealt with by someone else. That was a good minute I could have spent working on a different report.

Solutions[edit]

Bots[edit]

We already have some very helpful bots that take care of removing blocked users from AIV and adding helpful notes to reports.

Something else[edit]

Honestly, I'm not sure that a wiki-style solution is really the best for something as fast-moving as AIV. There are a number of other options, none of which require touching the wiki at all. At the least, such a system would need:

  • A way for any user to file a report, just like they can now. Users should not need to register on some alternate system to file a report. A bot could be used to scrape reports off and transfer them over to another service.
  • A mechanism for administrators to mark a report as under investigation. If I see three reports in the system that are already marked, I know not to waste my time on any of them; I can return to RC patrol.
    • Alternatively, administrators could mark themselves as on- or off-duty and the system could assign reports to on-duty administrators not currently assigned a report. Off-duty administrators would not be automatically assigned reports, but they could request to be assigned to any queued report not already assigned.

There are multiple different technologies that could be used to implement something like this:

  • IRC: Already in use by the RC patrol community. Time-tested and pretty reliable, though there is somewhat of a learning curve.
  • Jabber: This would allow anyone on any federated Jabber network to deal with reports. Semantically it would function identically to IRC.
  • Web application: Preferable where administrators don't want to install yet another piece of software or keep Gmail open to monitor AIV. Simple use of AJAX would result in an easily-accessible frontend to the system. Since you need a web browser to edit Wikipedia in the first place, pretty much everyone would get immediate access to the system.

There is no reason that all of these technologies could not be used. A master daemon could service each frontend, which would eliminate splintering of the userbase into "competing" groups. The same daemon could scrape reports off of a wiki page and insert them into a queue. Users wishing to interact with the system directly could enter a report using any available frontend.

A very real danger with this system though is that it could go down independently of Wikipedia. If there is an issue with the AIV page, there is likely an issue with all of Wikipedia anyway so vandalism would not be the priority -- and it may well be impossible to vandalize at all. A separate system risks creating dependence and subsequently failing.