User:Phil153/A proposal for flagged revisions

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A painless implementation of flagged revisions[edit]

In a Nutshell[edit]

Displayed flagged revisions on a separate tab. Articles would have two tabs, one "reviewed", and one "new". Flagged revisions go on the "reviewed" tab. Anyone can edit the "new" tab. See image.

Proposal in action

The Problem[edit]

Wikipedia is unreliable as a source of knowledge. And no matter what we do, the current edit/instant display model can never create a reliable encyclopedia. Someone can always insert nonsense, libellous material, or POV at any time, and most readers wouldn't be any wiser. Given Wikipedia's high profile and undeserved status as a source of objective truth, we need to fix this.

Flagged revisions have been proposed as a way of dealing with this. While the idea is good, the proposed implementation is poor. It creates a huge backlog of work; discourages instant editing, and goes against the principle that made WP successful at attracting attention and editors. Flagged revisions with timeout are another proposal; but they're worse than both options. A lack of reliability remains with the addition of a large amount of work.

The Solution: Two Tabs[edit]

At the top of each page, where it currently says "article" and "discuss", there would be two tabs, one with the unreviewed article, which anyone can still edit and browse like normal, and one with the last reviewed version, which is locked from editing. You could choose to browse reliable pages or unreviewed as you wish, and edit/see the latest unreviewed version as normal.

This solution removes most of the problems. For example, until a large number of articles gain reviewed status, the encyclopedia would continue as normal, and the unreviewed page would be default for non logged in users. The only difference most people would see is an extra unobtrusive tab. Once there was a sufficient backbone of articles, then the reviewed article becomes default viewing; perhaps with a disclaimer above an article for which there is no review.

Benefits[edit]

  • Overcomes almost all the objections against flagged revisions
  • Painless transition. Once the revisions gain mass, you simply switch the default view for new users to the reviewed tab
  • No backlog - the project can grow at whatever pace it feels comfortable
  • Makes the editing and review process obvious, and highlights the fact that what you're currently reading has not been reviewed.
  • Quickly and prominently highlights the status of a particular article, encouraging participation.
  • No splitting required - for example, instead of just using flagged revisions in BLP (as discussed recently), you can change everything at once.
  • Easy to change the review process (make it more or less stringent) without any effect whatsoever on a backlog or ease of editing.
  • Reasonable enough to overcome the objections of the anarchists, giving more power to The Cabal.
  • The existence and promotion of this system will make the Foundation less likely to get sued; prominent disclaimers can eventually be placed above unreviewed articles.