Wikipedia:Defense of content
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To defend the quality and integrity of the content of Wikipedia, contributions made by users with anonymous IP numbers must not be incorporated before a suitable time period has passed during which an administrator or responsible user has the opportunity to ascertain that no vandalism or destructive act is intended.
Wikipedia must always protect all its contributors, but it should offer practical respect and protection to the work of the users who take the time to work and contribute with respect to Wikipedia conventions and rules, as opposed to those who act or behave in a destructive fashion. Wikipedia must give time as a resource for administrators and responsible users fighting destructive acts, to release pressure upon them and upon Wikipedia's reputation in general.
Identifying the problem
Vandalism and trolling are major and recurrent problems on Wikipedia. They are also a major part of a wider category of destructive behavior across the internet. It is relatively easy to diminish the quality of content on Wikipedia, even for people who consider the act a joke and are not destructive individuals per se.
Wikipedia must always fight vandalism, but its immediate and practical objective should be protecting its content, not just stopping vandals. Wikipedia has created extensive policies and involved users to fight vandalism, but this is mere policing of a wider, changing society. This is not the job of, nor purpose of an encyclopedia. At the same time, blocking all anon participation will result in the eventual decline of this project - today's anon IPs are tomorrow's users, administrators, and writers of FAs.
Many Wikipedia users who have spent precious hours meticulously including edit summaries, checking for spelling, style and format errors and incorporating valuable content to Wikipedia's articles are often discouraged and disillusioned when a problematic anon IP user or new user is able to eliminate or change their work within minutes. Wikipedia must defend those who have taken the time to read and abide its policies, and are the source of its purpose and fulfillment.
Measures of defense
For all contributors identifying with anonymous IP numbers and registered users with fewer than 100 edits on mainspace:
- The contributions of anon IP users, once made, should not take effect (be incorporated into the article) until exactly seven minutes after the contribution is submitted. Edits to user and article talk pages are exempt from this rule. When made, the edit is registered with Wikipedia, and displayed as done to the anon/new user viewing Wikipedia. On all other, worldwide Wikipedia display, the edit will be added after seven minutes have elapsed.
- Wikipedia servers will register the edit when made, but a timer will measure the slated time, at the completion of which the edit will be incorporated. During this time, an administrator is empowered to delete the edits.
- While the edits are pending, any edits made by users to whom this qualification is not applied, are incorporated in real time. The edit that is pending, will in its time of incorporation be registered in the edit history behind the latest edit made, even if the latter was made while the anon's edit was being clocked.
- The anon IP user must receive a message introducing him or her to Wikipedia rules and conventions - importantly to the Wikipedia's community of users. It is important for it to be explicitly noted of how a community of responsible users help and educate each other in building a better encyclopedia - that there are large numbers of normal, decent human beings behind this internet site. If it is possible to note the statistics of Wikipedia's diverse membership, this is also encouraged. The anon IP user must be encouraged to understand that We are serious, even if he or she is not about Wikipedia.
Protecting featured content
- No anon IP user should be permitted to make contributions to featured articles, featured lists, featured pictures or featured portals until fifteen minutes after the submittal of the contribution - these are the best articles Wikipedia has to offer, and are the result of hours of tedious work by determined Wikipedia users. These must be protected. Being featured, these do not necessarily need embellishment, which in addition must not violate features criteria.
- A new, special page constantly monitoring recent changes must be created exclusively for featured content - this allow administrators and responsible users to effectively attribute the deserved attention to Wikipedia's best content.
For administrators and responsible users
For the success of Wikipedia's efforts against vandalism and trolling:
- Administrators and responsible users on Recent changes patrol and Counter Vandalism Unit should be empowered to "delete" the pending contributions of anon IP users.
- Administrators and responsible users on Recent changes patrol and Counter Vandalism Unit should exercise their option of deletion under the injunctions of Wikipedia:Vandalism.
- Administrators and responsible users on Wikipedia:Recent changes patrol should exercise personal restraint in deleting contributions that are violations of Wikipedia:Neutral point of view: (a) entries should not be deleted or included because the administrator or responsible user is himself or herself opposed or in favor of the entry's point of view, and (b) entries that do not explicitly make POV assertions should not be deleted - they should be allowed to be incorporated, and dealt with by discussion by responsible users involved in the article's expansion and improvement.
- To effectively accomplish this purpose, the extended use of Bots must be proliferated.
What this accomplishes
- Wikipedia content is protected for a reasonable period of time, even as us human beings decipher our respective motives and purposes for our constructive or destructive activities.
- Administrators and responsible users are given a reasonable opportunity to prevent vandalism - the results of their vigilance are the preserved safety of Wikipedia content. This is especially important for administrators and responsible users with slow internet connectivitiy.
- Anon IP users are given an opportunity to understand why and to whom Wikipedia is so important. Their freedom to contribute is preserved.
References for further action
Beyond this point, Wikipedia's present rules and conventions are the basis for action:
- Wikipedia:Pending changes - a current policy that has some elements of this proposal
- Wikipedia:Counter Vandalism Unit
- Wikipedia:Recent changes patrol
- Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism
- Anti-vandalism ideas
- Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress - report current activity
- Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism - for quick action in clear cases
- Wikipedia:Template messages/User talk namespace - a grid of templates that may be used on user talk pages
- Wikipedia:Dealing with AOL vandals
- Wikipedia:Counter Vandalism Unit
- Wikipedia:Speedy deletions
- Wikipedia:Edit war
- Wikipedia:Cleaning up vandalism