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|This page in a nutshell: Edits by anonymous and non-auto-confirmed editors would be delayed for two hours, giving us a chance to revert vandalism before its published while still keeping the principle of publication without the need for editorial review.|
Anonymous editors and not yet auto-confirmed editors would have to wait a certain (reasonably short) amount of time before their edits become visible, say 2 hours. On the system their edits would be marked as pending along with indicating a time when they would be published. In the mean time, the version published on the internet for the public would be the latest non-pending version. The editors concerned would simply be told that:
- - the delay is for anti-vandalism reasons, and
- - if they edited by accident they could revert their edit. (Hopefully more vandals would revert themselves.)
Most vandalism is reverted in a short period so most vandalism would be reverted before it went live. Editors could confirm (if so the waiting time would be abridged) or reject these edits after seeing a diff. Thus readers wouldn't see the majority of vandalism and vandals would loose the encouragement of having their edits immediately visible.
Registered editors would always see the latest version (i.e. including edits pending publication to the public-at-large).
How this would work in practice
It would work roughly as follows:
- An anonymous editor makes an edit to an article. The delay is set to 2 hours.
- An hour later a registered and auto-confirmed editor makes another edit without reverting the anonymous editors edit.
- Both edits get published when the registered presses the submit button.
Single button confirmation or rejection would be available to a large group of trusted editors, but would still be possible for other editors to confirm edits by making an edit.
An anonymous editor viewing a page with edits pending would see a "view draft" link instead of an "edit this page" link. Once clicked they see the latest version along with a "edit this page" link. In this it would unavoidably be more or less the same as Flagged Revisions
For articles which are currently semi-protected or fully protected, the waiting time would be lengthened and editing delays could be imposed on a wider group of editors. The waiting time could be varied as appropriate.
For articles which are particularly vulnerable MediaWiki:Common.css for example the wait time could be set to indefinite and confirmation set to administrators only. The same as flagged revisions but only for extreme cases.
Waiting times could also be increased for certain editors: anonymous editors and even some new editors could be flagged as possible vandals by administrators (and possibly by trusted editors), thereby increasing their waiting periods. This would also possible for whole ranges of IP addresses. Other editors' delay time would be set to zero.
I think we have to be clear about what we intend to use Flagged Revisions for. If it's about instituting a quasi-editorial board for featured articles, then Flagged Revisions might be the answer. If it's just an anti-vandalism device to ensure people aren't reported as dead before they actually are, it just might be over-kill.