Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)

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The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump (proposals). Try to be creative and positive when commenting on ideas.
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  • This page is not for consensus polling. Stalwart "Oppose" and "Support" comments generally have no place here. Instead, discuss ideas and suggest variations on them.
  • Wondering whether someone already had this idea? Search the archives below, and look through Wikipedia:Perennial proposals.
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Time to call time on the Articles For Creation[edit]

Fundamentally, Wikipedia is about the wisdom of the crowd (providing such wisdom is sourced). Wiki's in essense are community-collaborated sites, But I surely can't be the only one who sees that the AFC process goes against these fundamentals; Instead of pages being created and edited collaboratively, new editors (who have been led to believe that AFC is the only way to submit a new page) have their creations scrutinised at the whim of one, maybe two editors through a process that is hidden to the rest of the Wiki. this is clearly not how Wikipedia is supposed to run.

If this was a case of mere spam and joke page prevention, then it might be understandable, but it seems that AFC reviewers are actually taking it upon themselves to assess articles by quality as if they were old media editors. One account tells of a page declined for "too many citations", only for the next submission of the same article to be declined for "too little citations".

We already have New page patrolling and Articles for Deletion, both of which are much more transparent than AFC. And yet for new users to the Wiki, AFC, which is by far the strictest of any of these three, is actually the first wall they face. If anything, the AFC wall should come after the NPP and AFD, not before.

What is a well-meaning attempt to help newcomers, has actually morphed into it's opposite. I've even seen pages on AFC being nominated for deletion, when all it took was a few hours googling to find notability and create a page that was worthy. AFC essentially is putting new articles at the whim of one editor, rather than a community consensus, which is what Wikipedia is supposed to be. Not only does it contradict the principle of Wiki-magic, but it is untransparent about it. We regularly see people at AFD helping out pages, this does not happen at AFC. Does anyone really think that given a transparent choice, new editors would rather submit their articles to one editor rather than a community at AFD?

As has been reported, since 2005, Wikipedia's editor numbers have been declining, and even going down. it may or may not be a coincidence that this is when AFC started.

I think a proposal is in order to either scrap AFC altogether or reduce the acceptance guidelines to basic notabiltiy and verifiability and stop editors from acting as quality gatekeepers which is something that can be cleaned up in mainspace by the community, as it is meant to be. Egaoblai (talk) 03:28, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

  • I definitely agree with your points. But I think that some form of the AfC process will still be needed as a way for new editors to specifically choose to request the community to evaluate the inclusion-worthiness of their article. – Uanfala (talk) 11:44, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
So I guess my reasoning here, is that AFD is already the way in which the community evaluates the inclusion process. My problem with AFC, is that it's not the community evaluating, it's one editor most of the time, which puts articles at the whim of one, rather than what wiki should be which is the community.Egaoblai (talk) 04:37, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • The basic acceptability criteria for AfC is already whether or not it meets notability. If it is reasonable to suspect that the article will be a keep if brought to AfD then the reviewer should accept it. Obviously for BLPs there is a second layer or scrutiny but beyond that, GNG (and the other notability guidelines) is what reviewers should be going for. If you find people who aren't doing that bring it up to them.

    As for scrapping it, absolutely 100% no. AfC was created after the restriction of article creation to just logged in accounts. Now with ACTRIAL where exactly do you think people are going to go? If you think we don't have enough editors now wait until there isn't any alternative to mainspace creation. --Majora (talk) 01:03, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

    • no, AfC was created in response to the original ACTRIAL being reject by user:Jorm - "do not fix". those editors who insist on no ip article creations, responded to that rejection, with an arcane bitey process that is a ban in effect, if not by consensus rule. the fact that people will not help you in your bitey process, does not mean there is a lack of editors to help in a not bitey process. and the anti-ip non-AGF "not everyone can edit" attitude never dies does it? (talk) 17:33, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
      • " anti-ip non-AGF "not everyone can edit" attitude never dies." SImple numbers, if we let IPs make pages willy nilly we would need to "call in reinforcement from the Illinois National Guard". I work primarily in coutner vandalism and have plenty of AGF for IPs. That is why I don't have a dumb "This user wants to stamp out IPs and make everyone log-in" userbox on my userpage. IPs and then non-auto-confirmed users were restricted for a good reason. Some of which is germane to the discussion on whether or not to kill off AFC. L3X1 (distænt write) 18:15, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
      • For the record, AfC was around long before Jorm vetoed ACTRIAL. Julià Reig Ribó was an article I accepted as a part of AfC in 2007. AfC was originally created to allow IPs to create articles. Also, for the record since I've said this off-wiki plenty of times, in my opinion AfC submissions were of a much higher quality when they were mainly IPs. Along with Kudpung I was probably the driving force behind the implementation of ACTRIAL this time around, and I certainly do not have an anti-IP point of view: I hold the belief that IP editors probably do significantly less vandalism than registered but non-autoconfirmed users and I have threatened to block users for edit warring with IPs. Hell, I even have a userbox on my user page supporting IP editing. ACTRIAL has nothing to do with IP users, who have not been allowed to create articles in over a decade. It was designed to increase the quality of articles by limiting the number of creations that simply weren't appropriate for Wikipedia. TonyBallioni (talk) 05:42, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
        • Tony, ACTRIAL wasn't designed to change article quality. It was designed to "examine the effects of disabling article creation for non-autoconfirmed newly registered editors". It is entirely possible that the net result is no change in article quality, or worse article quality. For example, we might learn that the "new" accounts most likely to deal with these restrictions are paid editors. Several editors will no doubt recall the multiple reports at WP:AN, ANI and COIN about paid editing farms shifting to using autoconfirmed accounts shortly in the weeks before ACTRIAL began (e.g., here). If ACTRIAL disproportionately discourages innocent volunteers, then the better, less spammy articles will be lost (the volunteer will not bother creating it) or hidden in draftspace (and then quietly deleted next year), but the paid editors will continue as they are now. From the comments in this discussion, it sounds like we're also learning that reducing the backlog at NPP means shifting it elsewhere, which is also not exactly an improvement to either article quality or to volunteer efforts. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:06, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
          • That is the purpose of the research, but the driving factor behind why the community wanted it in the first place was because articles created by new accounts were crap. I'm well aware of the paid gaming of it, but it is actually very easy to spot, and if anything ACTRIAL has made its detection easier than it was in the past. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:09, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
  • If you are concerned about TPTB of AfC, why not go to WT:WPAFC to discuss the process? Also, I see that you duplicated "Draft:Geological Society of Sri Lanka" into Geological Society of Sri Lanka, which was rejected three times (or four if counting first time rejected as duplicate). I disagree with the idea to scrap the AFC; AFC is needed for now, despite its flaws. Look at Draft:Bill Fink (see history and other discussions related to it); I even requested deletion of Draft:Edward Leung Yiu-ming because I figured it's too much of a risk after several rejections. --George Ho (talk) 02:16, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
    • Here's the problem, Draft:Geological Society of Sri Lanka was sitting in AFC, being constantly rejected, and in fact up for deletion as a draft. I stumbled upon it by pure chance, as I was going on a wiki-wander and saw that it was up for miscellaneous deletion. If it hadn't been submitted to that I would have never have found it. I adopted the page and very quickly found plenty of notability proving articles in English language media, about this organisation that has been holding high profile conferences for 30+ years, publishes a peer reviewed journal and works with the government on Geological issues. And that organisation was up for draft deletion! What's clear to me at least is that many articles on AFC either rejected, abandoned in frustration or deleted, when if that same article had been submitted to AFD, it would have easily passed, or at the very least saved by an editor.
      I shudder to think how many articles are currently shelved on AFC that would benefit from community input rather than one or two AFC editors rejected them. We've all seen countless submissions on AFD that have a balance of Keep and Delete votes. AFC basically puts articles down to the luck of the draw, rather than a community consensus. If people support the notion that Wikipedia is a community-written Wiki, then the current state of AFC does not match that and must be changed.Egaoblai (talk) 04:37, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
      • Time is the community's precious commodity, though. Sure, it'd be nice if all decisions could go through an efficient community consensus process. But at the rate incoming pages are created, ways to focus the community's time is needed. Screening articles created by IP addresses is one of the ways English Wikipedia has chosen to do this. isaacl (talk) 05:16, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
      • To fix the duplication issue, the draft revisions were merged into "Geological Society of Sri Lanka" per request at WP:REPAIR (diff). I still think scrapping out AfC process is a bad idea. BTW, there is meta:Research:Autoconfirmed article creation trial, which can intrigue you. George Ho (talk) 09:43, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support AfC doesn't work well, just like the Incubator and Nupedia didn't work. I am regularly involved with new content -- either creating it myself or helping others get started at outreach events like editathons. I avoid AfC completely because it's so slow -- it can take weeks for a contribution to be reviewed. I don't get the impression that it adds any value because its focus is too negative -- it's all about finding reasons to say no. If a topic is worthless then let the NPP despatch it with a speedy deletion. If a topic has merit then it should be in mainspace where anyone and everyone can find it. Andrew D. (talk) 08:12, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Interesting how the support for proposals to kill off the horrible useless evil AFC mostly come from people who have never done any work there, or maybe they tried it once years ago... Yes there are some bad reviews, however reviewers who are consistently bad are removed. Some of the comments here demonstrate abysmal ignorance of AFC's workflow. Perhaps a better way can be found to reduce incompetent or erroneous reviews and the workflow can probably be improved too. What some folks here are losing sight of is the essential difference between NPP and AFC. AFC is fundamentally a mechanism to actually assist newbies to write an acceptable article, NPP's only mechanism is to summarily kill off anything that does not meet the standard. At AFC the draft writer is told; "We cannot accept this draft for this reason, here is a guideline on how to fix the problem. If you need further assistance the help page is here". At NPP the only message they get is; "This is crap. Kill it!". A basic problem with AFC is that some submitters arrive there with the idea that reviewing is an adversarial process, like a court trial, and thus they are already inclined to reject the review. Those who come with a collaborative mindset have a far better experience. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 10:47, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support If an article is good it will stand on it's own. If it is bad it will either be deleted or improved based on the nature of it's problems. SpartaN (talk) 18:07, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment-Except AFD and mainspeace (as is the point of wikipedia) is far better a collaborative space for wikipedians to better articles. I gave the example above of how an organisation was about to have their draft page deleted, when all it took was a quick google search to prove their high notability. The problem with AFC is that its rarely collaborative, because it's normally one editor against a submitter. We also have issues of admins threatening to revoke privileges for other admins if they "let in" borderline articles. This surely cannot go ahead. Consider this example:
    • a page on mainspace is mostly good but has a few problems, such as a few paragraphs written in a NPOV style. The community either corrects this via the talk page or project pages or if that doesn't happen...
    • the page is nominated for Deletion. The community recognise the page is worthy and either edit the offending paragraphs away.
    • Alternatively the page is submitted to AFC before mainspace. The gods roll a dice and the submitter is given a reviewer who rejects the article completly based on the NPOV paragraphs. The hapless submitter desperately tries to make changes, but then is told a second time that their isn't enough references by another reviewer. All the submitter wants to do is to get the page onto mainspace so it can be collaboratively edited by the community, but now the reviewers at AFC are demanding that he/she turn out a page that is not only notable and verifiable but is of high quality too!. Frustrated, she gives up and thus Wikipedia loses another potential editor.
    • I'm not saying this happens all the time, but even once is too much.Egaoblai (talk) 11:54, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Some options are for complainants are to go in and review some pages. They could even go through the g13 candidates and rescue a few. When I go to delete these expired drafts, there is probably about 10% worthy of mainspace. I would also like a simpler way to accept a declined page, but we can always click on the move link and then cleanup. The final option is to review the reviewers who decline, or otherwise. Then talk to them or discuss at suitable venues. Even today I accepted an article that someone declined an article because it used primary research sources (not actually a real decline reason), when actually several of those sources were reviews. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 12:29, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • AfC reviewers need to be reminded that their job is to check for notability and verifiability only. If it is spammy or 'messy' it should only be declined if the problem is severe. Everything else should happen on the NPP side of things. I also see WAY too many articles that would pass NPP end up being declined at AfC because they are messy, formatted a little wrongly, or because the reviewer can't be bothered to do a 2 minute google search for the topic to check if it is notable independent of the sources in the draft (something we are required to do at NPP before taking it to AfD, etc.). Some of this stems from the opinion that AfC is a place to 'help out newbies'. this may have been the original intent, but it has failed spectacularly at this. I think it is time to recognise AfC for what it is: a gatekeeper for basic quality assurance. New Page Patrol fills a similar role, but not the same one. NPP has to be reactive, which puts a lot more pressure on reviewers to argue for deletion. This might be more 'collaborative' but it is also much more time consuming. A first pass by AfC for people who really have no idea what they are doing (i.e. new editors) stops attack pages, blatantly spammy stuff, etc from even being submitted by new users in the first place (most don't bother if they know it won't make it to mainspace without review).
    TL;DR: AFC need to simplify their workflow to just CSDable stuff, notability and verifiability. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 17:54, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
    • That's already been kinda happening - though there is quite a bit of disagreement, people are pushing for lower standards and only checking if it is likely to survive AfD. Galobtter (pingó mió) 15:31, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
    • At least as an AfC reviewer myself, I don't do anything more than thse 3 core-tasks.But, it may be worth noting that the ambit of CSDable stuff varies across editors. Winged Blades Godric 15:32, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • WT:AFC has been notified of this thread. Primefac (talk) 15:24, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • And, Egaoblai, I shall expect that in future, when you undertake such massive actions, you have the basic courtesy of notifying involved projects et al in a seperate sub-section rather than sneaking them in...Winged Blades Godric 15:32, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No. Just... no. And... before folks go criticizing a process and suggesting it be eliminated, it's probably beneficial to... get literally any experiences whatsoever in the process you're criticizing. GMGtalk 15:39, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Echo GMG.As I once noted during NPR discussions, the most uninformed comments come from the least-experienced folks.And, I don't believe that someone with a net of 325 edits under the belt is an ideal user to reflect the community- a word that he/she frequently seeks to invoke/insert in his/her arguments over a lot of spheres at a lot many venues.I also see that there have been some attempts at metaphorization and hyperboles as a weapon of choice but most of them are typical BS like rolling a dice! Also, some folks apparently prefer that greeted with a deletion template is far more conducive to attracting editors than a decline at AfC and temds to think that AfDs almost always result in keeps!Winged Blades Godric 15:50, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Weak neutral I've never found AFC particularly useful; in practice I have found many interactions I have observed between people who work there and the new editors who use it to be curt, bitey, and not at all helpful in directing new users towards improving their editing skills or in understanding Wikipedia's arcane rules, which is what it SHOULD be. I suppose if someone is finding it useful, that's fine. It's reason for existance, however, the reason it was created, was to improve the article creation process for new users, so their creations were not merely deleted outright. I'm not sure its all that successful in that direction. --Jayron32 15:53, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. With no AfC I guess the suggestion includes to let everybody including IP's create articles directly. New page patrol may be handling the current load in reasonable time but would get a lot more to do if every IP could create an article in seconds. New articles are hidden from Google with noindex for 90 days but I'm not sure all complete junk creations would get a review in that time. And our own search function indexes all articles right away, and wikilinks to new articles also work. Many crap pages would be created by IP's clicking existing red links or quickly adding links to them. If there is concern about AfC reviewers having power to judge a page alone (a power admins already have to speedy delete articles but AfC reviewers may not be admins), then we could consider a system where AfC reviewers can request AfD-like community input on borderline cases. But it would be a waste of time to require community discussion for all pages. A lot of them are complete crap. There is a reason we have different processes CSD, prod, and AfD for mainspace articles. PrimeHunter (talk) 16:34, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose A couple of bad review(s|ers) does not mean we need to scrap AFC altogether. It's worth stating that AfC reviewers could sometimes be more helpful, but I assure you the vast majority are a lot more understanding and provide a gentler learning curve when compared to what a new editor would face when their article is dragged to AfD.. -- There'sNoTime (to explain) 16:35, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose note that a vote on the future of AfC was recently held and I fail to see how the arguments for deletion are any more advanced then they were in April. AfC is an important way for newcomers, those most likely to be deterred if their articles are tag bombed or immediately nominated for deletion to have a softer way they can seek feedback. Sure- some reviewers are bitey but still less so than if their article was immediately speedied. AfC offers good sound advice to those who reach out, and saying that some reviewers are unhelpful is not a damning indictment of the whole system. jcc (tea and biscuits) 17:42, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose I was originally going to sit this out, but as defacto head of the project I think I'm obligated to say something. Godric made a comment on a different talk page (in a related discussion) about how this proposal (and in particular some hyperbolic examples) fall within the Nirvana fallacy. Sure, we'd love to get the backlog down to a week (or maybe two). Sure, we'd love to be able to work one-on-one with every single editor who graces our doorstep. Sure, we'd love it if every reviewer was perfect and never made a mistake and could magically (and instantly!) tell if the subject is notable just by looking at two sentences and an IMDb reference. But that's not going to happen.
    • First point of contention (going off the example I linked above) - "new users don't get any feedback": we have a ton of resources for new users to ask questions. There's the IRC help line, the AFC Help Desk, the Help Desk itself, the Teahouse - all of which are linked on the decline notices. There are also of course the reviewers themselves. We had 55 reviewers do more than 10 reviews in the last month, and every single one of them answers questions on their talk page when a new user asks. Often there will be jaguars who will also comment on the situation, and people willing to contact WikiProjects to get more input (I personally have done all of the above multiple times in the last few weeks). Sure, they don't get access to every Wikipedian, but I've noticed over the years that the ones who ask questions are the most likely users to actually get their drafts approved, and the ones who refuse to listen to the advice given to them end up with a draft at MFD or themselves blocked for violating our TOS. Coincidence? I think not.
    • Second point of contention, per TNT's comment preceding mine: just because we have a handful of bad review(s|ers) does not mean the process is bad. I removed someone from the project two days ago because multiple people expressed concern about their reviewing capabilities. This is how feedback is supposed to work - you let people know there are issues and they get fixed. If someone sees a bad decline, tell someone (or just move it to the article space). If you see a bad acceptance, kick it back to draft. If someone is seeing a systemic issue with a reviewer (or the process itself), we need to know. There's no point in shutting down the factory simply because a light bulb needs replacing; I don't think we should go through the "shut AFC down" rigmarole every time someone screws up a review. We know there are issues (big and small), but hand-waving and (dare I say it) blowing hot air will not solve things.
      Could AFC be improved? Absolutely! There are things I see regularly that need discussing (or are discussed) which lead to a better understanding of how we should be handling the Project and dealing with new users. In the past that wasn't so great, but we've developed a core of really fantastic reviewers who are interested in collaborating and are willing to throw out crazy ideas to see what works. Our backlog has jumped mainly due to ACTRIAL, but I hope that in the next month or so (after the glut of student-project-garbage dies down) we'll be able to start cutting into that and getting it back to more manageable levels.
      I genuinely, honestly, truthfully want to hear constructive feedback on how we can improve the process, because if it's a good suggestion I'll spend less time writing diatribes like this and more time reviewing drafts. If you don't want to post it at WT:AFC or WT:AFCP, post it on my talk page or shoot me an email. We might not always agree, but I will do my best to be amenable to the suggestions. There are some things that are near-impossible to correct (how do we get more reviewers, or get the existing ones reviewing more? No one knows) but even small tweaks can be a net positive.
      Also, for anyone interested, I have been keeping detailed statistics of the review process for quite a while, and I'm happy to discuss them (in a separate venue). Primefac (talk) 17:51, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment - There has been scope creep at AfC. It started out as a more friendly place for new editors to submit their first article. It has now become a gauntlet. It now differs from NPP in that nips at new users straight away instead of taking a huge chomp at some random point months after submission. There is a strong pushback at NPP and AfC against low-quality submissions. The Wikipedia that Uanfala supposes in proposing to abolish AfC is not the Wikipedia that currently exists (at least not from a new articles perspective). I'm neutral about abolishing AfC but either way this goes, the community is going to continue to reject partially developed new material. ~Kvng (talk) 18:08, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

Break 1[edit]

  • Oppose. I have never used AFC and never will. I know how to write an article to fit policy. But I didn't learn the policies overnight. I spent many months reading and learning from other peoples' work and mistakes what to do and not to do. The nom does not do a good job of explaining why we should abolish AFC. Yeah, if poor editors run it we will get bad results. But AfC is set up to aid the clueless (no offense) new editors who wish to write an article. L3X1 (distænt write) 18:20, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment I wish there was a link between AfC and Teahouse (or some other space where you could go for coaching). I might be naive but I think many new editors who wind up at AfC are super motivated to do something that they imagine is a great contribution but know nothing about policies and the basics of what makes a good article. The current AfC process bludgeons them with templates (which point to policies, incomprehensible if you are new) and encourage them to ask questions on the AfC reviewers talk page (YMMV and also I don't think new editors even understand what that means). I think it we walked through this process with an actual new editor we would get some insights into the pitfalls (a big, new task I understand, but I'm a huge fan of user studies). I do appreciate that this could be a useful service and obvious more volunteers are needed for this type of work since the workload seems like it is pretty crushing at the moment. I think we should reimagine AfC as a force for possible good where new editors are encouraged to do better work, not chased off. Right now it seems like a place of "no". Merrilee (talk) 21:32, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
Agree. From what I have heard, AfC needs improving not removal. L3X1 (distænt write) 22:10, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
The AFC helper script has a default option to invite authors to the teahouse so the requested link already existed. AFC is structurally sound. I just think some reviewers have strayed a bit (perhaps due to pressure of a mounting backlog) and are behaving more like NPP patrollers than teahouse helpers. ~Kvng (talk) 18:47, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
  • support AfC is failing - 2 months for a review is too long, new editors cant be expected to wait that long and most dont. The "reviews" arent helpful when they finally occur because rather encourage a contributor they just throw a lot of technical terms generally as abbreviations at them and walk away. "NPP is backlogged at 13k", AfC at 2500 and teahouse says they should be sending people there and there is the technical pending changes options. What I see is divided resources doing the same task in different ways, saying just give us more contributors isnt a solution when the process is itself driving new contributors away. The first step is too look at what aspects are working, AfC working aspects are those which are already being done by NPP & Teahouse which makes AfC redundant. Gnangarra 23:57, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
User:Gnangarra If you think two months is too long, the place to fix that is here. And given that you don't appear to have ever made a single edit to the Teahouse, for convenience that's here. GMGtalk 00:41, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't see what the Teahouse has to do with this, its an alternative/new editor Help Desk, not the AFC complain desk, right? L3X1 (distænt write) 01:55, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't have the faintest of ideas about how AFC, pending changes and Teahouse--the trio of them can be seemed by someone to be doing the same task!Winged Blades Godric 03:45, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Ngatti-ngatti-ngatti if you truly think I dont have the faintest idea about AfC and successfully creating community building projects then nows your chance to correct it. Gnangarra 06:08, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
And you need to look carefully at what I wrote....I wrote I don't have....Don't confuse pronouns and then misplace words in my mouth.Cheers!Winged Blades Godric 06:15, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Sure. I'll bite (no pun intended). I definitely suspect that you don't understand how AfC works. Saying that AfC throws acronyms in user's faces and walks away is a pretty clear way of saying you haven't used the helper script either at all, or for long enough that you don't remember how it works, and pretty certainly that you haven't frequented the AfC helpdesk (or the teahouse, or the help desk), to answer any questions, or answered any questions at your talk page from AfC contributors for whom a link to your talk page is always provided, or for that matter responding at the IRC help channel, for which a link is too always provided. These are things that our regular AfC contributors actually do and it's part of the reason the entire process is so time consuming.
Pointing to NPP, backlogged as it is at three or four times the magnitude of AfC, as the solution that works, and why we don't need AfC, flatly makes no sense. It certainly doesn't reach the level of depth of addressing time-consuming borderline judgement calls that hamstring both projects, and the lack of volunteers that both projects suffer from.
Saying that the teahouse replaces AfC is just silly, not least of which because the teahouse is one of around a half dozen helping forums, is a general purpose forum for new users, and there already exists a specific help forum for AfC. Saying that pending changes somehow helps to replace AfC makes about as much sense as saying rollback does. Both are anti-vandalism tools and have basically nothing whatsoever to do with the creation of new articles.
So to recap, as I said above, if you want to criticize a project, or call for its elimination, it helps to have literally any experience whatsoever contributing to that project. GMGtalk 12:08, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
I feel that the brilliant comment/perspective that AfC ≈ Pending changes ought to be rewarded suitably.But sadly anything in the likes of WP:COMMENT OF THE MONTH is a red-link.Winged Blades Godric 16:18, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment Where is the mechanism for the community to disagree or dispute AFC calls? I thought about going to "help" but the time stamp seems overly complicated and I'm not sure if it's only meant for the writer rather than concerned bystanders like myself. The current system pits the submitter against the reviewer, but what about people who wish to object? I was just looking through the teahouse and found a plea from an new submitter (actually there are many in the same boat) who has created an article with a stack of references to independent publications that are about the subject and is being told by the reviewer that the submission Draft:Anuraag_Saxena doesn't pass because:
"This submission does not appear to be written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. Entries should be written from a neutral point of view, and should refer to a range of independent, reliable, published sources. Please rewrite your submission in a more encyclopedic format. Please make sure to avoid peacock terms that promote the subject."
This is ludicrous and the reviewer seems to be treating AFC as if it was some kind of classroom for producing perfect articles! Is there really a rule for FC that articles must be in the right tone or completely NPOV? These things can be dealt with by the Wiki community. I am grateful to the above reviewers who commented that they pass articles on AFC for notability and verifiability, but it's clear that others aren't doing this. Tagging Majora Graeme_Bartlett Winged_Blades_of_Godric, as they commented earlier about this issue in AFC. Egaoblai (talk) 12:56, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Ok. Well. Looking at the teahouse currently, I'm seeing three threads dealing with declined AfC drafts. There's this thread where the article was apparently such blatant advertising that it was speedily deleted WP:G11. There's this thread by a fairly obvious WP:COI user who has been given a username block, and related to Draft:Shen Wai International School, which I have now nominated for speedy deletion as WP:G12 because it was directly copied and pasted from the official website. Then there's this thread, which was already asked and answered at the AfC helpdesk, related to Draft:Amitagarwal3000, which consists of three youtube links, a track listing, and it probably blatantly advertorial besides.
Regarding Draft:Anuraag Saxena, the user did ask at the teahouse, and was given very detailed advice on how to improve the draft, which they have been actively working on since. In other words, exactly how the process is supposed to work.
To answer your question, yes, there is a requirement that articles be appropriate in tone, which can be found at Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Reviewing instructions. GMGtalk 13:31, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
The rules for AfC, Egaoblai, can be found here Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Reviewing instructions#Main task. They do indeed say that the only thing people should be looking at is whether or not it is reasonable to believe that it would survive AfD. Again, BLPs have an extra layer of scrutiny because they have to but if people are going far beyond that then you should bring it up to them or ask for additional assistance from someone else. --Majora (talk) 02:49, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Hi Majora thanks for the response, however, GreenMeansGo says that tone is a requirement, which would seem to contradict the idea that survival of AFD is the "only thing". Personally I think the survive AFd rule is the best one, as it means that pages of poor quality but which are notable can be worked on by the community.
As for "people going too far" is there a mechanism for this when it comes to rejected drafts, a public mechanism apart from using their talk page? Egaoblai (talk) 02:58, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Well tone does matter to the point that if it is speedable under G11 then it certainly wouldn't survive AfD. In that regards, yes, tone does matter a great deal and a lot of AfC submissions are by COI editors who can't tell the difference between an advertisement and an encyclopedia article. There are a few avenues for assistance. You can ask at the project's help desk. You can ask at the normal help desk. You can even ask at the help channel on IRC. Obviously I would ask the reviewer first. But if you aren't getting anywhere with them and you truly believe that there was a mistake in reviewing there are alternative avenues. --Majora (talk) 03:02, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Being eligible for G11 is not the criteria listed at the instructions. The criteria listed at the instructions is that the article be written from a neutral point of view. GMGtalk 10:59, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
The main criteria is and always has been whether or not it would survive AfD. If you brought an otherwise good article to AfD for NPOV issues you'd be shot down so quickly due to a WP:BEFORE violation. It even says right on that page, The argument "non-neutral point of view" (violates WP:NPOV) is often used, but often such articles can be salvaged, so this is not a very strong reason for deletion either. If you are rejecting things simply because of NPOV that does not rise to the level of advertising then you are not doing your job at AfC. Simple fact. --Majora (talk) 00:44, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. It seems like those requirements are part of the reason for the problems then. Egaoblai (talk) 13:40, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Unfortunately, those requirement are necessary, because a very large portion of the drafts that get submitted to AfC are from editors with conflicts of interest, and many are written in a way where they would need to be mostly or entirely rewritten to comply with our policies on neutrality and promotionalism. There are already 21,000 published articles that have been tagged as promotional, and have yet to be fixed, in a backlog going back almost ten years. That's exactly why AfC does not accept these types of articles on the ground that the community can fix them, because the community is already struggling to fix the ones we already have. GMGtalk 13:50, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
On a practical note, if you see a declined submission that shouldn't have been declined, then you can simply move it into the mainspace, remove the AfC fluff, and then inform the creator that it has been accepted. There's no need to try establishing consensus with previous reviewers. – Uanfala (talk) 13:51, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
If any AFC reviewer had moved Anurag Saxena to main-space, that would have been most likely the end of his journey as a reviewer.And if such blunders are repeated by any non-AFC user using the move-tool followed by manual cleanups, I could fairly forecast a topic ban from moving other's drafts etc. to mainspace.And, if you aren't arguing for the sake of arguing, that is an outright G11 candidate.Also, since from our prev. Comments, you managed to think, that we three would accept it, I would assume that you don't have any idea about what CSDable stuff means.Winged Blades Godric 17:08, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
I believe there are adequate checks on reviewer behavior. If an author wants to challenge a decline, he may resubmit the draft and it is AFC policy for a different reviewer to look at it the second time. We have other reviewers monitoring abandoned drafts looking for ones that may have been declined inappropriately. In my opinion, it would be better if promising drafts got to mainspace earlier but many reviewers are disinclined to approve lower quality drafts either because their own standards are higher than the AFC minimum or because they fear reprisals from other reviewers with higher standards. ~Kvng (talk) 18:56, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Seems like a great idea to monitor abandoned drafts (is there any tool to find these?), although it's bittersweet as it doesn't solve the problem of editor retention and why people are abandoning those drafts. Egaoblai (talk) 01:33, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
@Egaoblai: We have Category:AfC_postponed_G13 ~Kvng (talk) 19:41, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is a case of Baby v. Bathwater. There are a few bad apples, and as people who asked for my guidance can attest, it's my (perhaps controversial) view that declining a review based on content, that the reviewer can easily fix, is lazy. I've harped on people for "too short" declines "reference error" declines and the like, and I feel that's the type of things you're opposing as well. I've come across submissions that are a barely longer than a title with no references, and I Improve and Approve™. As reviewers it's not our job to do people's work for them, but I think when an effort is made by the submitter, who better to improve it? When done correctly, the AfC process is a formal conversation between people who want the best for this silly project. When it's spam, well, it makes me that much happier that we have the AfC safeguard. Drewmutt (^ᴥ^) talk 05:47, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose I highly recommend that the editors who support elimination of the AfC process to please volunteer at AfC and NPP for at least 3 months and help reduce the backlogs. A firsthand look at some of the articles that steadily stream in for review may influence your decision. Atsme📞📧 16:45, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose-If AFC was abolished, there would be a effective article creation ban on IPs and new users. This goes against the principles of a Encyclopaedia that anyone can change- — comment added by Force Radical (talkcontribs) 09:28, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Perhaps we are being too strict at AFC. When I look at my earliest AFC acceptances in 2007, they would be laughed at today, but have now turned out to be reasonable articles eg vs Case Closed: The Fourteenth Target; vs Jim Butterworth (entrepreneur); which may be acceptable in today's rules. A few others were later deleted, eg Fragile (2006 film), Bruce Poulin and Gary Kent (but these did have references!) Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:01, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I recently found this research report: "Accept, decline, postpone: How newcomer productivity is reduced in English Wikipedia by pre-publication review" and It makes for interesting reading if anyone hasn't read it yet. Essentially they identify some of the same problems people in this discussion have made about AFC; it's not collaborative, it chases away newcomers, etc and has some recommendations for newcomers. Since I started this conversation, I'm inclined not to support removing AFC as it's clear that many benefit from it and a lot of reviewers are doing great work, but I do think it's clear that it needs an overhaul.Egaoblai (talk) 08:10, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Suggestion: Instead of reviewing the article once a lot of editor time has been spent on it, what about a two-phase process for AFC that could help serve as a mentoring process and a softer gate for good faith editors (teach them how and why to fish edit and all that)... and provide an easier job for reviewers, particularly in the case of conflicted editors (a few sentences with a few references can be easier to assess than a very weak long article with citation overkill)?
  1. The editor writes a dotpoint statement of claims against standards of notability, along with sources that support each claim. This is assessed against WP:GNG, WP:SNG, WP:RS, etc.
  2. Once claims and sources are solid, the editor turns this into at an acceptable stub (ideally with formatting, content expansion, references, cats, stubsorts, wikiprojects, ...) that avoids the need for further edits at NPP, and/or is provided with alternative options/guidance along the lines of WP:ATD.
Ultimately, if an editor at AFC really wants their article moved to mainspace despite deficiencies (eg: through repeated resubmission) despite assessment that it doesn't meet WP:CCS/W:N/WP:V, then (after having warned them) perhaps just do so but immediately initiate deletion unless there's a clear violation. ~Hydronium~Hydroxide~(Talk)~ 10:17, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
@Graeme Bartlett: Thats already being done, especially with the rule about translations. The whole reason some people want to be a wikipedias is to contribute their bilingual knowledge only to be turned off by the fact you must have 500 edits and have to be an extended confirmed user of 30 days. YuriGagrin12 (talk) 14:58, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • AfC is slow, bitey, very non-welcoming for the newcomer. I see it a lot with drafts sent to MfD (admittedly biased to the bad side), and with real-world acquaintances who came to the project with enthusiasm and were met with ... nothing. For the newcomers, AfC is a separate space of seclusion, and the reviews are pedagogy. Newcomers include professional mature people, and they are treated like children. It's not beyond fixing, and good stuff comes out of it, although I am not sure of the numbers. WP:ACTRIAL is great at stopping people with absolutely no idea from creating new (unwatched, orphan) pages, it should cover draftspace as well. Newcomers should get involved with existing pages, alongside editing editor, before jumping into writing their first page on their pet topic, at least for 10 edits and four days. It is very rare that a new topic, with no mention already existing in mainspace to be improved, needs to be written right now. Current affairs topics may be an exception, but experienced editors will create the new page within minutes. Wikipedia's principles ("Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute"; & WP:SOP #2 "Newcomers are always to be welcomed"; #3 "You can edit this page right now" is a core guiding check on everything that we do. We must respect this principle as sacred") do not imply that newcomers (< 10 edits, < 4 days) need to be able to create new articles. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:27, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • OK. I have an idea: encourage and make it easy for new users to add wikiproject templates to draft talk pages. At the moment, people in this conversation are generally taking issue with two things: 1) the few editors that are not doing a good job reviewing, and 2) the lack of 'collaboration' on AfC drafts. The first one is unavoidable to some extent, but can be addressed by reviewers talking to others if they think they have made a dodgy call. However, my proposal can largely help to deal with the second one. We need to make it easy for newbies to add wikiprojects to drafts so that users from those wikiprojects can view and help out with those draft articles. The submission template notice should prompt users to add wikiprojects to get more eyes on their drafts, and also have a box that you can type in that autofills wikiprojects and a big button that says "Add Wikiproject" (similar to how AFCH and the Rater tool do it). Adding wikiprojects via this box should add the relevant template to the talk page (rated as draft class), which will give a heads up to various wikiprojects that there are draft articles in their topic area that need review. The technical issue of how to modify the {{sumbit}} template is up to somebody more skilled than I, but if I get some support for this idea, I'll ask over at VPT. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 00:19, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
    • WikiProject banners? WikiProjects are a great theory, and were a great reality in Wikipedia's growth phase, but aren't they mostly a remnant of the past? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:30, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
      • Well, quite a few have lively discussion boards, and they do serve as a great place to find articles for the improvement of users' subjects of interest. Some are definitely defunct, but many are still quite active. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 01:46, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
        • If many are still active, then I strongly support your idea. Is there an easy way to sort WikiProjects by activity? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:49, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
          • Well, there is Template:WikiProject status, which can be found on many wikiprojects, and notes that they are inactive or semi active or whatever (I checked a few wikiprojects and found it over at Wikipedia:WikiProject Georgia (U.S. state). It lists the wikiprojects in categories of 'defunct', 'inactive', 'semi-active' and 'active'. I am pretty sure that Evad37 used these categories in his rater so that defunct and inactive wikiprojects aren't brought up in the dropdown. He might know more about the technical implementation of developing this idea as part of the {{sumbit}} template for AfC drafts. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 02:29, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
            • Some are still active (people still like to co-ordinate in common areas of interest), but I think they're not exactly bursting with people who are able and willing to work with newbie editors. But I suppose there's no harm in trying. isaacl (talk) 05:12, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
            • You could use Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProject watchers and Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProjects by changes to create a list of the 10 or 20 groups most likely to be responsive. It wouldn't cover everything, but it would cover a lot (including articles about women, health, military history, video games, and several sports). It would be nice if the "watchers" list were updated to include active watchers again (or to use it exclusively). "WikiProject Contents" is long dead, but it was extremely popular back in the day. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:19, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Break 2[edit]

  • Oppose - for now. Very legitimate arguments from SmokeyJoe (although some professional mature people do behave like children - my talk page is full of them). I, for one, can think of several reasons why Wikipedia would be better off without AfC. However, ACTRIAL when Scott, Blade, and I first campaigned for it many years ago, was centred around the very fact that those who are not autoconfirmed would be forced through the Wizard and AfC and hence still have an opportunity to create an article - of sorts. This was the only way we could get consensus for it in the face of a nevertheless strong ideological contingent who religiously believe that Wikipedia was created so that every troll and spammer can tinker with it - a mantra based view that is so erroneously supported by, for example, relatively new user Force Radical who has as yet very little experience in these matters (I hasten to add however, whose initiatives in other areas are most welcome).
    Despite the amount of new content that comes through AfC, I have yet to be convinced that the number of approved new pages contains strictly necessary encyclopedic articles. Most of those drafts could be processed by a better performing NPP/NPR which is less personal, less bitey, and could be better if the reviewers would use the messaging feature that we provided them with in the Curation Toolbar, which could also easily have all the features of the AfC Helper Script added to it.
    To have a blanket ban on all non autoconfirmed creations to include drafts is of course therefore highly desirable, but it would need some very powerful and convincing arguments for it, and a backlog at AfC is not one of them.
    On a final note, this thread has been begun by the OP, another relatively new user (152 mainspace edits) ostensibly on the basis of their failure to understand our notability guidelines as illustrated at this AfD, and their draft that was declined here. Anyone wishing to discuss AfC vs NPP is recommended to see the dedicated project at WP:NPPAFC. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:44, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
    • Hah! Absolutely do mature professionals sometimes behave childishly, and when they do, they are far more obstinate and persistent than any child. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:30, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
      • Hi Kudpung กุดผึ้ง thank you for your comments. You are right to say that there are some legitimate arguments here and I will do my best to summarise them. In retrospect, it was a mistake to advocate for dissolution of AFC of the bat, as it's clear that many feel it's useful and I have, due to a few recent experiences, over estimated the amount of poor reviewers. it's clear that a lot of people are giving time to work on the project and they should not be swept under the rug. On the other hand, I think my relative newness here can be an asset, as I can provide an insight into the mind of new editors. Firstly, it's really difficult to search for help on how to make a new article here, there seems to be a million pages, and often you find a page that you think might be the answer, but instead it turns out to be a meta page about the subject. Another thing is that the AFC process is offically an option, but the majority of new users working on drafts would never realise this, thinking it is mandatory. I think that not every new editor wants to make a perfect page from the outset; some are exciting about the prospect of working with others, but the AFC process can be overly adversarial, and essentially corrals a page in a single users domain. I've been doing a little bit of help in AFC with some new articles that are noteworthy but poorly written, for example, Draft:Saubhagya_Scheme, but the vast majority of rejected drafts languish and then are quietly deleted through g13 (sometimes indiscriminately). AFC is clearly needed for a lot of submissions, but there's a lot of good faith editors who have made a page that would never get deleted by AFD that are being held up in purgatory. I would love to help discusson WP:NPPAFC and have been looking through it recently. As for Draft:Aung Soe Min, That was quite a while ago and my first attempt at editing. Since then, I've read a bit more and as you can see have created around 4/5 new pages that have been reviewed. I hope you won't hold that first attempt against me!
        I'd be interested to know if there was a way that users could view recently declined submissions to AFC, that way users who wanted to help drafters could look through declined drafts to see if there was anything that they could help with (a personal area of expertise for example). Is there a page for this or a bot? Thank you for your comments.Egaoblai (talk) 05:22, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
        • Just a couple of points , Egaoblai: It is absolutely not difficult to find help and advice - the Wikipedia is awash with it. It might be more accurate if you were to say there is in fact too much of it. I do think however that the welcome template (without the thanks for the edits) should be automatically placed on the talk page of every newly registered user - but I digress. Admins are highly experienced editors, they rarely do anything indiscriminate; I have deleted hundreds of G13 and almost without exception they were all from people who breezed by, dumped something totally substandard and/or inappropriate on us and then cleared of with no intention of returning- we are not here to repair things thrown at us through our shop window by passers by, and very often the best thing we can do is throw it back. There is no proof that I know of, that suggests the majority of new users working on drafts think AfC is mandatory; there's nothing that tells them they must but if they do, then we have tacitly achieved what must surely be the best result Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:50, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
          • Kudpung กุดผึ้ง thanks again. I definitely think that quite a lot of users do think AFC is mandatory, especially when they have made a new account, that means they must go through the article wizard. This is from my own experience and other people I know (primary research for sure). I don't know what the split is, but looking through deletions and rejections there is roughly three groups of people 1) Those who don't read any guidelines and just write totally inappropriate drafts. 2) Those who write about notable stuff, but haven't really understood how to make a page. 3)those who have read about guidelines and have written about notable stuff, but for small reasons their draft isn't being passed. (4) those who pass. I think we need to focus on 2 and 3 and find a way to bring them into the fold more, like cross linking drafts to wikiprojects for instance, or letting no.3 editors know they can submit directly to mainspace (and potentially face AFD rather than AFC if they will).Egaoblai (talk) 00:19, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
            • Your characterisations of the 4 groups are probably not without merit. I would need to see some firm statidstics to support your conclusions, as I think you probably haven't been working in these areas long enough (e.g. hundreds or even thousands of reviews) to gather any substantial empirical evidence. I'm not saying you're wrong, but the longer you stay on Wikipedia, the sooner you'll notice that our community has a hunger for stats and generally refuses to do anything without them. Again, as I said above: There is no proof that I know of, that suggests the majority of new users working on drafts think AfC is mandatory; there's nothing that tells them they must, but if they do, then we have tacitly achieved what must surely be the best result. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:05, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
              • I've heard, from more than one new editor, that they believed AFC was mandatory, or very close to mandatory, including editors from other wikis, who ought to know better.
                Egaoblai, you might be interested in some of the old discussions on this same question, such as this one. Even editors who have made tens of thousands of edits have wondered exactly what you're asking here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:31, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
    • Yeah I was going to comment on that. AfC is part of why people were fine with ACTRIAL. Galobtter (pingó mió) 08:13, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
      • I think more than a backlog at AfC, discouraging people by making them wait/ having their drafts 9/10 times declined is the real problem, and I think raising the bar for submitting drafts but keeping AfC as a help area for potential article could be useful, as it would prevent the discouragement of people who create a draft as their first edit. But then again, some people really want to create an article, and being able to create a draft could prevent discouragement.... Galobtter (pingó mió) 08:25, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- AFC works just fine; it could use more volunteers though. K.e.coffman (talk) 04:02, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
  • oppose per K.e.coffman. It helps keep the speedily deletable out of the main space. The trouble is we need more reviewers to bring the viable articles into the main space. -- Dlohcierekim (talk) 21:54, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose I have many concerns with AfC and find that the current culture of the project is something that I do not find enjoyable to work in at all: it treats the good faith new editors poorly because of bad formatting or because they want to write on notable topics that occurred over a century ago. Instead the users who are most likely to actually get help are the very users we want most to get rid of: the spammers. They are motivated to ask questions of the AfC reviewers and interact with them, and because of this are the ones who get the most assistance from us. These are both serious issues that AfC needs to address, but they are not a reason to get rid of the project at this point. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:16, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Afc really takes to long for articles to be created. How about we just move it into the Article space as long as your a registered auto-confirmed user. There are just too many errors at this point, but we could do something like the articles for review are automatically moved onto the article space and Afc decides 2 weeks later to keep it or not. Also why is the translations restricted to extended confirmed users, I want to contribute but can't. YuriGagrin12 (talk) 23:15, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Fixing AfC[edit]

So, given the issues acknowledged above, and others, how can AfC be improved? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:38, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

*Tumbleweed*. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:13, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
  • More reviewers. More recognition for the hard work done by reviewers. -- Dlohcierekim (talk) 06:15, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
see the discussion below here Pigsonthewing — Preceding unsigned comment added by Egaoblai (talkcontribs) 23:41, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
I moved that discussion into this section. But I'm not seeing much in the way of viable proposals for fixing AfC. I think part of the problem might stem from new reviewers being told that "the best AfC reviewers only accept 1 in 50 articles". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:23, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

AFC discussion summaries and moving forward[edit]

Thank you everyone who participated in the discussion, I have done my best to summarise, please let me know if I have missed something out. We can see there were a number of recurring themese

1. AFC reviewers being too strict

Majora identified that GNG and notability guidelines should be the target for reviewers, Insertcleverphrasehere also commented that “AfC reviewers need to be reminded that their job is to check for notability and verifiability only.” They also wrote that they see a huge number of articles declined at AFC that would pass NPP, and AFC reviewers are declining stuff for formatting reasons or are not thoroughly checking for notability and are asuming something isn't notable without checking. A simplified workflow is suggested. Kvng also says that there has been scope creep at AFC from some reviewers. Drewmutt commented that some reviewers were rejected things for “reference errors” or “too short”, things that were easy to fix and not necessarily reasons to decline. Graeme Bartlett also wondered if AFC was too strict now, noting that articles that would have been accepted in the past would not be today. Galobtter noted that some reviewers in AFC had called for relaxed rules.

Egaoblai and WhatamIdoing noted that many new editors believed AFC to be mandatory, even though it is an option. The article wizard makes no clear mention of the optional status of AFC

However there was a disagreement on interpretation of the rules: GMG suggested that issues such as tone and NPOV were relevant to AFC and as such, reviewers should not accept articles that had issues with these factors, however Majora commented that the main factor for accepting AFC drafts is whether it passes a “AFD test”, and issues such as npov or tone were not required to be accepted as part of the reviewing process. Other users commented that they did review at AFC according to basic principles but commented that other users might not. Hydronium Hydroxide suggested that editors make a statement of claims to notability, etc before writing the article.

WhatamIdoing mentioned that rejecting an article could lead to being hidden in draftspace, to be “quietly deleted” later on, referring to g13 CSD. Graeme Bartlett mentions the G13 too, noting that around 10% of the draft articles waiting to be deleted are worthy of mainspace.

2. AFC unwelcoming and BITEY

Andrew_Davidson, who is involved in editathons, says the AFC system is slow and too negative: “It’s about finding reasons to say no”. Suggests letting NPP deal with bad articles. SpartaN also echoed these comments, about letting articles stand on their own. Jayron32 also said they found the reviewers there bitey and “not at all helpful” to new users. There'sNoTime opposed abolishing AFC, but noted that the reviewers could be more helpful. Kvng suggests the AFc has become like a gauntlet rather than a friendly place. Merrilee said that the AFC process and the insider Wikipedia lingo and policies could appear overwhelming to new users who were eager to contribute and new users were “chased off”. Gnangarra voiced similar opinions on the reviewing system, stating that it isn’t helpful. SmokeyJoe also commented that AFC is slow and bitey and that from personal experience, new users with enthusiasm were being turned away Galobtter also noted that the backlog might be discouraging people too. TonyBallioni comments that good faith editors who choose more obscure but notable topics are treated poorly by the review process. Egaoblai noted that AFC didn’t encourage collaboration, which was a principle of Wikipedia. SmokeyJoe said that AFC was a “space of seclusion”.

3. AFC useful as a quality filter

TonyBallioni said that the reason for ACTRRIAL is because articles from new users aren’t good. Insertcleverphrasehere suggests the true role of AFC is or should be a gatekeeper for basic quality to prevent obvious spam, etc. L3X1 also says AFC is to help those who need it. Uanfala said that AFC should remain for at least users that want their article to be evaluated. Dodger67 pointed out that AFC helps people create articles and givers them suggestions to improve. Jcc and Primefac also said that reviewers on AFC offer good advice and that there are only a few problematic reviewers, not a structural fault with the system. Primefac also says that problematic reviewers should be notified or reported. Winged_Blades_of_Godric suggests that AFC is less bitey than AFD and it’s deletion template. JCC expressed similar thoughts, asserting that tag bombing on new articles would be more deterring for newcomers. PrimeHunter notes that if AFC was abolished than there would be a glut of poor articles. They suggest a system of community review if reviewers are concerned about reviewers at AFC being solely responsible. Dlohcierekim notes that AC keeps a lot of speedily deleteable articles out of mainspace. Kudpung also notes that there is a high number of poor quality articles that are abandoned and need to be cleaned. Primefac notes that there is a lot of places for new editors to find help on Wikipedia and if they ask for advice, they will usually find themselves succeeding.

Some suggestions made

YuriGagrin12 suggests articles for review are automatically moved into mainspace and AFC decided whether to keep them or not.

Hydronium Hydroxide suggested that editors make a statement of claims to notability, etc before writing the article,

Insertcleverphrasehere here suggested making it easier for reviewers to add wikiprojects templates to drafts. Which would help with the lack of collaboration issue.


A tentative summary of the discussion might conclude that AFC is a needed place for new editors to get help and for quality control. However, a proportion of new editors who are attempting to contribute notable articles in good faith are being turned off by reviewing from some editors that is overly strict and unhelpful.

Regarding the second point, the implications are serious when we consider that both potentially great articles (for example a short article that passes AFC and then is later worked on by the community) and great contributors may be put off wikipedia by the process.

Moving forward, Please comment with your suggestions for improving this process, either by adding new rules/guidelines, or by removing existing ones.Egaoblai (talk) 08:35, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

  • I thing AFC talk-page would be the optimum venue for these conversations.Winged BladesGodric 15:39, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
    • The AFC page has already been notified, so in the interests of getting as many people discussing as possible, this seems the best place at the moment. We could move there later if some proposals take off.Egaoblai (talk) 17:20, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
  • How about the creation of a non-binding notice board where one could get second opinions from other editors abotu whether someone is notable? Basically have the AFD before the article is written. Call it WP:DeletionInsuranceNoticeBoard or something. L3X1 (distænt write) 17:40, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
    • I built a rough one at User:L3X1/WP:NoteBoard L3X1 (distænt write) 18:01, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
      • Any solution that involves multiplying the labor intensiveness that AfC already suffers many fold, it unlikely to be a successful solution. GMGtalk 18:10, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
        • I know throwing warm bodies is not the best solution, but it happens already at AFD. Dozens of editors are willing to (unless they are just there to plump their AFD log and look good at RFA) show up to discuss sourcing and notability issues, so why not do authors a favor and save the labor and grief spent writing an article on a borderline notable subject? If the research and time spent could be used in advance to help new editors and each other wouldn't it be a benefit. Regarding the MOS issues, I know that as I am willing to do TNT nukings (which actually takes some skill) I wouldn't mind doing minor fixes on a few articles. (not as much as the Guild of Copy Editors do, not like that) As for the bureaucracy element, that is why I suggest it be nonbinding. The author is under obligation to follow the advice presented, and in return, the now forewarned noticeboard stalkers would be under no obligation to not nominate the article for deletion. As for the Teahouse being the place to ask, I have done it once or twice, have never seen anyone else do it in all seriousness (though I am not dedicated teahouse host nor am I omniscient) and I kinda get the feeling that 20 or 30 notability queries daily would be considered disruptive and would clog it up. L3X1 (distænt write) 19:56, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
          • The teahouse often has a response time measured in seconds, and rarely measured in hours. Throwing warm bodies into the process has to happen eventually. ACTRIAL largely shifted the burden to AfC, and there's nowhere else I can see off hand to shift the burden further. At some point, if we want comprehensive review of content before it hits mainspace, especially as it concerns very new editors and editors with conflicts of interest, you're going need people to uphold that standard. Just because no one has any bright ideas to actually increase the number of people reviewing, doesn't mean doing so isn't the obvious solution. We have less than 200 people reviewing, and nearly by definition, these are the types of editors who are also going to be involved in a whole slew of other maintenance tasks, and not limited only to reviewing drafts. Obviously folks are open to areas for improvement, but I don't hold out hope that there's some low hanging magic bullet so far overlooked that's going to be suddenly revealed. GMGtalk 20:15, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
            • ACTRIAL hasn't shifted the burden to AfC. 80% of submissions by new users used to be deleted, most of these are simply not being submitted, as new users now know that their advert/trolling submissions won't make it to mainspace immediately, which removes any impetus to submit them at all. Look at the historical backlog data for AfC, and you will see a saw tooth pattern of raising backlog followed by steep drops driven by a few dedicated editors. The rate at which the backlog is raising is not any higher than other times before ACTRIAL (in fact in the month after ACTRIAL began their backlog was steady). Rather, it is because there has not been any large push to reduce the backlog as there has been by a few very dedicated editors in the past (for example in April and July). There was one push in November, but it doesn't seem to have done enough to last more than a few weeks. Perhaps it is simply time to bring back backlog drives? We are doing one over at NPP in January, which I hope will allow us to finally reduce our backlog back down to a manageable level below the index point. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 00:25, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
              • Just a note that that tool has historically been completely broken due to a technical limitation on counting articles in very large categories (T18036). For that reason you should not use it for historical context as it is very inaccurate. It has since been fixed. --Majora (talk) 00:29, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
                When did this switchover happen? I can put a vertical line in the graph and a note.
                Actually, I have an idea - I can just count the rows in WP:AFC/S for historical data. I think that might improve the accuracy. Enterprisey (talk!) 04:56, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
                @Enterprisey: The bug still exists in the category counting. The WMF probably isn't going to fix it anytime soon as it is quite low on their to-do list. I thought you changed it over to count the individual categories. That is what the standard AfC backlog box uses now. Primefac and I let you know about the issue with your tool on IRC in November and I remember you saying that you fixed the issue. Perhaps I missed something? --Majora (talk) 03:55, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
    • This is just duplicating the other places someone can ask e.g. the Teahouse and the AfC help desk. jcc (tea and biscuits) 18:31, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
    • I think this in the right area of thinking, (making AFC more of a collab then simply editor against reviewer). But it would also add another layer of bureaucracy. Regarding Teahouse and AFC help, one thing I've noticed is that many editors come asking for definitive answers: "What do I need to add to pass the review?" "If I add this, will it pass?" and never get a clear answer. I think if people on those help pages could be encouraged to say "if you add X and Y, then I'll accept it for you, no need to resubmit" rather than saying "go to WP:GNG and read that and resubmit" it could make things smoother and more community focused. I've seen this happen a few times.Egaoblai (talk) 19:09, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
    • L3X1, there was Wikipedia:Notability/Noticeboard, which was declared "inactive" due to very low participation there. George Ho (talk) 23:33, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict)Personally, at some point, we're unfortunately going to have to say no, and stop accepting new submissions. This is now not at that point, but if we end up near 5000, we might have to consider that. Also, as we cannot decline for these sorts of things, newbies need to be better informed about important MOS matters, such as references after punctuation and section headers need to be in goddamn sentence case. !dave 19:13, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
    • Yes. God forbid a reader learns something useful from a section with a header using non-standard capitalisation. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 00:06, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • The main problem is with the decline rationale that AFCH has as default. Many of these should be changed and would then change the way that AFCH is used. This would, in turn, change the way that articles are reviewed. The whole "not yet shown to meet" the notability guideline is ambiguous, and encourages reviewers to decline without looking for sources themselves. At NPP we are required to look for sources ourselves (not nessessarily required to add them, but to make sure that they exist). The "submission is improperly sourced" decline option is the worst thing about AFCH and possibly the cause of most of the trouble we are seeing here. It is sufficiently vague as to result in it being used for declining drafts based on badly formatted references and other issues such as having references, but not inline citations. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 20:24, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
    • So what would you recommend as a policy/guideline to change this? Guidance that reviewers should accept articles that they can see are notable, even if the article hasn't reached that stage yet? Like you say, they are under no obligation to do more work, but can add a comment saying "searched and seems notable. accepted" Maybe cross post to a wikiproject after the accept? Another option would be to simplify the reviewer criteria to "would this pass AFD?" and nothing else (in fact some claim that this is already the policy, but others disagree, as I noted above)
    • As you mentioned reveiwers ascertaining notability, Insertcleverphrasehere I wonder what you would think about AFC reviewers having the option to approve articles but severly edit the bad stuff out or even stubify the article. Perhaps they can even do this now. This is line with WP:AFD which states that "If an article on a notable topic severely fails the verifiability or neutral point of view policies, it may be reduced to a stub..." and would satisfy both the editor who sees the page created, the reviewers who don't want to approve poor quality articles of notable subejcts, and the community who would get to work on the page. Egaoblai (talk) 21:17, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
      • I agree with all of this. We could make a tag that says something along the lines of "An editor has performed a search that has indicated that sources for notability exist but have not yet been added to the article". This would be added, then the article could be published immediately. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 23:04, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
        • Something like this template: {{sources exist}} perhaps? — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 20:24, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
          • Yes I think accepting but adding a template is a good compromise for those users who don't like to be seen as accepting what they see as poor content. I think reviewers can be scared of being punished for accepting an article that isn't GA standard, and thus the backlog, this way would mean that 'yes, i know it's not good, but let's put it in mainspace and have the community work on it rather than telling the original editor they must make it perfect before it's accepted. From the other side, if the article really isn't great, then reviewers could also make more use of the 'promising articles' template, which would mean they could reject it, but it wouldn't get forgotten and deleted.Egaoblai (talk) 07:03, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I think sourcing and notability lines should be more simple and short. Also as mentioned before I think if we keep Afc then the articles should be moved into the article space automatically. However there would be sourcing filters and vandalism filters, also to submit an article you should be an auto-confirmed user, I propose the same with translations(auto-confirmed users can publish translations and they'll be reviewed). Also this will help major recent events that have to wait 2 months for article creation. Also I agree that Afc reviewers are usually unwelcoming and sometimes don't take enough time to see that the article might be notable. YuriGagrin12 (talk) 22:19, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
    • Your proposal seems to abolish AfC and just chuck everything into NPP. This would mean that we would have to abandon ACTRIAL, because new users have to have some venue to suggest/submit new articles. This is a terrible idea. The whole point of ACTRIAL is that trolls and advert pushers are deterred from submitting obvious garbage because they know that their submission will undergo content review (it doesn't go to AfC instead, it just isn't submitted at all). Remove this step, and suddenly NPP is inundated with 300+ pages of garbage that is almost immediately deleted and just serves to waste valuable reviewer time. With ACTRIAL's help we are finally fighting our backlog back down from a ridiculously high number, and we at NPP can't support your proposal. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 23:04, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
      • @Insertcleverphrasehere: Im not trying to abolish Afc, I probably didn't explain this clearly enough but before articles are submitted for review and into the main article space they would undergo vandalism and sourcing checks. These checks could be done by a computer by algorithms developed by showing it examples of good articles and bad articles, good sources and bad sources. If the computer checks it off it would be moved into the article space and reviewed by human later. Also for new users it could just be the same. YuriGagrin12 (talk) 02:00, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
        • This might well work sometime in the future. But as far as I know, ORES isn't quite up to the task that you are suggesting. I won't rule it out, but for now I don't think it is a solution to our current issues. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 02:30, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
          • @Insertcleverphrasehere: What exactly would be the challenges though? I thought we already have bots for vandalism. And yes, it would take a while for a computer to compare good (probably feautered) articles and bad articles to make suggestions, but other than that what hurdels if this gets accepted do we have to jump? (im on mobile so sorry for the spelling.) YuriGagrin12 (talk) 20:30, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
            • False negatives and false positives are still a massive problem and require human input in all but the most blatant of circumstances. The worst examples: "Kate is a poopoohead" don't really show up anymore anyway, because of ACTRIAL. The biggest issues we have are with advertisement articles, undisclosed paid editing, and with random non-notable musicians and bands (none of which are easy for a bot to identify). — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 21:01, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
              • @Insertcleverphrasehere: Ah, I see. Also what/who is ORES? YuriGagrin12 (talk) 21:04, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
                • We have already started on a proto-project with this regard that is in development and currently used for a number of tools WP:ORES. It isn't to the point where we can rely on it, and it can't identify attack pages or advertisements. But it is helpful. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 21:12, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
                  • @Insertcleverphrasehere: Oh, that makes sense. Would it be possible (if this idea turns up good) to have it do these as I see it was built upon and developed to do those tasks? YuriGagrin12 (talk) 21:21, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
  • A good hard look at the AFC reviewing instructions (including the flowchart) may be productive if we can simplify or streamline the process. However it does not address the issue of reviewers who are not actually complying with the AFC standards (e.g. I have seen several "ilc" declines on draft submissions that are not subject to WP:MINREF). Unfortunately I believe we're failing to cope with a recent influx of eager but insufficiently experienced AFC reviewers. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:13, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Another HUGE problem is with articles like this one. We have a record producer who seems like he is borderline notable, but nearly all of the refs are absolute garbage in terms of notability (but cited to trivial facts). It is difficult to tell that there are at least two reasonably good refs buried in amongst the chaff [1] [2]. So it gets declined over and over, wasting reviewer time every time. Even worse is with submissions that just are not notable, because they get resubmitted over and over without ever going away: with NPP at least when an article is reviewed it doesn't just get resubmitted immediately into the backlog, erasing the review work that was just done (well sometimes it does, but it isn't as systemic of a problem given that we have CSD G4). Does AfC have a recourse to discuss and delete (or keep/accept) AfC submissions that keep getting resubmitted? Yes: MfD, it just isn't used consistently.
  • Potential solution to all our problems: Perhaps we could have a limit of 3 re-submissions (or some other number) and then it goes straight to MfD as a candidate for either deletion of the draft, or else cleanup and accepting (it won't be allowed to go back into draft space, it either gets deleted, or sent to main space to go into the NPP queue). That way we would solve the issue of non-notable drafts being resubmitted constantly and using up all the reviewer time, and we would also solve the issue of reviewers not reviewing properly, as these sources would be identified during a discussion at MfD, and then the article would be sent to main space where it belongs (with cleanup if necessary). TL;DR: Essentially use MfD as an AfD for all drafts with 3 or more declines (on the third decline), as a way to stop these articles gumming up the works. This would also mean that AfC reviewers would have to be especially careful in reviewing the third(?) review, as they would also be submitting the article to MfD if they still didn't think that it was appropriate. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 22:58, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
  • The impression I get is that AfC is just being too picky about things that frankly don't matter that much. A basic article getting created is fine if it means that people (or, just as likely, robots) will come along and fix the minor problems. I don't see any reason why the threshold for article creation should be any higher than "would this survive a deletion debate" and it seems the reviewers at AfC are being more stringent than that; certainly this thread on Twitter would appear to see a similar problem. Would it not be simpler just to reduce the amount by which we incentivise articles from going through the AfC process, if it struggles with volume and with finding experienced editors. I'm sure it's very frustrating for the editors involved in AfC to have a bunch of us non-AfC people complaining about their hard, well-intentioned efforts, but if increasing the workforce isn't a simple solution, decreasing the workload is more-easily manageable, no? — OwenBlacker (talk) 22:01, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
    • I agree; it seems that the AfC criteria are being applied far, far too strictly. Take, for example, the "Quick-fail criterion" regarding advertising, that says "If the submission is a blatant advertisement decline the submission as such." To my mind "blatant adverting" means things like "Acme washing powder washed whiter than all others, buy some today", yet we see articles describing companies or products, in neutral terms, failed for "reading like an advertisement". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:36, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I recently stumbled upon the past activity of one former AfC reviewer. Within a short space of time they had reviewed a large number of drafts, at an average rate of one review per minute. A total of eight drafts were accepted, over 700 were declined, with rationales that often didn't make sense. The majority of the declined drafts I've seen so far were mainspace ready. This user then stopped reviewing because of differences with the AfC community. Judging from their talk page archives, their departure from the project ironically had nothing to do with their appalling decline rate being noticed (it wasn't), but was apparently precipitated by one AfC regular badgering them into tagging drafts for speedy deletion instead of simply declining. This hearkens back to the observations made above to the effect that at least some in the pool of reviewers have "standards" that are out of touch with those of the wider community. But there's something else as well: unlike NPP, AfC has an inherent bias against accepting. Accepting a submission entails some work – choosing an appropriate mainspace title, formatting the text, categorising, project-tagging etc. – whereas declining usually takes a single click. Some reviewers, in their enthusiasm for cutting down the backlog (or out of whatever motivation that drives people to make rapid-fire edits), then have a very strong incentive for declining rather than accepting. – Uanfala (talk) 15:06, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
This is a good find, but it remains the case that unless editors like you who know the ropes so to speak, actually go actively looking for this, these kind of problematic behaviours goes on unnoticed, and who knows how many articles have been lost at g13 and how many users have left the project in frustration. Egaoblai (talk) 16:25, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

Some examples[edit]

It might be useful to have some examples of recent declines, so that we can discuss whether they criteria are being applied correctly:

  1. Old revision of Draft:Nancy Wilson (basketball coach) - "The content of this submission includes material that does not meet Wikipedia's minimum standard for inline citations. Please cite your sources using footnotes"
  2. Old revision of Draft:Margaret Jeans - "This submission is not adequately supported by reliable sources"
  3. Old revision of Draft:New_Celeste - "This submission does not appear to be written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article" (with bonus "When a reviewer has left you a specific comment on some aspects of the draft and you blatantly ignore them and resubmit your draft, it's difficult to view that as anything but disruptive.")
  4. Old revision of Draft:Created_In_Scotland_(reality_TV_show) - "This submission's references do not adequately show the subject's notability"
  5. Old revision of Draft:George_Washington_Ragan - tone
  6. Old revision of Draft:Dr._Edwin_F._Klotz - tone; with "most of the sources... are obituaries" (?!?) and "too many words like 'american traditionalist' and 'secular progressive'"
  7. Old revision of Draft:Chris_Turner_(drummer) - notability
  8. Old revision of Draft:Bagnan_High_School - notability (previously rejected three times as "more like an advertisement"; first submitted May 2016)
  9. Old revision of Draft:Charles_Falzon - "This submission appears to read more like an advertisement than an entry in an encyclopedia"
  10. Old revision of Draft:Christ_Episcopal_School - "more like an advertisement"
  11. Old revision of Draft:Leyla_Martinez - (as Draft:Criminal Justice Reform Advocate) "more like an advertisement"
  12. Old revision of Draft:Curtin_Univesity_Dubai - "The content of this submission includes material that does not meet Wikipedia's minimum standard for inline citations" (with an edit summary claiming "Submission is a BLP that does not meet minimum inline citation requirements")
  13. Old revision of Draft:Catherine M. Stanton - "more like an advertisement" - note also [3], which apparently went unanswered.
  14. Old revision of Draft:MARMOK-A-5 - "improperly sourced"
  15. Old revision of Draft:Invoke_Malaysia - notability
  16. Old revision of Draft:Mood_Lighting - notability (sources include Journal of Environmental Psychology, Science Direct, PLOS One, Neuroscience Letters)

(numbered for ease of discussion; more may follow) Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:46, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

Added #13. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:26, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
Added #14 - #16. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:55, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
1 and 12 are good examples of the invalid ILC declines I've mentioned elsewhere in this discussion. Reviewers who make too many such obvious mistakes should be stopped. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 15:39, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
2 is a valid decline, though the decline message could have been edited to not only refer to "reliable" sources, but should explain BLP1E. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 15:48, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
There is no way for people to provide oversight, that's why I support the current proposal in Village pump proposals to send these drafts articles to XFD then at least they get a community look before being rejected in draft purgatory and finally quietly deleted under g13.Egaoblai (talk) 12:26, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
Number 12 is a good example of something that would NEVER get deleted at AFD, which is the rule for AFC reviewing.Egaoblai (talk) 12:28, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
It may not get deleted, however it should be redirected/merged to Curtin_University#Dubai_Campus, because there isn't a need for a seperate article. Galobtter (pingó mió) 07:15, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
That was not the reason for declining at AfC; the reason given was "The content of this submission includes material that does not meet Wikipedia's minimum standard for inline citations", and that the article is a BLP. Are those valid reasons for declining this article at AfC? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:09, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
Number 5 looks like a copyvio of That url says the text was contributed to findagrave on 1 May 2017; the draft was created on 2 May 2017. It is possible that the original contributor to findagrave is the same user that wrote the draft, but in the absence of an explicit license to use the text on Wikipedia, I'm going to G12 it. As for the tone issues, there are certainly a few sentences that would need to be rewritten were it to be accepted, but the copyright issue takes precedence. /wiae /tlk 01:16, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps it is; but the issue here is AfC declines, and that was declined with the justification "This submission does not appear to be written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article". Was that a valid reason bot to publish the article? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:07, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
Fair point. We can still conclude that the reviewing criteria were not applied correctly, because a copyright violation is a quick-fail criterion in reviewing workflow and should always be checked before any tone issues (which as you note was the decline rationale). The draft certainly did have some tone issues but it may just have been easier to fix them than to reject the draft outright. I'd like to hear what others think. /wiae /tlk 11:58, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
tone should never be a reason for declining a draft, unless it's absurdly out of place. These are the things that can and will be fixed by the community in mainspace. The current strict AFC system subverts the entire idea of what a wiki is supposed to be (collaboration) and turned it into a space where enthusiastic new contributors are corralled into an grading system that is not on par with AFD and so unfairly treats new reviewers with a higher standards, expecting them to create high quality articles with little actual editing help. Egaoblai (talk) 11:34, 2 January 2018 (UTC)


User:SwisterTwister and four other accounts have just been blocked as sockpuppets/ puppeteer. Given that some of the accounts were used to stack delete !votes, and that TS has been active at AfC, what can be done to review their declines? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:35, 30 December 2017 (UTC)i

this is worrying because I have been looking through some of the old drafts and sister twister pops up a lot for rejecting drafts that are mostly good. I guess the step is to ask people at AFC, an admin perhaps? I'm not aware if there is a user tool to browse drafts that have been reviewed or not.
Also, unlike the AFD discussions that this user was revealed to be a part of there is no way we (regular users at least) can check ST's rejections at AFC if they have been deleted at g13. Another reason why the current system is broken.Egaoblai (talk) 00:16, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
@Egaoblai: Examples of the former would be useful, please. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 00:50, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing and Egaoblai: You may already be aware of this, but a log of non-G13ed AfC reviews is available here: It pulls in over twelve thousand reviews when I run it. /wiae /tlk 01:22, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, is there a tool to see all rejected drafts by all users? Egaoblai (talk) 23:23, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
@Egaoblai: Good question. Not sure. I know Primefac has some statistics but I'm not sure whether they would include what you're looking for. I imagine it would be possible to write a SQL query over at Quarry to grab what you're looking for though. /wiae /tlk 01:35, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Primefac has been the admin that is most active at AfC and is aware of most of the contributors there work. If he has been rejecting to many, that is a much easier fix than accepting too many. The draft creator simply has to resubmit and another reviewer will look at it automatically. TonyBallioni (talk) 01:02, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
    • I respectfully disagree to the extent that if a draft or article is deleted, it is discouraging to legitimate new users. Many rejected drafts are simply abandoned. Montanabw(talk) 01:24, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
      • Moreover, reviewers have the tendency to 'pile-on decline', declining a draft if it had not been changed much since the last review, or declining it simply because it had been declined lots of times, even if the draft is otherwise decent. In borderline cases or when unsure, reviewers tend to defer to the judgement of the previous reviewer and decline a draft, whereas a draft that hadn't been reviewed before might stand a better change of being accepted. Darylgolden(talk) Ping when replying 03:33, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
ST may or may not have been declining poorly, but the key problem here is that AFC has no oversight. A committed troll/sockpuppet could easily cause havoc there and unlike AFD, it's not public and there's no way to see what's going until after the fact.Egaoblai (talk) 10:08, 31 December 2017 (UTC) (talk) 10:02, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Didnt we just close an ani and an afc talk discussion about the declines, like a few months ago? Then both closed with no effect on drafts. I feel like everytime st is mentioned its for the same thing that was talked about beforehand. Lets move on from how he reviews, and consider how hes helped afc and its backlog. Without him im promise you the backlog would of been like this years ago and triple what it is now today! Trust me, we hear you, but stop eepeating yourself its not a game of telephone. Ⓩⓟⓟⓘⓧ Talk 01:12, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
    • " Lets move on from how he reviews" Let's not. If good-faith, new editors have had their contributions deleted improperly, let's deal with that, and try to retain them as contributors. As for "we hear you", you need to provide evidence of that (by showing ho the issues with AfC that have been raised here and in the above sub-sections are being dealt with), not a mere platitude. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:13, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
    • As I said at a different venue his reasons for block and/or socking has manifested from an entirely different scope or outlook and that too for the last two months or so, out of his editorial stint of over 10 years. And, quality-checking 12800 reviews is just impossible. Winged BladesGodric 11:18, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
      • And as I have noted, the use of socks was specifically in order to cause the improper deletion of valid content - it would be most troubling if members of the AfC community did not regard this as cause for concern. As for the figure of 12800, no-one is suggesting any need to review those that TS passed; and if the problem is, as you claim, recent, the rejections can be reviewed in reverse order. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:40, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
That surely would be more feasible.Winged BladesGodric 14:01, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I cannot recall where or when, but if someone can check ST's history of AfDs, you might find an ANI or something related to his more "productive" periods, I remember one period of time at AfD when ST was cautioned for rejecting dozens of drafts in a very short period of time and was told to settle down. Maybe someone can run a contributors comparison tool for AfDs and Wikipedia space discussions where ST and I both were active and find it. I know that I opposed a fair number of his AfDs. He didn't communicate much, just kept on going and going and going... this editor was prone to be quick on the deletion button. Montanabw(talk) 01:23, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I was surprised to hear about this, as I has seen SwisterTwister's name appear quite frequently. Just noting here that I have removed all permissions from the main account and its socks. Any admin who disagrees may restore them. Biblio (talk) 01:30, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps some AfC regulars might also review the many unanswered requests from AfC contributors, asking for help, in the arcrhives of SwisterTwister's talk page? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:29, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

I don't think they are unanswered. SwisterTwister leaves (or rather left) comments on the drafts themselves instead of on his talk. Galobtter (pingó mió) 11:37, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
There is no response to the question asked in response to example #13, in the section above, on that draft. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:46, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
Andy is right. But I wasn't surprised, not like with some whom we have had to block, such as for example DrStrauss. We weren't aware of the extent of ST's socking (in fact the ST account isn't even the master). What several of us are aware of however, is that in his unsolicited off-Wiki communications with us, he was indeed a curious character. That said, and as I said on ST's talk page, let's move on - we can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, not at this stage. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:29, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
Speaking of DrStrauss, in their active period earlier this summer they reviewed at an average rate of one draft per minute, accepting a total of 8 drafts, and rejecting over 700. – Uanfala (talk) 15:56, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
If we've lost potential good contributors because of improperly declined drafts then yes, there isn't much that we could do to reverse that. But at least we could do something to prevent the loss of potentially good content. Re-reviewing 12,000 drafts is not feasible within any short period of time, be we could at least make the drafts declined by ST exempt from G13 for the time being. – Uanfala (talk) 18:07, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
Second that proposal. I think this makes things clear that AFC reviewers need some oversight by the larger community and if the current proposal that brings them to AFD doesn't pass then we need another way. I'm not gonna judge ST yet before going through a large number, but what's clear here is that people with agendas can become AFC reviewers and essentially do huge amounts of damage to the project without anyone really realising. We need a system to check this. Egaoblai (talk) 23:23, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

Here's a good example to show how fundamentally AFC isn't working: Bahamas_Leaks This page was sitting in rejected drafts by SisterTwister, rejected on the "this subject is not yet shown to meet notability ground" reasoning. I googled it and found the subject was notable, it being the subject of many articles from different media. So instead of resubmitting, I moved it to mainspace. it wasn't a perfect article. But do you know what happened? in just a few days, people have been adding categories, tidying up, adding links, etc.

It's simply stunning how much adding a article to mainspace can help with improving it. The current AFC system, whether it means to or not, leaves drafts out to dry and die.Egaoblai (talk) 17:35, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

ST and DST aren't the prime examples of model AFC reviewers.Both had their permissions revoked at some time or other.By the way, tone is a very good reason to decline drafts phrased in art-spam.(esp. in corp articles etc).Winged BladesGodric 17:45, 2 January 2018 (UTC)


Many editors have pointed out the low quality of reviews and the lack of accountability of reviewers as being a problem for AfC. How about implementing a system to allow for easier checking and re-reviewing of reviews? The idea would be to have the AFCH script create a log of all the reviews an editor makes (rather like Twinkle's CSD log). Other reviewers can then more easily look over and counter-check reviews, allowing problems to be spotted more easily. Something like this. This was already done for backlog drives (back when AfC done them) but it isn't done for regular reviewing currently. Darylgolden(talk) Ping when replying 02:51, 1 January 2018 (UTC)

Therr is already a detailed log at WP:Afcstats.Why do we need another one?Regards:)Winged BladesGodric 04:06, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
One deficiency in that is that it misses the pages that were deleted, as would happen with many declines. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:14, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
I can always update the tool so that it keeps the titles of pages that were deleted. Enterprisey (talk!) 18:14, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
That sounds useful for the tool moving ahead. I did some checking of the deleted declines, but everything I checked was suitable for declining. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 04:10, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Perhaps a solution could be to allow all experienced (extended confirmed?) editors to review articles, without the need to opt in. --NaBUru38 (talk) 19:33, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

New kind of page protection: Full Pending Changes[edit]

A new kind of page protection which is a combination of full protection and pending changes protection - Only admins can have their edits automatically accepted and view un-accepted edits, for articles that could have lots of improvement from normal users (so extended-confirmed would not be useful), but get a lot of vandalism from autoconfirmed users. [Username Needed] 11:35, 18 January 2018 (UTC) (date is inaccurate due to forgetting to sign

  • PCR comment So you're saying that the vandalism comes from editors between AC and EC? I don't quite understand why 30/500 protection wouldn't work. Autoconfirmed users shouldn't be "vandalising' unless they are playing a long game or something. Who would accept these edits? The already quite busy admin corp? Thanks, L3X1 Become a New Page Patroller! (distænt write) 15:07, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
    • I've heard stories of vandals (especially POV-pushers) doing that in the past. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Username Needed (talkcontribs) 10:18, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
      • POV Pushers and vandals rarely overlap (you comment almost implied you that that POV pushing was a form of vandalism, it isn't). In the last ten years I can think of two editors who turned to vandalism after they'd committed over 500 edits. Both were first blocked for other reasons. If established editors, those who meet EC criteria, turning to vandalism was a real thing I'd like to see some examples. ϢereSpielChequers 19:08, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
        • I thought that POV-pushing was a form of vandalism, but even if it isn't it is still sometimes brought up at RFPP as a reason for page protection. [Username Needed] 11:23, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
          • You'd think so, right? They both make articles worse, but we draw a distinction between the two based on their perceived motivation. A vandal is someone who is actually trying to make the article worse. A POV pusher is someone who is trying to make the article better (according to their own notion of what constitutes "better"). WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:00, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

The autoconfirmed permission is very easy to get. It's not a big barrier to controversial edits. --NaBUru38 (talk) 19:36, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

  • This is not a lot different from pending changes level 2, which was highly controversial over the years that it was proposed, and has been officially deprecated as of about a year ago. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 19:53, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  • @Username Needed: As User:Ivanvector says it is very like PC2 which has indeed been deprecated [4] even though shortly before a majority had approved allowing EC reviewers to be PC2 reviewers [5], close to what you are talking about. The majority was deemed an "insufficient consensus". The main arguments against PC seem to be worries about large backlogs of pending changes, and that pre-emptive protection contradicts WP core values, an argument which irritates me because anyone can still edit, the edits are just not immediately visible. Article quality is presumably not a core value. The main problem I see is that reviewers are rarely likely to be knowledgeable about the topics they review, and so will often be unable to recognise mischievous edits. A PCR reviewer in the above PC2 change discussion, User:Wugapodes, makes that point [6]. It applies to admins as well as reviewers, and answers User:L3X1's point about who would accept these edits, the poor reviewer who can't be blamed for not recognising vandalism of the non-juvenile kind.
One answer, to both backlogs and knowledge, is to give users who do understand the topics PC2 reviewer rights for their topics, as Wugapodes suggests. On my userpage I briefly discuss a way to do this. But it wont happen. The disruptive other party mentioned there is the example User:WereSpielChequers requested of a vandal with EC rights, partly as a consequence of taking a long time to find the review button, and then because admins would not block the guy. That user was bad-faith from the start but for 20 months admins would/could not recognise that. --BalCoder (talk) 16:31, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
Without wanting to gravedance, that person was blocked for offences ranging from editwarring to non neutral editing. But not for vandalism. Back to my comments "POV Pushers and vandals rarely overlap" and "If established editors, those who meet EC criteria, turning to vandalism was a real thing I'd like to see some examples." Examples means plural, and examples of vandals not POV pushers. I don't dispute that we are less efficient at handling POV warriors than vandals, but I do stand by my observation that POV warriors and vandals rarely overlap and that vandals rarely get EC status. Two of the reasons why are of course our ongoing and deepening admin shortage, and that often the admins we have who know about a particular area are too involved to block POV editors in the very areas they are expert in. ϢereSpielChequers 17:20, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
@WereSpielChequers: "vandals not POV pushers". I was using user:WhatamIdoing's definition of vandalism, according to which the said editor is the personification of vandalism. That no admin would/could recognise the vandalism is rather the point of my userpage, and now you deny it too. How long an SPI archive does someone need to accumulate [7] before you acknowledge he is a vandal? And he is at it again (Special:Diff/823968976), less than 24 hours after the article emerged from 3 months protection. I asked for that protection to protect a new user who was reversing some of the "vandal's" mayhem (User:Rhys Goldstein), even though he is pushing a new electoral system, and I disagree with all his changes. That is a POV pusher. He is editing in good faith, the other guy most certainly was/is not.
"admins ... too involved to block POV editors in the very areas they are expert in": Anything being done to address that? User:Wugapodes suggested giving PC to one editor. A little impractical I suspect, but that would be better than nothing, which is what electoral system articles have at the moment. Another reason is the reluctance of watchers to step in to disputes. The PR article has ca.180 watchers, none of whom offered me help during my 6-month struggle. Curious. It wasn't because my changes were outlandish, because after the main changes someone thought it worth raising the classification (Special:Diff/656157934). Some load would be taken off admins if users were more involved. --BalCoder (talk) 10:59, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
The solution to fewer admins is to appoint more admins, the community as a whole is broadly stable, we should have more potential admins coming through to replace those who go. As for whether that specific account is a vandal or a POV pusher, I'll admit to going by the block log rather than trawling through the edits, but the specific topic is not one that I edit and those are complex edits. The blocks I saw were not marked as for vandalism. If you think the lapse from protection is unfortunate then Wikipedia:Requests for page protection may be an option. As for watchlisters, 160 is a lot, but on an old page most watchlisters will be long long gone. A request on the talkpage of the relevant wikiproject might attract more contemporary watchlisters. At some point we are going to need to move from measuring watchlisters to measuring currently active watchlisters, but the difficulty there is how to do it without creating a way for vandals to identify unwatched pages...... ϢereSpielChequers 20:14, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Nominating for deletion? OK, but if kept, then improve it[edit]

[A half-baked idea I'd like to throw in here to test the waters before I go any further.]

Thinking about a recently closed WP:ANI thread that ended in an indefinite topic ban, it occurred to me that we might add a recommendation of the following nature to WP:AFD, supplementing the exhortations of WP:BEFORE.

If the article is kept    [Shortcut: WP:AFTER]
Sometimes an article is nominated for deletion because of a lack of notability, but in the AfD discussion new sources come to light of sufficient weight to establish notability. In such a case, the nominator withdraws the nomination or else the discussion is closed with the outcome Keep. The nominator should then consider it a moral obligation to improve the article in a suitable way, making use of the newly found sources.

--Lambiam 14:03, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

There seems to be a misconception here that when an article is kept at AfD, the nominator has in some way incurred a debt or made a mistake that they need to atone for. It's not the nominator's obligation; it's everyone's job. Ideally the nominator will be as interested in getting a functional article out of this as those who find previously unconsidered sources, but there is no way we can saddle them with any "obligation" in this regard. - Something along the lines of "Editors are encouraged to make use of these new sources to improve the article" might be more suitable. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 14:38, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree. New page patrolling and nominating articles for deletion are already an involved process (and a necessity), it should not be discouraged by additional responsibilities. —PaleoNeonate – 18:21, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not compulsory, although I do appreciate the spirit of the proposal. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 19:11, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
Nicely put. The proposal is basically WP:SEP in a nutshell. Regards SoWhy 21:19, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Terminal based viewer for Wikipedia, based on Manpages[edit]

I'm not entirely sure that this belongs here, but I'm not sure where-else to put it to get feedback from the Wikipedia community itself. I had the idea to create a simple Wikipedia viewer for use in *nix terminals, making use of the MediaWiki API to fetch data and convert it to TROFF files (the format used by manpages), so that the interface would remain familiar to users of manpages. As such, I'd like input from the community, as well as advice in regards to libraries already existing to access the Wikipedia API.

If this isn't the right place, tell me where I could put it, and I'll move it. Many Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by MicroTransactions (talkcontribs) 01:16, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

Like m:Telnet gateway? Anomie 19:38, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
No, not really, I'll include a screenshot of what I want it to look like (example was converted by hand) Example MicroTransactions (talk) 02:02, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

new idea[edit]

hi i want listen to article in wikipedia i have a idea example i go to nintendo article please add listen button top of article i choice listen button and listen the article or download file for listen article later add function for media wiki for record the article with a screen reader when choice listen button — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:01, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

There is Wikipedia:Spoken articles, but that requires Wikipedia contributors to create audio recordings of articles, and so the number of articles is limited. Chris857 (talk) 17:39, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Five Award[edit]

We have the four award that we all know and love, so I suggest we create a Five Award. This would recognize editors that, as well as achieving the four award, brought their article through the process for WP:TFA successfully. Concept logo: Five Award.svg
I think it would be nice recognition for editors who got to the main page, while leaving the Four Award as a goal for the mere mortals. Thoughts? Bellezzasolo Discuss 18:31, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

The four award already require FA status, so what do you want next? That the user then gets it deleted? Or gets it featured on 10 other wikis? TFA is not much more, and does not really improve much to do with the article. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:37, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

New user warning templates[edit]

A kind of new user warning template that I thought I would submit here to see what other editors think of it and how to improve it before making or proposing it.

The "uw-bulk" series - for people attempting to add unrelated or barely related content in order to stop an article being a stub


Information icon Hello, I'm Example. I wanted to let you know that one or more of your recent contributions appear to exist only to increase the article size. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information and so edits should not be made to increase the size of articles. If you have any questions, you can ask for assistance at the Help Desk. Thanks.


Information icon Please refrain from adding unrelated content to Wikipedia articles to "Bulk up" articles. . This is considered vandalism will be reverted. Repeated vandalism can result in the loss of editing privileges. Thank you.


Warning icon Please stop your disruptive editing. If you continue to add unrelated content to articles, you may be blocked from editing.


Stop icon You may be blocked from editing without further warning the next time you add unrelated content to articles..

[Username Needed] 10:54, 9 February 2018 (UTC) that really a frequent, categorizable problem? --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 11:10, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

Method to tell Categories for use in userspace vs. elsewhere.[edit]

IMO, there should be a way of a user (even if some sort of technical way) of differentiating between those categories not appropriate for userspace (like Category:Presidents of the United States) vs. those appropriate for userspace Category:American Wikipedians vs. those that are appropriate for both Category:Articles containing Russian-language text. This is to help detecting WP:USERNOCAT, but could also be used for predetection of that.Naraht (talk) 19:49, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

{{Wikipedia user category}} seems reasonable. --Izno (talk) 00:03, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Do you mean {{User category}}?Naraht (talk) 00:09, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
I figured it existed. It's a start for user categories. Not sure how best (or if we really should) try to take care of mixed categories. --Izno (talk) 01:07, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Could also be a subcategory of Category:Wikipedians but perhaps there are other acceptable categories. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:30, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

Separate password for logging in with limited access[edit]

Hello. For the past decade, I've constantly seen many editors using legitimate alternate accounts to login, mostly to maintain separate access/password from work computers. I've didn't really bother or paid much attention to the facts or circumstances surrounding such arrangements until now; when I've changed jobs, and I'm not too sure if it's the safest decision to login with my admin-access account on my work computer.

Surely, opening an alternate account popped up in my mind. But looking at the bigger picture, that decentralizes your work and makes it less transparent for others to review the same. And sometimes, having alternate accounts (despite disclosing the same - however discretely) opens doors for abuse, like being able to multiple-vote and whatnot.

Wouldn't it be better if the user account would be able to simply "add an alternative password" in their preferences, and themselves 'tick' what user access will be enabled when logging-in using that particular alternative password?

Thoughts welcome. Yours truly, Rehman 03:45, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

We actually have something like this already @Rehman: - however it doesn't quite to what you are looking for. What we have is Special:BotPasswords, however it does not allow for web-based accessing (only API access). — xaosflux Talk 04:12, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
While searching, it looks like there is already a feature request open for this: phab:T153454. It would need to be a software solution, so the scope would be beyond the English Wikipedia. — xaosflux Talk 04:12, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
The phab link is 100.00% spot on to what I'm trying to say. Thank you for that. I'm very glad to see there's more people wishing that this existed! :-D Rehman 04:16, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Forking articles[edit]

WP:CFORK is disallowed for good reason. But what if.. take for example the Featured Article Castle. The amount of sourcing available on castles is immense. It would be possible to write many very good FAs about Castles comprising different sourcing and prose. Different focus, emphasis, quotes, pictures etc.. But since one castle already exists (that is very good) it is basically a fortress that prevents development of other castles with different architecture. Sure, someone could try to modify the existing castle, but again it's already very good and why change what the community has deemed FA quality - raids on a FA rarely happen. I have no idea what a possible solution might be (and I have no intention of building a new castle) but it seems a lost opportunity that this particular castle will effectively stand as it is for a very long time without a reasonable possibility of starting over from scratch with a new set of editors and ideas. Again, this castle is very strong (FA) and will unlikely be scrapped for decades to come, there is not much room for an editor to build a new castle on Wikipedia. Which isn't to say there is a lack of opportunity for other things to do, but for the castle-focused editor the opportunity to build this one is effectively gone. -- GreenC 17:03, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

@GreenC: I don't understand what problem you are trying to solve. But, if there is an aspect to castles that could be stand alone article, I don't see why that would not be allowed. For example, we have articles on house, and also different types of houses such as Ranch-style house and American Craftsman. RudolfRed (talk) 17:49, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Ok I tried to explain, but if it's not clear that is my fault. There could be more than 1 FA on Castle, as example, both excellent quality and very different neither better than the other. It's not a "problem" but an observation of a limitation imposed by how Wikipedia works. -- GreenC 18:39, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Much of what you're saying seems like a natural consequence of our end goal: building an encyclopedia. There should be an end goal for most of the articles within that encyclopedia (though, if you think you can improve an article, don't let the star in the top right stop you). If you have reasonable belief that there is some aspect or another of castles that hasn't been captured already, you should consider writing a subsidiary article or improving one of those that exist (it looks to me that there perhaps should be a construction of castles article, for example). --Izno (talk) 19:51, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Yeah I think I addressed most of that in my initial post but 'building an encyclopedia' doesn't necessarily have to mean there is only one quality article for a given topic. -- GreenC 00:35, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I don't see why we would have multiple articles on a single topic unless there is some desire to be The One who made it. If there is an opportunity for improvement, those are welcome, because we all acknowledge that we miss things. I suppose it's possible that we have found some local-maximum goodness of the article with the current article structure and wording through the evolutionary algorithm that is the basis of constructing Wikipedia articles, but we're also not machines and can thus reasonably recognize when we haven't gotten everything that's needed to be said about a castle into the article about castles. My question is a bit utilitarian in response: why spend a lot of time describing it again? What value do you think will be added to Wikipedia if a different person tries to build another castle? And conversely: what value will be lost from Wikipedia? I can think of several items in the latter category. I can think of perhaps one in the former. --Izno (talk) 01:20, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
No loss to Wikipedia if someone(s) choose to build a good article on castles and do nothing else for Wikipedia if that is their interest. We're not here to tell people what they should or shouldn't do. Outside of Wikipedia there are 100s (1000s?) of encyclopedia articles on "castle" which are all somewhat different. They don't merely "describe" castles there is choice of emphasis, sources, prose etc.. read other encyclopedias they can be radically different. But Wikipedia doesn't recognize that there can be more than one approach to the same topic, or at least is not structured to allow for it (except by internal changes, but is unnecessarily destructive to an existing FA). The value add would be a great article on castles that wouldn't have emerged otherwise. It's not really an issue of OWN which incorrectly assumes it would be a single person writing the new article and not a group effort (and is somewhat bad faith misses the point). -- GreenC 07:10, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
The loss to Wikipedia is every other editor's time spent on this new article. To take this out of the theoretical: Wikipedia does not have a sufficient quantity of _X_ kind of person necessary to have multiple articles on the same exact topic. X can be "vandal fighters", it can be "quality reviewers", it can be "POV reviewers", and it's definitely also "content creators"--and I have little reason to believe that enabling second, third, or more articles on one topic would increase our supply. Never mind the concepts in WP:CFORK--that is, creation of multiple articles can (and usually will) result in redundant or conflicting articles. If I had two bits of a software program source that look the same, read the same, and do the same thing, would you leave them be or would you refactor them so that you only have to deal with one of them (see also database normalization)? There are usually a few hundred ways to skin a cat in most things in life, but that doesn't mean we skin a hundred cats (except sometimes machines do--but we are not machines, again). Just about everyone has something better to do. --Izno (talk) 13:49, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
everyone has something better to do - If that were true then there wouldn't be so many Wikipedia competitors. It's human nature, and a healthy development, to remake things. Will some of those things fail? Yes, but some will break new ground. Blocking that development stagnates the project, creates apathy and spawns competitors (though due to the network effect they will have a tough time). There are studies that show editors have left because they believe the important stuff is "done". If someone wants to rewrite castle from scratch, Wikipedia doesn't want them and they can go elsewhere. We've got a FA, thanks but no thanks. This is both bad for innovation and editor retention. -- GreenC 04:06, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Please don't cherrypick my words. The context of that phrase (which is my entire response) is "there are better things to do than making another high-quality article for everyone involved". I won't be answering here further because at this point, I think it should be clear the kind of reception you would get trying to push this idea further than the idea lab. --Izno (talk) 14:20, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Well I'm sorry you got upset, that wasn't my intention. If I had quoted it in full it wouldn't have changed the meaning of it, or my response to it. The fundamental idea that people have something better to do misses the point of what I've already repeated at least twice: there is room for more than one high quality encyclopedia article on a topic, evidently - there are 100s or 1000s of them for George Washington for example. However on Wikipedia there isn't room, and that is both a feature and a bug. -- GreenC 17:15, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • How about starting an experiment? It will probably be difficult to build a new castle from scratch, but it should be comparatively easier to translate one from a different language wikipedia. – Uanfala (talk) 22:26, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Actually, that sort of stuff already exists: see Quantum mechanics and Introduction to quantum mechanics. – Uanfala (talk) 22:27, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
    • @Uanfala: starting an experiment - you mean sack the castle and build a new one? It's already very good would be destructive... Not sure what the answer is as CFORK is an important concept, but possibly there could be room for multiple FAs on the same topic with a "primary topic" FA in the mainspace and the other's in other namespace. It would require develop in Draft first, reach a good/featured level before moving into the new namespace (call it "fork:" or something). Just brainstorming - an idea thought of right now and not a proposal. -- GreenC 00:35, 14 February 2018 (UTC)