June - July 2012 GAN backlog elimination drive chart
Backlog elimination drives have been a part of the Wikipedia community as a whole since several years ago. Many WikiProjects use this method to bring their members on a collaborative effort to reduce the workload and, additionally, to share a very interesting and passionate time with fellow Wikipedians. The Guild of Copyeditors hold drives to reduce their backlog each two months, and other WikiProjects like the Articles for Creation WikiProject, have used this method to reduce a high accumulation of work. Apart from having several social and tactical benefits, drives inside the Good article process have been the subject of hard criticism: Several users have expressed their dissatisfaction with the quality of reviews and the useless backlog reduction, which immediately climbs to its original levels after the drive is finished.
The issue is that consensus apparently still supports the existence of the backlog elimination drives at GAN and recently, most of the GA community voted to keep making drives, although a proper consensus was not reached from such discussion. In addition, several proposals for alternate methods and proposals for modifying the way drives are done had been received with overwhelming negative reaction. In September 2012, Malleus Fatuorum proposed an amendment to the good article criteria that would eventually fix the need of drives by including two new quickfail criterias about prose quality and coverage issues. Community rejected the proposal arguing that it was way too narrowly designed to be included as quickfail criteria. One month prior, I proposed several changes for the drives structure that were considered too bureaucratic and with too many restrictions to have a positive impact. Despite of this, several recommendations were made and accepted by community, like the elimination of the barnstars, among others.
In a summary of recent events, the June-July 2012 GAN backlog elimination drive brought several queries to the GA community as a whole: Do we need backlog elimination drives? Can we fix the issues that had split community over the drive usage in the past? How do we deal with "rubber-stamp" reviews? Well, by the fact that it has been quite difficult to reach consensus to date, a request for comment will be held this November to see how community answers those questions. First, the RFC will determine the future of the drives: Is community still interested in having backlog elimination drives inside the Good article Wikiproject? And if the answer is yes, How would we tweak the current backlog elimination drive system to make it compliant of what it is supposed to do and avoid all the issues that had split community before. Several proposals included in the RFC are the introduction of a qualifying process, The inclusion of daily review limits, an established disqualifying process and an additional proposal related to how often should drives be held. Of course, additional proposals might be added from fellow Wikipedians who would participate in the process.