Wikipedia talk:Revert only when necessary

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Sanctions against systematic unnecessary reverts?[edit]

So what sanctions can be brought against editors who are doing harm through lots of unnecessary reverts? Fgnievinski (talk) 01:51, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

  • The same as what can be brought at editors doing a lot of unnecessary edits (the operational term here being "unnecessary", of course): you can report them at ANI and, if justified and the editor doesn't modify there behavior, they can be blocked for disruptive editing. --Randykitty (talk) 19:36, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Super Ironic Revert on This Project Page[edit]

This is just way too funny! On a essay discouraging reversions an instant complete revert was made to this new section I composed encouraging editors to avoid the "fast and dirty" revert just because it is easier than trying to contribute content. The revert was by an editor who has never edited on this project page before, within a few hours of my posting it.[1] Anyone interested in trying to apply WP:PRESERVE principles to my edit, as opposed to blanket reversion?--GodBlessYou2 (talk) 18:23, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps after you have a robust understanding of WP:AGF, which is policy and not an essay, then you will understand why your addition here is inappropriate.--Adam in MO Talk 18:30, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
I read WP:AGF as also discouraging reverts and encouraging WP:PRESERVE. Accusing me of lacking a "robust understanding" of policy and of making an "inappropriate" contribution to this essay does not reflect goodfaith toward me or my edits. Yours and Dominus' efforts to discourage and revert my edits are not well grounded.[2]--GodBlessYou2 (talk) 18:46, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
As I understand it, WP:PRESERVE in particular focuses on the article namespace. However, I agree that due to the relations with AGF, the general principle applies more broadly. Also, there is a higher standard for essays in project (Wikipedia) namespace compared to user namespace, so I am neutral on the inclusion of the content in question. It may help to draft "Reverting is lazy" as a separate essay in your userspace.
As for the shortcut WP:BAD-REVERT, the hyphen looks a little strange/nonstandard, but I have no strong objections to the existence of a shortcut. --SoledadKabocha (talk) 19:18, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
If an editor continually inserts unsourced or poorly sourced material and then complains when it's reverted, s/he is the one being lazy and inconsiderate. By editing here, we all accept the responsibility of complying with this site's content policies. Shirking those responsibilities (by writing poorly sourced, tendentious, or unencyclopedic material) creates more work for everyone else. If an editor is perceived as acting in good faith to improve the encyclopedia, then other editors should step in to help preserve and improve his or her contributions rather than revert them reflexively. But if an editor is perceived as editing tendentiously, or ignoring this site's content policies after having been made aware of them, or consistently refusing to listen to any and all feedback, then others will be less likely to extend that courtesy. These sorts of edits are necessarily, and appropriately, reverted, and it's inappropriate to blame everyone else when this happens. MastCell Talk 19:24, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't see the connection between WP:AGF and the idea that reverting is lazy.
The edit summary for the edit to remove the "reverting is lazy" section doesn't mention good faith; it just says it's a rant not based on Wikipedia policy. I don't see that as a reason to remove the section either.
Also, I read the "reverting is lazy" section in the context of the point of this essay, which is not that every reversion is wrong, but that many of them are. So when I read it, I did not think it was saying that every reversion is lazy. I think it's clear that the section refers to the kind of revert that was done against the section, not the kind referred to by MastCell above.
Finally, I'd like to add that I agree with the sentiment in the section, and it is a reason I have often identified myself that reverting is to be avoided. A revert done with the "undo" button is particularly lazy, and if I had my way, people would be forbidden to use that button except against bad faith edits. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 21:36, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
GBY2 is angry that many of his additions have, rightfully, been reverted in a particular topic area over the last couple weeks hence the implication of his rant is clear and the factors surrounding the issue do indeed make it a rant. Capeo (talk) 21:55, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
No matter what the OP's alleged motivation is, this essay probably ought to mention WP:PRESERVE fairly prominently. If you don't like the way that this editor did it, then perhaps you should make a bold effort to add it yourself. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:24, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
The editor's motivation is interesting, but doesn't have any bearing on whether the section should be in the essay. And if a reader has to know the factors surrounding the issue to recognize it as an inappropriate rant, then it isn't one. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 01:10, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't angry. I'm still not. I came across this essay researching revert advice and thought I would add insights from my own reflections. I do wonder about the God-like power which allows some editors to be able to read my mind and report on my emotions and motivations. I hope they will find better uses for their time.–GodBlessYou2 (talk) 05:14, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

If the main objection is that the word "lazy" is seen as too harsh by some people, I'd suggest changing the subsection title to something else, maybe something like "Think twice before reverting." Similar massaging could be done to help keep editors who delete a lot from feeling accused of laziness.-GodBlessYou2 (talk) 05:29, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

And now we have you forcing your piece into the essay, as seen here. You stated in that edit summary, "This is being discussed on talk and has been edited by a couple editors. PRESERVE and GoodFaith are both part of policy." What you stated in that edit summary is not a valid reason to re-add that addition in the least. You are the one proposing that we accept your version, and a few editors disagree with it. This means that, if going by WP:BRD and/or WP:STATUSQUO, you should have left your version out. It is up to you to convince us to accept your version; it is not up to us to convince you why we don't want it (though we should state why we don't want it). We don't need your "reverting is lazy" addition to mention the WP:Preserve policy. And reverting is not automatically a violation of WP:Assume good faith. Flyer22 (talk) 05:33, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
I accidentally deleted your "05:29, 15 January 2015 (UTC)" post; it was sort of a WP:Edit conflict where I wasn't automatically notified that it was. But, as you can see, I restored your post. And, yes, I saw this change you made to your version. Flyer22 (talk) 06:14, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
So how is status quo determined in the event two other editors have edited a contribution?how long after an edit has been made, as with my original edit. Fgnievinski[3]Giraffedata,[4],Vsmith[5]. Should you not have limited your revet to Vsmith's version to discuss at that stage? Deleting the content of three editors collaborating on refining a contribution via wp:preserve would seem to demand a lot of explanation as to why the reverted edit must actually make the article worse. You seem to be arguing that even if a number of editors are supporting the edit and working at refining it, a single editor can argue status quo and block the edit until he or she finally agrees that enough editors disagree with him or her that he or she will finally back down.
Regarding your original complaint in your first revert, staring "essays are not policies," isn't it true that this essay is precisely about advice regarding good practice in using policies? Moreover, how is the introductory section "reverting drives away editors" appropriate but the section proposed by me and edited by others not appropriate. Both try to describe, as nicely reorganized by Giraffedata as "Reasons to Avoid Reverting"[6]GodBlessYou2 (talk) 21:34, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Naw ... the change you have been edit warring to get into the essay has the appearance of trying to change the playing field to make it easier to push an unpopular (wikiwise) pov into various actual articles --- has been soundly rejected. And I don't mind that my edit was reverted - it's just an essay and not wiki-policy. Sorry 'bout that. Vsmith (talk) 04:06, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
GodBlessYou2, I'm not sure how to reply to your response to me above, and I don't feel like responding to all of that. I will simply state that I stand by what I commented on above, and that WP:Preserve is about article content (not essay content) and that I don't mind WP:Preserve being mentioned in the essay at hand. As you know, WegianWarrior was the latest person to revert your content. Perhaps WegianWarrior will weigh in on this matter to let us know why that's the case. Flyer22 (talk) 05:35, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
"So how is status quo determined"?
I believe you will find that this is one of the many Wikipedia:Irregular verbs on Wikipedia. Perhaps someone here would like to try writing that entry. Face-wink.svg WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:48, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Short version? In addition to what Flyer22 stated in his edit summary ("Either way, this addition should be discussed on the talk page"), the fact that GNU2 seemed to change this essay and then use the changed version as support for his view in a discussion on a different talk page. To top it off, the old version reads better and is more in line with policies and guidelines in my opinion. WegianWarrior (talk) 06:50, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
WegianWarrior, I'm female, but thanks for commenting. Flyer22 (talk) 06:56, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
That an essay was changed in order to use the changed version as support for someone's view in a discussion on a different talk page is not a legitimate reason for a reversion. A reversion should be intended to improve the page, not to affect some use of the page or punish the prior editor or make a statement about the proper use of a Wikipedia edit. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 00:25, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Reasons to avoid Reverting[edit]

WegianWarrior has opposed the additional material that I have proposed that has been suggested or altered by myself, and Fgnievinski[7]Giraffedata,[8],Vsmith[9][10].

To address concerns that the term "lazy" was applied to reverting without an effort to follow WP:PRESERVE, I changed the title and langauge of the new proposed subsection as follows:


Reverting is less productive then PRESERVING
Fixing a contribution using the steps described in editing policy takes some time and effort. As a result, some editors are tempted to skip past the steps recommended to preserve the contributions of others and move immediately toward a revert. It is easy to claim justification for nearly any revert, for example, with just a quick claim that the ONUS is on the contributing editor to convince the reverting editor why he or she should not be an obstacle to the edit. Although that may not appear to be a collaborative attitude, see the bold edit–revert–discuss cycle for article improvement.
Demolition is easier, and faster, than construction. But our goal here is to collaboratively grow articles. And collaboration requires both (a) encouraging other editors to contribute and (b)actively looking for ways to incorporate every bit of potentially useful information others may contribute, even if their first drafts are way off base.
So, easier to tear down than to build up, taking the time to practice Preserve techniques both encourages other editors by showing WP:Goodfaith in their contributions and a desire to help work them into the article and also helps to save time in the long run by reducing conflicts.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome. I think it is important to encourage editors to make an effort to preserve as much material as possible instead of rushing to an immediate revert.

Looking at the lead of WP:BRD, I also think that the use of the word "immediately" in the recommendation "Revert an edit if it is not an improvement, and it cannot be immediately fixed by refinement," contradicts the very next sentence. "Consider reverting only when necessary." And the authorization to revert content just because you don't have time to research or rewrite the contribution "immediately" can be turned into a license that allows reverting even when it is not necessary. Surely, most problems should be tagged immediately to invite other editors to fix it, but the suggestion to revert just because the reader/editor does not have the time, knowledge, or ability to "immediately fix" the issue is subject to abuse and certainly shows lack of sufficient respect for the goodfaith of both the original contributing editor and other editors who are in a position to fix the tagged concern.

In short, outside of vandalism, I think that before a revert, editors should make efforts to WP:PRESERVE and if they don't have the time to preserve content, they should tag the contribution so other editors can get into the discussion, saving revert for a step that generally follows tagging and a bit of time for others to address the concern. This essay seems to be a good place to describe such alternatives.--GodBlessYou2 (talk) 21:11, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

More policy that should be cited:Achieving neutrality: "As a general rule, do not remove sourced information from the encyclopedia solely on the grounds that it seems biased. Instead, try to rewrite the passage or section to achieve a more neutral tone. Biased information can usually be balanced with material cited to other sources to produce a more neutral perspective, so such problems should be fixed when possible through the normal editing process. Remove material only where you have a good reason to believe it misinforms or misleads readers in ways that cannot be addressed by rewriting the passage." In other words, any NPOV problems with the proposed new section should be addressed by rewriting it per WP:FIXTHEPROBLEM. GodBlessYou2 (talk) 18:38, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I reverted your change because it misrepresents the editing policy. Edits against policy can and should be removed. Edits that introduce undue weight should be removed. --Adam in MO Talk 03:51, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't find any misrepresentation of the editing policy. I think if one is going to bother to explain an edit on the talk page (as Adam in MO does here, and is the right thing to do in this case because there's an actual dispute going on), one should actually give enough detail so it can be discussed. What is the misrepresentation? I also don't understand the undue weight statement.
As I've said before, I wholeheartedly support the concept of reverting only when necessary. I think GodBlessYou2's latest attempt at describing one reason for that practice is significantly better than the first and an improvement to the essay. I vehemently disagree with the opposing view in the other essay, "Revert an edit if it is not an improvement, ..." because I think an edit should have to harm the article to be reverted. Demanding the older one of two equally good versions of the article stinks of narrowmindedness and article ownership and is not a custom that encourages people to edit. Like GodBlessYou2, I also take issue with "cannot be immediately fixed" because it puts lovers of the status quo even more at an advantage. I would probably agree with "harms the article and cannot be easily fixed" Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 07:05, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
In terms of quality, there are no "neutral" edits. All edits either improve the article or degrade it. Edits that introduce undue weight should be reverted until consensus is built. And of course contentious, unsourced BLP edits should be reverted until they can be sourced properly. I agree that some edits can be fixed and should be fixed by the editors that see them, but using preserve as rational to introduce undue bias into an article, then placing the onus on others to prove your wrong is a bad strategy for an accurate encyclopedia.--Adam in MO Talk 18:37, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I think you'll find many editors who believe two versions of an article can be equally good. And when an editor sees an edit that changes an article between two such versions, the editor must decide whether or not to revert, and I've seen it go both ways. I have on many occasions made an edit that someone said was unnecessary as the article was as good before as after. In some of those cases, the editor claiming that elected to revert, and in others, not to revert. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:24, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
The goal of an encyclopedia is to encompass a summaries of all human knowledge. Therefore, while articles must be manageable in size, there should be a natural bias toward including new material. As a general rule, I think any edit that adds (a) a new reliable source or (a) relevant material not yet covered in the article that is reliably sourced to an existing or new source is a movement toward improving the article. The edit may need to be condensed, moved, or otherwise altered to make it an optimum improvement, but the bias should be toward expanding articles and giving those using wikipedia to start their research more material to work with. (Imagine a high school student, starting her research who knows she can't use Wikipedia as a source but also knows that it is a great place for finding a list of sources relevant to the topic.)
Given that perspective, I agree with Bryan that reverting should not be done unless the article is made worse. If the contribution brings something new to the article it is in the direction of doing good and efforts should be made to refine the contribution until it is clearly a definite improvement.--GodBlessYou2 (talk) 21:14, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree. But part of making sure that the edit introduces "relevant material" is making sure that the information reflects a the weight and balance given in the sources. One must represent the consensus in a topic area not just inject new information. We must address the preponderance of the sources.--Adam in MO Talk 02:51, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Then shouldn't this essay include information about PRESERVE and keeping sources along the lines I have tried to introduce? Why do you revert my edits instead of trying to improve them.–GodBlessYou2 (talk) 15:49, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Because the thrust of you edits seem to ignore weight concerns.--Adam in MO Talk 16:36, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Clearly I disagree. I'm not advocating to ignore weight concerns. But even if you think my edit here does not adequately address weight concerns, why not edit the contribution in a way that addresses weight concerns in your own words? In short, can you find some way to edit the article that clarifies the issues you are concerned about without deleting the content that I am concerned about? --GodBlessYou2 (talk) 22:13, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I have added wp:preserve to the see also list. I think that information is best put there. Everything else of substance in your edit was already covered. I hope this brings this to a close. Cheers.--Adam in MO Talk 05:17, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Needs better wikification, and generalization[edit]

Virtually nothing in this is linked, not to policies, guidelines, or other essays.

I have yet to see a single thing in this page that only pertains to "articles", so that would should be replaced with "pages". The essay fails in its purpose if any system WP:GAMEr feels entitled to ignore every word of it because they're editing a template or a guideline or a portal or ....

After some improvement, it may be worth trying to merge other reversion-related essays into this one, though doing so now would be premature because the above problems make this page look like a draft instead of a stable essay that's been around 3 years already.

 — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:36, 15 June 2015 (UTC)