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A while ago we had consensus to enable the recent changes patrol extension. Since then, all edits to the wiki made by users who are not content moderators or administrators have had to be manually marked as patrolled by content moderators and administrators.

While the process of obtaining content moderators and administrators is rightfully not easy to go through (since they have access to deleted content and other tools that can harm the wiki if misused), it is a very high threshold to meet just to have one's edits automatically marked as patrolled. As The Sims Wiki:Recent changes patrol writes:

Patrolling is not a way of adding scrutiny to an edit you merely dislike or disagree with. Its main purpose is to filter out edits that have major problems requiring immediate attention. Edits should not contain:

  1. blatantly obvious vandalism and/or spam;
  2. blatantly unacceptable copyright violations;
  3. libel, legal threats, personal attacks, or unsourced information about a living person;
  4. content that is clearly and verifiably incorrect; and
  5. content that exhibits inappropriate behavioral standards, like sockpuppetry

Edits that are found to contain any of these five things should either be fixed or reverted before being marked as patrolled. If the edit is of low quality, either fix the issue or add a tag and then patrol it.

Since 98% of the edits that come into the wiki are not vandalism and do not require further action beyond this, I think our wiki could use a new user group, similar to Wikipedia's existing Autopatrolled user right, that would basically cause the software to automatically mark the edits of anyone with that user right as patrolled, similarly to how content moderators and administrators have their edits marked as patrolled automatically. This new user group would have no additional permissions and could be given to prolific editors that 1) have a good track record; 2) have not made problematic edits recently that required reversion or further editing; and 3) are not yet at the level of trust and experience we expect of content moderators and administrators. Assigning users this user group will help reduce the burden of recent changes patrollers by saving them the hassle of having to patrol edits coming from trusted users that are obviously not problematic, and allows them to focus on edits that actually need manual patrolling.

"Autopatrolled" is not one of the default user groups that Wikia/FANDOM provides, and by default, only content moderators, bots, and administrators have the autopatrol permission, which causes the software to automatically mark their edits as patrolled. We will need to send a request to Wikia/FANDOM Staff asking them to add this functionality for us. We have three options here:

  1. We ask them to create a new user group on our wiki with only the autopatrol functionality, and allow local administrators and bureaucrats on the wiki to grant this user right to users.
  2. We ask them to add the autopatrol permission to the existing rollback user group, allowing rollbacks to automatically have their edits marked as patrolled. Rollbacks can already be granted and revoked by local bureaucrats.
  3. We ask them to do all of the above, so we have both a new user group that allows their edits to be automatically marked as patrolled and have edits made by rollbacks automatically marked as patrolled.

Please discuss whether or not you are in support or opposition to this proposal, along with an explanation of why. Feel free to also suggest changes to this proposal. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 20:36, July 21, 2018 (UTC)

DiscussionEdit

Preferably, Option 3 seems to be the best of both worlds. This option would cut down on a lot of edits that content mods and administrators would have to patrol, as a large bulk of edits are done by a small group of users who edit the wiki regularly. Ѧüя◎ґ (talk) 01:48, July 22, 2018 (UTC)

I agree with expanding access to the "autopatrolled" flag, and I also agree that option 3 seems like the best approach. As for how to handle giving out the flag to non-rollbackers... did you have any criteria in mind as far as how an editor would qualify for that flag; whether it'd be awarded by admins/bureaucrats upon request or if admins/'crats could decide whether to award it even if the person doesn't apply for it? And if it is something requested by the user, what would the minimum criteria be for getting the flag? What would the approval process be for the flag? I would say that the minimum requirements should be kept relatively low, and the approval process should be very straightforward; I don't think this is the kind of user rights flag that requires heavy community input when awarding it, so I think that the bureaucrats would be able to decide whether to award it upon request. -- LostInRiverview talk · blog · contribs 22:35, July 22, 2018 (UTC)
I also agree that option 3 is the best choice. It makes sense to have the edits of rollback editors to be autopatrolled, as they had already been given the trust of the rollback tool. Also, creating a brand new group of users that only do autopatrolled edits is a nice idea. I find the biggest source of unpatrolled edits to be the ones that only add interwikis. We could then give those editors who seem to only do interwiki edits the autopatrolled user group, as I'm pretty sure all of us can deem those edits to be completely harmless. - SimDestroyer (talk) 13:18, July 30, 2018 (UTC)
I agree that Option 3 seems to be the best choice for the reasons the others above me have given. I also think that users with rollback rights should have the ability to auto-patrol edits, but I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to them not having it. ― C.Syde (talk | contribs) 10:30, July 31, 2018 (UTC)

I'd like to propose specific standards for users requesting the autopatrolled flag. Feel free to suggest modifications to what I'm proposing.

Applicants for autopatrolled should have:

  • At least 200 edits on the wiki, in any namespaces
  • At least one month of editing history on the wiki as a registered contributor
  • No recent history of vandalism or any other "bad faith" behavior, and no active editing restrictions

I'd suggest that the request for this right simply be submitted to TSW:AN, and dispensed with by whatever bureaucrat sees it first. If there is a serious need to contemplate whether or not an applicant should receive the flag, then the user probably already has some editing history to clearly indicate that they shouldn't.

Thoughts? -- LostInRiverview talk · blog · contribs 18:39, August 11, 2018 (UTC)

Your proposed standards are reasonable. After all, the recent changes patrol system is mostly there to prevent vandalism and very poor quality edits from slipping through. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 22:50, August 11, 2018 (UTC)
I'd also like to add on that, if an administrator feels that a user is suitable for the right, they should be able to grant it right away without a community discussion or a formal/informal thread at the administrators' noticeboard. Since I'm guessing that most of the people we want to have autopatrolled probably won't know about (or won't feel like requesting) the user right, this will make it much easier to get people autopatrolled and save recent changes patrollers hours of time, rather than having no one get the user right and essentially defeating the purpose of having it. Since autopatrolled should have a fairly low barrier of entry, and since this right doesn't grant any other permission (edits they make can still be manually reviewed) I think an administrator's judgement is sufficient here. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 12:56, October 11, 2018 (UTC)

Giving rollbackers the ability to patrol editsEdit

I'm going to branch this off into a separate section since it seems to deviate from what K6ka is proposing in the main thread. Specifically, this is based off C.Syde65's comment; "I also think that users with rollback rights should have the ability to auto-patrol edits." If I'm reading what he's written correctly, C.Syde is suggesting that, not only should rollbacker's edits be automatically marked as patrolled, but rollbackers should be able to mark other people's edits as patrolled as well. I feel this is an intriguing idea that we should dive into further.

Personally, I'd actually support such a proposal. Marking an edit as patrolled is a minor act, and I don't think we need to limit that ability only to editors who are Content Mods or higher. Rollbackers, by virtue of having received Rollback in the first place, have demonstrated anti-vandalism prowess and are already long-standing and trusted members of the wiki. Giving them the ability to monitor edits and mark them as good edits, or else revert/modify those edits and/or notify a Content Mod or Admin to assist, just seems like a natural extension of the tool and the tasks that they're already given. -- LostInRiverview talk · blog · contribs 18:39, August 11, 2018 (UTC)

Since the recent changes patrol extension is mostly there to catch blatantly inappropriate edits (such as vandalism), and since rollbackers are expected to know how to distinguish between a good edit, a borderline edit that requires revision, or an inappropriate edit that requires reversion, then they should be qualified to be able to mark edits as patrolled (note that the use of rollback automatically marks the reverted edits as patrolled; currently, the rollbacker's rollback is not marked as patrolled and must still be patrolled by an admin or content mod, but the edits they revert are marked as patrolled). I don't think we've had too many cases of rollback being abused, and I'm sure such issues can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, but since 99% of rollbacks are used correctly, I think our current vetting process has done a reasonably good job of filtering out the bad walnuts. I think patrolling could even be held to a lower standard than rollback, since it doesn't produce a very visible effect to readers and editors alike, and only really affects content moderators and administrators (although I would probably caution against relying too much on this system). Edits still exist in the database even after being patrolled and can still be reverted if needed. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 22:50, August 11, 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether users with rollback rights would need to be able to mark other user's edits as patrolled, but it is something that I wouldn't be opposed to. As for being able to have their own edits automatically marked as patrolled, I would definitely be supportive of that. ― C.Syde (talk | contribs) 05:03, August 13, 2018 (UTC)

Contacting StaffEdit

Following consensus for this change I've sent in a support ticket to Staff asking them to make this change. This thread remains open for further discussion if anyone has input on determining the minimum requirements for the application process, and perhaps the application process itself. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 22:18, October 6, 2018 (UTC)

Okay, so Staff has responded. They've gone ahead with the changes to the rollback user group. This means that rollbacks now have their edits automatically marked as patrolled, and can mark other people's edits as patrolled. However, they've also mentioned that they would prefer not creating new user groups in order to avoid complexity with support and development processes. They've asked us if the updated rollback user group can cover our needs.

Presently I would say no, since the purpose of the "autopatrolled" user group was to have a low barrier of entry whose primary purpose is to take the burden off recent changes patrollers. The only requirement is that the user not be an obvious vandal and have made enough edits to the wiki to make us feel comfortable in not having to patrol their edits. This isn't an infallible system, but the primary reason we requested the recent changes patrol extension to be enabled was to address issues with vandalism slipping past patrollers on a busy day and lingering on our pages for months. The point of "autopatrolled" is to save patrollers time by allowing them to not have to worry about edits that are not vandalism and allowing them to focus on more malicious or lower-quality edits.

Rollback, on the other hand, has a higher point of entry, as users are being given access to a tool that can undo multiple edits in one click. Misuse of rollback is a concern as it can certainly bite newcomers or leave a bad impression on others. The Sims Wiki:Requests for rollback writes: Users applying for or being nominated for rollback rights should be active or semi-active members of the wiki. Rollback candidates should have a strong history of positive contributions to the wiki, with an emphasis on the quality of those edits over the quantity of edits made. In other words, rollback isn't given simply for making appropriate contributions to the wiki; it is given to users who have demonstrated a level of maturity and experience and make good quality edits.

TL;DR: Autopatrolled can be given to nearly any positively contributing editor; it's not used as a means of avoiding scrutiny for creating bad pages in good faith, but rather takes the load off recent changes patrollers so they don't have to go through a massive backlog of non-vandalism fanon edits in order to find the one edit that's vandalism. Rollback, on the other hand, is not given to everyone for good reasons. Also, if rollbacks are to now be able to mark other people's edits as patrolled, that should make it slightly harder to get rollback, since they now have an extra tool that can be used inappropriately. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 19:03, October 8, 2018 (UTC)

ConclusionEdit

The new user group has been in place since October 12, and I've written a Project page for it here. As everything seems to have been agreed upon by consensus, I am closing this thread. Any new proposals or suggestions should go in a new thread. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 16:33, October 18, 2018 (UTC)

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