So far in 2018, the wiki has been seeing an average of 144 edits per day (see spreadsheet); by comparison, the average number of edits per day in 2017 was 99. While the number of edits to the wiki continues to grow slowly over time, it's become harder and harder for more experienced editors like me to patrol the recent changes feed. Without an organized system in place to help users patrol recent changes, vandalism and poor quality edits are starting to slip through, with some vandalism sticking around for days before being discovered and reverted.
For those who are not aware, Special:RecentChanges is a page that shows all recent activity on the wiki, most notably the latest edits made to the wiki. Patrolling this page is the wiki's first line of defense against vandalism, spam, and other unwanted content such as poor quality edits that need fixing. Any user is free to help out with the patrolling; if you see an edit that is vandalism and/or spam, please revert it.
The content moderator position is something that I hope can be used to help seriously take the load off administrators and to help make patrolling the bulk of the wiki—its articles and content (not its users)—easier to manage. When patrolling recent changes, it's not uncommon for work to be duplicated, since there is no way of knowing if someone else had checked an edit and verified that it was okay and did not require modification or reversion. This can make patrolling recent changes tedious, even if a lot of people are doing it, since they'll inevitably wind up repeating work.
The Special:NewPages page, which shows all the latest article creations, has a patrolling system that's enabled by default. When an administrator or content moderator looks at that page, any pages that have not yet been marked as patrolled will be highlighted in green. Any administrator or content moderator can look at a page from that screen, and if they determine that it is not vandalism and can be kept on the wiki, there is an option at the bottom of the page to "Mark page as patrolled", which will remove the green highlight on Special:NewPages. This tells other people looking at that page that someone else has already verified that the page is okay, and so prevents the duplication of work.
When enabled, administrators and content moderators who look at Special:RecentChanges will see a red exclamation mark (!) next to any unpatrolled edit; viewing the diff for that edit will provide an option to "Mark as patrolled" which will remove that red exclamation mark. The idea is the same: when marked as patrolled, this tells other patrollers that the edit has been checked and prevents duplicate work, which will make patrolling easier. It also helps patrollers identify edits that have not yet been checked, which can make patrolling a large bulk of edits much easier.
I am highly supportive of enabling this feature; we have a lot of new edits coming in and limited resources to go and check all of them. This will make patrolling a lot easier and reduce the likelihood of unwanted or unacceptable edits slipping past.
For more information on this feature, see Help:Recent changes patrol.
Q. Who will be able to patrol edits?
A. By default, only administrators and content moderators will be able to do this. We should keep it at that for now, and possibly enable rollbacks or even autoconfirmed users to patrol in the future if the need arises.
Q. Can I still help patrol Special:RecentChanges if I'm not a content moderator or an administrator?
A. Yes! You can still check and revert problematic edits (and we highly encourage you do so) but you just cannot mark them as patrolled.
Q. Are patrols logged?
A. Yes. If you mark an edit as patrolled, a record of your action will show up in Special:Log/patrol.
Q. Do some users have their edits automatically marked as patrolled?
A. Yes. By default, bots, content moderators, administrators, VSTF, and Wikia/FANDOM Staff have their edits automatically marked as patrolled by the system. You can still check their edits, but a red exclamation mark will not appear beside their edit.
Q. What's the criteria that should be followed before an edit be marked as patrolled?
A. The aim of patrolling should be to ensure that the edit has no major problems requiring immediate attention. If the edit:
- contains blatantly obvious vandalism and/or spam;
- contains blatantly unacceptable copyright violations;
- contains libel, legal threats, personal attacks, or unsourced information about a living person;
- contains content that is clearly and verifiably incorrect; and
- contains content that exhibits inappropriate behavioral standards, like sockpuppetry
Then it should not be marked as patrolled. If the edit is of low quality, either fix the issue or add a tag and then patrol it.
Please discuss below if you're supportive or unsupportive of this feature (and provide reasons to support your stance) or ask any questions you may have about this proposal. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 18:17, March 19, 2018 (UTC)
I am very supportive of implementing this. I often patrol Recent Changes and it would be very useful to see which edits have or have not been reviewed by other admins or content mods. -- LostInRiverview talk · blog · contribs 03:46, March 20, 2018 (UTC)
- I'm supportive of this as well. It would make reviewing edits a lot faster for content mods and admins. Ѧüя◎ґ (talk) 04:33, March 20, 2018 (UTC)
I am also very supportive of this. It is a great feature that will help in a lot of situations where massive amounts of edits are done every day. This would also save a lot of time, as admins and content moderators can easily see what pages have been patrolled, instead of possibly having to check every single edit in RecentChanges. - SimDestroyer (talk) 14:31, March 20, 2018 (UTC)
- I don't think I've ever had any contact with this feature, but since I spend a lot of time patrolling recent changes etc. and since I excel a lot in maintenance, I would be strongly supportive of having recent changes patrol enabled, as I feel that it would make patrolling recent changes much easier, and hopefully not having to manually patrol recent changes so often. ― C.Syde (talk | contribs) 23:13, March 21, 2018 (UTC)
As I see a consensus here for the enabling of the extension, I have contacted Wikia/FANDOM staff with a request to have the extension enabled. I'll leave this thread open for further comment in case for some reason our request cannot be honored, and will close this thread once everything's been established. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 16:48, March 28, 2018 (UTC)