Defending Wikipedia
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Defending Wikipedia

Nov 5, 2008Web 2.0 Summit

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Wikipedia seems to ranks first for many most generic search terms

228,247 page views in October

Wikipedia traffic stats are available at

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High visibility attracts troublemakers terms

  • Vandals

  • Soapboxers, Cranks, Divas

  • Conspiracy theorists

  • Trolls, Griefers, Insane people

  • Nationalistic edit warriors

  • Racists, Hate mongers

  • Death threats, Suicide threats

  • Stalkers, Predators

  • Parasitic marketers, Spammers

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Patrols terms

Patrols are used in Wikipedia to watch over a class of pages and take any appropriate actions. Most patrol actions are performed by individual Wikipedians, but some are performed by bots.

There is a great need for patrols in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is huge (2.6+ million articles). To help maintain reasonable quality a number of Wikipedia community members have set up long-standing patrols.

Patrols focus on various pages, noticeboards and feeds. Many of the well-known patrols have hundreds of users, and are directly responsible as a first line against vandalism, or other potential problems.

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ClueBot terms , a famous patroller

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Wikipedia Bots terms

  • Polite: play nicely with human editors.

  • Heuristics: scoring imitates human intellect.

  • Tedious work: scanning for open proxies, identifying copyright violations.

  • Free, open source: Anybody can view and use the code.

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Semi-automated terms Counter-vandalism tools

Automated scripts patrol for suspicious looking edits and bring them to the attention of a human operator. The human decides what needs to be done, and the script takes care of the details.

Rollback, Twinkle, Huggle, VandalSniper, Lupin’s Anti-Vandal Tool – all open source.

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Deletion Process terms

  • Removes cruft from the encyclopedia

  • Relies on group discussion

  • Helps editors who confuse Wikipedia with MySpace

Slide10 l.jpg'_noticeboard'_noticeboard

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The WikiMedia spam blacklist is public and free'_noticeboard

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Dispute resolution'_noticeboard

Fights lead to disruption. How we prevent fights:

  • Third opinion

  • Requests for comment

  • Mediation, for content issues

  • Arbitration, for behavioral issues

  • Appeal to Jimmy Wales (He usually just points to one of the above.)

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Arbitration is Wikipedia’s'_noticeboardSupreme Court

  • Request for arbitration

  • Evidence, Discussion, Decision

  • Arbitrators are the village elders

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Arbitrators help resist cabalism'_noticeboard

  • Arbitrators are elected by the community

  • As a group they can dismiss administrators who abuse power.

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Want to know more?'_noticeboard

On Wikipedia go to User talk:Jehochman and leave a message.

See also


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The Ten Commandments for Web 2.0'_noticeboard

  • There is one Internet. It is a shared resource.

  • You shall use neither bots nor macros to create links, nor to spread comments.

  • You shall not allow your advertising dollars to go to scrapers, scammers, nor spammers.

  • Honor your visitors. Do not sell impressions nor links to companies you do not vet.

  • Do not use of sock puppet accounts for vote stacking, spamming friend requests, nor other schemes.

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  • You shall not form cabals nor engage in elitist plots to disenfranchise people.

  • You shall not grieve other users by spoiling their fun, troll, nor post flame bait.

  • You shall not scrape content, plagiarize, nor assist in the theft of virtual assets.

  • You shall not distribute badware, scumware, spyware, nor malicious bots.

  • You shall not covet your neighbor’s traffic, nor engage in parasitic marketing.