Topic on Talk:Page Curation

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Enable No Index in mainspace. Put Noindex in badfaith speedy templates and all articles until patrolled

WereSpielChequers (talkcontribs)

One of the problems of the current system is that {{Noindex}} doesn't work in mainspace - if it did we'd be putting it in the templates for G3, G10 and probably G11 and G12. But if it is now possible to get IT resource to improve NPP then maybe we can start thinking big.

If unpatrolled new articles all had noindex then we'd have some huge painless changes at NPP.

Noindex would mean that Google etc would ignore and not cache these articles or add them to search engine until they were patrolled.

Attack pages and vandalism which currently persist in Google caches would be gone as soon as we'd deleted them.

Spammers who rely on the Google caches and that sometimes their spam persists for weeks would find us a much less tempting target. Some of them might even go elsewhere or try to write in a somewhat less spammy style..

Immediatists who don't want us to accept poorly formatted unsourced new articles could console themselves that unpatrolled new articles were effectively drafts.

Goodfaith Article creators wouldn't get bitten because they wouldn't know their pages spent its first hours or days noindexed, just as today they don't know if their article has been marked as patrolled or not. So no newbies would be bitten by this change, but presumably all the people who wanted to not have a large subset of these articles created would see this as an improvement.

Σ (talkcontribs)


But what if vandals had bots that would noindex featured articles and such?

WereSpielChequers (talkcontribs)

Well one option would be to limit this to unpatrolled pages, that would be difficult for vandals to game as they don't have a "mark as unpatrolled" button. I'd like to also noindex anything that is tagged as G3 or G10, and that sometimes includes very old articles. But if there isn't an easy way to do this then I could leave with this just being unpatrolled articles. However if we could limit it to that then I think our FAs would be safe. If vandals start tagging Featured articles as G3 or G10 then the noindex aspect would be the least of our worries, if anything it would be a positive, as the brief moment when an FA was vandalised would not get Google cached..

Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)

"What if vandals had bots that did foo." is a standard question. The answer is we'd block and revert.

Steven (WMF) (talkcontribs)

As Σ points out, the potential for abuse of {{noindex}} in the mainspace seems really dangerous. Can you imagine what would happen if a particularly prolific or sneaky vandal managed to noindex any number of legitimate articles?

I think it's an important part of incubator-style spaces (such as what's proposed in Article creation workflow) that they be noindexed. But endangering our core mission by potentially preventing search engines from finding articles in the mainspace is a big risk to take.

Also, considering that many new articles (such as those about disasters or other breaking news) are extremely valuable, I can't imagine we'd want to have to wait for the backlog of patrolling to be done in order to make them visible to readers.

Kudpung (talkcontribs)

This is a case for adding a 'No index' feature to Twinkle that automatically noindexes any articles that are not good enough for publication but that might be eventually kept.

Before we get this far though, I think we need to consider a new page patroll process, similar to AfD or PROD, but not a proposal for deletion, that would noindex a page, send it to AfC, and leave a nice, friendly message on the creator's talk page. A not very often used solution, is to move pages to a creator's sub page. Very similar rally. I don't know if or where we have discussed such possibilities before.

These are also solutions that could be integrated in some way into the Creation workflow interface. BTW: is there actually any further development on that taking place? If ACTRIAL is never to be implemented, we need to be looking actively at these solutions, as well at further development of the Zoom tool.

Steven (WMF) (talkcontribs)

As far as, "noindex a page, send it to AfC, and leave a nice, friendly message on the creator's talk page" I heartily agree, though I would hope that rather than having to manually move to AfC and noindex, we could have tools to demote articles to the noindexed draft workspace Brandon described in Article creation workflow. A single click to "move to draft" rather than tag/delete would save a lot of newbie biting and still remove articles not yet up to snuff away from the mainspace and search engines.

Kudpung (talkcontribs)


Agzin, as I have said many times, the sucess of tis would depend very much on patroller education - they should not use this feature indiscriminately instead of A1, A3, or PROD, for example. es, that's exactly what I had in mind. It's not difficult to programme Twinkle to automate these steps:

  1. 'no-index' the page
  2. Move the page to AfC or pre-titled user sub page
  3. Semi-protect the page for page moving
  4. Leave a nice friendly message on the user talk page.

This would of course depend very much on patroller education; we would not want them userfying pages indiscriminately instead of A1, A3, PROD, etc.

Who is actually developing Zoom - is it Ian or Brandon?

Jorm (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Zoom is still in the design phase, so I am on point here.

I just want to point out that there are possible legal issues with automatically assigning NOINDEX to non-patrolled articles (which I would love to do). The issues stem with the idea of the Foundation expressing editorial judgement. We have a meeting with the legal team about this scheduled, but it won't be for a while yet (given that we have a week of "all hands" activity, followed by some vacations).

It is currently our plan to have our basic business requirements developed over the next two weeks, after which we begin a deep design phase. I can't speak to development resources (Ian is actually only working on this in his spare time - he isn't tasked with it) - so I don't have any schedules for that to give.

Kudpung (talkcontribs)

Two points: 'no-inxex' wouold only apply to pâges moved to AfC or a user sub page - which as far as I know, are not indexed anyway. The main problem s that all new pages are indexed by Google at the speed of light, long before patrollers get to them.

Jorm (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Yes. My ideal solution would be that an article is set to "NOINDEX" until it has been patrolled. However, as I said, there may be legal issues with this regarding the Foundation as an entity exercising editorial judgement. I don't think it's a problem, but I want to make sure we have coverage on it first.

And, to be honest, I'm willing to open a bug about this the instant we get the "okay". It seems like an obvious and simple thing we can do, and do quickly.

Kudpung (talkcontribs)

Sound good. Even though we only have up to about 7 patrollers working at the best of times, Most pages, excep tthose that are so difficult they end up on the backlog, get viewed by a patroller within a few seconds, so unless they are summarily deleted by an admin on patrol or tagged for CSD or PROD , they would be marked by the pagtroller as 'patrolled' and indexed. This wouldn't stop them being visible, but it would prevent the Search engines getting them and caching them.

I still think that a useful new feature to add to Twinkle (and Zoom) though, would be 'userfy' really bad pages that could be improved by the author in time, but would be unreasonable to leave live online as PROD or BLPPROD. I've provided the automated steps somewhere else on this page.

WereSpielChequers (talkcontribs)

Userfy is contentious, partly because we don't know whether it comes off as any less bitey than deletion. Very occasionally I userfy something that the editor probably did intend to put in their sandbox or userpage, but I wouldn't suggest it for potential articles.

I wouldn't worry to much that anyone is going to argue that the Foundation is exercising editorial control as to whose articles are noindexed or not. Appointing admins and autopatrollers and marking edits as patrolled are all volunteer actions, not Foundation ones. Also no indexing new articles is a bit like flagged revisions, except without the snarky bit about telling people their edits are not live until they've been checked. The new pages would still be live, they'd just take a little longer to come up in search engines.

Kudpung (talkcontribs)

- and I believe preventing some article from showing up in search engines is the main issue. I still think 'userfy' is less understood by the NPPers, and not used often enough. The question of biteyness is one that can beaddressed in the mesage that goes with it. Unfortunately, some of the people who write the text for user messages and warning templates may not have the right kind of experience in human communications.

Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)

That wouldn't be a problem since it is non-specific.

WereSpielChequers (talkcontribs)

I can't imagine that a breaking news story would be no-indexed for long if at all - remember all admins and Autopatrollers create articles that are already marked as patrolled, and most articles are tagged for deletion or marked as patrolled in their first few minutes. If we get the change that would display the "mark as patrolled" button to any experienced user then there is no risk of a significant newsevent being noindexed for even as long as ten minutes.

As for the risk of abuse in Mainspace, that would depend on how it was done. The most secure way would be to make this a feature of being patrolled. Since editors can't unpatrol an article they wouldn't be able to noindex one. I'd prefer that it also picked up on the G10 and G3 template and I suspect it would be possible to do this in a way that limited Noindex to those templates. But I wouldn't get too concerned at the risk of vandalism using the noindex tag, what motive would vandals have to hide their vandalism from people outside Wikipedia? Putting a penis photo in an article and simultaneously adding noindex would just mean the mirrors were less likely to repeat the vandalism.

WereSpielChequers (talkcontribs)

No index is only dangerous in mainspace if you allow it to be applied indiscriminately. Currently even admins can't mark a patrolled article as unpatrolled, so making unpatrolled articles no index should be pretty safe. I can see that tagging G3 and G10 articles as no-index would be a little tricky to do without somehow enabling people to noindex an article without tagging it for deletion, I'm hoping the devs will say its possible; If not we'd have to just limit the idea to unpatrolled articles.