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Are humans better at being nice?

9
CKoerner (WMF) (talkcontribs)

"the increasing use of automated and semi-automated edit-review tools has brought about an increase in rejection"

Do we know how the language used within these tools impacts the response from new editors? An automated tool written with language that is friendly and welcoming compared to something that sounds cold or (too) severe might actually impact the response from editors. One potential approach is a non-technical one. Re-write the dialog/interface/messaging of a tool and see if there is any impact to retention of editors who encountered that tool.

JMatazzoni (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@CKoerner (WMF), it's a good point, and one that has been mentioned by a number of the users we've interviewed so far. What I get stuck on when I think about that issue, though, is that if I understand correctly how a lot of this works, the messages posted by programs like Twinkle or Huggle were actually written by the community. On en. wiki, they're codified on the Wiki Project User Warnings, and simply sucked in by the programs.

So if the community wrote those messages, what would the process be for re-evaluating them?

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

If we have data about how new users feel when they read these messages and how unclear they can be, that can convince people from wikis to rewrite these messages. On wikis where the community is active on outreaching (like Catalan, French and Polish Wikipedias), based on feedback received from IRL workshops, messages have been rewritten to be more warm and with clearer instructions.

CKoerner (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Trizek (WMF) beat me to it. In past lives the organization I worked for would seek out folks with skills in writing to help update the messages. We'd also do some sort of testing (A/B testing, surveys, in-person workshops) with actual people to get feedback on how they perceive the messaging.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

IIRC the study, there is two things which impact new users:

  • automated messages (the content of the message)
  • number of messages (delivered like if whey were delivered by a machine gun)

Rewrite that kind of messages is a way we may explore, or, at least, give recommandations to people. As a volunteer, that's something I care about - a lot.

Kudpung (talkcontribs)

There have been several initiatives by the volunteer community in recent years to recast the template messages in order to make them less seemingly offensive. I was part of tat work group. This was the result of extensive study. I suggest that any discussion on the wording of template messages should involve the volunteer community who have the best hands-on and empirical experience.

CKoerner (WMF) (talkcontribs)

If you have any links to share it would be greatly appreciated!

Kudpung (talkcontribs)

Sadly I wouldn't know where to start looking. I know that @DGG was in the same work group. Maybe he can remember. The main point of my mentioning this of course, is that the experienced members of the volunteer community know what works best. As an admin and as a patroller who patrolls the work of our patrollers I regularly see how our best templates are abused by being used on the wrong editors for the wrong reasons, it's something I care about very much. Hence the problem on en.Wiki is not the templates - it's the fact that there is currently no control over who can use them.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I have that, from the French Wikipedia Projet Aide et accueil.

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