Topic on Talk:Growth/Personalized first day/Structured tasks

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MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

What are your main concerns about this idea? We could imagine that ideas like these could lead to vandalism or a high volume of bad edits. We want to think these challenges through.

Nick Moyes (talkcontribs)

I'd like to ask whether edits made via Structured tasks will be automatically tagged,or indicated in some way, in Edit Summaries? The suggestion has been made that this could offer an easy way to do some subtle vandalism by, for example, wrongly wikilinking to another page. It struck me that it could be helpful to see by what route a new editor has made certain edits. I've not seen any mention of this in the discussions, thus far. Maybe ORES could even have some role to play in determining whether an editor is able to continue being offered some or all of these structured tasks if they appear to be misusing them?

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Good question, @Nick Moyes. Yes, we are able to tag edits that come through this feature using "edit tags". For instance, here's the RecentChanges feed on French Wikipedia filtered to just edits coming through the feature (deployed to French Wikipedia three days ago). That would certainly allow people to keep an eye on how the edits are going, and to specifically patrol the ones coming from this feature if they like.

I think you're bringing up a good point about how to prevent the features from being abused. The way it's handled in the Android app's suggested edits feature is that after a certain number of reverts, the user is prevented from making more edits out of the feed. But it would be even better if, as you say, something like ORES could warn a newcomer before they save an edit that they are probably doing something wrong. That's a cool idea that we should keep in mind.

Nick Moyes (talkcontribs)

Thanks. Being able to see and filter on that tag (Tâche de nouvel arrivant) should be very useful.

Sdkb (talkcontribs)

My main hesitations are with the fact that this is such a separate system, it may be hard to get people to transition to the normal editing environment after they gain some experience, and may be hard to keep the system up to date as things change around Wikipedia (for instance, will the community have the ability to add a new structured task or remove one in the future?).

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Sdkb -- this is the definitely the concern we've heard most often: that we want to build an introductory editing experience for newcomers that also makes sure to show them an open door to using the more powerful wikitext and visual editors. The way we're thinking about it is that everyone has a "best Wikipedian they can be", and we want them to find their way to it. For some people, maybe doing very simple and repetitive tasks is the best fit for them, whereas others can graduate to more advanced content additions.

About keeping the system up-to-date: we have been building our suggested edits features so that they are relatively easy to add or subtract. For instance, with the version of suggested edits that we're working with now, which is driven by maintenance templates, adding a new task type means adding a set of links and translations to a configuration file, as opposed to a real code change that only engineers can do. We haven't yet made it easy for community members to do that adding/subtracting all on their own, but we want to move in that direction. This is the Phabricator task about that.

Galendalia (talkcontribs)

See my comment above on vandalism please

Galendalia (talkcontribs)

I am curious as to if there would be a user group that would be restricted and able to maintain this or would anyone be able to join or will only WMF be responsible for the aspect of on-boarding?

Galendalia (talkcontribs)

I put some thought into this one. The Battlefield I feel should be renamed (only because it seems that edit warring is encouraged if there is a tool to edit articles). I think we should add CVUA as a task, maybe towards the end. This will give them a great understanding of what we look for when we fight vandalism and it will give them rollbacker rights. If we put it at the end (and it is a requirement) they would be able to help out a lot and they would be a month or so into editing.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Galendalia -- you're asking a question that we know we'll have to figure out. If community members are able to administer and alter onboarding processes (including structured tasks) on their wikis, that would be great for community autonomy and scalability. But it's unclear how we'll restrict who can control those things so that nothing ends up breaking by accident or otherwise. I think our best idea so far is via user groups. For instance, interface-admins are able to make similar changes. Maybe that's a place to start.

Do you yourself use Wikiloop Battlefield for patrolling? Or do you use Huggle or RecentChanges? I like your idea of making training about patrolling for vandalism an option, as opposed to just having newcomers go straight to patrolling. I think in the long term, our vision for onboarding via these easy edits is to help newcomers find the wiki tasks that are a good fit for them, and that means offering them lots of different opportunities.

HLHJ (talkcontribs)

Resolved: I see "Wikiloop Battlefield" is now "Wikiloop Doublecheck"; much better!

  1. I agree with the ghettoization-of-editing-experience concern. I think all these tools need to be made available and discoverable to established editors first, and only the ones with good uptake promoted to new users.
  1. Social contact, positive interactions with other editors, is useful for retaining many editors. The tasks here do not seem optimized to prompt positive social contact. Tasks taht encourage newcomers to respond to requests seem more likely to help
  1. The big one; I think this might be the wrong end of the stock. Since the age of rising editor numbers, new editors do not seem to have changed; their first edits are no worse than they were. Our problem is that old editors now unintentionally treat them with less tolerance by reverting them faster and correcting them less. I think software that helps established editors to treat newcomers more helpfully again might be more effective than software that selects and guides new editors in a completely novel fashion. I understand that guiding oldcomers is politically harder; I'm a bit worried at the lack of broad community discussion and participation for things that mostly affect newcomers. I'm sure we can manage to pull together on changing ourselves to make ourselves more welcoming, not changing the newcomers to slip through chinks in our armour, which is likely to have unintended side effects.
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