Wikimedia Product/Perspectives/Tools/Tools For Moderators
This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some MediaWiki.org users, but may not have wide support. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.
Tools For Moderators
The tools and processes used for reviewing and moderating content are critical to the growth of the projects, but have historically been overlooked. Communities have, for the most part, been left to develop their own moderation workflows, tools and solutions – which means that community-built systems tend only to utilize the building blocks at their disposal: templates, gadgets, user scripts, and wikitext. This approach results in solutions with limited capabilities, that tend not to be portable, lack automated testing and code review, and don't support localization.
Many of these tools and processes also have steep learning curves and require considerable technical acumen to use.  The more complex the process is, the more it limits the number of people who are able or willing to participate. This, in turn, leads to a less diverse pool of reviewers and, we suspect, contribute to problems of systemic bias in our content. And, fewer moderators makes the review process slow, impacting newcomer productivity. In order to grow and diversify the pool of moderators, moderation tools must be made to work for less technical users, and the Foundation must drive this investment in a platform which enables community developers to create more portable, localizable tools, and in resources to support better practices in code development.
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- Articles for Creation (AfC), just one example from English Wikipedia, is a system for submitting, reviewing, and publishing draft articles. In order to participate as a reviewer in AfC, you have to install a special user script, be granted a special right though a unique vetting process, and use several obscure templates and categories.
- Lam, Shyong K., et al. (2011). “WP:Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia’s Gender Imbalance”, WikiSym ’11.
- Purtill, Corinne; Schlanger, Zoë (October 2, 2018). “Wikipedia rejected an entry on a Nobel Prize winner because she wasn’t famous enough”, Quartz.
- Schneider, Jodi, et al. (2014). “Accept, decline, postpone: How newcomer productivity is reduced in English Wikipedia by pre-publication review”, OpenSym ‘14.
- Code review procedures, documentation standards, etc.