Page creation redux

Unregistered page creation remains on hold so far

Despite previous plans to reenable the creation of Wikipedia articles by editors without accounts, the change has yet to take place and faces significant community opposition. The idea of conducting an experimental evaluation of the effects, as in the original announcement of a 30-day trial beginning 9 November, now seems to be in limbo.

With a general consensus on the move unclear in either direction, the anticipated start date saw instead a request for comment to "assess whether this is a viable idea and the conditions under which it would occur." Although initially launched by Ryan Postlethwaite with a statement supporting the experiment, it quickly attracted a sizable group of editors against it.

At press time, two comments opposing the experiment each had more contributors endorsing them than Postlethwaite's original statement (not surprisingly, there was significant overlap between the two groups opposing). A number of editors argued that from observation of new pages, they could already predict the undesirable results the trial would produce. As Tim Vickers put it, "Sticking your finger into an electric shredder is not a sensible experiment".

In another comment Cryptic, describing himself as someone who "used to do a great deal of new page triage" but no longer finds it beneficial, came up with some arguments as to why allowing the change could actually improve the effectiveness of patrolling. He pointed out that with disposable accounts, vandals rarely encounter more than a 24-hour autoblock on their IP address, while tracking the individuals responsible to use escalating block durations is impractical without excessive use of the Checkuser function.

One development may leave open the possibility for the experiment to take place. Both authors of the primary statements opposing the experiment, Vickers and W.marsh, also signed on to another comment by John Broughton indicating that he might support it but considered the parameters poorly defined. Broughton (incidentally, also the author of a forthcoming book that is a guide on contributing to Wikipedia, part of the O'Reilly Missing Manuals series) argued that the evaluation criteria and measures for success were lacking. He said the experiment needed those to be conclusive, otherwise the only guaranteed result would be "a fight about what to do at the end of the 30 days".




Also this week:

Page creation redux — WikiWorld — News and notes — In the news — WikiProject report — Features and admins — Technology report — Arbitration report


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