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New pages experiment

Wikipedians test the water at new page patrol

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By WereSpielChequers, Hiding, and Pretzels

On 4 September, Gene McKenna, a blogger and occasional Wikipedian (User:Mckennagene), posted his opinions regarding bullying treatment on Wikipedia, "Bullypedia, A Wikipedian Who’s Tired of Getting Beat Up". He challenged any new editor to start an article and see if it would last seven days, stating that it was "guaranteed, your article will be marked for 'speedy deletion' within about two minutes of its creation."

The blog post was mentioned on the Wikipedia mailing list, leading User:Casliber to request comment on interactions with new editors. Part of the discussion on speedy deletion and how it affects new users led to User:WereSpielChequers accepting McKenna's challenge by proposing "that we all create a new account and use it to write an article".

Started on 5 October, Wikipedia:Newbie treatment at CSD has seen twenty articles created by eleven editors, posing as twelve new users by creating new accounts to write their articles. Of the twenty articles so far included in the trial, only three have been deleted. Of those three articles, however, Grainger Games was deleted within just two minutes. Just over half the articles – eleven in total – were tagged for speedy deletion, while just under half the "new editors" received welcome messages at their talk pages. Three of those welcome messages were added as part of an automatic deletion tagging process.

WereSpielChequers notes that of the twenty articles created to date "only User:Stormie's sock User:Force1995 (author of Haig Sare) had no deletion tags, no deletion and a welcome, an experience that really ought to be the norm for new wikipedians who submit articles that don't meet our deletion criteria."

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  • Three days and counting for my first new article (ignoring a few redirects), can't complain so far. I do recall sensing some denture imprints upon my very first edits, so taking a good look at the fate of the first steps of our cannon fodder new contributors might be a good idea. Paradoctor (talk) 01:38, 10 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yeah, I think this may be a good lead as to that big question talked about at this year's wikimania (y'know, that graph, what with transitions between low contributors and high contributors dropping off), which is that by assuming the worst of new contributors, we're pushing them away. Even if 95% of the new members and unmarked IPs are marauding two-faced vandal-pirates, we need to not let that destroy our ability to interact healthily with the remaining 5%. We need those 5% to feel welcome here, we really do. -Lyc. cooperi (talk) 02:51, 10 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yes the Wikimania stuff was one of the things that inspired me to do this. Though I'd disagree that anything like 95% of Newbie and IP edits are vandalism. IMHO its closer to 5% than 95%. ϢereSpielChequers 12:58, 10 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • Perhaps new pages be removed from Recent Changes and allocated in a seperate new pages section where the New Page petrollers are sensitized to the need to retain the only resource Wikipedia has - human editors. AshLin (talk) 04:57, 10 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
My apologies. It seems this is already the case. So its just a matter of sensitisation & taking lots of trouble to be nice , polite helpful & useful while patrolling new pages. AshLin (talk) 07:42, 10 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thanks Tony, good question. No we haven't yet considered the topics much, at the beginning nobody involved was giving out any clues about their articles until they were revealed. It may still be early days for that sort of pattern to emerge. We've had some very high culture articles, some history and milhist ones, but our most gently treated newbie was the only sportsman - an Ozy rules footballer. The quickest deleted was the only one about a business. I think we'll need a lot more such tests before we have the evidence basis for patterns by topic. ϢereSpielChequers 12:58, 10 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • Well deletion is one kind of bullying new user face, other behavior such as reverting and starting a edit war with them are aslo common. As New bie don't have any idea about Wp:3RR they get blocked on this count. This leads to further trouble, New user creates a sock to avoid block and here comes some senior admin (who sometimes have a different POV about the topic), he will block the New User on Sock puppet charges. So the cycles continues. Blocking and sock puppet allegations have become modus operandi of some admins and users.--yousaf465 08:15, 10 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • "...posing as new users by creating a new account for each article" isn't quite true, since many of the new accounts created several articles each. Olaf Davis (talk) 16:14, 10 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • If editors post articles that are blatantly inappropriate, then we should not make them feel welcome, because then they'll add more rubbish. WereSpielChequers states an editor: "had no deletion tags, no deletion and a welcome, an experience that really ought to be the norm for new wikipedians who submit articles that don't meet our deletion criteria." Er, if an article meets a CSD, then it gets tagged. Why should we keep inappropriate pages just because of who it was created by? Majorly talk 19:22, 10 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    • "If editors post articles that are blatantly inappropriate, then we should not make them feel welcome, because then they'll add more rubbish." Well no. New contributors who make apparently good faith attempts at creating articles need to be welcomed and educated, in the hope that they will become useful contributors. Not welcoming/educating contributors who haven't already absorbed enough of the notability etc rules is incredibly short-sighted. Rd232 talk 20:24, 10 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
      • This is a test of what happens to newbies who create articles that don't meet our deletion criteria. If someone wants to survey what happens to newbies creating articles that do meet our deletion criteria I would suggest a different methodology; Creating articles that deserve to be deleted would IMHO be inappropriate, and it is easy to find articles at new page patrol that deserve to be deleted - many of the 3,000 I have deleted will have been tagged by new page patrollers. ϢereSpielChequers 08:20, 11 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • No matter how well-intentioned this project is, I think the net effect will be to discourage people from new page patrolling. NPP is already a thankless task, add the risk of being called out in front of the whole Wiki community and people will simply stop doing it. I get what you are trying to accomplish here and I think the insights gained by this will be valuable, but I also think this project should have a limited lifespan lest we drive away the only people who are willing to do this task (there is a gigantic backlog of new pages if anyone feels like trying the other side of this experiment ;-)). Bonewah (talk) 22:09, 11 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    • Several newpage patrollers and welcomers who've treated our newbie accounts well have been thanked, and I hope those who've had mistakes pointed out to them have had much more civilised treatment than RFA is liable to give candidates who have been making mistakes in their speedy deletion tagging. I'm keen that we use this to improve the way speedy deletion works, and I think that NPP if done correctly is not and should not be a thankless task. ϢereSpielChequers 00:54, 12 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
      • An RFA candidate who has been making mistakes in their speedy deletion tagging (should) have been notified on their talk page and given a chance to correct or justify their behavior. People make mistakes, and we normally afford people the opportunity to correct themselves. This is where I think NEWT is failing, its objectives are laudable, its treatment of established users is less so. Remember, newbies arent the only ones who can be bitten. Bonewah (talk) 03:25, 12 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
        • There are a certain number of established admins who think the criterion for speedy deletion is that they do not think it will make an adequate article, and what the rules say are irrelevant; they know well that this interpretation is not in line with the community, but they think it ought to be, and they continue to go their idiosyncratic way to do what they think will improve Wikipedia. That this is not the way most of us want it improved does not bother them. One hope of this project is to identify these admins , and see whether they can be gotten to improve. FWIW, a few of them are personal friends, but nothing I have said has changed them. DGG ( talk ) 18:53, 13 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • I just found this page describing the experiment my article inspired. I am impressed that a group was concerned enough to do this experiment. It's great to see folks not just talking about this issue, but digging in and testing it out for themselves and getting engaged in real discussion on how to make Wikipedia better and more newbie (or part-time-bie) friendly. From the introductory text at the top of the page, it would seem my point was validated - it's very hard to write a new article that isn't speedily marked for speedy deletion and how unwelcome that feels. But it's great to see folks not just talking about it but digging in and testing it and getting engaged in how to make it better. There is a great discussion going here. Thanks to all who are helping out. Mckennagene (talk) 06:00, 26 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]


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