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Wikitravel talk:Recent changes patrol

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I'd noticed the same problem with bundles of edits. Also, I'd think that a) edits by admins should always count as patrolled, and b) if an edit gets rolled back, it should also count as patrolled. I'll try to get to these nuisances quickly. Right now, I'm enjoying the feature a lot. --Evan 20:13, 14 December 2006 (EST)


OK, so: I was wrong about rollbacks; they are automatically patrolled. Also, admins can set a preference to automatically patrol their own edits. I've set this to default to "on" less than an hour ago, and all admins should automatically pick it up unless they've edited their preferences in the last 36 hours since I turned this option on. I've taken the liberty of retroactively marking all edits by admins as patrolled up till now.

I'm going to see what I can do to get patrolling of clusters of edits done quickly; it's the last real annoyance of this feature. --Evan 22:03, 15 December 2006 (EST)

It didn't get picked up by my prefs automatically as far as I can tell -- and I haven't changed a pref in a month. I set it. -- Colin 22:49, 15 December 2006 (EST)
Argh. Now that I think of it, your prefs are saved automatically quite often in MediaWiki -- and if they were saved since yesterday, they'll have the old default (don't autopatrol). So, please change your prefs, admins.
On a related note, I did a little hacking on MW, and I've been able to shoehorn in the ability to mark a whole bundle of edits as patrolled in one pop. I made one assumption about the recentchanges table that I think is correct, but if you see weird behavior, please let me know. --Evan 23:05, 15 December 2006 (EST)
I'm not seeing this...? Eg. [1] has no 'patrol' link. Jpatokal 01:44, 16 December 2006 (EST)
That's weird. So, you've got "Enhanced recent changes" set up, and when you click on the word "changes" in the "2 changes" for My Son on Special:Recentchanges, you don't get a "mark as patrolled" link? --Evan 01:49, 16 December 2006 (EST)
A-ha, you were missing that crucial little bit. So yes, the enhanced view does give the patrolled link. Jpatokal 02:18, 16 December 2006 (EST)
One minor annoyance...when a new article gets created and then edited a bunch of times, Recent changes groups the edits together, but I lose the ability to mark the original article (or the bundle) as patrolled. -- Jonboy 11:50, 19 December 2006 (EST)
Yes, I've noticed that too! I know the line in the code to fix, so I'll give it a shot today or tomorrow. I think the conventional wisdom on RCP is pretty fair (that it's not quite ready for prime time), but the fixes needed have been small. I think after we stabilize it here on WT I'll commit the changes to MediaWiki core for the 1.9 release or 1.10 release. --Evan 12:00, 19 December 2006 (EST)
This is fixed now (I think). You should be able to patrol clusters of edits on a new article. --Evan 18:08, 4 January 2007 (EST)


So, I got up this morning expecting to go through hundreds and hundreds of changes. I was very pleased to see all but the latest (<30 minutes old) changes already patrolled. It felt great to know that someone else had already checked out the latest work on the site.

Thanks to all who have been using this feature; I'm finding it a very convenient way to coordinate the more tedious administrative tasks. --Evan 13:14, 24 December 2006 (EST)

Agreed. I'm finding I'm using it in two ways I didn't expect to:
  1. Even good edits often have something (e.g. spelling) that needs to be fixed, sometimes in surrounding text. While I'm patrolling an edit, it's pretty easy to make a quick fix.
  2. When I see an edit I don't like that's not outright vandalism (e.g. something I can't tell if it's a 3rd party site, a description that may make an article less readable), I often just skip patrolling it, figuring some other editor will have a better idea what to do with it.
My enthusiasm will inevitably flag once I'm no longer on vacation, but hopefully enough of us will like this idea that we can consistently patrol all recent changes. -- Jonboy 23:07, 24 December 2006 (EST)
I hope you don't skip patrolling the same edits I skip hoping someone else has a better idea what to do. 8) -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 00:26, 25 December 2006 (EST)

Policy for Admins using Recent changes patrol?[edit]

Whew, it is good.... but. I think we need to define what patrolled means. I find myself keeping busy editing recent additions. And it is a LOT of work. So, when we mark it as patrolled does that mean the change is 100% for format, policy, etc. or just not something that needs reverted, or something in between. I find myself leaving a lot unmarked because it seems hardly anyone is following what we have laid down and it seems to be getting worse. Also, we need to research everything added? Should be resist our patrol to only areas we have knowledge of? I am just thinking we need a pretty good policy so we are all on the same page. I would like to hear Evan's thoughts on what he is hoping for as part of this discussion. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 12:05, 27 December 2006 (EST)

I've been marking things patrolled if they are not obvious vandalism/graffiti (ie rollbacks or quick edits). That's not to say that I don't dive in with general MoS edits once in a while, or add the style template if it's going to need a group effort.. I don't think we-admins should take this patrol tool to mean that we have to be responsible for vetting all contributions all the time-- it's a wiki after all! It might be nice to formalize what "patrolled" should mean though... so good question. Maj 19:06, 27 December 2006 (EST)
I think this is something we're going to have to develop over time. My goal with enabling RC Patrol was to have a way to say, "An admin needs to look at this change before it scrolls off of Recent Changes." My rule of thumb for patrolling edits is that either an edit is so bad that it needs to be rolled back right now, or it can wait until someone gets to it, so I mark it as patrolled. So, I roll back these things:
  • vandalism
  • spam
  • obviously inappropriate extlinks
  • re-formatting headers (like "Eat" -> "Restaurants")
  • toolbar cruft (stuff that comes from the GUI toolbar or edit tools)
I mark these things as patrolled and let them go:
  • poorly-formatted listings
  • bad spelling
  • incorrect grammar
  • badly formatted phone numbers, addresses, etc.
  • borderline stuff like bus schedules, toutish listings
I mark these as patrolled, but try to edit them:
  • Orphaned new articles
  • clusters of changes that are good and bad, typically adding lots of info but re-formatting all the standard section headers
  • stubs for valid destinations
I don't think we want or need to make every edit to Wikitravel perfect before it scrolls off of the Recent Changes list. However, I do think we want to correct the more obvious problems. --Evan 11:34, 28 December 2006 (EST)
I confess to being quite inconsistent in what I do with this feature, largely depending on simply how much free time I have when I'm patrolling. My use pattern seems to be much as Evan and Maj describe, but if I lack time to do edits, I am perhaps more willing to look at an article and NOT mark it patrolled than to let certain classes of changes through -- particularly touts. Sorry if that creates more work for the rest of you folks, who then "re-patrol" the things I've left unmarked, but IMO marking a thing "patrolled" should mean that it meets basic criteria for acceptability, even if grammar, typography, etc., are subpar. Touts don't do that.
Maybe I missed it, but is there a way to look only for articles in the last (foo) days that haven't been patrolled, extending deeper into the past than the "Recent changes" tab? I wonder what all is slipping through the cracks because of my (or other folks') unwillingness to take decisive action in these toutish cases. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 12:45, 28 December 2006 (EST)
I agree that if you think an edit is too close to call, just go ahead and leave it unpatrolled. If a page really needs a lot of discussion, I'd probably say that someone should mark it as patrolled and start a discussion on the Talk: page.
And, yes, there's a flag to "Hide patrolled edits" [2] that you can click on the Recent changes page. --Evan 12:55, 28 December 2006 (EST)
I've been doing more or less what Evan has been doing, except I'm more likely to fix spelling (I really like the way Firefox 2.0 makes spell-checking easy). I've also created a link in my toolbar to the unpatrolled changes, which a) makes it easier to sort out which changes need patrolling and b) helps catch stuff even after it scrolls off. (And by the time I get around to clicking "Save Page" I see that Evan has already provided the link. -- Jonboy 13:16, 28 December 2006 (EST)
I like the convention of dealing with something that's not vandalism or graffiti but needs attention by marking it as patrolled and then making a note on the talk page (which will then show up as unpatrolled). Maybe we leave talk pages unpatrolled as a RFC-type flag? Or would that make too much cruft? Maj 13:21, 28 December 2006 (EST)
I'm late to this conversation - sorry! - but I think it's beneficial if changes are only marked as patrolled when the change is something that does not require further attention (follows MOS, not vandalism, etc) OR if the change has later been edited to fix any problems. Seeing a red "!" next to an edit is a good indicator that the edit either needs to be examined or needs attention. This approach seems like an easy way to highlight problem edits, helping to focus the attention of people doing cleanups. This solution would be faster than leaving notes on talk pages, and I'm personally less likely to read the talk page of a random article than I am to look at an unpatrolled edit and make a quick fix. -- Ryan 03:54, 2 January 2007 (EST)
I would have agreed with you if this weren't an admin-only feature through and through, i.e. only the admins can mark it as patrolled, only admins can see the exclamation marks. There simply aren't enough admins to do that many checks. We'd end up leaving most changes unpatrolled and they wouldn't even serve as warnings to other users as they can't see them. — Ravikiran 04:58, 2 January 2007 (EST)

As long as the patrolling stuff is available for the rest of us non-admins, I believe we desperately need to define what people should mean when they click "Mark as patrolled". I.e. we need a consensus on which checks (and meaning) do we all include in "patrolled". --DenisYurkin 07:55, 1 July 2007 (EDT)

Should/can we patrol *all* recent changes?[edit]

Well, after some effort, I've gotten it down to only 10 articles with unpatrolled changes for 2007. (In my time zone.) Undoubtedly more are appearing as I type this, but this raises the question (in my mind, at least) about whether we should have a goal of patrolling all recent changes. Over the past couple of weeks, every day a number of changes go by without being marked as patrolled. (Some days more than others.) Ultimately, should we not be at least looking over each of those changes? -- Jonboy 19:55, 1 January 2007 (EST)

When I'm online, I review the last 500 recent changes, and try to patrol all of them. The only ones I miss are the ones that can't be patrolled because they're in a cluster of edits on a new article. I guess I think we should try to patrol all the edits that go by, although I don't think it's catastrophic if we don't. --Evan 21:22, 1 January 2007 (EST)
OK, other than some test edits on 11 Jan, we have no unpatrolled edits for this year from before 28 January. I think that's pretty good, and I would argue for that as a continued goal. It's not catastrophic to fail to meet this goal, but a number of times I patrol a day-old edit, only to find that it needs to be reverted because it's spam or vandalism. I really like this because it can eliminate 95+% of the long-term spam/vandalism problem. -- Jonboy 20:19, 30 January 2007 (EST)

Minor bug[edit]

One minor bug that's still left. I think I'm describing this correctly, and I think I successfully reproduced this. If someone creates a new page and then someone (perhaps someone else) #REDIRECTS to another page, you can't patrol the group of edits properly with "Enhanced recent changes." If you click on the new page in Recent Changes, you get taken to the new page, but can't patrol the old page. A somewhat obscure bug, perhaps, but it seems to appear about once or twice a day, generally when a newbie creates an article-that's-not-really-an-article, and an non-admin #REDIRECTs to the appropriate article. -- Jonboy 09:46, 11 January 2007 (EST)

Yup. See User:Sapphire/ssfsdfvd`. Do we want to bother with a bug report? -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 10:18, 11 January 2007 (EST)
I'm not sure I understand. I just added a new article in my workspace, then redirected it to another new article, and clicking on the article name of the first page on RecentChanges will let me (and you) patrol the edit of the first page. --evanp 10:41, 11 January 2007 (EST)
Yeah, but that's not exactly what he's talking about. If you create Cincy and then redirect it to an article that already exists, like Cincinnati you won't be able to mark it as patrolled. If you look at the page you created and redirected it's impossible to mark that page as patrolled, but it's possible to mark the other new page as patrolled, since it hasn't been redirected. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 10:55, 11 January 2007 (EST)

This is possible now... after it redirects you to the new page, there is still a [Mark this page as patrolled] button at the bottom right - Cacahuate 19:08, 24 February 2007 (EST)

Autopatrol for non-admin users[edit]

So, we've got quite a few users who produce very consistent high-quality output, but aren't interested in becoming admins — User:JRHorse and User:OldPine come to mind. Would it be possible to flip the autopatrol bit for them, by (say) giving admins the right to select users for this? Jpatokal 00:53, 18 January 2007 (EST)

I think this would be really useful - Evan, is it possible to do this? There's several users I would nominate for this, it would help a lot - Cacahuate 22:16, 19 February 2007 (EST)
Yeah, I think that would be great. There's a system in MediaWiki for setting access levels for different functions, and I *think* we can add our own user group (like "trusted user", say), and give them a particular feature ("autopatrol"). The thing that's tricky is that you have to be a bureaucrat to set other people's user groups. However, I'd like to have more bureaucrats on en: anyways. --Evan 23:01, 19 February 2007 (EST)

We could certainly start a list for you now anyways, it probably won't be that big to start with, here's some thoughts off the top of my head, I mostly care about the ones that make flurries of edits in large numbers:

  • User:WindHorse
  • User:Fastestdogever - a new user, but does a ton of tweaks to isIn and article statuses, usually knows right from wrong, and always provides edit summaries anyway so if something else grabs someone's eye they can patrol it
  • All admins from other language editions, so their interwiki links, etc are already patrolled

Just thinking too, I'd hate for some regular contributors to feel snubbed or something if they come across the list and see they aren't a "trusted user", maybe we should name it something less charged if a page gets created about it. - Cacahuate 20:03, 24 February 2007 (EST)

I think an easy one is "anyone approved (nominated?) for admin status who does not accept the position." I know there's as only a handful, but it would be a start. I think it's something folks don't need to make a big deal about and they can always ask if they wanted to be added. Agreed that 'trusted user' is a bad name. Maybe something more dry and functional like 'Users patrolled by default'? Maj 20:29, 24 February 2007 (EST)
I think this issue needs to be re-visited. For example, User:Flickety is up for an admin nomination. I think s/he's a great contributor whose edits have greatly enhanced Wikitravel. But, Flickety has only been around for a few weeks. It would be great to have the option to mark his/her changes as automatically patrolled without making him/her an admin.
I also have another issue with recent changes patrol that I might as well bring up now. I used to check recent changes and do rollbacks, add templates, remove external links, etc. until I realized that someone else (an admin) was going to do that anyway. I thought, why waste my time checking recent changes if someone else was going to do it? Yeah, I know, probably not the best way to look at it, but I doubt I'm the only one.
Maybe the best solution is, as mentioned above, to have some kind of "trusted user" feature that allows them to have their edits automatically patrolled and mark edits as patrolled. Is this possible? -- Fastestdogever 12:15, 13 May 2007 (EDT)
Agreed with the need to revisit this. --Jonboy 08:59, 14 May 2007 (EDT)
I think autopatrol is a good idea for high volume (and trusted) users, like WindHorse, so that we don't see so many red exclamation marks, I'd still love also to get this going. But as for giving users the ability to patrol, if I trusted them that much then I'd just nominate them for admin status. And if they decline, as in WindHorse's case, then I'm not sure we need to get creative about trying to give them extra buttons that they didn't want in the first place  :) – cacahuate talk 14:20, 14 May 2007 (EDT)
I agree with Cacahuate. --Jonboy 18:47, 14 May 2007 (EDT)
Assuming that we are still devoted to patrolling recent changes, I would like to add my strong support to implement this feature. I don't even bother to patrol logged-in user contributions since the numerous OldPine, Flickety, WindHorse, etc. edits shove all the edits that really need to be patrolled way off the screen. --Peterfitzgerald Talk
I've reset the system so that any "autoconfirmed" registered user can patrol edits (and have their own edits auto-patrolled). "Autoconfirmed" users have been registered for 30 days (I can change this number if needed). That should filter out most neerdowells and focus us on edits that really need patrolling. --Evan 11:54, 25 June 2007 (EDT)

Much thanks[edit]

So, I've noticed in the last week or so that people have been doing a lot more patrolling, which is just great. Patrolling RC is a tedious job, but I think it really pays off in terms of quality of our guide. I've noticed more and more "gaps" in the unpatrolled edits lately. I think that this is the kind of job that distributes well -- if every admin tries to patrol 10-20 edits whenever they're on the site, we can keep the guides in much better shape. --Evan 10:53, 26 February 2007 (EST)

I agree. Just a tip for patrollers: Use the "hide patrolled edits" feature and start at the bottom. That way, there is less chance of unpatrolled edits slipping away. — Ravikiran 07:47, 10 March 2007 (EST)

Path dependency[edit]

The "Mark as patrolled" link does not show up for all diffs. It shows up only when I go there through the recent changes or through my watchlist. I don't see why. When I go through my watchlist, I don't see all changes by a user, only the last one. If I want to see all changes that I need to review, I go to history and look at the diffs... and I don't get an option to mark as patrolled. It should show the mark as patrolled link if there is any intermediate unpatrolled edit. I should be able to verify the overall difference and make up my mind if the article is better off or worse as a result of all the edits put together. — Ravikiran 04:01, 14 March 2007 (EDT)

I agree, I wish for the same thing! – cacahuate talk 04:09, 14 March 2007 (EDT)

Auto-patrolling of previous edits[edit]

Is there any way we could have edits on an article that were made prior to an admin edit be automatically marked as patrolled? Very often, I find myself marking edits as patrolled that have already been undone by another admin. This would also save a lot of time when dealing with edits that need correction, but shouldn't be reverted (e.g., someone adds a lot of good listings, but deletes the IsIn template by mistake). If an admin could just edit the previous edit (rather than marking as patrolled, then checking the history to see if the necessary corrections were made, then actually doing the edit) that would make things a lot easier. This sort of feature would also remove concerns about how long it takes to manually undo an edit (to provide an explanation), because you would no longer need to first mark as patrolled, then back to changes, then undo.

I realize that last paragraph was a bit convoluted, what I'm asking for is: all edits on an article made prior to an admin edit should be automatically marked as patrolled. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 14:35, 11 June 2007 (EDT)

Can you live with just automatically marking as patrolled any edit that is undone by someone with RC patrol privileges? --Evan 11:46, 25 June 2007 (EDT)
Definitely, that would be a very useful improvement. --Peter Talk 14:16, 25 June 2007 (EDT)

patrolling is now available for non-admin?[edit]

I wonder why I can see exclamation mark and a link "Mark as patrolled", although I'm not an admin. I don't mind, and I can help with patrolling if someone there trusts me :-), just want to be sure it's intended behaviour, not something that shouldn't happen. --DenisYurkin 10:39, 26 June 2007 (EDT)

It's now available to all registered users who've been around for more than 30 days. --Evan 10:39, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
Great! — Ravikiran 03:14, 27 June 2007 (EDT)

What does "patrolled" mean?[edit]

As long as the patrolling stuff is available for the rest of us non-admins, I believe we desperately need to define what people should mean when they click "Mark as patrolled". I.e. we need a consensus on which checks (and meaning) do we all include in "patrolled". --DenisYurkin 07:55, 1 July 2007 (EDT)

As of now the policy states "if it doesn't need to be rolled back, mark it as patrolled", which I think was the general view when it was just an admin tool... for the most part I think we were just looking for blatant vandalism, and would correct other MoS errors, etc if we had time. But now that so many people have the ability to patrol edits, I'm thinking maybe we should widen the scope a little for how we use this tool. I don't think we need to only mark "perfect" edits as patrolled, but it might be helpful to hold off on patrolling edits that have sizable MoS problems added to them by an otherwise good edit, unless you've got time to fix it yourself then and there. That way it can still draw the attention of someone who will take the time to clean it up. Anyone opposed to changing the text to reflect that, in a less verbose way than I just described it? – cacahuate talk 01:03, 2 July 2007 (EDT)
I just ran a test and spent around 7 minutes patrolling edits going by the criteria you are proposing, i.e. if there were significant MoS issues, I left the edit unpatrolled. I ran through 4.5 hours worth of recent changes and was left with only some 7 articles unpatrolled for the period. So let's do some maths. We will need at least 6 people who will patrol the site on any day for 7 minutes each. Plus we will probably need a few more who will go over the unpatrolled edits and carry out the MoS edits required - or else it is not much use. Workable, but we need to get people used to this mode of working. This is one of those things that makes sense to do only if others are also doing it. So please raise your hand if you are reading this and are okay with this? (Raises hand.) — Ravikiran 07:09, 3 July 2007 (EDT)
cacahuate, being a non-native speaker, I definitely vote for a more easy-to-understand rules to be defined somewhere in the Wikitravel:Recent changes patrol. --DenisYurkin 13:12, 6 July 2007 (EDT)
I would also like to clarify the text... but I wanted to make sure most of us are on the same page before I plunged forward on that, as it will help tremendously if everyone patrolling recent changes agrees on what we're patrolling for – cacahuate talk 15:17, 6 July 2007 (EDT)
I agree with what has been said in this section except for the proposal to leave edits that have sizable MoS problems unpatrolled. This would mean that the next patroller would need to look over the same edits, all the worse since they would all have confusing and ambiguous MoS problems. I say, if you patrolled the edit, mark it as patrolled and let the usual wiki process fix MoS issues over time. So if I were writing the policy off the top of my head:
Fix/revert the edits that absolutely should not stay (intentional and unintentional vandalism and spam); mark as patrolled all valid contributions—even those with MoS issues. Of course, if you want to make MoS revisions, feel free!
I think that is pretty close to what people said in the earlier discussion and it matches what I do personally (I do make MoS edits while patrolling, but I prefer to leave that choice to my discretion). Perhaps someone has a more defined notion of what "sizable" MoS problems would entail? Or perhaps, if we are really looking to beef up this feature, we could have a "Marked as needing MoS revision" button? --Peter Talk 18:15, 6 July 2007 (EDT)

Much better patrolling[edit]

So, I got up this morning for my regular RC patrol, and I was surprised to see that there were only a half-dozen unpatrolled edits going back to yesterday morning. That's fantastic. I think the idea of autopatrolling for experienced Wikitravellers, and opening up RC patrol to more people, has been really successful. Thanks to everyone who's been participating; I think this really helps with the overall quality of our guides. --Evan 08:14, 3 July 2007 (EDT)

Cool! What do you think about the next section up? – cacahuate talk 01:13, 4 July 2007 (EDT)

Auto-approved user violations[edit]

I've got a couple of users on es: and pt: that have been auto-approved since they've been around for more than 30 days but who still try to sneak in copyvios and prohibited external links from time to time, so I don't feel comfortable letting their edits go unchecked, yet their edits get no red flag, so it's harder to spot them. I don't think either of them really participate in doing recent changes patrol either. Is there basically nothing I can do about that? I think perhaps 90 days would be a better auto-approval period or perhaps a minimum number of edits. There are also some registered users who, for example, keep the same username and only show up every couple of months and copy their hotel website into its own new article, which I then delete. I'd really like to keep getting red flags for this type of user. Texugo 00:18, 13 July 2007 (EDT)

I finally found this page and caught up with what has been going on for the past eight months. I had sort of guessed I had "trusted user" status at one point (thanks). Since the 30 day rule appeared I've had some misgivings about it and (perhaps through mild paranoia I developed in the 1970s or a general cynical attitude... ah but I digress) have thought I noticed an increase in new user creation without any contributions following from those users. After 30 days, those users will be able to patrol their own edits unless I am mistaken. Not a good thing. I feel that patrol should be revocable by admins, if only because of what Texugo states above. Also, overall, I do not feel that age of account is a good enough enabler for security. RC patrol is a great thing for helping admins. That is clear. OldPine 12:16, 12 August 2007 (EDT)
So as not to leave without a suggestion, perhaps number of edits could be used as an alternative... or just agreement by any three admins. OldPine 12:37, 12 August 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, so I won't go away on this. I've spent a large amount of time patrolling recent edits (like every spare moment of my day) over the past few days, and there is a sustained level of vandalism and persistent spammers--as you probably know. I don't feel we have very good patrol coverage. It's been mostly me and, to a lesser extent a couple of others lately. The math up above on this page about 7 users doing 7 minutes a day or something like that... well.. that ain't happenin', or at least isn't covering it (or you aren't marking them as patrolled). Is anyone checking the auto-patrolling 31 day users? I don't think so, unless it happens to be in the watchlist. Not good.
  • 1. Base auto-patrol on number of edits acheived (and if it was possible to do, ones that were reverted would not count). Probably asking a lot of the programmers. (?)
  • 2. Have different levels of auto-patrol based on time. Instead of removing the red "!", put a yellow "!" until they have been around a year (or whatever). This is a temporary stopgap since persistent spammers will just age an account or two.
  • 3. Allow admins to tag repeating offenders or IP addresses with a different symbol or a different colored !.

This problem will not go away. Something needs to be done to make this more effective. Yeah, RC patrol can be tedious, but many hands make light work. It's important as QC and something that molds and teaches our new users to use correct MoS techniques as well. OldPine 16:15, 28 September 2007 (EDT)

Here, here! I wholeheartedly agree with OldPine. This "trusted user/auto-patrol" feature was a huge mistake! I previously voiced concerns about this, but the lack of any interest turned me off to patrolling edits, something I haven't done much of since this horrible feature was implemented. It allows users like User:Tay to cover their tracks by making small vandal edits that will likely go unnoticed since I don't bother checking edits anymore.
We need to either implement the ideas OldPine has or revert back to the good ol' days when admins had to patrol every edit that was made. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 16:43, 28 September 2007 (EDT)
Actually, I think the most useful way of managing the "trusted user" status would be to enable sysops to be able to mark specific users, so that their edits remain auto-unpatrolled. I don't think we should do away with it, because patrolled edits is a very useful tool for a lot of users who don't have sysop status (we don't want to take it away from Windhorse, for example). We should open a feature request on shared and push the issue with our tech support at IB.
I've found it useful to commit to a certain timeframe on my user page. I'm patrolling every day from 03:00-07:00 GMT—takes me about 10-15 minutes. If 6-8 interested users would commit to a small timeframe like that, we'd have complete coverage. But to OldPine as a bit of advice: don't be a hero, you'll burn out ;) --Peter Talk 17:55, 28 September 2007 (EDT)
I think it would probably be more effective to go back to admin-only patrolling, and if we're able to make exceptions then give some users patrolling rights. I've pretty much stopped paying attention to the red !'s lately, they don't really seem to carry any weight anymore. I personally find the 30-day autoconfirmed thing totally useless... when we went from not being able to distinguish patrolled edits, to the invention of the red marks it was a great leap forward... and then shortly thereafter it seems the leap was made irrelevant – cacahuate talk 23:31, 28 September 2007 (EDT)
I think you guys are overstating the disadvantages of autopatrolling experienced users and underestimating the benefits. To stay under the radar, a user will have to edit infrequently enough not to raise suspicion, not edit an article on some active user's watchlist and hope that if caught, the patroller will not go over his contributions and revert or raise an alarm. I am pretty confident that the combined probability of these events is small. Compared to this small cost, the benefits of autopatrolling are huge. If it weren't for the huge reduction in number of edits to patrol, patrolling would have been impossible - the more good edits that I have to fruitlessly check and mark as patrolled, the more likely it is that I'll just say "forget it". I won't be opposed to a feature that gives admins the right to revoke autopatrol for certain users, but I feel that it is not really needed. I think that other suggestions will simply complicate life, either for the developers or for the users.
I understand the sentiment that we need more people to do patrolling. I myself am guilty of raising my hand and not following through the commitment. (I tried to make amends today by spending 15 minutes and cleaning out 6 hours worth of edits. I will try to do more.) But I am not convinced that increasing the workload for those who do the patrolling is going to help. — Ravikiran 23:40, 28 September 2007 (EDT)
How about making users "auto-confirmed" after 6 months instead of 1 month? – cacahuate talk 00:29, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
I too find the red !s useless now, here but especially on other language versions where there aren't a large number of regular trustworthy users. I would totally support changing the period to 6 months or doing away with the automatic patrolling altogether because on es: and pt: etc., more than half of the automatic patrol users still need to be corrected. Texugo 00:37, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
One month, six months or number of edits, it will not address the point that it is not well-meaning contributors who are the problem. The learning curve simply does not take that long. When I patrol, I often find myself wishing that I could simply mark all edits by a particular user, including future edits, as patrolled. The problem is a few recalcitrants who will never learn, because their goal is not to build a travel guide, but to link to their favourite sites or to push their own political views. Giving admins the right to switch off auto-patrol rights will address the problem, assuming we have nice admins, which we do. If you guys are saying that the red !s are useless right now, then your solutions are missing the point. The purpose of those !s is to raise an alarm. I may understand 80% of the alarms turning out to be false, but if 99.9% turn out to be false, I will simply ignore them. Your proposals will cause a greater proportion of alarms to be false. The other reason why we are ignoring the red flags is that because no one else is patrolling, every single edit seems to come with a red flag, defeating their purpose. The remedy is to have more patrollers.
Having said that, I agree with Texugo's argument about other languages. But from what I see, the number of edits per day are so few that there is good reason to ignore the red flags and check every single edit. — Ravikiran 13:12, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
I certainly agree there is a need to cut down on the number of edits we have to patrol. But there seems to be consensus for something to change. I think an increase to six months helps, but really just delays things. Not being much of a programmer (and not knowing how available the number is to the coder), I don't know how feasible it is to use "number of edits", but it certainly is a better measure of committment, especially if used in conjunction with a six month term.
Being able to flip auto-patrol off (or on!) for certain users would be a great thing. It may be a no-brainer. Obviously this action by sysops would have to be logged and/or monitored. Notice that it would allow evaluation of the number and quality of edits by a user. OldPine 08:20, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
I'd like to echo Ravikiran's sentiments. I think it is quite an exaggeration to call the unpatrolled markers useless—if I see an anon edit without one, I know it has been patrolled and I won't bother to review it myself. I can say for certain that if we get rid of the auto-confirmed edits for users who have been around a while, I'll stop patrolling altogether. I burnt out on patrolling a while back, but started doing it again regularly once Evan introduced the auto-patrol feature. There were just too many unpatrolled markers before and it felt kind of hopeless. Yes, some users who have been around longer than a month may make unwanted edits, but that number is comparatively tiny compared to the quantity of unwanted edits by anonymous and brand new users.—these edits are a much higher priority for review.
And like it says elsewhere on this talk page, it's not like every edit to Wikitravel needs to be thoroughly "corrected" by an admin. Even if an edit isn't formatted correctly, or what have you, this is a wiki—someone will eventually come along and correct it. Patrolling IMO is best used to rapidly scan for particularly damaging edits: long spam lists, accidental deletions of content, hate speech vandalism, etc. I also find it useful in that patrolling takes me around to all sorts of articles I wouldn't otherwise check; occasionally I find an article that catches my interest and I get interested in cleaning it up.
With regards to other language versions, the flip side of not having a lot of regular trustworthy editors is that there aren't that many edits in sum. It is often quite possible for one person to review the day's edits in a reasonable amount of time. If a large quantity of patrolled anon edits are making it hard to see the registered user edits that could use review, you can just filter out the anonymous edits on the recent changes display. Still though, I certainly find the patrolled edits feature useful on :es—if there is no flag next to an anon edit, I know I don't have to check it!
The one thing that does, however, undermine the usefulness of patrolled edits is when people correct unwanted edits without marking them as patrolled. That's certainly better than not correcting them at all, but it also uses up the time of other editors who are trying to help by patrolling. And then of course, it would be nice if more people patrolled, but regardless it is always a good thing even if just one person patrols 10 minutes out of their day—that improves Wikitravel.
As for suggested changes, I'd like to disavow my earlier suggestion that sysops be able to mark certain users as "not worthy of auto-confirmed edits." Such a device would require some sort of nomination process to be fair, and that sort of vetting could potentially be insulting and off-putting to a lot of users. And besides, I just don't think that established users are a high priority for review. The suggestion that we switch the auto-confirmed criteria from 1 month to 6 seems too severe. It does not take 6 months to figure out that you shouldn't change section headers. I do like the idea, though, of using quantity of edits rather than length of time registered to determine when a user gets auto-confirmed edits. Above all, I definitely oppose a return to admin-only patrolling. The majority of the patrolling done in the past few months on :en has been done by users without sysop status—keep in mind that the originator of this discussion is not (yet) an admin. --Peter Talk 12:51, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
My original concern was not about users needing more than one month of ramp time to become knowledgeable or trustworthy. It was more about not leaving an easy opening for perpetrators to avoid showing in the red flags by simply patrolling their own unwanted edits from an aged account. -- OldPine 14:31, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
Well, their own edits would be auto-patrolled, so they wouldn't have to do that. And I think people who do patrol have an idea that edits by "User:IHateN******" are deserving of a quick check, regardless of whether they are flagged. If the worry is that a long time vandal will use their account to mark other vandals' work as patrolled, then I understand that concern. But I haven't seen any evidence that this is happening, and I do take a look at Special:Log now and then. If someone did abuse their account in this manner, I think a block would be appropriate, and then they'd have to wait a full month before they could try their luck again. --Peter Talk 14:54, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
The concern is more like someone vandalizing/linkspamming anonymously, then using the aged account to patrol it. No little red flag. Everybody thinks it's patrolled. Now we need to watch how users are patrolling, not just their edits? OldPine 15:04, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
Ah well, I suppose there is no consensus here and all this will die. I took a look at the outstanding feature requests on Shared and maybe thoat part was all a pipe dream anyways. Thanks to those who have come back to RC patrol. It's looking much better. OldPine 20:16, 1 October 2007 (EDT)

undoing revision should mark it as patrolled[edit]

I suggest that completing an undo for revision should mark it as patrolled--I think it is logical. --DenisYurkin 23:56, 14 September 2007 (EDT)

Agreed. Gorilla Jones 23:57, 14 September 2007 (EDT)
Me, too. OldPine 07:18, 19 September 2007 (EDT)
Agreed. The folks who added the "undo" feature to MediaWiki don't use the "patrolling" feature, so they didn't bother with it. I'll see what I can do. --Evan 10:03, 20 September 2007 (EDT)


Thought it'd be a neat thing to do on Wikitravel, I looked through archives, and it isn't there. So, maybe we could have this for Wikitravel, [3]? What tdo you thinnk? KEEP SMILING, ee talk 19:16, 16 November 2008 (EST).

Red "!" on Special:Recentchanges[edit]

Swept in from the pub:

Hey! Well I have a question what the hell is this when you look at RECENT CHANGES: !...I don't get it. Its a red exclamation mark!!!! Keep smiling, edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 17:29, 17 November 2008 (EST).

It means that the edit is not patrolled. See [4] for more information. BTW, do we use the patrolled edit feature at Wikitravel for anything and, if so, what does it mean to "mark [an] edit as patrolled" (i.e. does it mean (a) "the edit is correct", (b) "the edit isn't correct, but it's not obvious vandalism or spam", (c) something else)? JYolkowski 17:56, 17 November 2008 (EST)

It's showing up for 90 % of the edits on Recent Changes and this neva happened! Keep smiling ,edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 17:58, 17 November 2008 (EST).

Wikitravel:Recent_changes_patrol - note "registered for over 30 days". Dguillaime 18:27, 17 November 2008 (EST)
That's not true, I patrol over so often, it's just the frequency of edits are so massive it's impossible to keep up, with so few chipping in the work. On that note I actually have a question - Is it possible to mark all revisions up to I read through an article as patrolled - would be useful when a user does like 20 edits on page within a short span of time - it's get tiresome to mark every single edit as patrolled. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 20:48, 18 November 2008 (EST)
Yes, if you enable "enhanced recent changes" in your preferences, that will group edits by page, and you can mark as patrolled from the grouped "dif". --Peter Talk 20:53, 18 November 2008 (EST)
Thanks! I find the enchanted version a bit confusing and poorly designed, but maybe I should let it stay for a while and see if I can get used to it. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 21:04, 18 November 2008 (EST)

Wikitravel language tags[edit]

It would save patrollers a lot of time if users adding a language version tag to an article marked it as minor edit, did so from a user account and not anonymously and marked it as patrolled immediately (assuming they have been around longer than 30 days). The pl tag has been an especially big culprit lately.--Burmesedays 06:42, 27 December 2009 (EST)

Yeah... Unfortunately, this user has not responded to requests to create an account, or really to any communication. He does a ton of good work on the Polish version, but I actually wish he would stop adding interlang tags to the English version. Our interlang-bots could do it without cluttering recentchanges. I'll try contacting him again... --Peter Talk 18:21, 27 December 2009 (EST)


Swept in from the pub

How long until a user is autoconfirmed? I'm getting tired of patrolling SnappyHip's edits when it's obvious SnappyHip is doing good work. LtPowers 10:28, 4 February 2010 (EST)

I thought it was 500 edits? I may be wrong though. --Burmesedays 10:33, 4 February 2010 (EST)
30 days from registration. Andyfarrell 10:47, 4 February 2010 (EST)


swept from pub:

The last time the proportion of patrolled edits was this high was probably about a little over two years ago, and this is hugely helpful to avoid duplicating effort and generally keeping the site clean. A big thanks to those putting in the effort to hit that "marked as patrolled" button. Looks like a lot of effort in particular on the parts of Burmesedays, Inas, and Sertmann—thanks! --Peter Talk 01:20, 9 December 2009 (EST)

Stefan pointed out to me a few weeks ago that "marking as patrolled" really does save time for other patrollers and since then I have been trying to do that as often as possible. And, it is just nice seeing a screen of 500 recent changes with very little red on it. --Burmesedays 02:23, 11 December 2009 (EST)
I think too many (especially long time admins) has become a bit to cocky on this task, I myself thought I was able to sniff out the bad ones on the recent changes page, but as it turns out when I've made a concious effort to go through everything - this is clearly not the case.
For years we have let too much slip by, and the consequences are rather dire if you ask me. Once a few "listing name - listing url" listings have slipped by the nets, new edits tend to imitate what's already there, increasing the burden, and decreasing the value of WT - and it's getting really widespread.
So I'd really encourage some more thorough patrolling from everyone, with me and Burmesedays doing a great effort already, it's really not that much extra effort checking everything when you're doing the rounds anyway. I just open the page, and hold ctrl down on all the red exclamation marks I see to open them all into new tabs, and go through them methodologically - if just two more people starting doing this (near) daily, patrolling everything would be a breeze, especially if it was one from the American time zone with Asia and Europe covered already. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 20:58, 28 December 2009 (EST)
A hearty hear-hear to all of that. The only thing I would add to Stefan's comments is to ask that more users (administrators especially) specifically mark edits as patrolled. I do waste a lot of time looking at changes which have already been patrolled but not marked as such.--Burmesedays 21:10, 28 December 2009 (EST)
Well, since we have renewed interest in actually trying to patrol our recent changes, I'll re-float this idea for a collective-action promoting expedition. I'd be happy to sign up for 4 hours out of the day—it's just 10 minutes. --Peter Talk 10:49, 29 December 2009 (EST)
It is clear that in the past 24 hours more users have been marking edits as patrolled. Well done! --Burmesedays 19:55, 29 December 2009 (EST)

As I start to patrol I notice how badly written many contributions are. Can we suggest for new pages that people consider working first in Word (cutting and pasting the template), using the grammar and spelling checker of Word to improve their contributions, and then pasting back into Wikitravel? Shep 01:49, 2 January 2010 (EST)

I would rather suggest using Firefox, which has a built-in spell checker. Word doesn't always copy+paste well to/from non-Office applications. LtPowers 13:33, 2 January 2010 (EST)
I cant seam to git it to work on my computer even though I have enabled the boxxes to check the speeling. Anyway, I am hopefully not the problem but there are an awful lot of new entries with bad English and I was thinking that we could give them some useful advice on quality control rather than just say "download the template and start typing" Shep 02:23, 3 January 2010 (EST)
I think Word is the best option for what Shep is trying to achieve. It does handle some formatting and characters rather poorly, but that is far outweighed by the fact that it lives on more PCs in the world than Firefox. A few words encouraging the use of a spell-checker would certainly not go amiss.--Burmesedays 21:38, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Word has a nasty tendency to convert quotation marks, dashes, apostrophes, and occasionally other characters into Microsoft-specific variants, so just be careful when using it as an editor. While these conversions won't break articles, they won't display consistently across all browsers. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:41, 4 January 2010 (EST)
They also tend to screw with re-use when converting to other formats—better to recommend Firefox or a decent text editor, if anything at all. --Peter Talk 23:19, 4 January 2010 (EST)
It may just be contributors who speak poor English as a second language. While we certainly want nicely written articles, we shouldn't be prude to contributors who add useful information. Just like new contributors aren't condemned for violating the MoS, should we extend similar courtesy to non-native English speakers? If you were contributing to a WT version in a language which you understand but don't have a good handle on, would you like them pointing out all your mistakes and leading you to a web browser or to Word to correct them? As far as Word goes, if we assume that these are people who don't speak English fluently, then they probably would be using Word in a different language and does Word spell check in other languages(in this case, English)? Just a couple of thoughts...AHeneen 02:12, 5 January 2010 (EST)
Word will spellcheck any language you want it to, as long as you have the right dictionary installed. I don't know which dictionaries are installed by default on foreign copies of the product. LtPowers 08:41, 5 January 2010 (EST)

Quick question on Patrolling... If, as I have just done, I Undo a change for some reason, the original edit remains Unpatrolled. Given the edit has now been undone, should the original edit be marked as Patrolled since it no longer needs rolling back, or should it be left in an Unpatrolled state? Nrms 08:27, 8 February 2010 (EST)

The purpose of patrolling is to alert other patrollers that an edit has been examined and appropriate action taken. If you've undone an edit, other patrollers need not look at it, so you should mark it as patrolled. LtPowers 09:00, 8 February 2010 (EST)
Cheers! Will make a note to patrol those edits in future then. Nrms 09:03, 8 February 2010 (EST)

I have been doing a lot a patrolling the last few months and can see that others do the same, which is great. However, I have also noticed that edits being left unpatrolled for half a day or something are not given much focus by others and tend to remain unpatrolled. Therefore, I have been patrolling otherwise unpatrolled edits ½-2 days after the edits are made, and I find quite a lot of vandalism and other edits needing to be reverted or changed. I do not mind continuing to do this second round patrolling but would like some help from others, ClausHansen 06:38, 19 March 2010 (EDT)

Good point Claus and I will try to focus a bit on those as well. The key problem is that we have way too few patrollers. Losing Stefan (I dearly hope not permanently) has not helped. It would be great if a few more regulars could at least find 15 minutes here and there to patrol.--Burmesedays 06:52, 19 March 2010 (EDT)
The upside is that I think we're doing a better job of this recently than any other time save when we first had the feature implemented! Clicking "hide patrolled edits" in recentchanges will show the edits from previous days that went unpatrolled, many of which are harder cases than most. I know I personally will see the occasional difficult-to-deal-with edit that makes my heart sink, and I leave it for someone else who can find that motivation ;) I will try to respond in kind, though. --Peter Talk 17:27, 21 March 2010 (EDT)

Edits made via ITravel[edit]

First, it's great that Wikitravel is editable via ITravel application. Anyway, as far as I can see, all edits made via this application appear as made by User:ITravel, which is an account (?) older than 30 days and thus all edits appear automatically patrolled at Special:Recentchanges, while in fact they may be made by a first time contributor to Wikitravel if I understood the situation correctly. Edit summaries are self-explanatory enough, but I'd like to make sure no edits get missed by an absence of a red exclamation mark on busier days. So, is it technically possible to alter settings for User:ITravel so that edits made via ITravel never become automatically patrolled? – Vidimian 09:56, 3 October 2010 (EDT)


Swept in from the pub

I see good patrolling from various contributors, but lots of edits get through without being patrolled. For some parts of 2010, I made sure that everything was patrolled, but stopped as the work load was too much. As I see it, we really need to do something to prevent our content from degenerating. If we were seven people who would take the responsibility to take one week day each, we could make sure that everything was patrolled. I am happy to do one day a week, so now we only need six more, --ClausHansen 21:28, 24 April 2011 (EDT)

It is a vital task at Wikitravel and one which can be a bit soul-destroying if it is not shared. Claus is one contributor who has done sterling work on this front for a long time. I hope to be able to help again and put myself forward as one of the seven.--Burmesedays 22:47, 24 April 2011 (EDT)

@Claus/Burmesedays: Great to see both ofyou back at WT, work overload was pretty bad here in the last months. I will be very busy during for the next months to finish a project by July. Therefore i can only offer irregular patrolling like in the past. I focus now mostly to maintain my favourite articles and the DoTM/OtbP as they are in desperate need of articles. I think its a good idea and we should start a table at the project Home to encourage other admins/users to join you. Best regards, jan 14:02, 25 April 2011 (EDT)
If the daily patroller thing works then I'm very supportive, but I'm a bit hesitant to sign up for something that sounds disturbingly like a job - Wikitravel is a great escape for me, and I try to patrol as time allots, but I'm hesitant to sign up for a task that turns an escape into a chore... are there perhaps any other thoughts about how we could encourage more people to patrol without assigning shifts? Would a statistics page that captured "top patrollers", some sort of barnstar (10,000 pages patrolled, etc) or something similar do anything to encourage more people to join in? Statistics would be fairly easy to generate from Special:Logs. Just a thought, and many thanks to those who have been patrolling in obscurity. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:08, 25 April 2011 (EDT)

Statistics could be a good idea, see one [5] that I made for 2010Q1, --ClausHansen 03:55, 26 April 2011 (EDT)
I am with Ryan on this, I sometimes spend a lot of time patrolling but I would be loath to make a commitment to do it to a quota or roster based system lest I lapsed and did not fulfill the undertaking. I don't know about others but my own style and approach toward patrolling varies considerably from day to day and even during an editing or patrolling session. Sometimes I just look over the recent edit and either mark as patrolled and move on or make any basic corrective adjustments that may appear to be required. Other times I may dwell on the wider scope of the section or the entire article and do a wider review of other recent edits or sweep through the section or entire article copy-editing or reviewing listings or article page formatting. That is often a potentially very time consuming task and would result in quite spotty performance in terms of a daily clearance volume. I assume others are the same and have a mixed style and approach toward this task. To regiment it into a volume driven or performance oriented task may not be that good a thing to do. If patrollers felt they had a quota to fulfill it may rob the articles of other essential input incidental to the patrolling. The other problem is that I am sure that many of us have specific areas of knowledge and some specific articles that we take greater individual interest in. I normally pay attention to these first and then do a general look around if I still have time. Some articles I do not feel comfortable with if I do not have sufficient knowledge of the location so I can only reasonably deal with policy or formatting issues unless it is just a simple correction of some obvious and outstanding editing absurdity. I worry that a volume based approach may rob the activity of the required focus, prior edit investigations and User activity enquiries that are often required to work out what is going on in some articles. Then again of course setting up such a system does not mean we all have to follow it. Maybe it will suit some better than others. Certainly there is quite a volume of stuff that simply gets missed. --- felix 07:08, 26 April 2011 (EDT)
I agree with Felix's points. For the record, my life is way too complicated and busy for me to make any kind of commitment. This is volunteer work, whereas there are other things in my life that simply must be done. So there could be weeks when I don't log on even once. But I salute anyone who may be able and willing to make specific commitments. Ikan Kekek 17:34, 26 April 2011 (EDT)
As an aside, the number of un-patrolled edits [6] is very, very low at the moment. A hearty well done to all who have worked so hard on this.--Burmesedays 10:06, 10 June 2011 (EDT)
On another aside note, this [7] (i.e., choosing the day limit as "30", as opposed to "7", which seems to be default) will provide a larger number of unpatrolled edits. – Vidimian 12:23, 10 June 2011 (EDT)
Indeed, but the number is still very low.--Burmesedays 22:24, 10 June 2011 (EDT)
Sure, no disagreement on that. :-) – Vidimian 07:10, 11 June 2011 (EDT)