User:Chiacomo/Wikinews and Wikinews policy notes

Most harmful practices:

  • Reversions WN:3RR
  • Personal Attacks
  • Failure to collaborate

Thoughts on WN:3RR edit

Appropriateness of reverts

Except in cases of deliberate and obvious vandalism or newbie edits I can't think of a valid reason for reverting an article in the mainspace. As a collaborative website, the first revert should be a clue that discussion is required. We must assume good faith and believe that another's edit, while it may not be NPOV or may not add value to an article, is made with the intention of improving the quality of our product. Believing this, we should willingly and gladly race to discussion pages work out the details.

Administrators' use of the "revert" button

Administrators should not use the revert button to revert non-vandalistic edits. Reversions for anything other than simple vandalism should include an edit summary explaining the revert -- use of the revert button does not provide this opportunity.


I would advocate a switch to a 1RR, but I suspect that would never gain approval of the community. I can't think, however, of a reason not to adopt a two-revert-rule... Really, why not?

Automatic blocks for 3RR violations

I don't believe in automatic blocks for any behavior -- except for legal or personal threats. The idea of a knee-jerk block for 3RR is anti-wiki and anti-collaborative, in my opinion. If, after three reverts, editors can still work out their differences without blokcing, we should welcome this opportunity. If we're going to automatically block for 3RR violations, we should instead adopt a 2RR and block then... Yes, I know that the purpose of a 3RR block is to allow parties time to "cool off", but revert wars are an obvious danger to the collaborative process...

Thoughts on Administrators edit

What is an administrator?

Administrators are simply regular users with a few extra buttons. This is all an administrator should be. On Wikinews, at least, administrators should not have any more editorial control than other editors.

The role of administrators in disputes

Frequently, administrators are asked to intervene in article disputes. This is not appropriate -- editors (regular users and administrators alike) should work together on article discussion pages to craft a neutral point-of-view story. Editors should not ask administrators to block other users based on accusations of NPOV edits to Wikinews articles.

Administrators should however work to encourage users involved in disputes to discuss and work through problems. Administrators should strive to remain neutral in disputes, and when they cannot, should remove themselves from conflict. At the very least, administrators should not threaten to block users or block the publication of articles using administrative tools.

Administrators are ambassadors of and to the community of editors and should remain cool when involved in any dispute. Admins should avoid the use of strong language in any context.

The role of administrators in the enforcement of policy

I don't like the idea of administrators as policemen, but at times, administrators must act to prevent disruption of and damage to the community.

  • Administrators should act to protect the reputation of Wikinews
Wikinews hopes to become a major source of free, reputable news. All editors must protect the project from those who seek to use it for commercial promotion, the promotion of political viewpoints, and those who attempt to discredit the site by posting frivilous news.
  • Administrators should act to protect the ideal of Wikinews
Wikinews is free and open -- any editor who contributes any news that concerns a specific verifiable event should be welcomed. It is my hope that one day Wikinews will host hundreds if not thousands of stories. These stories may be about a local sports or international politics -- all are welcomed. "Not-notable" should not even enter our vocabulary. Administrators should protect new editors who submit news -- they should attempt to guide them in the ways of the project and help them to write better stories.
  • Administrators should protect new users
New users may not have made themselves familiar with site policies and guidelines. A simple {{hello}} message may not be enough. Kind words and gentle prodding may be necessary to assist editors in acclimating themselves to the community. Administrators should protect new users from other editors who may react quickly and sometimes inappropriately to common newbie mistakes.

Collaboration and policy edit

Weekly there are several notices posted to WN:ALERT, the administrator's notice board, concerning article content, NPOV, etc... These are not administrative problems, generally.

Collaboration is the name of the game

Wikinews is a WIKI -- we should always be willing to discuss the content of Wikinews articles. Wikinews:Etiquette has some excellent pointers including the advice that one should answer questions, be willing to concede, and to forgive and forget. If an editor cannot collaborate and cannot communicate without the discussion becoming heated, he may not enjoy his time at Wikinews.

Failure to collaborate can disrupt Wikinews

When the publication of an article is delayed due to a failure to collaborate it can be and should be considered disruption. Editors who fail to collaborate in a civil fashion should be warned and blocked if necessary. When someone asks about your objections, please calmly explain them -- repeatedly if necessary. Wikinews policies on NPOV are non-negotiable, but the NPOV policy is also sort of amorphous. Patience and a willingness to work together are key.