Thu 7th April 2011, 2:51am
QUOTE(thekohser @ Wed 6th April 2011, 5:51pm)
Posted by A Texas Librarian on April 6, 2011 at 6:45pm EDT
Seth: You make some good points. Anyone can come along and undo your hard work, if they possess the inclination and malevolence to do so.
I have often pondered ways to fix that problem, without restricting access to a limited number of editors.
One thing I thought of recently was this: a seniority system. The way it would work is that editors who contribute quality work can build up a certain level of seniority, and those people wishing to edit an article created by that editor would need to hold equal or greater seniority. To provide a check and balance, editors with less seniority could "pool" their rankings in order to compensate for this. Of course, the major flaw is that a hacker could conceivably change his account to falsify his seniority level, or groups of cranks could pool their seniority in order to attack various articles. There would need to be some way to track seniority ratings that would allow Wikipedia to detect (and subsequently ban the IP of) anyone whose seniority level changes dramatically in a short period of time, or to detect the same group of people pooling their seniority over and over in order to "grind up" articles.
Of course, I realize that this is simply trading one headache for another. That's the reason why Wikipedia will never replace in-print resources like Britannica.
Who will determine what is quality work? Will the List of Pokemon Characters article be considered high quality?
What about the articles created by editors who are long gone? What about articles created by now-banned editors?
If less-senior editors "pool" rankings, will that be facilitated by off-wiki canvassing?
When the IP of a "hacker" is banned, what happens when that "hacker" unplugs his DSL modem and plugs it back in?
How does it follow that Britannica will survive?
What form of capital punishment should be meted out on "A Texas Librarian" -- firing squad, gas chamber, hanging, or electric chair?
Oh, come on. You don't like the fact that such a system was not in place when YOU needed it, so now you want to shoot (gas,hang,fry) the messenger (or in this case, the newb thinker in Texas).
If such a rep system got going for username accounts (nevermind the IPs), then it could actually work. We don't judge "quality," we merely judge number of keystroke edits that stays in WP for longer than some X time-- say 30 days. Then, multiply by the number of pageviews after that that the article with the addition gets, so you don't get the same points for (say) adding crap ala Blofeld to a stub that nobody reads, as you would do for (say) fixing an error in United States of America
. The rep of an given "account" (nameuser with strong password) then is some function of that magic number, which is integrated and tabulated over time for each account. You could keep track of it with a .....COMPUTER! I hear they're getting fast.
The way this would work, is that once a nameuser passes a certain number of good edits which survive in a certain number of articles that get a certain number of pageviews, they become unblockable by a single admin, and now it takes two. At some further level, it takes 3, then 4, then 5. Or one steward or something. And so on. If you really want to make this a fun game, you carry this number around with you, and it shows up like Milton Roe (T-C-L-K-R-D)
every time you sign in with the 4 tildes ~~~~. Now you're getting somewhere.
Then we take the next step, and disconnect the whole problem of trying to figure out what person in meatspace is operating which account, because we basically don't care.
Since it's impossible to really know that, anyway, without the sorts of invasions of privacy that only Dept of Homeland Security can do, and certainly not Wikipedia.
So now, somebody raises hand: zOMG, what if we think from checkuser data that the user:Cool3 account (500,000) is operated by GRAWP or Kort or somebody that WP loves to hate? Hershel, say. What do we DO???
Answer, nothing. If the account has not been misbehaving, and has a lot of added-content reputation, then there's not much point in doing anything
. If the quality of WP is actually what you're really after as a primary goal, you don't care if the Devil Himself is adding quality content that lasts.
Yes, this takes some of the revenge-machine out of things. But on the other hand, it adds another dimension to the MMPORPG, does it not. It could come out even.